Week 1

Getting to Know You & Navigating The American Civil War

Learning Modules:

Quick primer and historiography on the causes of the Civil War.


Scanned Readings

Towers, Frank. “Partisans, New History, and Modernization: The Historiography of the Civil War’s Causes, 1861-2011,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 1, No. 2 (June 2011), pp, 237-264.

Gunderson, Gerald. “The Origin of the American Civil War,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Dec 1974), pp. 915-950.

Hsieh, Wayne Wei-Slang. “Total War and the American Civil War Reconsidered: The End of an Outdated Master Narrative,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 1, No. 3 (September 2011), pp. 394-408.

Discussion Board: 

  1. Introduce yourself – what is your background, where are you from, what interests you the most about this class?
  2. Review the historiography and causes of the war. Is history static or ever changing?  What interpretation do you believe is the most “correct?”
  3. SIDEBAR! This is YOUR discussion thread.  Bring up interesting articles, wild questions, or anything that you think pertains to the Civil War – social, religious, material culture, military, or personalities.  Sometimes this can be the best discussion thread in the class.  Go for it!

Zoom PP Lecture: 

An overview of the course.  What we will be studying, what the professor is looking for in student discussion posts and papers and, of course, the structure of the class, where LSS hides things on Blackboard.

Who writes history? Why is historiography important (Super Historians)? Discuss James Sprunt, Lost Cause, and how interpretation is ever changing.  Reminder: share student thoughts, images, etc.  We want your experience to be as similar to a seated class as possible with more fun technology!

Super Historians

LSS Notes:

Give time for students to familiarize themselves with the structure of the course and order the books that they need for the semester.  Scanned documentation is uploaded before the course begins. Use the first two weeks of scanned documents to give students time to purchase a few books at a time instead of having to buy everything at once.  Go with the tide and the wind.


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