HI6007 - Civil War and Reconstruction

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the causes, events, and results of the U.S. Civil War, a war which took over 620,000 lives; the bloodiest in American history. The Civil War and its aftermath are considered the dividing line between early and modern US history. The War ended the South’s dominance of American politics. It also led to three major constitutional amendments which ended slavery, defined American citizenship, and provided for African American votes respectively which still have implications in American life in the 21st century. The course begins in 1850 by looking at American sectionalism and how and why that caused the founding of the Republican party and the eventual secession of eleven southern states. It then examines the military aspects of the war and explores its social, political, economic, and diplomatic effects. The end of the term will be spent on the political and social aspects of the post-War period known as ‘Reconstruction.’ It will explain how American national identity became redefined during this tumultuous time, especially in popular memory around public commemorations, art, literature and film. You will also analyse the controversial historiography of this period throughout the semester.

How will I learn on this module?

Interactive structured seminars will enable you to develop their expertise in accessing and evaluating a range of sources, both primary and secondary, related to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The most complex seminars will be tutor-led through scene setting introductions, in order to aid students in familiarizing themselves with key texts and ideas on specific topics. In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on independent reading by presenting ideas and arguments in student-led, both individual and group, seminar discussions and debates. Guidance for learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. Students are responsible for their own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches individual student learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group seminars and individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised Feedback and Consultation hours and via email. Your peers will provide you will a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate a deep, contextualised understanding of the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
2. Demonstrate an expertise on the historiography of this period in American history.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Engage critically with original historical sources to analyse the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
4. Exhibit an ability to communicate clearly and effectively informed opinions on the Civil War and Reconstruction to challenge pre-existing historical claims and arguments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate a deep awareness of the relationship between the historical conflicts of the past and the implications of these on transnational, contemporary social, economic, and political issues.

How will I be assessed?

Your knowledge and understanding, ability to analyse and engage critically with historiography, primary sources, and key themes in the Civil War and Reconstruction will be tested via the following assessments:
1) 3,000-word primary source evaluation from a list of approved sources.
MLO: 1- 5
2) 3,000-word research essay, chosen from a list of suitable essay topics. MLO: 1- 5

You will have the opportunity to discuss your work in a dedicated session on your assessments and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in seminar discussions, debates, and tutorials. You will also receive feedback through interaction with your peers in seminar discussions.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code T710

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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