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Fall 2012

History Courses:

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HIS215 - The American Civil War
Credits: 3

Catalog Description: Examines the coming of the Civil War-tracing the causes from the rise of slavery in America and the creation of the Constitution to westward expansion and diverging economic bases – as well as the military, political, and cultural aspects of the war itself. (For students with a grade of 85 or higher on the NY State Regents Exam, this course may be used to fulfill the SUNY General Education requirement for American history. For all others, this course will count as a general education elective.)

Lecture: 3 hrs.

Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs):
Upon successful completion of this course as documented through writing, objective testing, case studies, laboratory practice, and/or classroom discussion, the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic narrative of early American history from the colonial period to the end of the Civil War including such topics as the emergence of the political party system, social protest movements, American imperialism and expansion, economic growth and change in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and the Civil War.*
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the common institutions in early American society and how they affected different groups in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.*
3.Explain the evolution of slavery in America and how it contributed to the coming of the Civil War.
4.Identify and explain the constitutional issues that contributed to the Civil War.
5.Explain how American westward expansion helped to bring about the Civil War.
6.Articulate and synthesize the history of the major military campaigns of the war and their significance.
7.Identify and articulate the significance of the major military figures in the war.
8.Evaluate the political leadership of both the Union and Confederate governments.
9.Identify and explain how new technology influenced the war.
10. Identify and explain how Victorian culture affected behavior leading up to and during the war.
11. Assess and explain how foreign affairs and America’s evolving relationship with the rest of the world influenced the course of the war.*
12. Compare and evaluate the role of the material/physical advantages and disadvantages of the North and South.
13. Explain the Emancipation Proclamation in context and evaluate its effect on the outcome of the war.
14. Identify and explain the major reasons why the Union wins the war.
15. Explain how presidential and congressional Reconstruction policy differed and why.
16. Think critically about how the history of the war has been written through the analysis of primary and secondary sources and produce a 5-7 research paper reflecting that analysis.*


* This course objective has been identified as a student learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the Comprehensive Assessment Plan of the college. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.




Content Outline:
I. Origins and evolution of slavery in America
II. The Constitution and the controversies it spawns
III. Westward expansion & Victorian culture
IV. The immediate causes of the war and its beginnings - 1861
V. Longer than anyone thought - 1862
VI. Turning points - 1863
VII. Grant, Sherman & Lincoln - 1864
VIII. Lee surrenders, Davis flees & Lincoln is shot
IX. The end of the war and beginning of Reconstruction
X. What does it all mean? What have historians said?




Effective Term: Fall 2012