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The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877

by Yale University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction.

Customer Reviews


Dr. Blight is not only a remarkable historian, he's a gifted storyteller. He brings all the complexities and nuances of the American Civil War to life--and manages to be entertaining as well. Worth viewing/listening to for anyone interested in American history.

Excellent. And necessary.

David Blight's course is an eye-opener on the chaos, destruction, and hope in the American Civil War. He gives you a feeling of the emotions and ideals of Americans on both sides of the divide, and he will instill in you a new feeling of burning hatred toward slavery. I came close to tears a number of times. It takes a little getting used to Blight's style - there are a lot of rhetorical questions and debate about the meaning of these events, along with a healthy dose of sarcasm. It's one of the best courses I've ever heard, through iTunes U or in a classroom.

You'll listen to this series several times

Professor Blight is an excellent story teller. He incorporates poetry, hymns, period literature, and a sense of justice into this lecture series.

The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877
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Customer Ratings