HIST-270: The American Civil War

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
The American Civil War
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

Examines the American Civil War, including the causes, personalities, soldiers, social groups, significant battles, and legacy of America’s defining conflict from 1820-1877.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. North and South Compared
  2. Sectional Politics in the 1850s
  3. The Secession Crisis
  4. Fighting the War: The Generals
  5. Fighting the War: The Soldiers
  6. Abraham Lincoln as Military and Political Leader
  7. Northern and Southern Home Fronts
  8. Women in Wartime
  9. Emancipation
  10. Congressional Terms for the Defeated South
  11. Political and Economic Change in the Reconstruction South
  12. Southern Republicans and the Problems of Reconstruction
  13. The Northern Retreat from Reconstruction
  14. The Impact and Significance of the Sectional Conflict
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:
1. Outline time and chronology of the American Civil War.
2. Identify, summarize, and analyze major elements of the American Civil War.
3. Analyze cause and effect in the American Civil War.
4. Trace elements of change and continuity in the American Civil War.
5. Emphasize parallelism by describing the impact of major events, personalities, and places upon the American Civil War.

Detailed Learning Objectives (Optional)

Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:
1. Contrast and compare social, economic, and political conditions in the North and South.
2. Analyze the relationship between the competing forces of sectionalism and nationalism.
3. Identify the strategies, tactics and rationale of Northern and Southern generals as they fight the war and work with political officials.
4. Recognize the variety of forces affecting soldiers on both sides of the conflict, and the response of those soldiers.
5. Describe the evolution of the political and personal character of Abraham Lincoln as he responded to the needs of the Union.
6. Contrast the different wartime roles played by Northern and Southern women.
7. Analyze the ever-increasing dominance of emancipation and how it affected the leadership on both sides in their prosecution of the war.
8. Analyze the Constitutional and political arguments advanced for and against the return of the Southern states to the Union.
9. Identify the political and economic changes in the South brought about by Reconstruction.
10. Trace the evolution, success and decline of the fledgling Southern wing of the Republican Party.
11. Identify the reasons contributing to the Northern retreat from Reconstruction.
12. Recognize the impact and significance of the conflict between the North and South historically, politically, economically, and socially.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Assessment of academic achievement will be identified and implemented by the class instructor. Methods will include, but will not be limited to, individual projects, vocabulary, class participation (discussion and critiques), and tests.


Each instructor will select the teaching materials she/he feels are best suited to her/his course.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2022