Columbia University is offering a class on what it calls a "misunderstood" period of history.
For many Civil War buffs, summer is the perfect time to indulge their hobby. It’s not difficult to come up with an itinerary for a history-focused vacation – every day of the calendar is full of battle reenactments, lectures, walking tours, and anniversary commemorations, taking place from Maryland to Missouri.
To make the most of your history-focused travel, it pays to be prepared. Just in time for summer, Columbia University is offering a free online class on what it calls a “misunderstood” period of history, the period after the war that ended the threat of succession and abolished slavery – the era of Reconstruction.
After the battles were over the nation had to rebuild amidst great economic and political challenges. The course, entitled, “The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1865-1890: The Unfinished Revolution,” promises to discuss issues that continue to be relevant today, including:
- Who is an American citizen and what are citizens’ rights?
- What is the relationship between political and economic freedom?
- Which has the primary responsibility for protecting Americans’ rights – the federal or state governments?
- How should public authorities respond to episodes of terrorism?
- Rewriting of the laws and Constitution to incorporate the principle of equality regardless of race
- The accomplishments and failings of Reconstruction governments in the South
- The reasons for violent opposition in the South and for the northern retreat from Reconstruction
- The consolidation at the end of the nineteenth century of a new system of white supremacy
The self-paced 9-week class starts on June 6 and is free of charge. Taught by Eric Foner, Professor of History at Columbia University, and Tim Shenak, graduate student in History at Columbia University, the course requires 6-8 hours per week.
Visit edX to enroll.