The American Civil War and Reconstruction led to remaking the Constitution. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments freed the slaves, expanded citizenship and gave former male slaves the right to vote. But the 12 years that followed the defeat of the Confederacy also set in motion a backlash of racist ugliness – lynching, Jim Crow, the Klan – that still haunts our nation. With Eric Foner’s Pulitzer Prize- winning book as a foundation, we will explore this crucial period.
Required text: The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, Eric Foner
This seminar-style course has limited enrollment to allow small group discussion.