header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




The Civil War Era


Edward Ayers, "The Causes of the Civil War, 2.0" (New York Times, 2011); Katharine Seelye, "Celebrating Secession without the Slaves": some Southerners claim that the war was not about slavery on its 150th anniversary (New York Times, 2010); Mark Noll, from God and Race in American Politics (2006), on the Civil War as a religious war; Keri Leigh Merritt, "Why We Need a New Civil War Documentary," Smithsonian (2019)

James McPherson, "The Counterrevolution of 1861", from Battle Cry of Freedom (1988); Stephanie McCurry, "The Brothers' War," from Confederate Reckoning (2010); Southern editors on Lincoln's election; Dew, from Apostles of Disunion, on secession commissioners; South Carolina declaration of secession (1860)

Gerald Linderman, from Embattled Courage, on the experience of battle; James McPherson, "We Were In Earnest," from For Cause and Comrades (1997)

timeline of the Civil War, from the Smithsonian; American Civil War timeline 1861-1865, on video (2010); historian Ruthanne Lum McCunn on Chinese-Americans who fought in the Civil War

Luc Sante, "Gangland," on the gangs of New York, from Low Life


Abraham Lincoln, "A "House Divided" (1858); Lincoln's First Inaugural (1861); Lincoln, Second Annual Message to Congress (1862); Gettysburg Address (1863); Lincoln's Second Inaugural (1865)

play this game and face the choices Lincoln faced

Eric Foner, "Our Lincoln" on Lincoln's growing sense of racial justice (The Nation, 2009)


Emancipation Proclamation (1862); Samuel Cox condemns emancipation (1862); Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, to Arms!" (1863); Maimi, "The Meaning of the War" (1863)

Steven Hahn, "The Greatest Slave Rebellion": on slaves as political actors, from The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (2009); was the Civil War a war of liberation? from Calvin Schermerhorn, Unrequited Toil (2016); HR 194, apology for slavery (2008)


Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (2009): reading 1 2 3 4; excerpts from Mary Chesnut's A Diary from Dixie; Niall Ferguson, "Driving Dixie Down": financing the Confederacy, from The Ascent of Money


"The Hanging of 38 Indians" (1862); NY Times on the New York draft riots (1863); Clement Vallandingham, Copperhead dissent from the war (1863); a Democratic attack on Lincoln's leadership, from 1864

historian David Greenberg discusses Lincoln's decisions on civil liberties (2001); Civil War civil liberties timeline


options for Reconstruction; Calvin Schermerhorn on Lincoln and his plans for Reconstruction; political effects of the Civil War

Heather Cox Richardson, tweet thread summarizing Reconstruction and putting it in historical context (2019); Larry Glickman, "How White Backlash Controls American Progress," The Atlantic (May 2020); David Zucchino, "American Legacy: When White Supremacist Mobs Threaten Democracy": how the Janary 6 riot was like the Wilmington Riot of 1898

David Priess, "How a Difficult, Racist, Stubborn President was Removed from Power--If Not from Office," Politico (Nov. 2018); Andrew Johnson, veto message for First Reconstruction Act (1867); an excerpt from historian Garrett Epps' Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America on Andrew Johnson, from Democracy Reborn (2006); Johnson vs. the radicals, from Schermerhorn, Unrequited Toil; Jamelle Bouie, "Andrew Johnson's Violent Language--and Trump's," New York Times (Oct. 2019)

David Brion Davis, "Free at Last: The Enduring Legacy of the South's Civil War Victory" (New York Times, 2001); Steven Hahn, "The Other American Revolution," an excellent review of Eric Foner's Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2005); Eric Foner, "From Slavery to Freedom," on the economics of Reconstruction, from A Short History of Reconstruction (1990)

Willie Lee Rose, "Freedom," from Masters without Slaves, on planters and Reconstruction

Claude Bowers, The Tragic Era (1929)--"Lost Cause" history of Reconstruction; Clarence Cason, "Shadows of the Plantation," from 90° in the Shade (1935)

Jourdon Anderson, letter to his former master (1865); letter from freedmen of Edisto Island, SC to Andrew Johnson (1865); Sarah Jane Foster, teacher of the freedmen (1866); a sharecrop contract (1867); the founding and development of HBCUs at a glance, 1865-1870; great map of black congressional representatives across US history; Robert Elliott (R-SC) on civil rights (1874); historian Allan Guelzo on colorism in the African-American community during Reconstruction, from Redeeming the Great Emancipator (2016)

Frederick Douglass, "The Composite Nation" (1869); "Opposition to the 15th Amendment," New York Times (1869); New York Times, "The Colored Vote": on the 15th Amendment, 1870; Ellen Carol DuBois, "Reconstruction and the Battle for Women Suffrage": women's suffrage and the 15th Amendment; debates and interpretation of the 15th Amendment; Steven Bank, "Anti-Miscegenation Laws and the Dilemma of Symmetry": how Congressional debates immediately linked civil rights and interracial marriage; from Stephanie McCurry, Women's War: how the 15th Amendment consciously did not include women

Congressional hearings on the KKK, 1871; KKK letter threatens a Republican officeholder


James Oakes, "The Meaning of the Civil War" (1990)

Steven Hahn, "Homegrown Terror": a useful review and summary of Nicholas Lemann's Redemption, about violence in Mississippi in 1873 (New Republic, 2006); Jimmy Carter restores Jefferson Davis' citizenship, 1978

Eric Foner, "Rooted in Reconstruction": how Reconstruction politicians made it possible for Barack Obama to run for President (The Nation, 2008); Jelani Cobb, "The Battle Over Confederate Monuments in New Orleans" (New Yorker, 2017); New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's speech on the removal of the monuments, May 2017; timeline of when monuments were constructed; timeline linking construction of monuments and civil rights; Robert E. Lee opposes construction of monuments (1869); the New York Times on whether the "rebel barbarities" should be remembered or forgotten (1865); Eric Foner, "The Making and the Breaking of the Legend of Robert E. Lee," New York Times (2017)

James Garfield's inaugural, 1881