The Civil War and Reconstruction

A photograph of civil war soldiers sitting in a camp.

Warrenton, VA, November 1862 / Alex. Gardner, photographer. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-98249 (b&w film copy neg.)])


MIT Course Number

21H.116J / STS.029J

As Taught In

Fall 2005



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features archived syllabi from various semesters.

Course Description

Although attention will be devoted to the causes and long-term consequences of the Civil War, this class will focus primarily on the war years (1861-1865) with special emphasis on the military and technological aspects of the conflict. Four questions, long debated by historians, will receive close scrutiny:

  1. What caused the war?
  2. Why did the North win the war?
  3. Could the South have won?
  4. To what extent is the Civil War America's "defining moment"?

Related Content

Merritt Smith. 21H.116J The Civil War and Reconstruction. Fall 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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