The Coming of the Civil War


Through a close examination of the interrelationships among economic change, cultural and political developments, and the escalating sectional conflict between 1815 and 1861, this lecture course seeks to explain what the caused the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861. Students should note that this period also encompasses the Jacksonian era of American history, and most of the lectures in the first half of the course will be devoted to examining it, with a focus on party politics and debates over slavery. Grades will be based on class participation and on three written assignments: a midterm exam; an 8-10 page term paper; and a comprehensive, take-home final examination.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts