Course Description

United States History

HIST 2051

American Military History to 1900

Spring 2016
This course explores military events and developments from the period of the North American colonial wars through the end of the 19th Century. It combines lectures and discussion sections to address such topics as the debate over the role of the military in a free society, the interaction between the military and civilian spheres in American history, and the development of a professional army and navy. Although this is not a course on battles and generals, significant time in class will be devoted to crucial events and leaders in the Revolutionary War, the war with Mexico, the Civil War, and other major conflicts.
The course will be organized into two lecture meetings and one discussion section each week. Grades will be based on two take-home examinations (70%) and contributions to the weekly discussion sections (30%).
Required Readings (some substitutions may be made):
Gallagher, Gary W. The Union War
Glatthaar, Joseph T. Partners in Command: The Relationships between Leaders in the Civil War 
Paul Andrew Hutton, Phil Sheridan and His Army
Martin, James Kirby, and Lender, Mark Edward. A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789  (2nd, edition)
Taylor, Alan. The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies
Winders, Richard Bruce. Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War

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