Origins of the Civil War

a)    In a response that is at least 250 words, addresses our readings and other classroom materials, answer the prompt below:

Question

  • In your own interpretation what were the most significant causes of the Civil War?

CONTEXT

You are free to approach this question based off your own reading and historical interpretation. However, I urge you to think about this question in a complicated way. When some students respond to this question they note that the fractious and violent events that occurred during the wildly unstable events of the 1850s caused the Civil War. However, other students have argued that the Mexican-American War, the U.S. Constitution (with the Northwest Ordinance or 3/5 Compromise) contributed to the Civil War, with even some students noticing that the arrival of enslaved persons off the coast of Virginia in 1619 paved the way for an inevitable conflict for those who profited off of slavery to wage war against those who wished to abolish it.  As long as your response is historically supported and analytical you will successfully meet the parameters and requirements of the assignment—but I urge you to think of this question in complex and complicated way.

Why So Few Blacks Study the Civil War

b)   In a response that is at least 250 words, addresses our readings and other classroom materials, answer the prompt below:

Question

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article. Do you agree with his claims? If so, what could the historical field do in order to make Civil War History more engaging and inclusive?

The historical profession is largely white, which shapes the disciplinary norms, approaches, insights, historiography, methodologies, conversations, arguments, and representation of and in the field. When it comes to Civil War History, the historical field becomes even more white, as Civil War History overwhelmingly lacks any sort of racial or ethnic diversity in terms of historical scholars or directors of Civil War museums. To Ta-Nehisi Coates, this development should be confounding as the Civil War is a historical event which led to the abolition of slavery and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. However, as Coates shows, this development is also not so confounding but rather makes sense given how Civil War history is commonly analyzed and portrayed.

 

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