The Civil War and Reconstruction - 1850-1861: A Nation Divided

Provided by:
10/10 stars
based on  19 reviews
Provided by:
Cost FREE
Start Date On demand
The Civil War and Reconstruction - 1850-1861: A Nation Divided

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22043 reviews

Course Description

A House Divided: The Road to Civil War, 1850-1861 begins by examining how generations of historians have explained the crisis of the Union.  After discussing the institution of slavery and its central role in the southern and national economies, it turns to an account of the political and social history of the 1850s. It traces how the issue of the expansion of slavery came to dominate national politics, and how political leaders struggled, unsuccessfully, to resolve the growing crisis. We will examine the impact of key events such as Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and end with the dissolution of the Union in the winter of 1860-61.

This course is part of the X Series, Civil War and Reconstruction, which introduces students to the most pivotal era in American history. The Civil War transformed the nation by eliminating the threat of seces...

A House Divided: The Road to Civil War, 1850-1861 begins by examining how generations of historians have explained the crisis of the Union.  After discussing the institution of slavery and its central role in the southern and national economies, it turns to an account of the political and social history of the 1850s. It traces how the issue of the expansion of slavery came to dominate national politics, and how political leaders struggled, unsuccessfully, to resolve the growing crisis. We will examine the impact of key events such as Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and end with the dissolution of the Union in the winter of 1860-61.

This course is part of the X Series, Civil War and Reconstruction, which introduces students to the most pivotal era in American history. The Civil War transformed the nation by eliminating the threat of secession and destroying the institution of slavery. It raised questions that remain central to our understanding of ourselves as a people and a nation – the balance of power between local and national authority, the boundaries of citizenship, and the meanings of freedom and equality. This X Series will examine the causes of the war, the road to secession, the conduct of the Civil War, the coming of emancipation, and the struggle after the war to breathe meaning into the promise of freedom for four million emancipated slaves. One theme throughout the series is what might be called the politics of history – how the world in which a historian lives affects his or her view of the past, and how historical interpretations reinforce or challenge the social order of the present.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Reviews 10/10 stars
19 Reviews for The Civil War and Reconstruction - 1850-1861: A Nation Divided

Ratings details

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

Sort By
student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 9 months ago
I, too, just registered for parts one and two. Some time ago I bought the book on the Reconstruction era written by Professor Foner but haven't yet read it. I can't wait for these classes to start.
Was this review helpful? Yes1
 Flag
Doris Smith profile image
Doris Smith profile image

Doris Smith

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
An *excellent* course, comprehensive and even-handed. Professor Foner is an engaging lecturer with an impressive grasp of the subject. I learned a great deal, and I'm looking forward to the next two classes in the series.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Andrei Ivanov profile image
Andrei Ivanov profile image

Andrei Ivanov

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
This course is very friendly for foreigners like me who know little to nothing about USA history. It's easy to get started and by the end of it you'll have good knowledge about roots of one of the major events in American history - Civil War. Great lectures introducing all kinds of views on issues during that period and Civil War itself. So i easily can name this course among best ones i took so far on edX. Great job!
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
roberto russo profile image
roberto russo profile image

roberto russo

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Great course. Professor Foner is one of the greatest experts of Civil War and Reconstruction and these lessons are part of one of his last courses at Columbia University. In this sense, attending this MOOC is also a tribute to a life spent on research and teaching. However, professor Foner doe not use jargon and is always witty and brilliant. The readings are not compulsory but really enhance one's understanding of this fascinating period of U.S. history.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Professor Foner is a renowned specialist of Civil War and Reconstruction. If i am not mistaken, these lessons were part of one of his last course at Columbia University and in this sense are a testament to a life of research and teaching. However, he makes any possible efforts to be as clear as possible and to avoid any jargon. His lessons are witty and incredibly brilliant. The readings are not so easy to digest but definitely worth of the time spent.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Zbyněk Zajíc profile image
Zbyněk Zajíc profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 18 reviews
  • 18 completed
3 years, 7 months ago
Perfect series of courses, very interesting and entertaining, for me as a European with technical education, full of new information. Fully recommend.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Excellent course that enhanced my understanding of the pre-Civil War era. By taking this course (and the two following), I discovered that most of what I thought I knew about the Civil War era came from reading and watching Gone with the Wind. You will read source documents from the period that will enlighten you. Make sure you do the optional readings to get the most from the course.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Vincent Lombardo profile image
Vincent Lombardo profile image

Vincent Lombardo

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 10 months ago
Dr. Foner is an outstanding teacher: extremely knowledgeable, well-organized, lucid, and funny. I learned a great deal, and plan to take the other two courses.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Jane Arnold profile image
Jane Arnold profile image

Jane Arnold

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 10 months ago
I have studied the Civil War both formally and informally for over twenty years. Until taking all three parts of this course, I had done no work with Eric Foner. I recommend these courses and Dr. Foner unreservedly. The lectures and discussions are always interesting
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Anna Zakharova profile image
Anna Zakharova profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 9 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 2 months ago
The best MOOC ever!
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 4 months ago
A brilliant series of courses, and a brilliant and creative professor that is extremely gifted in his commitment to the education of a global community of students.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
BlueYearning profile image
BlueYearning profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
I remember that once professor Foner said "if you don’t know that history, you are in a great disadvantage in thinking about the present." That's why I came to take this course, and this course, which mainly focuses on the antebellum period of American history, turned out to be informative and thus very helpful to me. The material in the course helped me think more deeply about some issues that my country is still facing today. I'm grateful towards professor Foner and those who made this course available online. Besides, professor Foner was very active in the discussion pages and left many thoughtful comments. That has impressed me a lot.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 5 months ago
I have just finished this course and have loved every bit of what Prof Foner has delivered. I will spend my christmas hols on the beach with his book in preparation for part 2. Thank you Professor and your team for giving me such a great 10 weeks
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
Another model MOOC by EdX! Excellent coverage of a very interesting time in our history. I looked forward every week to the next release. I am certainly looking forward to Part 2 that starts soon and recommend anyone interested in the subject to sign up for Part 2 even if you missed Part 1. The course is well paced so it seems relatively easy and provides a lot of good information by the time you are finished.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 5 months ago
The background of this period is crucial, and learning about the development of the Republican Party to date is of great interest.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 6 months ago
Of the five EdX courses I am currently enrolled in, and the others I have finished, or dropped, this is my favorite. Prof. Foner seems to be incredibly knowledgeable, yet also tries to tell more than just his version of events. I also like how this particular class is organized online. Several 9 - 10 minute videos followed by brief, ungraded quizzes. Thank you Eric Foner, Columbia University, and EdX.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 7 months ago
This is a wonderful course, and I'm very happy to see it offered through edX. Professor Foner does a great job of explaining the material, which of course, is fascinating. I've always been so intrigued with this period of history. Thank you edX.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Fabien Henriques profile image
Fabien Henriques profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 4 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I am French and I am just interested in American history. Especially (not a surprise) this specific period. I am sure that I will learn a lot and that I will enjoy this course. This is basically what I am looking for. I may take the certificate, just for my personal pleasure. Thanks to the school and teachers for this course.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Minh Nguyen profile image
Minh Nguyen profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I get moved so much every time reading about this part of American history. To me, this course is a gift.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag

Rating Details


  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.