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Explore the Civil War’s long-term impact

XSeries Program in
The Civil War and Reconstruction

What you will learn

  • How generations of historians have explained the road to secession, the causes and conduct of the war, the coming of emancipation, and the struggle to breathe meaning into the promise of freedom for four million emancipated slaves
  • Slavery's central role in the southern and national economies
  • How the issue of the expansion of slavery came to dominate national politics
  • The dramatic change in historians' interpretations of the period in the last two generations
  • How the Civil War and Reconstruction turned on issues of continued relevance today

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 XSeries 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.

A program subscription gives you full verified access to all courses and materials within the program you’ve enrolled in, for as long as your subscription is active. Monthly subscription pricing can help you manage your enrollment costs — instead of paying more up front, you pay a smaller amount per month for only as long as you need access. You can cancel your subscription at any time for no additional fee.

Expert instruction
3 high-quality courses
Progress at your own speed
1 year 2 months
4 - 6 hours per week
After 7-day free trial

Courses in this program

  1. ColumbiaX's The Civil War and Reconstruction XSeries Program

  2. 4–6 hours per week, for 20 weeks

    Discover how the issue of slavery came to dominate American politics, and how political leaders struggled and failed to resolve the growing crisis in the nation.

  3. 4–6 hours per week, for 16 weeks

    Learn about the political, social, and economic changes in the Union and the Confederacy and the Civil War’s long-term economic and intellectual impact.

  4. 4–6 hours per week, for 18 weeks

    Examine the pivotal but misunderstood era of Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, the first effort in American history to construct an interracial democracy.

  5. This is a series of 3 courses that comprise Eric Foner’s on campus course. They are best taken in order.

Meet your instructors
from Columbia University (ColumbiaX)

Eric Foner
DeWitt Clinton Professor of History
Columbia University
Tim Shenk
Graduate student in History
Columbia University

Experts from ColumbiaX committed to teaching online learning

Grow your career. Start your program subscription today.

$49/month USD

After a 7-day full access free trial. Cancel at any time.
This program subscription includes:
  • Immediate access to all 3 courses in this program
  • Course videos, lectures, and readings
  • Practice problems and assessments
  • Graded assignments and exams
  • edX learner support
  • Shareable verified certificates after successfully completing a course or program
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