History 309 CW examines the political, social, military, economic and ideological origins and consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The course looks at American history from the passage of the Constitution through 1877. The course looks deeply into several of the most important questions in United States History. What caused the Civil War? Why was the Union victorious? Why did the war proceed as it did? What was the nature of Reconstruction and its legacy for the country? In addition, it asks of the present day: what does this period in our history mean to us now, and what myths and emotions do we have regarding it? Through local, national and international perspectives, students will develop a critical understanding of the events that nearly destroyed the United States and redefined the nation. To gain these perspectives, the course employs both the work of historians and first-hand accounts of events.