The U.S. Civil War

History 2216

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Course Information

This course will present a detailed survey of the causes, conduct, and immediate consequences of the American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in United States history. Special emphasis will be placed on the sectional, racial, political, and economic differences that culminated in the dissolution of the Union, the formation of the Confederate nation, strategy and tactics, the personalities of major Union and Confederate commanders and statesmen, the role of Abraham Lincoln in preserving the Union, and the federal government's conflicting and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reconstruct Southern politics and society.


How the United States nearly self destructed and the polarizing issues that continue to rend American society 150 years later.


CRN 24032

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-3:20

Anderson 14

Upper Level Social Science Course

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About the Instructor


Gregory J. W. Urwin is a military historian whose work spans the American War of Independence through World War 2. He holds his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and taught at Saint Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, and the University of Central Arkansas before joining Temple’s History Department in 1999.


Urwin has published nine books, including _Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island_ which received the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and his latest, _Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity, 1941-1945._


Urwin is now researching a social history of the campaign that Lieutenant General Charles, Second Earl Cornwallis, conducted in Virginia in the spring and summer of 1781, and recently finished fellowships at the William L. Clements Library; Anderson House, the national headquarters of the Society of the Cincinnati; and the Virginia Historical Society. Urwin has also authored many articles and essays. One on Civil War racial atrocities and reprisals claimed the Harold L. Peterson Award from the Eastern National Park and Monuments Association. Urwin has lectured at the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Military History Institute, U.S. Navy Museum, National World War 2 Museum, Philadelphia’s Union League, American Philosophical Society, William L. Clements Library, David Library of the American Revolution, Fort Ticonderoga, and U.S. Army War College.


Urwin is the current president of the Society for Military History, a fellow in both the Company of Military Historians and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and general editor of the Campaigns and Commanders Series from University of Oklahoma Press. He has appeared in numerous documentaries, and assisted in making the Civil War epic, Glory. Urwin’s graduated doctoral students teach at civilian universities and colleges, and many also work for the U.S. and Canadian defense departments.

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