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Causes of Civil War is a Course

Causes of Civil War

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Full course description

Course summary:

For interpreters at Civil War sites, obtaining a solid understanding of the war's causes is vital to creating accurate presentations for the public. This course focuses on political and social issues that revolved around the topic of slavery from the 1840s through the 1860s. Not only will this course recount major events in the decades preceding the war, it will provide you with links to primary and secondary sources and interpretive tips that will help you create public programs about the war.

Not only will this course recount major events in the decades preceding the war, it will also link you to primary and secondary sources and provide interpretive tips to help you create public programs about the war.

Course objectives:

After completing this course, learners should be able to:

  • Describe the conflicting beliefs about slavery that were the main causes of the American Civil War.
  • Identify useful techniques and strategies for discussing the causes and context of the American Civil War with visitors.
  • Recognize the permission and latitude granted to interpreters by efforts such as the "Rally on the High Ground" initiative.
  • Relate the causes of the war effectively and respectfully to visitors of varying knowledge levels and backgrounds.

Course creators:

This course was designed and developed jointly by the National Park Service and the Eppley Center for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University.

Course topics include:

  • Interpreting the Civil War
  • The Long Road to War: 1840s
  • Compromises and Concessions: 1850s
  • An Ever Widening Gulf: 1850s
  • Election and Destruction
  • The Lost Cause

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Informational video
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Final assessment

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need.

After completing all course content and activities, you will complete a final quiz to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the quiz, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Recommended background

This introductory course is designed for those interested in learning about the social and political issues that led to the Civil War and does not require a background in interpretation or other specific areas of study.

How to access:

Upon enrolling, you will receive instructions and the link to the Canvas course. Note: When you register, you will receive an email invitation. Be sure to accept that invitation, or Canvas will not allow you to open the course modules.

Enrollees can move through content modules at their own pace within the course timeframe.

 

Length: Self-paced

 

Department: 
Eppley Center for Parks and Public Lands

 

Credit: Certificate of Completion

 

Audience: Anyone interested in learning about the social and political issues that led to the U.S. Civil War

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