HIS 479 Civil War and Reconstruction on the South Carolina Sea Islands

In this two-course sequence, which takes place during the spring term and end of May, respectively, students will investigate American history from the colonial period to the end of the nineteenth century. Some historians have in fact argued that the arrival of the French and the Spanish in the mid-sixteenth century properly represents the beginning of the history of the United States. Though that particular proposition remains to be tested, there is no question that the colonial period put in place a society, a culture, and an economy that shaped and directed the Palmetto State and, ultimately, the South as a whole, toward secession, war, and reconstruction. South Carolina was the cockpit of secession, the place where the war began, and the epicenter of reconstruction. And Beaufort and the Sea Islands played a central role throughout. The second course takes place over 2.5 weeks in the end of May on location in Beaufort and includes a number of historical site visits and an archaeological dig.