United States History Since 1865
On January 31, 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment. Before ratification at the end of the year, the country would see the bloodiest war in its history come to an end, the first sitting president to be assassinated, and the start of a long process of attempted national reunification. This attempt would play out for more than a decade during Reconstruction culminating in the re-admittance of the rebellious states. Yet, all was not well. Before the turn of the 20th century, Congress would pass the first race-based exclusionary immigration law and the Supreme Court would legalize segregation. From then until now, the country grapples with the ramifications of such legal precedent. Because of the importance of understanding these developments, this course begins in 1865 and analyzes the post-Civil War history of the United States through a legal framework. The course will explore the impact of important legislative and judicial decisions that altered the course of the nation and attempt to understand the lessons legal history tells us about the post-Civil War history of the United States.