Social Change in the Civil War Era (Teacher Seminar Online)

Social Change in the Civil War Era

Lead Scholar: Catherine Clinton, University of Texas at San Antonio
Master Teacher: CherylAnne Amendola
Partner Organization: The American Civil War Museum
Live Session Dates: Week of June 24
Registration Deadline: Monday, June 17


Image Source: “The First Vote” by A. R. Waud, Harper’s Weekly, November 16, 1867 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, GLC01733.09, p. 721)

Illustration from 1867 issue of harper's weekly showing an African American voting for the first time
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  • 24 PD Credits

Seminar Description

The years between the first shots fired at Fort Sumter and the official declaration of the end of the Civil War at Appomattox represent one of the most dramatic watersheds in US history. The conflicts before and after this crucible reflect America’s strongest divides, most difficult challenges, and above all, the reckonings and resilience that stimulated America’s cultural and ideological struggles into the present.

The seminar will examine this period thematically and chronologically. The first section will examine the origins of the Civil War, focusing on the role of slavery and antislavery as factors of disunion. Then we will look at aspects of the war itself, emphasizing the civilian experience, particularly the role of social divisions—men and women, whites and Blacks, free and slave—with the republic in crisis. The emancipation of slaves was the dramatic centerpiece of the conflict, and thus the Civil War as a war of liberation and a war of reconstruction must be confronted. Finally, we must examine the contested memory and legacy of the war, in both commemoration and popular culture.

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Live Zoom Sessions

Monday, June 24: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • Pedagogy Session

Tuesday, June 25: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • American Civil War Museum Session

Wednesday, June 26: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • Pedagogy Session

Thursday, June 27: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • American Civil War Museum Session
  • Final Open Discussion

Project Team


Catherine Clinton, Lead Scholar

Catherine Clinton is the Denman Professor of American History at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a pioneering historian of American women, the American South, and the Civil War. She is the author or editor of more than thirty books, a founding member of the Biography International Organization, and the co-editor of the University of Georgia series History in the Headlines. Clinton has been elected to the Society of American Historians and the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Researchers and has served on prize committees for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, the Pulitzer Prizes in History and Biography, and the National Book Award. She was elected president of the Southern Historical Association in 2016, the same year that she won a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is currently on scholarly advisory boards at the Museum of the Troubles and Peace in Belfast, Ford’s Theatre, the Lincoln Forum, and the Alamo.


CherylAnne Amendola, Master Teacher

CherylAnne Amendola has been teaching American and world history for the last sixteen years. She graduated from Montclair State University with a BA in Political Science and from Teachers College, Columbia University with an MA in Social Studies Education. She recently completed her MA in American History from Pace University in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute. She was named 2017 New Jersey History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and is an ambassador for the New-York Historical Society’s Women and the American Story program. CherylAnne published her first book in November 2019, entitled On the Backs of the Enslaved, and is the host of the Teaching History Her Way podcast.

Made possible with the support of our partner

Logo for the American Civil War Museum

The American Civil War Museum

This seminar is held in partnership with The American Civil War Museum, which explores, inspires, and promotes the public’s understanding of the Civil War—its causes, course, and consequences. The American Civil War Museum maintains three unique sites: The American Civil War Museum – Historic Tredegar and the White House of the Confederacy, both in Richmond, VA; and The American Civil War Museum–Appomattox, in Appomattox, VA. In the battle against the all-too-human instinct to wish the past were simple, the museum explores the unparalleled significance the Civil War holds to complexities we face today.


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