HIST E-1028 Racial Capitalism and the Coming of the Civil War
This course surveys the history of racial capitalism in the United States between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War. The course tells the story of how the welter of social and cultural tendencies and tensions that characterized the first half of the nineteenth century in the United States was channeled into a war between two regions, the North and the South. The course is expansive in its framing of the Civil War era and broad in its treatment of the international dimensions of US history. By seeking to place the central event of the century in a history of diplomacy and warfare that also included the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the illegal invasions of Cuba and Nicaragua in the 1850s, and the effort to re-open the Atlantic slave trade on the eve of the Civil War, it attempts to illuminate the imperial causes and consequences of this domestic conflict. And by embedding the conflict over slavery in the United States in the histories of the Haitian Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, Indian removal, the Atlantic cotton economy, and the hemispheric history of antislavery, it seeks to call into question the nationalist and regionalist framing of the event which has dominated most mainstream accounts.