CHST 501


Course Outline – Summer 2010



INSTRUCTOR:                 Peter Wronski
JOR 501  (Office Hours:  Mon:  5:15 - 6:15 P.M. & Wed: 12:00 – 1:00 P.M. & by appointment)                  

INSTRUCTOR PHONE:    (416) 979-5000 x.6058                   

INSTRUCTOR E-MAIL:  [ best way to contact ]                                 

COURSE WEBSITE:       (not on Blackboard)

LECTURES:                     Mon & Wed: 6:30 - 9:30 P.M.  EPH216

The Chang School Office Hours:            Mon-Thurs 8:00am – 7:00pm  Friday  8:00am – 4:30pm
Phone:  (416) 979-5035    




This course examines the origins, impact and course of the Civil War, the most traumatic event in American history.  The first part of the course deals with the events and causes leading to the Civil War, including the tensions between North and South.  The second part covers the military campaigns and the domestic problems of both sides and the effects on the United States.  The objectives of this course are:  1. To examine the period and the country in its contemporary setting and to establish a factual framework; 2. To suggest connections between the war and later U.S. civilization; 3.  To improve your ability to think critically and to analyze data by undertaking the kind of research required for upper level university essays and to write clearly and effectively.    (Upper-level liberal studies elective)


TEXT:            Battle Cry of Freedom                    

James M. McPherson                                

Oxford University Press                 

ISBN: 019516895X                         




Mid-Term Test:                             15%     July 12  (Chapter 1 - 10; to Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) )

Essay Proposal (250 words):         10%     July 19                         

Essay (2500 words):                     30%     Aug  4

Final Exam:                                 30%     Aug 11

Seminars:                                    15%     Jul 7; July 26; Aug 9


METHOD OF INSTRUCTION:       Lecture & Seminar

COURSE READINGS (Recommended Schedule)   James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

1.         Introduction – Course Requirements – History of Slavery

2.         Sectional Tensions to 1840;Ideological Conflicts Over Slavery;                Chapters 1, 2, 3

3.         Texas and Mexican War; California, Kansas Nebraska Tensions             Chapters  4, 5, 6

4.         Lincoln, Republican Party; Dred Scott; Caning of Senator Sumner;

            Election of 1860; Lower South Leaves Union; War begins                       Chapters  7,8, 9, 10

5.         Opposing Forces; Armies and Navies; Military Strategies                       Chapters  11, 12

6.         The Campaigns of 1861 –– 1862                                                           Chapters  13, 14,15

7.         Emancipation – Foreign Relations                                                         Chapters  16, 17,18

8.         Winter 1862-1863; Summer 1863; Home Fronts                                     Chapters  19, 20

9.         Winter 1863-1864; Summer 1864                                                          Chapters   21, 22, 23, 24

10.        The Final Year 1864-1865                                                                    Chapters   25, 26, 27, 28

11.        Reconstruction - Conclusions                                                               Epilogue


SEMINARS:  Three one-hour seminars will be held focused on assigned readings.  When scheduled, they will take place in the final hour of regularly scheduled lectures.  Attendance is mandatory.  Seminar mark is 15% of the final grade and based on attendance and quality of participation.




There are two parts to the essay assignment:  the outline and the essay.

Part 1:  The Essay Proposal (10%)

The outline should consist of one double-spaced page with a description of your proposed essay, an argument if you have one and/or your approach to the subject and its significance to the course if not immediately evident.  (Approximately 250 words.)


A one or two page annotated bibliography  of six sources at least should accompany the essay description. This should consist of the author, title, publisher, city, and year of publication of the book, journal article, or other source and a short commentary on what the source offers to your essay.  Outlines submitted with no annotations to the bibliography will be heavily penalized. Sources should be current academic monographs or academic journal articles -- not popular works like Time-Life Books, Complete Idiot’s or Dummies Guides, Colliers Children’s Encyclopedia, Encarta, Wikipedia,, etc. Journalistic works with citations are acceptable. In general, if your source does not provide detailed references in the form of footnotes, endnotes or specific page references, which you can verify, it is unsuitable as a source.  This especially applies to websites.  If you intend to include websites, provide their URLs in the proposal for approval.  No essay can be entirely based on websites without permission from the instructor.  (“Websites” does not mean internet databases of journal articles like MUSE or JSTOR, for example.) 


You will be assessed on the uniqueness of your topic and on the depth, currency and academic quality of your sources.  The use of academic journal articles, many of which are available online through the Ryerson Library is highly encouraged.  If you are not familiar with academic article databases like JSTOR and Project Muse, go (run!) immediately to a librarian at the Ryerson Library and ask them to show you how to use these databases.  You can access them from home and many (but not all) articles are available for downloading in full text. A link on the course website also provides you an introduction as to how to enter the online journal interface.


You may at any time after submitting a proposal, change your approach, your sources, and even completely change your essay topic without submitting a new proposal, but I strongly suggest to check with me first on such topic changes.

Part 2:  The Essay (30%)


Essays should be 2,500 words in length (approximately 10-12 pages not including your title page and bibliography and appendix if any.)  Standard 12 pt font, cursive or non-cursive, double spaced text, standard 2.5 cm margins, 11” X 8 ½” paper.  Pages must be stapled (no binders or paperclips), paginated, and submitted with a cover page containing no art or decorative elements.  The cover page must have:  your name, student number, course number, and essay title.  Essays not conforming to these standards will not be accepted and late penalties will be imposed until the essay is resubmitted in the required format.


Essays must be based on a minimum of six sources (not including course texts but seminar readings are acceptable), and should not include, encyclopedias, textbooks, or general or popular histories,  or unapproved websites, (2 marks deducted for every Wikipedia or like citation) etc., as described above in Part 1.    


Paragraphs are to be indented without any additional spaces between paragraphs, unlike in this course outline, for example.  Any relevant images, maps, graphs included in the essay are to be placed into an Appendix at the back. 

The essay should have a single descriptive title or a creative title with a descriptive subtitle.  For example:  Generals in Blue:  Lives of the Union Commanders or The Architect of Genocide:  Himmler and the Final Solution, etc.   “History Essay” is not a title.  Marks will be deducted for essays submitted without a title and/or title page. 


Any paper not conforming to the above standards will be penalized.

Students must sequentially 'save as' copies of their essay files every day during the period they are researching,  writing and editing their essay at a sufficiently frequent rate daily to demonstrate the progression and development of their essay over the arc of its writing, if requested.  There should be a minimum of ten saved files available from the start to finish of the essay.  Students should save as well as their library references, hand written notes, and any other research material until the issuance of the final course mark.





A history essay is like a courtroom argument—it is based on the presentation of evidence conforming with the rules of evidence in an expositive argument.  The way hearsay is not admissible in court, Wikipedia for example, is likewise not admissible as evidence in historical discourse.  Just as court evidence is presented in a disciplined system: Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, etc, in the historical argument, the Chicago Style footnoted citation is used to lead and guide the reader through the evidence behind the persuasive discourse of the text above.


Some of the journal readings for seminars will have been pointed out to you as appropriate models for the citation style required for your essay.


Essays must have a bibliography and have footnoted citations in the Chicago style (at the bottom of the page).  Parenthetic in-text or inline style citations are unacceptable for a history essay.   A well researched essay integrating multiple sources into its argument contains on average five to six citations per page -- approximately 50 to 70 citations per essay.


As a general rule, references should be given for direct quotations, summaries or your own paraphrases of other people's work or points of view, and for material that is factual, statistical, controversial, assertive or obscure.  You must cite more than just direct quotes.  WHEN IN DOUBT, IT IS BETTER TO PROVIDE A REFERENCE.  You do not need to cite items of general knowledge like, for example:  the sun rises in the east or Elizabeth II is the Queen of England.  


Essays that do not provide specific page references in each citation will be automatically failed without an opportunity to resubmit.  Go to these links for a guide to the required citation format:



Why Chicago Style Footnotes? 


This is an example of the basic required style for citations which are to inserted at the bottom of each page:
1 Jane Doe, The ABC's of History (Toronto: Ontario Publishers, 1997), pp. 20-21
Jane Doe, p. 23


It is not necessary to use archaic terms like ibid or op cit. and even discouraged as   word processing drag or cut-and-paste editing can easily displace the logic of these citation terms.   An author’s surname and page number is acceptable for subsequent citations once you have introduced all the relevant reference information in the first citation to that particular source. If you are citing more than one work by the same author, then include the title as well.  Titles are to be put into italics or underlined.  See the above webpages for further details and formats as to how to cite journals, multiple authors, collections, etc. or search “Chicago style footnotes” on Google.

To create numerically sequential footnotes in MS WORD 2007 go to the "References" ribbon and select [Insert Footnote]; in earlier version of MS WORD, go to the "Insert" menu and then select [Footnote] item.


Footnotes may optionally on occasion contain additional relevant short comments on the cited source but in general, this practice is discouraged.



Essays MUST provide alphabetically ordered by author’s surname, bibliographies of all works consulted, whether or not they have been quoted directly. An adequate bibliography for this assignment will contain no less than six books or journal articles related to the topic.  General books, dictionaries, atlases, textbooks and/or encyclopedias DO NOT count towards this minimum number of sources, and their inclusion in citations will NOT be considered as constituting research.  Seminar readings are acceptable as citable sources.


An example of a bibliographic entry is as follows:

Smith, John.  History of Canada  (Toronto: Ontario Publishers, 1997).


Submission of Essays


Essays are to be submitted to the instructor on the due date in lecture in hardcopy with pages stapled together.  Folded, pinned, paper-clipped, bound in covers or loose pages, will be refused and will accrue penalties until submitted in the required format.


Electronic Submission of Essays


If you find it necessary to submit an essay by e-mail, the following file naming protocol is to be used:

"Last Name_First Name_CourseNumber _Title"

Any attached file not using this exact naming protocol will not be accepted.

Only MS Word files (preferred) in .doc or .docx format or PDF files will be accepted. 

The submission of files by e-mail will be usually acknowledged within two days.


A hard copy of the essay is to be submitted at the next opportunity.  Indicate on the front of the hardcopy the date you had e-mailed the essay to me previously.  The e-mailed essay will secure your submission date.  Obviously the hard copy is to be exactly identical with the e-mailed copy.  Hard copies of previously e-mailed essays not indicating the e-mail date on the cover will be assigned the date of the submission of the hard copy with no appeal.

Keep submitted essays in your "sent" folder until the final course mark is issued.  Any e-mailed submissions that are inexplicably 'lost' or fail to arrive, will only be accepted as "forwards" of the original submitting e-mail with its original attached file.


Hardcopy Submission of Essays  


Do not slip essays under my door or into my mail-box.  Hard copies may be submitted to the Essay Drop-Off Box in the History Department (JOR500). Do not leave essays at the Chang School. 


I will guarantee essay returns with comments by the day of the exam only to those essays submitted to me on the due date, in hard copy, in required format, in lecture.  All other essays will be marked after the exam and arrangements may be made to get your essay mark after the final marks have been submitted.


Late Penalties and Extensions


Extensions may be granted on medical or compassionate grounds but will be automatically penalized three (3) marks regardless. Students requesting an extension should submit an e-mailed request to me before the deadline specifying precisely the date to which they are requesting the extension.  After the due date, students need to provide appropriate documentation relating to the extension request (i.e. doctor’s note, death certificate of relative, police report on their stolen laptop, repair bills for their crashed hard disc, veterinary reports on the contents of Fluffy ’s stomach, etc).  Essays submitted under an extension must have my written response to the extension request attached to the front of the essay.  E-mailed submissions are to be attached as a ‘reply’ to my earlier response to the extension request.  Submissions without my extension approval attached to their front will be penalized as late with no opportunity of appeal afterward. No late work will be accepted after the last day of lecture or extensions granted beyond the last lecture day.  


Two (2) marks per/day are deducted from your essay mark for late submissions, weekends included, until the day the essay is submitted to me.  If I do not acknowledge the receipt of your e-mailed essay within a few days, it is your responsibility to ensure I have received it.  Keep copies of all work, including marked assignments returned to you and e-mails of your submissions until your final course mark is released.  Re-submissions of earlier e-mailed essays "lost" in transmission, should such an unlikely scenario occur, will only be accepted in the form of a forwarded copy of the original e-mail.  There are no exceptions to this.  Outstanding assignments will not be accepted after the last day of lecture.


Earning Marks


The evaluation of your research, content, evidence, originality and argumentation is of primary concern in marking as is the quality of your sources as described above. Equally important is the syntax, style and structure of your work. Marks will be deducted from work containing excessive grammatical/spelling mistakes, typographical errors, from work that is excessively long or inadequately short, or which fails to provide properly formatted footnoting/bibliography. Essays that consist of a frequently quoted passages or sentences, even if footnoted, will be severely penalized.  Be selective in direct quotations.  Ask yourself, “can this be said in my own words and then cited?” Is there a stylistic or argumentative reason for quoting the source directly? Be sure to edit and check your work carefully. Do not simply rely on your computer’s spelling or grammar checker.


Grounds for Assignment Failure


Essays which do not supply proper and adequate references and bibliographies as described above or submitted after the final day of lecture will be failed.  Essays based entirely on websites without the instructor’s permission, will be failed.  Any written work that quotes directly from other material without attribution, or which paraphrases extensive tracts from the works of others, or is written by somebody else in part or in whole without attribution, is plagiarized and will be failed with no opportunity to re-submit and may result in additional severe academic consequences. Please consult the Ryerson academic calendar for further information on plagiarism. If you have any questions or doubts about how to cite material, please feel free to contact me.

Essays that do not provide specific page references in each citation will be automatically failed without an opportunity to resubmit.  Go to the above links for a guide to the required citation format.


Academic Integrity


For additional help, Ryerson now offers the Academic Integrity Website at This offers students a variety of resources to assist in their research, writing, and presentation of all kinds of assignments. It also details all dimensions of Academic Misconduct and how to avoid it. It was put together by a team representing the Vice President Academic, faculty, the library, Digital Media Projects, and Student Services.


NOTE: Every effort will be made to manage the course as stated. However, adjustments may be necessary at the discretion of the instructor. If so, students will be advised and alterations discussed in the class prior to implementation.




Exemption or deferral of a term test or final examination is not permitted except for a medical or personal emergency. The instructor must be notified by e-mail prior to the test and appropriate documentation submitted. For absence on medical grounds an official student medical certificate must be provided. This may be downloaded from the Ryerson website at or picked up from The Chang School Office.


Absence from mid-term examination or tests:

§  Instructor must be notified by e-mail before the test

§  Documentation must be presented at the next class

§  Depending on course policy, the instructor may arrange a makeup or re-weigh the course requirements


Absence from final exam:

§  Instructor must be notified by e-mail before the examination.

§  Documentation must be presented at The Chang School Office, within three working days.

§  If the majority of the course work has been completed with a passing performance, and the documentation is acceptable, an INC grade will be entered by the instructor. An INC grade will not be granted if term work was missed or failed.

§  The final examination must be written within four months after the submission of the incomplete grade. Failure to do this will result in an F grade.

§  It is the student’s responsibility to contact The Chang School Office at least two weeks prior to the end of the following academic term to arrange to write the final exam.



Academic Council GPA policy prevents students from taking a course more than three times.  For complete GPA policy see Policy #46 at