Creating a Nation: The United States through the Civil War (HIS231) - Beginning with the Pre-Columbian Native American culture, the course investigates European colonization of the Americas, with emphasis on the English experience. The causes and key elements of the American Revolution are analyzed, as are the challenges faced and opportunities enjoyed by the newly independent nation. Students will explore the interacting social, political, economic, military, and religious themes that underscore the nation’s development. The course concludes with an investigation of growing tensions between the North and the South that emerged as the nation moved westward, generating Irreconcilable conflicts that culminated in civil war. This is a writing intensive course.
The United States, 1865-1945: Consolidation, Industrialization, & the Rise to Global Leadership (HIS242) - Efforts to reconstruct the South and uncertainty over the future of freed slaves following the Civil War provide the introduction for this class. Students will also trace the remarkable rise of industrialization and unionism, the “winning of the West,” the challenges of urbanization, unprecedented immigration around 1900 and the country’s growing commitment in Asia following the Spanish-American War. The uncertainties associated with capitalism are explored through investigations of the various depressions that rocked the nation periodically during the 19th and 20th centuries. Finally, an investigation of America’s role in two world wars helps students understand how the United States emerged as a world leader in 1945. This is a writing intensive course.
The Challenges of Global Leadership: The United States after 1945 (HIS267) - The class follows the post-war trail of mutual misunderstanding and mistrust between the United States and the Soviet Union, which solidified into intransigent ideological positions during the nearly 4 decades of threat and counter-threat known as the Cold War. Seeking to check perceived Soviet expansion, the nation found itself embroiled in a number of wars in far-flung corners of the post-colonial world. At home, students will discover that the United States enjoyed unprecedented economic growth, but also strident racial and gender equality debates, environmental issues, generational and cultural differences and increasing commercialization. By the late 20th century, issues of globalization, terrorism, population growth and migration, growing political discord and technological innovation left the United States facing a world of uncertainty, but also of opportunity. This is a writing intensive course.
Historiography (HIS425) - This capstone course investigates how the study of history has evolved, with a special emphasis placed on competing historical theories. Using samples of historical writing from representative historians over time, students will seek to understand the role of objectivity and the temptations of manipulating the past to influence the future. In addition, they will learn how technology has influenced the profession. Material studied will include European as well as American historical thought and practice. This is a writing intensive course.
The Emerging West, Exploration, Colonization, and Commerce (HIS323) - This course will examine the coming of the modern age. An examination of Europe from the late Middle Ages into the late nineteenth century will allow students to explore the ways that Europeans began to value reason over pre-modern ways of understanding the world. This enormous change let to political, scientific, economic, social, and cultural changes both in European society and in the world at large. Students will investigate key events in European history such as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Exploration, the Industrial Revolution and the creation of the modern nation-state, but particular attention will be paid to how each of these events impacted the Americas, Africa, Australia and Asia. By examining each of these events from a global point of view, students will explore the ways in which knowledge and European ways of thinking influenced people around the world. This is a writing intensive course.