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HIS 109: History of the U.S. Since 1877

This course examines American history from 1877 to the present: political, economic, and social—Gilded Age, Progressive Era, New Deal, Age of Affluence and of Limits, Great Society and two Great Wars. You will find how much, how little, America has lived up to its ideals: how it grew from a nation of farms and cotton mills to an industrial giant; how it became a world power and what problems this created. Because we will cover over 130 years of American history, we will focus our coverage on moments in the American past where the rights of citizens contracted or expanded. This question of national belonging will serve as a unifying theme for the course. Who counts as an American citizen and when? How do these questions of the contested nature of citizenship reflect more broadly on our nation's past? On our future? Students will engage in this study using a number of methods: analyzing primary documents, reading the work of historians, listening to lectures, engaging in discussion board, participating in simulations, and preparing a multi-media presentation of their own design.