H331: U.S. History, 1865-
H331 focuses on seven problems:
1. Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Restoration: Men and Women, White and Black
2. The Nadir and Jim Crow
3. The Agrarian Revolt and Populism
4. Workers and Businessmen, Labour and Capital – and Philanthropy
6. The Imperial Republic: Domestic and Foreign Relations — and Global Political History
7. The Imperial Republic, Global Environmental History, and The Unsustainable Exploitation of Nature
In general, the course examines the social, political, and cultural history of the United States from the Civil War to the turn of the century, and it is designed for those who have some familiarity with the period. The principal readings examine what at first glance may appear to be discrete historical problems. But each of these problems is related by way of common themes: the meaning and nature of democracy, such as it was, and might be, in the USA; the relationship of democracy to economic and political power, including the violent exercise of such power; and the ability of ostensibly subordinate collectivities and individuals to confront such power, often, as we shall see, with notable creativity and courage. In our effort to conceptualize the past as clearly as possible, it will be helpful to pay close attention to questions of race, gender, and labour and, in general, to try to see the past as a set of problems, and not as a simple narrative of events.
Texts for 2016:
Harold Livesay, Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business
Ida B. Wells, Southern Horrors
Andrew Isenberg, The Destruction of the Bison
Nicolas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
Garry Wills, Lincoln At Gettysburg
The images on this page offer important clues about the problems we will be considering. What might these clues be?
Questions for the final paper, spring 2014. These offer examples of what to expect this year for the final written exercise.