HIST 2726

HIST 2726

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2017-2018.

The nineteenth century changed everything in the United States: it gave us what we think of as modern American culture.  The nation went from rural, agrarian, economically dependent, partially enslaved, and otherwise relatively homogeneous, to urban, industrial, economically powerful, emancipated, and relatively heterogeneous.  Americans embraced corporate capitalism and consumerism at the end of the century, and that, in particular, has had a lasting impact. This course examines all those changes, with an emphasis on the development of cultural and intellectual diversity in the United States. Key topics and themes include: literature; slavery, abolition, and racial issues; the women's movement; Darwinism and Social Darwinism; professionalization; individualism; landscape and environment; class and capitalism; responses to industrialization and modernization; expansion and the western frontier; and visual culture. We'll focus on both ideas and individuals, using mostly primary documents but contextualizing and cross-examining them as we go. Perhaps the overarching theme is the contestation of culture: we'll explore the ways in which individuals both shape and are shaped by their society—the ways in which they both reinforce and resist its pressures. Of course, there is no one definitive characteristic of our cultural heritage, but in this course we will make a concerted effort to consider what people mean when they say "America."  We'll try especially hard to see how certain 19th-century definitions of American culture have carried through to the 21st century.

When Offered Fall.

Breadth Requirement (HB)
Distribution Category (HA-AS)

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  •   Regular Academic Session.  Choose one lecture and one discussion. Combined with: AMST 2726

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 16646 HIST 2726   LEC 001

  • 16647 HIST 2726   DIS 201

  • 16648 HIST 2726   DIS 202

  • 16649 HIST 2726   DIS 203