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Course Outline


US History:

Course Description:

This course will cover the history of the United States from the post-Civil War era (roughly the 1860s) to the present day.  The course will introduce major social, political, economic, and cultural events and it will address how those events affected the development of American society.  Particular attention will be devoted to the role of popular cultural and to the emergence of the United States as a world power.

Course Outline:

  • Civil War and Reconstruction

  • Westward Expansion

  • Industrial Expansion

  • Urban Expansion

  • Indian Policy

  • We’re Off to See the Wizard (In the Gilded Age)

  • Imperial Expansion

  • Progressive Era

  • Progressive Reform

  • Progressive Era Diplomacy

  • World War I

  • The Roaring 20s

  • The United States in the Great Depression

  • Roosevelt’s New Deal

  • World War II

  • The United States Homefront

  • The United States and the Cold War

  • The Rise of Suburbia

  • Space and Race in the Post-war

  • New Hope and Great Society

  • The War in Vietnam

  • The Nixonian Paradox

  • That ‘70s Show

  • USA Today


American Government:

Course Description:

Includes the background of the U.S. Constitution, the philosophy of American government, general principles of the Constitution, federalism, and civil liberties. Examines public opinion and citizen participation, political parties, interest groups, electoral process, and the structure and functions of the national government.

Course Outline:

  1. History

  1. Development of early republic

  2. Ideas, ideologies, and events

  1. Constitution and federalism

  1. History

  2. Development

  3. Purpose

  1. Civil liberties and civil rights

  1. Theories and historical events

  2. Constitutional amendments

  3. Court decisions

  1. Public opinion, elections, the media

  1. Theory and practice

  1. Political parties and interest groups

  1. Development and impact

  1. Branches of government

  1. Powers

  2. Theoretical approaches

  3. Separation of powers and checks and balances

  1. Policy

  1. Issues and outcomes


World History:

Course Description:

Welcome! This course is an introduction to world history since the dawn of the sixteenth century to the present day. It traces the development of the modern global order over the past five hundred years, examining the processes and patterns of exchange, conflict and interchange which have made today’s world. We will take a thematic approach to world history, stressing the continuities and discontinuities of change and connection. This course is neither simply a course about ‘European expansion since Columbus’, nor is it about the history of ‘everyone else’. Rather, it is an exploration of how the world we now live in has been shaped by several trends and actors over the past half millennium. I hope to introduce you to new cultures, exciting but unknown stories, and innovative ways to look at the past and relate it to the present. Accordingly, you will be exposed to different ways of ‘doing history’, as well as different types of historical analysis.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction and Concepts

  • What are the different ways we can understand history?

  • Are some sources more ‘useful’ than others?

  1. The early modern world

  • Why was Asia wealthier and more powerful at the start of the early modern period?

  • What was the significance of European insignificance during this period?

  1. European expansion

  • Why did Europe expand and why was that expansion successful?

  • Has European ‘success’ been over-emphasized?

  1. Ecological Imperialism

  • What were the consequences of the ‘Columbian exchange’?

  • How important is ecology to our understandings of history?

  1. Commodities and trade

  • What were the bases of global economic exchange in the seventeenth century?

  • What responsibility did Africans hold for the success of the slave trade?

  1. Things fall apart

  • Why did the eighteenth century see such massive shifts in global power structures?

  • What was the ‘Great Divergence’ and what accounts of it?

  1. New beginnings

  • What do we mean by the ‘modern world’?

  • Who were the most important players in shaping the birth of the modern world and why?

  1. East meets west

  • What was ‘free trade imperialism’ and why was it successful?

  • What was more effective – ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ empire?

  1. Big Trouble

  • What accounts for the massive upheavals of the mid-nineteenth century?

  • Why were European powers able to handle these challenges to their authority while Asian ones were not?

  1. Empires of the sun

  • Which was more effective – formal or informal empire?

  • How important is migration and movement to our understanding of world history?

  1. Indigenous reactions

  • What was the ‘challenge of the West’?

  • Did indigenous responses simply seek to mimic the West?

  1. The Twenty-Year Crisis

  • Was this truly a global crisis?

  • What were the most important changes affecting the non-European world during this time?

  • How did World War II reshape the global order?

  1. The post-war world

  • Why did European empires fall apart so quickly?

  • Was decolonization a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing? Did it change anything?

  1. The New World Order and Beyond

  • The New World Order

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