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2015-2016 Course Catalog

HIST 5580 American Dilemmas

3 hours


Between 1877 and 1929 more and more Americans left the world of small farms and shops that, to cite an example, Abraham Lincoln knew on the Illinois prairie of his boyhood, and lurched toward becoming a modern nation characterized by heavy industrialization, rapid urbanization and large-scale immigration. This course is about those changes and their legacies. Specifically, we will look at political, social and cultural debates that accompanied the emergence of modern America and that remain matters of controversy today. This will include:immigration, the rise of modern corporations and attendant income inequality, urban life and movements for reform, reactionary movements opposing or attempting to negotiate the modern world (i.e. the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's, the emergence of Christian Fundamentalism), and shifting gender roles in a modern society. a