The United States from Civil War to Present

History 7B

Summer 2016
8 Week Session
102 Moffitt
Day & Time: 
MWTh 10-12 P
  • This course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
  • This course is an introduction to American history since the Civil War. It is also an introduction to the way historians think and write. We will cover the major events of the past 150 years, including such topics as the Civil War, industrialization, eugenics, the Great Depression, immigration, the Cold War, the suburbs, human rights, and 9/11. While broadly surveying major developments, we will focus on three major themes. The first theme, Slave Society and Its Consequences, traces how the legacy of slavery and emancipation has shaped American ideas about racial hierarchy, multiculturalism, and model minorities. The second theme, Capitalism and Its Critics, follows the rise of industrial society, the growth of consumer economy, and finally the creation of finance capitalism—and how Americans experienced and managed these transitions. Finally, Dechristianization of America, follows how the United States was understood as a Protestant nation, then a Judeo-Christian one, and, finally, as a post-Christian country. Students will sharpen their analytical and critical thinking skills through their engagement with these three themes in lectures, readings, movies, music, and art.


    This course also meets the American History and Institutions Requirement.

    Course Books

    Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides by Appy, Christian G. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0142004494 Required
    Coming of Age in Mississippi by Moody, Anne Dell. ISBN: 978-0440314882 Required
    Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant Labor in America by Bell, Thomas University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN: 978-0822952732 Required
    What Social Classes Owe to Each Other by William Graham Sumner Caxton Press. ISBN: 978-0870041662 Required
    Becoming America, Volume II: Fromt Reconstruction by Henkin, David & McLennan, Rebecca McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN: 978-0077275617 Optional