U.S. History Survey: Civil War to the Present

History 7B

Spring 2011
Wheeler Aud.
Day & Time: 
MWF 10-11A
  • This course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
  • This course is an introduction to the history of the United States from the Civil War to the present. It is also an introduction to the ways historians look at the past and think about evidence. Rather than a matter of memorizing names and dates, history is about framing the truest and most complete stories we can to explain wide ranges of human experience. Although this course will touch on many subjects, it will track three main narrative lines. One, from the abolition of slavery to the election of Obama, will trace changing regulations of and ideas about race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other cultural and political markers of identity. The second, the rise and fall of industrial society, will examine major economic transitions, as the fulcrum of U.S. economic life shifted from agriculture to industry and then to services. The third, from Sand Creek and Little Bighorn to 9-11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, will focus on the rise and uses of American power in the world. Lectures, readings, discussions, films, and writing assignments (and, yes, midterm and final exams) will stress various parts of these stories and also sharpen critical reading, interpretation, research, and writing skills.


    This course fulfills the University's American History requirement, as well as either one of the following L&S Breadth requirements: Historical Studies or Social and Behavioral Sciences.