History 331 (101) The United States, 1865-1896: Labour, Race, Gender & Empire




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This course investigates the social, political, and cultural history of the United States from the Civil War to the turn of the century. The principal readings examine what at first glance may appear to be discrete historical problems. But each of these problems is related by way of common themes: the meaning and nature of democracy, such as it was –and might be –in the U.S.A.; the relationship of democracy to economic and political power, including the violent exercise of such power; and the ability of ostensibly subordinate collectivities and individuals to confront such power, often, as we shall see, with notable creativity and courage. In our effort to conceptualize the past as clearly as possible, it will be helpful to pay close attention to questions of race, gender, labour, and empire and, in general, to try to see the past as a set of problems, and not as a simple narrative of events.