History 447A (201) Selected Topics in United States History: Early America in the 21st Century




Course Level



Early America in the 21st Century. This course invites students to explore the role of early American history–from the colonial era through to the Civil War–in contemporary American life. It aims both to assess the use and politicization of early American history in the 21st century as well as to consider how early Americans approached a range of issues that continue to confront Americans in the present. Then, as now, Americans negotiated the effects of climate change, immigration, and income inequality; agitated and resisted calls for gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights; navigated the morality and profits of human trafficking and slavery; addressed the place of indigenous peoples and tribal sovereignty; argued over the substance of an American identity; and debated the meaning of their nation and its founding. In coming to grips with the implications of a living past, this course challenges students to articulate how and why history remains an animating force in American politics, culture, and society today.