What is the course about?
This course will cover the dynamic period of American history – where the nation is growing and expanding economically; building the foundations of its industrial might and development of capitalism in America. This is the backdrop to the growing social issues that prevail in the aftermath of Reconstruction through the turn of the new century, a world war and then a refocus for both the American government and American people. We explore the growing disparity between socio-economic groups, ethnic groups, and between men and women over these four decades.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Presidential Elections during the period
- population changes and movement
- the roles of different socio-economic sectors and ethnic groups within the population
- key points of the ‘Gilded Age’ as it is known
- key points of the ‘Great Migration’ in America
- key points of the ‘Roaring Twenties’.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Discuss how the domestic changes occurring within and to the American nation relates to fin de siecle
- Compare different types of historical records
- Use data learned in class to engage with questions about how American’s expansion impacted the different groups within the nation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an ‘introductory’ level course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good standard of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses. As with all of our history and politics courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen and to think about views with which you are not familiar or may not agree, are more important than any previous knowledge or experience in the subject matter.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will consist of tutor presentations, some audio and video clips as appropriate, some in-class readings for discussion, as well as opportunities for questions and comments.
This course will be delivered online, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome).
- Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- Computer/laptop/tablet/mobile phone with access to Microphone / earphones OR speakers for listening to tutor presentation and participate in discussion
[Specific readings will be introduced and made available during the course via Google Classroom.]
Some optional background reading is listed below.
P.S.Boyer (2012) American History. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
C.W.Calhoun (ed.) (2006) The Gilded Age: Perspectives on the Origins of Modern America.
A. Trachtenberg (2007) The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age.
I.Wilkerson (2014) The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.
J.Henderson (2016) Roaring Twenties: A Condensed History of the 1920s in America (History Brief).