The United States Since 1776 (HIST*2300) | College of Arts

The United States Since 1776 (HIST*2300)

Code and section: HIST*2300*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Susan Nance


Course Synopsis:

History 2300 introduces students to the factual past of the United States as well as the broad themes by which that past can be interpreted. Students will consider the US from the perspectives of a variety of historical actors to ask: What privileges and sacrifices have Americans experienced as their nation became the planet’s only superpower? Has the United States been a place of liberty or repression, opportunity or disappointment? And who decides?

HIST 2300 trains students in:

- broad knowledge of United States history
- thematic interpretations of that history by way of the following concepts and the tension between them: race, capitalism, expansion, gender vs. liberty, equality
- communicating research findings for scholarly AND public audiences
- the practice of developing one’s writing skills by frequent creation of short pieces of writing on topics relevant to students and on a deadline, for a total of five over the semester
- engaging in advanced secondary and primary source research
- the practical skill of knowing how to figure out new technologies and systems, which we all need since it will be a fact of life in most lines of work this century.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Mid-term essay - 25%
Contributions to state history Wikibook project, in 3 parts - 40%
Final examination - 35%

Texts and/or Resources Required:

* books  (available at the UofG or Coop bookstores, UofG library reserve):
Nance A. Hewitt et al, Exploring American Histories, Combined Volume, 2nd ed. (2016).
Leonard L.Richards, The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War (2008).
Richard Wright, Black Boy (1943; New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2007).
* plus various other items available online or through the University of Guelph Libraries.


Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.