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American Jewish History: 1492 - 2001

HIST 210
Spring 2010 not offered
Crosslisting: AMST 223
Certificates: International Relations, Jewish and Israel Studies

What has the United States meant for Jews? Nearly all of the Jews who came to these shores were impoverished, had poor prospects for advancement and/or suffered persecution in their homelands. This was as true in the seventeenth century as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Jews' circumstances in the English colonies and the United States were quite different. Although anti-Semitism never vanished and at certain times and places became considerable, Jews generally enjoyed religious liberty in the U.S.A., suffered almost no political restrictions, and had substantial economic opportunities.

How did Jews live in North America? How did they view the future there and their former homelands? How did they respond when new, more traditional Jews from other parts of Europe arrived in the U.S.? Why have gentiles in America tended to be more philo-Semitic than their counterparts in other nations? When did anti-Semitism emerge in America, what were its sources, and how did Jews respond? How has Judaism and Jewish mores changed in America? How have Jewish marital and family practices changed over time? What was the role of Jews in American politics? How did the lives and cultures of Jewish immigrants to America compare to those of other minorities? And how have Jews changed American life, culture and politics?

These are the sort of questions considered in this course. Although British North America and the U.S. will be our principal concern, we will also discuss Jews and relations between Jews and gentiles elsewhere in Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Writing
Students will pose and discuss questions weekly; substantial writing, including an 12-15 pp. essay based on original research.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(HIST-MN)(SISP-Hist Conc)

Last Updated on JAN-26-2022
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