The Long 19th Century|
Winter 2020 not offered
Please note: Some readings and assignments will be due during winter break, prior to arriving on campus for Winter Session. Please visit the Winter Session website for the full syllabus -- http://www.wesleyan.edu/wintersession.
In 1787, the ratification of the Constitution established the United States of America as a republic in which power rested with the people. But the slim document left many fundamental questions unanswered. Would the overwhelmingly agricultural country be one of small yeoman farmers or large-scale plantations? Would the new nation limit western expansion to honor treaties with American Indian nations? Would the growing ranks of wage laborers in the nation's burgeoning cities have the same political rights as property owners? Would a nation founded on the shores of the Atlantic World pursue closer integration into global trade or protect its craftsmen and nascent industrial manufacturers? Could women make a claim to civic participation in a nation whose liberty they had helped win? Would a nation dedicated to freedom be able to reconcile the bondage of one-fifth of its population?
The Long 19th Century explores the history of the United States from the Early Republic to the Progressive Era (1787 to 1913), as an array of different groups and competing interests attempted answers to those questions. The period witnessed an incredible expansion of the United States from one of several imperial claimants in North America to the dominant power on the continent. Simultaneous to this expansion in geographic scope, the 19th century saw a shift in the scale of governance from a limited government to a powerful federal state that abolished property rights in slavery and intervened in struggles between labor and capital. In following that expansion and shift, this course explains the evolution of the modern United States.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST-MN)(HIST)
Major readings: See "Required Texts." All reading to be completed pre-term.
All readings are available for purchase at the Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore at 413 Main Street; (860) 685-3939; http://www.wesleyanrjjulia.com; and on 2 hour reserve at Olin Library.
Required Books (Reading to Be Completed Pre-Term)
- Carol Sheriff, The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996).
- Joshua D. Rothman, Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012).
- Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2010).
- Tera W. Hunter, To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997).
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