This course is an intensive study of the constitutional convention, the struggle over ratification of the Constitution, and the creation of the Bill of Rights. It will include a close examination of the Federalist Papers and the antifederalist papers.
AHG 506 1A: The Rise of Modern America, 1914-1945 (2)
With the exception of the Civil War era, it is difficult to find another thirty-year period in U.S. history during which the nation underwent such dramatic change. In 1914 the United States was no more than a regional power, with a primarily rural demography and a relatively unobtrusive federal government. Thanks to the experience of two world wars, a major cultural conflict (the 1920s), and a disastrous economic crisis the country was transformed into the global economic and military power that it remains to this day. This course will examine the cultural, economic, military, and diplomatic events and trends of the period 1914-1945.
AHG 620 1A: The Reform Tradition in America – Women’s Rights (2)
America has lived through three periods of sustained interest in reforming its political and social life, the first in the decades preceding the Civil War, the second in the decades preceding the First World War and the third in the decade or two following World War II. The course examines aspects of these reform movements, particularly their connection to religion and Protestant theology.
This course focuses on the legislative branch of the U.S. government. It examines topics such as the constitutional powers of Congress, the relations between Congress and the other branches of the federal government and the states, and the changing structure and internal politics of Congress.
This course is an intensive study of the highest court in the federal judiciary, focusing on the place of the Supreme Court in the American constitutional order. Areas of study may include the relationship between the Court and the other branches of the federal government as well as the states; the Court’s power of judicial review; and judicial politics and statesmanship. We will examine these kinds of issues by investigating how the Court has interpreted the Constitution in some of its most historic decisions.
The transition to an industrial economy posed many problems for the United States. This course examines those problems and the responses to them that came to be known as progressivism. The course includes the study of World War I as a manifestation of progressive principles. The course emphasizes the political thought of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and their political expression of progressive principles.
An examination of the motives behind and the consequences of the expansion of European power beginning in the 16th Century. The course focuses on the European settlement of North America and the interactions between Europeans and indigenous peoples.
This course examines the development of American political parties, focusing on the meaning of parties and historic moments in the rise and fall of political parties from the Founding era to the present. Topics may include re-aligning elections, changing coalitions within American parties, and the contemporary Democratic and Republican parties.
This course examines the origin and development of the U.S. federal system. Attention will be paid to debates, developments, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the extent of federal and state authority at pivotal points in American history, including the framing of the U.S. Constitution; state challenges to federal authority in the early republic; expansion of federal power during the New Deal Era and Civil Rights Revolution; and conflicts between state and federal authority in the contemporary era on issues such as marijuana regulation, same-sex marriage, health policy, and election administration.
This course focuses on three topics: political developments in North America and the British empire and the arguments for and against independence, culminating in the Declaration of Independence; the Revolutionary War as a military, social and cultural event in the development of the American nation and state; and the United States under the Articles of Confederation.
AHG 503 3A: Sectionalism and Civil War (2) ** CLOSED **
A study of the sectional conflict beginning with the nullification crisis. The course will not only examine the political, social and economic developments in the period leading to the civil war, but will emphasize the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and John C. Calhoun.
AHG 510 3A: Great American Texts–The Literature of World War I: Cather & Hemingway (2)
World War I was a decisive moment in the history of Western Civilization, a turning point of sorts, where Europe and America left a way of life behind and began to adopt a new one. This decisive change is best captured through great literature. This course investigates two of the greatest authors who sought to capture this momentous change, Ernest Hemingway and Willa Cather, so that we can best understand the social and political legacy of the Great War.
AHG 660 3B: Executive Power and the Constitution (2)
This course will examine the major questions and controversies about executive power under the Constitution. Special attention will be given to emergencies and the rule of law, the war power, the treaty power, and the power to issue executive orders. Students will read primary documents as well as classic and recent works in the field.
This course is an intensive study of the ideas, politics, and history of the U.S. Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the First Amendment. Focused especially on the religion and speech clauses, the course considers the development of the Court’s opinions in light of the broader theoretical and institutional elements of American constitutionalism.
AHG 510 4B: Great American Texts–The Federalist (2)
The Federalist is a complex political work comprised of arguments about war, economics, national unity, and liberty (among other things) based on appeals to human nature, history, reason, and prudence. In this course we will examine and discuss The Federalist as fully and as deeply we can, aiming to understand how (or whether) its parts fit together in a coherent whole and its enduring contribution to our understanding of politics.
AHG 608 4A: Civil War and Reconstruction (2) ** CLOSED **
This course will examine military aspects of the war, as well as political developments during it, including the political history of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural. The course also examines the post-war Amendments and the Reconstruction era.
AHG 630 4A: American Statesmen-Washington & Hamilton (2)
This course will examine the critical relationship between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Theirs was the indispensable alliance of the founding era – what makes this relationship all the more interesting is that these men came from two entirely different worlds, yet somehow they bonded to create a new nation, a nation that would eventually become a superpower. Washington’s and Hamilton’s collaboration was crucial to winning the American Revolution, adopting the Constitution, and creating the institutions necessary to secure liberty at home and respect abroad.
AHG 632 4A: The American Presidency I – Washington to Lincoln (2)
This course is an examination of the political and constitutional development of the office of president from the Founding era through the Civil War. It focuses on how the presidency shaped American political life as the country grew and struggled with rising sectional tensions.
An examination of the United States during the three decades following the Second World War. The social, economic, political, and diplomatic development of the country is stressed with a thematic emphasis.
This course examines the contested development of the American concept of religious liberty from its origins in the colonial period through the present day. We will discuss the philosophical and theological arguments for and against religious liberty, and consider the testing of this principle in a variety of historical moments, including the treatment of Quakers and other dissenters in early America; the move to disestablish churches in the early republic; the controversy over Catholic schools and Mormon polygamy in the nineteenth century; and the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Native American religious practitioners in the late twentieth. We will close the course with a consideration of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and its ongoing legal significance for the state of religious liberty in the 21st century.