Social History of the United States


Course Objective

Getting knowledge and understanding of the social-political,
socio-cultural and economic development of the United States from about
1780 to the present; Learning to analyze and evaluate historical
debates; Learning to reflect critically on contemporary social problems.

Course Content

The United States have exerted an immense influence on the economic,
political and cultural development of the rest of the world. Whoever
wants to understand the present situation in the world has to study the
history of the U.S. How have the U.S. been able to develop such an
enormous economic power? How has American society got its present shape?
Where do its leading ideals and values come from? These kinds
ofquestions will be discussed in this course, which covers the entire
social history of the United States from about 1780 till the present.
Key themes to be discussed are, among others: the expansion and
abolition of slavery, the relations with Native Americans and the
history of the Frontier, the effects of (and the responses to)
immigration, the nature of American technology and economic growth, the
struggle for social and environmental reforms, the rise of the civil
rights movement and the conservative 'backlash'.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, assignments and discussions in class.

Method of Assessment

Participation and assignments (25%), written exam (75%).

Entry Requirements

Basic knowledge of general history of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Susan Mary Grant, A Concise History of the United States of America,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et. 2012 (Obligatory). Optional
literature will be published Canvas

Target Audience

Students BA3 Geschiedenis, BA3 Sociologie, BA3 Economie en
Bedrijfseconomie, BA3 International Business Administration; exchange
students BA.

Additional Information

This course is part of the minor 'American studies'.

General Information

Course Code L_GEBAALG003
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. S.W. Verstegen
Examiner dr. S.W. Verstegen
Teaching Staff dr. S.W. Verstegen

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

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