2020-2021 Academic Catalog

History (AHST)

AHST 201   History   3 Units

The study of history is not only relevant but also pertinent to our understanding of who we are, where our ideas and institutions come from, and where our culture might be headed. This course will examine the great ideas and pivotal events and, in viewing them as part of a larger historical narrative, understand how they made and continue to make the modern world.

AHST 202   Contemporary United States History   3 Units

Until the end of the so-called “war to end all wars” in 1918, America was separated from the great powers of the old world by a seemingly boundless sea. America had not only shown little interest in other hemispheres (save a few attempts at colonization and annexation at the turn of the century) but had little to offer the world. It was thought that America had no distinct culture (perhaps it was a bastardized form of old European culture) and an economy based on booms and busts (there were at least 5 economic depressions in America in the 19th century). By the time the 1920’s had crested with American jazz, fashion and (above all) banking the rest of the world had no choice but to notice the colonization of an American style and way of life. Despite a few reservations, America was thrown into the middle of the world stage with her entry into World War 2. By the time Japan surrendered there was already a land grab in Europe that would divide the world into two spheres. When the USSR finally blinked, the wall in Berlin was demolished and the world was finally made “safe for democracy”, old allies, the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, nationalism and religion would come to a head with the events of September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent wars in the Middle East.

AHST 203   Modern World: 1840 to Present   3 Units

In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1776 and 1789, as well as the Napoleonic Wars that shook Europe, the western world experienced a seismic shift in how it responded to social, political and religious ideas. The questions of “What Should I Believe”, “How Should I be Governed’, and “What is the Nature of Social Equality” became significantly more muddled. The European social revolutions of 1848, the American Civil War, Industrial Revolutions and the culminating World Wars of the 20th century shook the faiths of many in God, political structures and the nature of equality. Starting with the Revolutions of 1848 and subsequent state building through the existential crises of the World Wars and up to our present day this class looks beyond simple narrative and seeks to answer the human questions that the past century sought to answer and have caused us to reevaluate the present.