Course Syllabus – HSTAA 490 (5)
What is capitalism? It defines our world, yet until recently it has not be the focus of historical study. This seminar course offers a broad overview of American capitalism from colonial times up to the present. It introduces students to the transformation of America from a rural colonial outpost of the British Empire to the largest industrially developed economic power in the world, and the more recent turn toward neoliberal policies in the late 20th century. The course will consider the political, social, cultural, legal, moral, and environmental dimensions of American life – with a particular focus on the varieties of American capitalism, how the picture looks different through the analysis of race, class and gender. This is a history “from the bottom, all the way to the top.” All together it hopes to provide a picture of the historical characteristics and dynamics of American capitalism.
Assignments and grading are as follows: One take home final, one in class midterm, and three “micro essays” on readings from class.