Making_America_Modern_2p0.pdf - Making America Modern...

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Making America Modern, 1877-1920 Brown University Professor: Lukas Rieppel Department of History Office Hours: Wed., 2-4pm Mon., Wed., Fri., 1-1:50pm Sharpe House, Room 305 Sayles Hall 012 [email protected] Course Description: This course surveys a crucial period in American history between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of World War I. During this time, the United States transitioned from a relatively fragmented, traditional, and largely agricultural society into one that was remarkably diverse, increasingly urban, and highly industrialized. In surveying this important transitional period, we will pay particular attention to far- reaching changes in the nation’s business and economic life, its social movements, as well as its cultural developments, all with an eye to understanding how the United States became one of the world’s most commanding economic, political, and cultural powers.
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Assessment: In-class Midterm Exam: 20% Term Paper (8-10 pp): 30% Participation: 15% Final Exam: 35% Term Papers: A printout of your paper is due on the last day of class. You may write about any topic that touches on the themes of this course. Be creative! I will distribute a set of potential paper topics, but you may also write about something else that interests you. Either way, you will be asked to submit a 1-page paper proposal with a preliminary bibliography on October 16th. I will provide feedback on your choice of topics and may recommend some additional sources for you to consult. The final draft of your term paper should be 8-10 pages in length, and it will be due at the start of lecture during the last day of class. Readings: Required readings will be made available to you in pdf format online. On the syllabus, I also provide a list of some additional, recommended readings that you may which to consult. Doing so is not a requirement and will not post these on the course website— they are primarily intended to help give you a starting place to begin doing additional research for your term papers. In addition, you are required to purchase the following textbook online or at the university bookstore: Leon Fink (ed.), Major Problems in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era , 2 nd ed., (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001). Deadlines: In-class Midterm Evaluation: Oct. 9 th Term Paper Proposal: Oct. 16 th Term Paper: Dec. 4 th Final Examination: Dec. 14 th (at 2pm) A Note On Plagiarism: Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses. Anyone suspected of such infractions will be referred to the Dean’s Office.
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Course Schedule Week 1 Sept. 4 th : Introduction, Modernizing America Sept. 6 th : Ragged Dick & the Idea of Upward Mobility Required Readings: 1. Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick, or Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks (Philadelphia: John C. Wiston [1 st ed., Boston: A.K. Loring, 1868]): 9-26, 65-82, 249-262.
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