"What is the city but the people?"
-William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
Our objective is to survey modern American history since the end of the Civil War. Students will examine challenges which faced the United States beginning with the period of Reconstruction, through the rise of big business, the emergence of Populism, and the influence of Progressivism. We will then turn towards analyzing the defining forces and events of the “American” twentieth century. Students will be introduced to the effects of Imperialism on U.S. foreign policy, the rise of Isolationism and WWI, the Great Depression, and the New Deal. They will evaluate the ascent of the U.S. towards great power status through examinations of WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam era, and Watergate: We will further consider whether American entered a period of fatigue, or malaise, following the resignation of Richard Nixon. The impact of the Reagan Revolution, deregulation, and downfall of the Soviet Union will culminate our analysis of the twentieth century. Finally, we will attempt to assess the significance that 9/11, the Bush presidency, the Great Recession, and the presidency of Barak Obama, may have had on the American historical consciousness.