History 610, Spring 2006, Bruce Kuklick

History 610, Spring 2006, Bruce Kuklick Monday, 4-6
American History: The Survey—What it’s About, and How to do it.
This course will take up, for prospective teachers and scholars, the way in which
the survey of US history -- from 1500 to 2005 -- is conceived and taught. We will focus
on the secondary literature, and how to appraise its value; on the ways to synthesize the
information in this literature in constructing a coherent course or courses; on dilemmas of
understanding and conceptual issues of periodization; on story lines; and on the actual
substance of the history.
In pursuit of these aims, we will be reading, over the semester, a draft of my text
From Sea to Shining Sea. In addition each week we will be reading pertinent work in the
secondary literature. This reading will focus the discussion in class at each meeting. In
addition, as I will try to indicate in the syllabus, we will take up specific interpretative
questions. Each week to foster your own interest and grasp of the material, you will write
a short, 500-word, essay on any topic that engages you from the work of that week. The
syllabus below provides question that I hope will concentrate your minds.
Each week, also, one of you will give a brief report on other secondary literature
pertinent to the week’s work. The lists of secondary reading, you will see, come from the
bibliography of From Sea to Shining Sea. Each week the person, or persons, giving the
report should select three or four titles to read and tell us about. Again take your pick.
Finally, there will be a longer but still brief paper of say 2500 – 3000 words that
will involve you in reading comparable chapters in some of the standard text-books (your
choice of chapter and texts), and writing up an alternative treatment, or a critique of those
chapters; OR you can construct for me your own syllabus of a survey course in American
In the first instance the reading assignments are taken from the chapters in From
Sea to Shining Sea, available at Campus Copy. All other readings are available at the
Penn Book Center, on 34th St. above Walnut, and are available in Rosengarten Reserve.
The Allison Games essay will be made available as a handout before the first week of
Week 1 (January 9): Read: Introduction: The Idea of An American History; Allison
Games, “History without Borders: Teaching American History in an Atlantic Context”
What is the point of teaching the survey? Would the point differ if you were
teaching it in another country? What is essential? What is essential for students to know?
Week 2. Read: 1. European Cultures in America, 1492-1700; Alan Taylor, American
Secondary Reading: Alan Taylor, Writing Early American History (2005); Karen
Kupperman, Settling with the Indian (1980); William Cronon, Changes in the Land
(1980); Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Voyages, the Columbian Exchange, and Their
Historians (1987); James Axtell, Beyond 1492: Encounters in Colonial North America
(1992); Anthony Pagden, European Encounters with the New World from the
Renaissance to Romanticism (1993) and Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in
Spain, Britain, and France, c. 1500-1800 (1995).
Gary B. Nash, Red, White, and Black: The People of Early North America (1974,
and more recent editions); W. J. Eccles, France in America, rev. ed. (1990); David
Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America (1992); Daniel K. Richter, Facing East
from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (2001).
Philip Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade (1970) and The Rise and Fall of the
Plantation Complex (1990); J. A. Rawley, The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (1981); David
Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America (1981); David Eltis, The Rise of African
Slavery in the Americas (2000); Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the
English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717 (2002); Walter Johnson, ed., The
Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas (2004).
What is Taylor’s sense of the shape of American history? Why is it American?
Why does he implicitly reject the role of high politics? How is he like Games? How
much time should be spent on teaching this first period of “contact”? What is the point of
not starting with a run up to 1754?
Week 3. Read: 2.The Growth of the English Protestant Colonies, 1632-1732; James
Merrell, The Indians’ New World
What is the point of studying Native Americans? How do they fit into American
history? How long should the survey course be? Could you do it in one semester? How
should you break it up?
Secondary Reading: Michael Kammen, Empire and Interest: The American Colonies and
the Politics of Mercantilism (1970); Ralph Davis, The Rise of the Atlantic Economies
(1973); Joyce O. Appleby, Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth- Century
England (1978); John Ferling, A Wilderness of Miseries: War and Warriors in Early
America (1980); Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia (1982); Ian K. Steele, The
English Atlantic, 1675-1740 (1986); John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard, The
Economy of British America, 1607-1789 (1991); Stephen S. Webb, Lord Churchill’s
Coup: The Anglo-American Empire and the Glorious Revolution Reconsidered (1995);
David Hancock, Citizens of the World: London Merchants and the Integration of the
British Atlantic Economy (1995).
Week 4. Read: 3.The Colonies in the Empire 1651-1774; Edmund Morgan, American
Slavery, American Freedom
How can you use Morgan’s ideas to shape large theses about the American experience?
How might it apply to the Native Americans? Is the thesis falsifiable? How do you weigh
the importance of the English colonies over those of the French or Spanish? How do you
integrate African and Native Americans into the account? What should the master story
line be?
Secondary Reading: Winthrop Jordan, White over Black: American Attitudes
Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (1968); Philip Curtin, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation
Complex (1990); Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the
English West Indies, 1624-1713 (1972); David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the
Americas (2000); Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire
in the American South, 1670-1717 (2002); Walter Johnson, ed., The Chattel Principle:
Internal Slave Trades in the Americas (2004).
Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern
British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (1988); Bernard Bailyn, The
Peopling of British North America (1986) and Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the
Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution (1986); David Hackett Fischer Albion’s
Seed (1989).
Andrew Delbanco, The Puritan Ordeal (1989); Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of
Faith (1990); Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in
Colonial New England (1986); Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American
Christianity (1989); Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American
People (1990); Stephen Foster, The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping
of New England Culture (1991).
Week 5. Read: 4. War and Order, 1774-1789; Howard Fast, Citizen Tom Paine
What is to be said for assigning fiction in history courses? What is to be said for
assigning historical fiction? Would it change your ideas about the value of this novel
were you to learn that its author was a communist? Can you, or should you, avoid
studying dead white European males in this period?
Secondary Reading: Empire and Independence: The International History of the
American Revolution (1965); Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of
America’s Millennial Role (1968); Conrad Cherry, God’s New Israel: Religious
Interpretations of American Destiny (1971); Turning the World Upside Down: The War
of American Independence and the Problem of Empire (2003); Bernard Bailyn, The
Ideological Origins of American Revolution (1967) and The Origins of American Politics
(1968); Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (1969) and
The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992); Pauline Maier, From Resistance to
Revolution (1972) and American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence
(1997); Edmund Morgan, Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 rev. ed. (1977); and Inventing
the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America (1988); Robert
Middlekauf, The Glorious Cause (1982); Joyce Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social
Order (1984); Edward Countryman, The American Revolution (1985); Forrest
McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution (1985);
Jonathan R. Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1985); Stephen
Conway, The War of American Independence, 1775-1783 (1995); Richard R. Beeman,
The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth Century America (2004).
Week 6. Read: 5. The Culture of Politics, 1788-1828; 6. From Coexistence to
Expansion, 1783-1832; Joanne Freeman, Affairs of Honor
What is the difference between emphasizing political culture over the emergence
of the party system? What other aspects of US history would you want emphasized in
this period? How would you fit them into what set of narratives you are constructing?
How significant are the party politics of the 1808-1832 period? How can you connect the
political culture approach to later periods in US history? To earlier ones?
Secondary Reading: Gerald Stourzh, Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of a Republican
Government (1970); Douglass Adair, Fame and the Founding Fathers (1974) and The
Intellectual Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy: Republicanism, the Class Struggle, and
the Virtuous Farmer (2000); Peter Shaw, The Character of John Adams (1976); John C.
Miller, The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery (1977); Lance Banning, The
Jeffersonian Persuasion (1978); Gary Wills, Explaining America: The Federalist (1981);
Jack N. Rakove, James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic (1990);
Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers (2000); Gordon S. Wood, The Americanization of
Benjamin Franklin (2004).
Richard Buel, Securing the Revolution: Ideology in American Politics, 1789-1815
(1972); Alexander DeConde, This Affair of Louisiana (1976); J. C. A. Stagg, Mr.
Madison’s War (1978); Peter Onuf, Statehood and Union: The Northwest Ordinance
(1987); Stanley Elkins and Eric McKittrick, The Age of Federalism: The Early American
Republic, 1788-1800 (1993); James Roger Sharp, American Politics in the Early
Republic: The New Nation in Crisis (1993).
Week 7. Read: 7. Nationalism, Sectionalism, and Slavery, 1820-1861; Walter Johnson,
Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
What are the overriding themes of the antebellum period? How important are its
politics? How important are the reform movements? How important is the Mexican War?
Would you teach about Polk in comparison to slave religion?
Secondary Reading: Stanley Elkins, Slavery (1959, and succeeding editions);
Eugene Genovese, The Political Economy of Slavery (1965), The World the Slaveholders
Made (1969), and Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (1974); William J.
Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery (1978); Gavin Wright, The Political
Economy of the Cotton South (1978); Peter J. Parish, Slavery: History and Historians
(1989); William J. Cooper and Thomas E. Terrill, The American South (1990); William
R. Taylor, Cavalier and Yankee: The Old South and American National Character rev.
ed. (1993); Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in
North America (1998);; David Brion Davis, Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery
Richard McCormick, The Second American Party System (1966); R. F. Heinze
and A.J. Almquist, The Other Californians (1973); David Pletcher, The Diplomacy of
Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War (1973).
Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men (1970); Michael Holt, The Political
Crisis of the 1850s (1978); Kenneth Stampp, The Imperiled Union (1980); William
Gienapp, Origins of the Republican Party (1987); William Freehling, The Road to
Disunion: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854 (1990); Bruce Levine, Half Slave and Half
Free: The Roots of the Civil War (1992); Michael F. Holt, Political Parties and American
Political Development: From the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln (1992), The Rise
and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War
(1999), and The Fate of Their Country (2004).
Week 8. Read: 8. Lincoln and the Civil War, 1858-1865; Harry Jaffa, Crisis of the
House Divided
Secondary Reading: William McFeeley, Grant (1981); James M. McPherson,
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988) and Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and
Reconstruction, 2nd ed. (1992); Gary Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg (1992); David Donald,
Lincoln (1995); Allen Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999); William
Miller, Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography (2001); Ronald White, Lincoln’s
Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural (2002).
How do you connect democracy and nationalism? What happens to
republicanism? Was the war worth it? What other kinds of outcomes were possible? Do
you need to be a philosopher, like Jaffa, to treat Lincoln? What kind of leader was
Douglass? What do you think of Lincoln? Is it indeed all about Lincoln?
Week 9. Read: 9. The Sections Integrated: South, West, and North, 1865-1896; W.E.
B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Is there too much material here to be assimilated to one thirty-year post-war
period? Can it be integrated successfully? How else could it be treated? Is it worthwhile
looking at the Native Americans one last time before they bow out? What is the point of
studying primary sources? Does it make a difference if the class has discussions, as
opposed to being strictly a lecture?
Secondary Reading: C. Vann Woodard, The Burden of Southern History (1960),
The Strange Career of Jim Crow (1966); Reunion and Reaction (1951); Eric Foner,
Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War (1980) and Reconstruction (1988); Joel
Williamson, The Crucible of Race (1984). Eugene Genovese, The Southern Tradition
(1994); Edward L. Ayers, Southern Crossing: A History of the American South, 18771906 (1995).
William Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire (1966); Howard Lamar, The Far
Southwest, 1846-1912 (1966); Ray Billington, Westward Expansion 5th ed. (1982);
Martin Ridge, The Far Western Frontier check (1982); F. P. Prucha, The Great Father:
The U. S. Government and the American Indians (1984); Patricia Nelson Limerick, The
Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (1987); Robert Wooster,
The Military and U. S. Indian Policy (1988);; Gregory Nobles, American Frontiers
Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform (1955); Lawrence Goodwyn, Democratic
Promise: The Populist Movement in America (1976); Steven Hahn, The Roots of
Southern Populism (1983); Michael Kazin, The Populist Persuasion (1994); Peter
Argersinger, The Limits of Agrarian Radicalism: Western Populism and American
Politics (1995). The People’s Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth Century
America (1998); Steven W. Usselman, Regulating Railroad Innovation: Business,
Technology and Politics in America, 1840-1920 (2002).
Richard L. McCormick, The Party Period and Public Policy: American Politics
from the Age of Jackson to the Progressive Era (1986); Joel Silbey, The American
Political Nation, 1838-1893 (1991); Richard Franklin Bensel, The Political Economy of
American Industrialization, 1877-1900 (2000).
Week 10. Read: 10. The Anglo-Saxon New Empire, 1890-1917; Eric Love, Race Over
What is the connection between republicanism and expansion? Do you think race
is crucial? What is the relation between domestic and foreign policy? What is the
connection between Indian policy and overseas expansion? What issues of citizenship are
raised here?
Secondary Reading: Ernest R. May, Imperial Democracy: The Emergence of the United
States as a World Power (1961); Walter Lafeber, The New Empire: An Interpretation of
American Expansionism, 1860-1898 (1963); John Offner, An Unwanted War: The
Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898 (1992); Louis Perez, Jr.,
The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography (1998).
Week 11. Read: 11.Protestant Progressives in Peace and War, 1896-1918; 12. The
Crises of Progressive Capitalism, 1919-1933; Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of
Can we use progressivism at all as a unifying concept? If so, can it overarch the
period from 1900 to 1933? Can we deal adequately with foreign and domestic
progressivism? Is it correct to treat Wilson as the final solution to the question of
republican expansion beyond US borders? What is the utility of using the sorts of
theoretical models that Kolko does at the end of his volume?
Secondary Reading: Robert Wiebe, Businessmen and Reform (1962) and The Search for
Order (1967); J. Morgan Kousser, The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction
and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880-1910 (1974); Michael McGerr, The
Decline of Popular Politics: The American North, 1865-1928 (1986) and A Fierce
Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920
(2003); Elizabeth Sanders, Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers, and the American State,
1877-1917 (1999).
Ernest May, The World War and American Isolation (1959); Arno J. Mayer, The
Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking (1967); Gordon Levin, Woodrow Wilson and
World Politics (1968); Arthur Link, Woodrow Wilson: Revolution, War and Peace
(1979); David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980);
William Widenor, Henry Cabot Lodge and the Search for an American Foreign Policy
(1980); Thomas J. Knock, To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New
World Order (1992).
Joan Hoff Wilson, Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive (1975); Ellis Hawley,
The Great War and the Search for a Modern Order (1979); Geoffrey Parret, America in
the Twenties (1982); Richard Tucker, The Dragon and the Cross: The Rise and Fall of
the Ku Klux Klan in Middle America (1991); Michael Parrish, Anxious Decades:
America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941 (1992); Nancy MacLean, Behind the
Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (1994); Roger Daniels,
Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882
Week 12: Read: 13.The Cosmopolitan New Deal in Depression and War, 1933 -1945
14. Cold War America, 1945-1963; Tsuyoshi Hausegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin,
Truman, and the Surrender of Japan
What is the new international history? How does it make our understanding more
complex? What depth can it add to the survey? What is the role of old-fashioned
diplomatic history in the survey? How do you connect the New Deal and the War? How
important is the social history of the American people in this period?
Secondary Reading: James M. Burns, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (1956); Mark
Leff, The Limits of Symbolic Reform (1984); Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal:
Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (1990); Bruce Shulman, From Cotton Belt to
Sunbelt (1991); Alan Brinkley, Liberalism and Its Discontents (1998).
Akira Iriye, After Imperialism (1965) and Power and Culture: The JapaneseAmerican War (1981); Robert Divine, The Reluctant Belligerent: American Entry into
World War II, 2nd ed. (1979); John Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the
Pacific War (1986); Patrick J. Hearden, Roosevelt Confronts Hitler (1987); Michael C. C.
Adams, The Best War Ever: America and World War II (1994); Robert Dallek, Franklin
D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 (1995); Lewis A. Erenberg and
Susan Hirsch, The War in American Culture: Society and Consciousness During World
War II (1996); David Kennedy, Freedom from Fear (2000); Gar Alperovitz, Atomic
Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam, 2nd expanded ed. (1994).
Alonzo Hamby, Beyond the New Deal (1973); Robert Divine, Eisenhower and the
Cold War (1981); Fred Greenstein, The Hidden Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader
(1982); William Chafe, The Unfinished Journey (1986); Michael Hogan, The Marshall
Plan (1987); Melvin Leffler, Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman
Administration and the Cold War (1992); H. W. Brands, The Devil We Knew: Americans
and the Cold War (1993); Michael Sherry, In the Shadow of War (1995); James T.
Patterson, Grand Expectations: Postwar America, 1945-1974 (1996); Marc
Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963
(1999).On McCarthyism, Richard Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of
McCarthyism 2nd ed.(1985); Ellen Schrecker, Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in
America (1998); Alan Weinstein, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978); Sam
Tannenhaus, Whittaker Chambers (1997); John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona:
Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (1999).
Week 13. Read: 15.The Long 1960s, 1954-1975; John Updyke, Memoirs of the Ford
Why is this novel great social history? What happened during the Ford
administration? What are the tradeoffs in teaching the cultural transformation versus
teaching the politics? What is the connection of the 1970s to the 1850s? Again: what is
the role of teaching fiction in history? What is the difference between History and
American Studies?
Secondary Reading: Godfrey Hodgson, America in Our Time (1976); Doris Goodwin,
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1976); David Farber, Chicago ’68 (1988);
George C. Herring, America’s Longest War (1986); Stanley Cutler, The Wars of
Watergate (1990) and The Abuse of Power (1997); Havard Sitkoff, The Struggle for
Black Equality (1993); Mark Tushnet, Making Civil Rights Law (1994); Deborah
Shapley, Promise and Power: The Life and Times of Robert McNamara (1993); Joan
Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered (1994); H.R. McMaster, Dereliction of Duty (1997); Fred
Logevall, Choosing War (1999); David Kaiser, American Tragedy (2000); Mary
Dudziack, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (2000);
Thomas Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the
Global Age (2001); Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
Week 14. Read: 16. Cultural Divisions and Cultural Imperialism, 1968-2000;
Conclusion: America in History, 2001 and After; Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer’s
What are the problems of writing or lecturing on “contemporary” history? Can it be done
at all? When should we end a course, and how? How do we give stories an ending?
Secondary Reading: Michael Schaller, Reckoning with Reagan: America and its
President in the 1980s (1992); Mary Jo Bane and David Ellwood, Welfare Realities:
From Rhetoric to Reform (1994); Godfrey Hodgson, The World Turned Rightside Up: A
History of Conservative Ascendancy in America (1996) and More Equal than Others:
America from Nixon to the New Century (2004); Frances Fitzgerald, Way Out There in
the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War (2000); Morris P. Fiorina, et
al., Culture War: The Myth of a Polarized America (2005); Paul Lettow, Ronald Reagan
and his Quest to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (2005).
Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and
Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945 (1981); Michael Hunt, Ideology and American Foreign
Policy (1987); Robert Wuthnow, The Restructuring of American Religion: Society and
Faith Since World War II (1988); James L. Baughman, The Republic of Mass Culture:
Journalism, Filmmaking, and Broadcasting in America Since 1941 (1991); Richard
Kuisel, Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization (1993); Karal Ann
Marling, As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s (1994);
Reinhold Wagenleiter, Coco-Colanization and the Cold War (1994); James W. Ceaser,
Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought (1997); Jessica
Gienow-Hecht, Transmission Impossible: American Journalism as Cultural Diplomacy
in Postwar Germany, 1945-1955 (1999); Uta Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War
Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany (2000); Walter Lafeber, Michael
Jordan and the New Global Capitalism, new and expanded ed. (2002); Victoria De
Grazia, Irresistible Empire (2005).
Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World
Order (1996); Kenneth Pollack, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq
(2002); Jim Mann, Rise of the Vulcans; the History of Bush’s War Cabinet (2004).
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