History (HIS)

Courses and Descriptions

HIS 150 World History to 1500 3 Credits

This course traces both regional histories and global interactions, and covers the development of societies and states in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe from prehistoric times until about 1500. Certain major topics will be pursued, including agriculture, great empires, the major world religions, long-distance trade, and early modern exploration. While learning about these topics, students will also gain an understanding of the practice of history, especially of the kinds of sources historians use and how they reconstruct and interpret the past.

HIS 151 World History Since 1500 3 Credits

Learn what college students should know about history as a discipline and why history matters by tracing the development and interactions of the cultures of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas from 1500 to the present. Students will gain an appreciation for the value of historical thinking and a greater understanding of the relationships among modern nations so necessary for global citizenship.

Prerequisite(s): HIS 150.

HIS 160 Seminar in History 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the discipline of history and to the skills needed for its pursuit. Students will learn to analyze and evaluate primary sources and to identify the thesis and argument of secondary sources, as well as to locate sources using library databases. They will complete a short research paper in which they put these skills into practice. The seminar is intended for History majors and minors and Social Studies majors in their freshman year. Transfer students with fewer than 45 credits should consult their advisor on the suitability of the course for their program. Enrollment limited to 16.

HIS 180 U.S. History I 3 Credits

A survey of American history from the early 17th century through 1877. Among the topics covered will be settlement and regional differences, the American Revolution and the formation of a national government by 1787. The beginning stages of industrialization, the rise of democratic and reform politics, westward expansion, the debate over slavery and growing sectional tensions through the Civil War and Reconstruction will be major themes in the 19th century. Included will be discussions of African Americans, Native Americans, and women.

HIS 181 U.S. History II 3 Credits

A survey of United States history from the end of the Civil War through the present. Included will be discussions of the maturing of an industrial economy, and expansion in the west and overseas. The role of the United States as a world power and the growth of presidential power will be shaped and sometimes challenged by movements designed to expand democratic institutions and human rights. Included will be discussions of African Americans, Native Americans, and women.

HIS 190 Europe to 1715 3 Credits

Examines the development of European civilization from late Roman times until 1715, stressing the Classical heritage, the main currents of European thought and letters, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Age of Discoveries, and the development of the Old Regime.

HIS 191 Europe Since 1715 3 Credits

Examines major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in Europe and the West from 1715 to the present.

HIS 200 Native American History 3 Credits

Traces the experiences of North American Indians from early colonial times to the present day, demonstrating how Indian life has varied and changed throughout our nation’s history. Topics include strategies of resistance and accommodation to colonial powers, 19th- century impacts of U.S. government removal and cultural assimilation policies, and 20th-century cultural and political developments among the nation’s surviving tribes. Rather than “vanishing,” American Indians are a vital and expanding force in modern America.

HIS 201 African American History 3 Credits

Examines the actions and thought of peoples of African ancestry in the United States. Briefly considers Africa before the Atlantic slave trade, then concentrates on major themes in African-American history--the slave trade, slavery, and the genesis of African American society, emancipation and its consequences, urbanization and industrialization, Black Nationalism, the Civil Rights Movement, and African Americans today. Emphasizes African Americans’ dynamic and creative role both in shaping their society and establishing their place in United States society. The on-going struggle for freedom and equality provides thematic continuity for analyzing nearly 400 years of African-American history.

HIS 224 American Environmental History 3 Credits

Surveys the history of the North American environment from pre-Columbian times through the 20th century. Topics include Native American uses of the environment; the reshaping of ecosystems under European colonization; U.S. frontier expansion; the ecological impact of industrialization and urbanization; and the rise of the environmental movement.

HIS 225 A History of American Business 3 Credits

Examines the history of business in the United States from the Colonial Era to the present. Emphasizes such themes as the changing capitalist system, the function of business institutions, the roles of the entrepreneur, the relationship between government and business, and the emergence of the corporation.

HIS 226 History of New Jersey 3 Credits

Explores the history of New Jersey from the colonial period to the present including the role of New Jersey in the American Revolution, the establishment of the Constitution, and the course of industrialization. Examines the impact of national and international developments on New Jersey and emphasizes the distinctive characteristics of the Garden State.

HIS 227 U.S. Cultural History I 3 Credits

Examines cultural developments in the United States through the Civil War. Topics include popular culture, the history of the body, reading and print culture, public celebrations and holidays, religion, race and ethnicity, and material culture. Some of the larger trends explored include the creation of American nationalism, the development of a consumer society, and the rise and decline of 19th-century family life and culture.

HIS 240 History of Ancient Greece 3 Credits

Surveys the intellectual and cultural life of ancient Greek civilization against the background of its political, economic, and social history.

HIS 241 History of Ancient Rome 3 Credits

Studies the history and culture of Rome, emphasizing such topics as Roman law, government, literature, religion, art, and philosophy.

HIS 243 Italy Middle Ages to Present 3 Credits

Traces the history of Italy from the Middle Ages to the present, stressing the connection between culture, religion, politics, and wealth in successive historical periods. Students participating in the two-week travel component at the end of the course may receive four credits.

HIS 245 Britain to 1688 3 Credits

British history from pre-Roman times to the Glorious Revolution is examined, emphasizing the growth of royal government, parliament, and the origins of the British colonial empire.

HIS 246 Modern Britain 3 Credits

Examines British history from the Glorious Revolution to the present, stressing the reform movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Pax Britannica, the Industrial Revolution, imperialism, and the impact of the two world wars.

HIS 248 History of Ireland 3 Credits

Beginning with an overview of the Irish past, focuses upon the past century of the island’s history--the problems, challenges, and accommodations that led to the present situation as one of the most protracted unresolved partitions in the modern nation-state system.

HIS 249 Women in Europe from Antiquity to the French Revolution 3 Credits

Traces the history of women in Europe from Rome to the French Revolution, covering the religious, social, political, and economic context in which women participated. Also offers a brief overview of theories and issues in women’s history and gender history.

HIS 255 History Abroad 3 Credits

Two-week travel course to a destination chosen by the professor. Exposes students to historic and cultural sites and works of art that have been studied in class. Students must attend orientation sessions, read assigned writings, complete a travel journal, write a final paper on a topic relevant to the course, and attend all scheduled course activities abroad. Travel will take place in January or at the end of the spring semester.

HIS 260 Craft of History 3 Credits

This seminar focuses on historiography and research skills to further students’ progress toward the major capstone experience of conducting independent historical research. Students will explore how historians approach, interpret, and write about a particular topic selected by the instructor, and discover how and why interpretations and methods have changed over time. Topics will vary by instructor. Course may be taken a second time on a different topic for 200-level credit. The course is required for History majors who are Sophomores or Juniors. Enrollment limited to 16.

HIS 273 Imperial Russia 3 Credits

Discusses the political, economic, social and cultural developments in Russia and its borderlands during the Imperial period, that is to say the 18th and 19th centuries from Peter the Great to the Revolutions of 1917. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 274 Modern Russia 3 Credits

Covers the background to the Russian revolutions of 1917, the revolutions themselves, and the evolution and dissolution of the Soviet regime. Cultural, social and economic aspects of this period receive as much attention as political aspects. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 280 Vietnam in Peace and War 3 Credits

Examines the history of modern Vietnam, with a focus on the struggle for independence from the late 18th century to the present. Discusses the traditional culture, French colonialism and the development of Vietnamese nationalism, the Japanese occupation in WWII, and the struggle against France and the U.S. in the First and Second Indochinese Wars, as well as the postwar period. Explores the American experience in Vietnam and the impact of the war in the United States.

HIS 281 Modern Middle East 3 Credits

Examines political, economic, social, and cultural developments in the Near East, from the rise of the Ottoman Empire to the present, stressing the impact of contacts with the West in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the emergence of the contemporary Arab World, Israel, Turkey, and Iran.

HIS 282 Colonial Latin America 3 Credits

Examines the pre-Columbian and colonial periods of Latin-American history. Discusses the Indian, African, and European peoples and pays particular attention to the colonial Spanish and Portuguese societies from their establishment up to the revolutions that brought about political independence.

HIS 283 Modern Latin America 3 Credits

Considers the post-independence history of Latin America, emphasizing the rise of export economies and external economic domination, modernization, and pan- Americanism. Examines the changes undergone by Latin-American nations in the 20th century through an analysis of Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Cuba, and Central America.

HIS 284 Caribbean History 3 Credits

Analyzes the history of the West Indian islands and the lands bordering the Caribbean Sea from pre-Columbian times to the present.

HIS 286 Modern East Asia 3 Credits

Examines the disintegration of the Ch’ing dynasty in China and the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan under internal stresses and foreign incursions, and the varied experience of those states in coming to terms with the challenges of modernization and westernization. Covers political, economic, social, and cultural factors in China, Japan, and East Asia.

HIS 288 African History 3 Credits

Traces the history of Africa, analyzing the unique problems of African historical evidence and the complexity of the continent’s past. Examines the genesis of African culture, early African societies, and the character of African civilizations and empires, then considers external influences such as religion (especially Islam and Christianity), contacts with Europe, the slave trade, the colonial scramble for Africa, colonial rule, modernization and dependency, and concludes by assessing the rise of independent Africa after World War II, its present status and future prospects.

HIS 289 History of Modern Japan 3 Credits

Examines the history of modern Japan from the age of the samurai in the Tokugawa Shogunate to today’s high-tech mass consumer society. It traces the interaction of elements of Japan’s traditional culture with impacts from the outside to create a uniquely-Japanese modernity. It stresses social, economic, and cultural trends, as well as political history, and includes an examination of modern Japanese culture through fiction and film.

HIS 298 Special Topics in History 3 Credits

Exploration of special topics, themes or methodologies in history. This course may be repeated for credit on different topics.

Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.

HIS 300 Economic History of the U.S. 3 Credits

Studies the main currents in the economic growth of America from colonial times to the present. Stresses the process of economic development from an agrarian to an industrial society, and examines the challenges and dislocations resulting from economic change.

HIS 301 Constitutional History of U.S. 3 Credits

Surveys the English, Colonial, and Confederation backgrounds of American law and constitutionalism; the framing, adoption, and implementation of the Federal Constitution and its later development; the role of law in the nation’s history; the changing interpretations of federalism; the growth of judicial review; and the increasing role of the Supreme Court.

HIS 302 American Worker: Social History 3 Credits

Investigates the American workers’ varied social, cultural, religious, and ethnic environment from post-Civil War to the present. Emphasizes worker response to industrialization, urbanization, the technical revolution, and automation.

HIS 303 American Urban History 3 Credits

Traces the growth of urbanism in America from colonial times to the present. Focuses on the interaction between the city dweller and the urban environment and explores the problems confronting urban America today.

HIS 304 Civil War and Reconstruction 3 Credits

Considers the Civil War as a watershed in the development of the American republic. Analyzes antebellum sectional conflict, the war years, and the era of Reconstruction.

HIS 306 U.S. Cultural History II 3 Credits

Examines cultural developments in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. Topics include popular culture, intellectual history, gender history, literary history, film, institutions like museums and department stores, subcultures and counter- cultures, popular commemorations like World’s Fairs, and political culture. Some of the larger trends explored include the development of the modern culture of consumption, the urban landscape, and the polarization of cultural values.

HIS 307 The Immigrant in American Life 3 Credits

Examines the experiences of immigrants in the United States, their assimilation, the reactions to them, and their contributions.

HIS 309 Women in American History 3 Credits

Examines the roles, status, and influence of women from the colonial era to the present. Studies the origins and development of feminism, including legal, political, educational, economic, and sexual rights; and studies social feminism, including reform movements in such fields as abolition, prohibition, pacifism, child labor, and social welfare.

HIS 318 The American Revolution 3 Credits

Examines the growing rift between the American colonies and the British Empire, the War for Independence, and the creation of a new American republic. Explores the political, economic, social and cultural history of the Revolutionary era, and includes the experiences of various groups such as Native Americans, slaves, and women.

HIS 319 Gender and Sexuality in American History 3 Credits

What makes a man, exactly, and what makes a woman? What kinds of sex are normal, and what kinds are abnormal? Who decides, and why? The answers to these questions are not fixed. Throughout American history, popular understandings of gender and sexual norms evolved in close relationship with the political, economic, racial, and social dictates of the time. This course will trace the evolution of ideas on sec and gender from the 18th century to the present using various historical sources including fiction and film, particular attention will be given to analyzing dominant models of proper behavior and the complex relationships of power enmeshed within them.

HIS 320 The History of Christianity 3 Credits

Examines Christianity’s role in world history from the life and times of Jesus to the present. Emphasizes the quest for the historical Jesus, the emergence of Christianity after his death and triumph during the later Roman Empire, and Christian relations with pagans, Jews, heretics, witches and Muslims. Traces the various branches of Christianity, its spread throughout the world, church-state relations and responses to secularism, capitalism and communism.

HIS 325 Church & Society in Med Europe 3 Credits

Studies the role of the church in the shaping of early medieval society. Emphasizes the emergence of Christianity as a world force, its challenge from Islam, and the church’s impact on the politics, thought, and economy of early medieval Europe.

HIS 326 Renaissance and Reformation 3 Credits

Studies the Renaissance, including the development of humanism and art as well as the political and economic changes of the period. Discusses the Renaissance church and movements for religious reform, leading to a consideration of the origins, development, and consequences of the Reformation. Examines the influence of the Renaissance and Reformation on the development of capitalism and the dynamic, secular nation-state.

HIS 333 20th-Century Europe 3 Credits

This course covers the history of twentieth-century Europe, a time when major wars brought Europe from the heights of prosperity and power to the brink of ruin. Europe’s experience in war, social upheaval, and ideological conflict shaped the twentieth century not just in Europe but globally. We begin with a look at the condition of Europe at the turn of the century and assess why the European states plunged into what was a disastrous series of conflicts. We will consider the First World War and its impact, including the Russian Revolution and the peace settlement, and then focus on attempts to find stability and the emergence of radically new political movements that challenged the postwar order. Next we will examine the ways in which Europe embarked on the path of near self-destruction during World War Two. A discussion of the origins and consequences of the Cold War and the fate of the socialist and capitalist systems follows. Throughout the course we will touch upon European art and culture. We will conclude with a look at the events of 1989 and attempt to understand the meaning of the twentieth century. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 334 The Era of World War II 3 Credits

Investigates selected topics relating to the origins, events, and outcome of World War II, emphasizing the war’s impact on 20th-century civilization. Traces the roots of the conflict back to the World War I peace settlements, and examines the rise of totalitarianism, pre-war aggression and appeasement, the immediate causes of the war’s outbreak, the course of military actions, the diplomacy of the belligerents, the War’s impact on civilian life, and factors that shaped the post-war world. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 335 Nazi Germany & Hitler's Europe 3 Credits

Examines the Nazi dictatorship in all its complex dimensions, from the early life of Adolf Hitler to total war and genocide. Students will explore how the Nazi movement arose in the context of modern German and European history, and how the Nazis were able to win the support of significant segments of the German population. We will study the Nazis’ massive project of social and biological engineering – pronationalism, forced sterilization, extermination of “social and biological deviants,” and, ultimately, the genocide of the Jews. Through memoirs, state documents, and historical accounts, the class will examine life from the vantage point of perpetrators, accommodators, victims, and resisters. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 336 Modern European Intellectual History 3 Credits

Examines the 17th-century revolution in scientific, philosophical, and political thought; the Enlightenment; Romanticism; the ideologies of Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism; Positivism; Darwinism; the crisis of European thought (1880-1914); and the major intellectual trends of the 20th century.

HIS 337 Post-1945 United States History 3 Credits

This course will magnify American society, politics, culture, and foreign policy from 1945 to the present, tracing the rise and fall of the "American Century". We will focus on topics such as the Red Scare, suburbanization, mass culture, the power of the presidency, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, disco, and the war on terror, offering students a unique opportunity to delve deeply into our recent past.

HIS 341 China in Revolution 3 Credits

Treats the Chinese Revolution in terms of political, economic, and social transformation.

HIS 342 Women in East Asia 3 Credits

Treats the history of the relationship between women and society in traditional East Asia and the modern transformation of their relationship.

HIS 343 Ottoman Empire and the Balkans 3 Credits

This course is divided into two parts. Part one examines the rise, zenith, and gradual disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, one of the greatest, most extensive, and long lasting empires in history, with special focus on the southeastern projection of Europe, known as the Balkan Peninsula. The second half of the course concentrates on Balkan history proper, from the First World War until the demise of communist regimes in the late 1980s. Lastly, we will consider contemporary developments, especially the breakup of Yugoslavia and its aftermath.This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 351 Warfare in History 3 Credits

Studies the evolution of international and intergroup conflict through the ages; principles, theories, and kinds of war; the great military practitioners and thinkers of world history. Briefly touches upon the American experience as a recent segment in world military and cultural history.

HIS 352 History of Socialism 3 Credits

Considers the historical development of socialist ideas and their adaptations from ancient times to the present, including ancient and Judaeo-Christian antecedents, Utopian Socialism, Marxism, Anarchism, Communism, and Democratic Socialism, emphasizing the historical comparisons among these schools. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Global Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

HIS 353 Oral History 3 Credits

A study of the theory and practice of oral history. Involves an examination of the methodology and functions of oral history, the nature and character of oral evidence, and the place of oral testimony within the historical discipline.

HIS 398 Special Topics in History 3 Credits

Advanced exploration of special topics, themes or methodologies in history. This course may be repeated for credit on different topics.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of Instructor.

HIS 460 Research Seminar 3 Credits

Students produce a major research paper in this topical capstone seminar. Topics and themes vary by instructor. The seminar has a maximum enrollment of 16 students, so professors and students have an opportunity to work together closely over the course of a semester. Students may substitute with HIS 490: Independent Research and Study.

Prerequisite(s): HIS 260, and permission of instructor.

HIS 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. When taken to substitute for HIS 460, HIS 260 and permission of instructor.

HIS 491 Internship in History 1-4 Credits

Internships to be offered each semester with such institutions as the New Jersey State Archives and the David Library of the American Revolution. Four credits may be taken for Category III History credit. Additional credits may be taken for Liberal Arts elective credit.

Prerequisite: Permission of internship coordinator.