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2012/2013  BA-IVK_HAS1  Major Issues in the Social History of the Americas 1

English Title
Major Issues in the Social History of the Americas 1

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
1st semester
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BA in International Business Communication
Course coordinator
  • Course coordinator for American studies
    Kevin McGovern - Department of International Business Communication
Main Category of the Course
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 19-07-2012
Learning objectives
The course will introduce students to the history of the Americas, from the rise of the nation state to the Great Crash in 1929. Students will acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of the main events and processes in the social, economic and political developments of the Americas, from independence to the beginning of the Great Depression. This knowledge will give them an historical framework of understanding for further studies of American society. At the same time, particular emphasis is placed on understanding the Americas as a whole as well as the unique regional, cultural and social traits of the USA and Latin American countries. Through readings of source material and written accounts students will become familiar with some of the source-critical and methodological considerations that are part of historical analysis.
Major Issues in the Social History of the Americas 1:
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period December/January
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 4 Hours
Written exam consisting of a number of essay questions. The United States as well at Latin America are covered by the questions. The exam is a PC exam on CBS PCs - option 4 according to the Study Board's PC options

Make-up exam/re-exam
As the regular exam, however please refer to  § 18 (2) in the program rules.

The holding of make-up exam/re-exam
This exam is held immediately after the ordinary exam period. After that, the exam cannot be taken until the next ordinary exam of this course.
At the exam the student should be able to:

• Demonstrate basic knowledge about - and understanding of - the history of the USA and Latin American countries during the period from 1776 to 1929.
• Use this knowledge to account for, compare and detect general perspectives in the development of these countries.
• Identify the main themes in the history of the Americas and discuss the interrelationship between long term developments and specific events.
• Account for the significance of socioeconomic factors such as slavery, immigration, industrialization, and territorial expansion, as well as political developments and international relations.
• Demonstrate understanding of historical method and various theoretical approaches to the empirical data, and reflect on the quality of various forms of explanatory model.
Course content

The main content of the course is an introduction to a number of fundamental issues in the history of the United States and the Latin American countries from circa 1770 to circa 1930. Among the topics addressed in relation to the USA are the War of Independence, the struggle for the American constitution and the development of political institutions, the nation’s geographic expansion in the 19th century, immigration, the conflicts between pioneers and Native Americans, slavery and the conflict between the North and the South, culminating in the American Civil War (1861-65), the reconstruction of the Union, industrialization and its social consequences, the “Progressive Era” with its social and political reforms, the USA’s relations with the great powers of Europe and its Latin American neighbours, including the significance of World War I for American society.

In relation to Latin America, the topics covered include the struggles for independence and the creation of nation states, popular movements and the creation of national identity, monoculture, export culture and neo-colonialism, immigration and relations between the Indian populations and the new states. The Mexican Revolution is also dealt with, among other political processes. The course also draws attention to the relations between the USA and the Latin American countries, including the Monroe Doctrine (1823), the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War.

As part of the course, a general introduction is given to the concept of ‘America’ as a hemisphere (‘The/Las Americas’) seen in a current and historical perspective that takes its point of departure in topics such as ‘Indian culture’, the encounter between Europe and the New World, slavery and ‘Afro-America’, inter-American relations, American identities, etc.

Teaching methods
Major Issues in the Social History of the Americas 1 combines class teaching and group work, with emphasis on active student participation. In addition, films and documentaries on themes in the history of the United States and Latin America will be regularly incorporated in the teaching. Written assignments will be part of the course.
Student workload
Total student working hours: 275 hours
Expected literature

See semester plan.

Last updated on 19-07-2012