Fall 2015

Power and Violence in America: An Historical Approach to Politics

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-324


Jonathan M. Obert (Section 01)


[ IL ] This course will introduce students to the transformative year of 1877, with a focus on the end of Reconstruction and the "Great Railroad Strike of 1877." Through studying these two events the course will introduce students to some of the most important trends in American political development, including industrialization, capital-labor relations, the Civil War, the growth of the military, the organization of violence, and the settling of the America frontier. The course will begin with a short introduction to Reconstruction and the Great Strike. We will then spend roughly one third of the course reading theoretical and empirical work on the historical processes that proceeded the upheaval of 1877, including the Civil War, the transformation of the American economy, and the rapid growth of the railroads. We will spend the second third of the course focusing specifically on the end of Reconstruction and the actual Great Strike. We will spend the final third of the course tracing the historical consequences of the events of 1877 into the twentieth century. This course, which is being taught contemporaneously at Middlebury College and Amherst College, will include a virtual classroom component as well as opportunities for intercollegiate collaboration.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Obert.

If Overenrolled: Priority first given to seniors, then to a balance of sophomores and juniors, randomly determined, followed by first-year students and 5-college students

Cost: 41.00 ?


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2017