HIST312: Capitalism and Democracy in America

Course Syllabus for "HIST312: Capitalism and Democracy in America"

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The purpose of this course is to trace the twin paths of capitalism and democracy through American history.  This course is premised on the idea that capitalism and democracy are intertwined, though they have often conflicted with one another.  One reason that democracy and capitalism often conflict is because capitalism has the capacity for both enormous construction and enormous destruction; these contradictory impulses often appear in tandem.  This course is structured to provide students with a brief introduction to the history of capitalism and democracy in Europe and then to explore how they evolved in North America between 1600 and the present.  Throughout the course, students will be exposed to primary and secondary readings as well as video and audio lectures that will explore the connections between America’s economic and political development This course assumes a basic working knowledge of U.S. history.  A good resource for review is http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/US_History. Also available in: PDF

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define and identify the terms “capitalism” and “democracy” in a variety of different modern historical eras;
  • Identify and define the historical connections between capitalism and democracy and identify periods of tension between capitalism and democracy, explaining how they both strengthen and weaken one another;
  • Identify important events, personalities, and concepts related to American democracy and capitalism;
  • Identify and describe the emergence and development of both capitalism and democracy in the United States;
  • Identify and describe the different periods of American history as they relate to the concepts of capitalism and democracy.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course you must:
√    Have access to a computer.
√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.
√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).
√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).
√    Be competent in the English language.
Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.