Courses in History

HIS 1010, 1020:  History of Western Civilization  (3, 3)

The historical development of western institutions, ideas and cultures from antiquity to modern times.


HIS 1070, 1080:  American History  (3, 3)

Development of the colonies and their institutions, the Revolution, formation and organization of the Republic, the Civil War, the Reconstruction period, economic development, international affairs, the two World Wars.


HIS 3000:  Introduction to Historical Research and Writing  (3)

Prerequisite:  Sophomore or junior standing

An introduction to the research and writing of history. The course will provide an overview of the historical craft and offer training and guidance in developing a topic, and researching and writing a historical research paper.


HIS 3020: Social Studies Teaching Methods   (3)

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and admission to the TEP

A social studies method course intended to equip students to be effective middle and secondary social studies teachers by helping them to develop knowledge and skills suitable for the classroom.  Note: This course is a requirement for all history majors seeking a license to teach, but will not count as an upper level history course for purposes of satisfying the major.


HIS 3120/4120:  The Middle East and Arab World in the 20th Century  (3)

The breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and the post-World War I creation of the various Middle Eastern states of today, from Egypt to Iran, the development of oil economies, divisions within Islam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the rise of Iran, and attempts to create Arab unity. Emphasis will be placed on events and developments since 1900.


HIS 3160/4160:  Africa and the Slave Trade to 1800  (3)

A survey of African history from pre-contact societies in sub-Saharan Africa to 1800, including sub-Saharan Africa to about 1600, the impact of Islam and the empires of West Africa; slavery in Africa and the introduction of slavery to the Americas, the Middle Passage, the development of slavery in Latin America and North America.


HIS 3170/4170:  Africa in the Age of Imperialism  (3)

A study of Africa since 1800 with an emphasis upon the effects of imperialism, nationalism, and decolonization.


HIS 3230/4230:  Expansion of Europe  (3)

A world-ranging survey of the impact of European expansion, trade, technology and ideas upon India, America, China, Japan, the Pacific and Africa since the 15th century, examining the modern history of colonization, imperialism, nationalism, and de-colonization around the world and the interconnections of Europeans and non-Europeans in the growth of a modern world system.


HIS 3260/4260:  Colonial Latin America  (3)

Prerequisites:  Western Heritage sequence-6 hours

Pre-Columbian America, the coming of the European conquerors, colonial Latin America, and the rise of nationalism.


HIS 3270/4270:  Modern Latin America  (3)

Prerequisites: Western Heritage sequence or HIS 3260

This course traces the history of the region from post independence until the present day. Emphasis is on the failure of republican institutions and the rise of caudillos, the neocolonial status of the region, and the various revolutions of the twentieth century from the Mexican revolution to the Sandinista Revolution.


HIS 3300/4300: Byzantium and Islam: The Medieval Mediterranean (3)

A political, social, economic, and cultural survey of the Mediterranean region from the fourth century to the fifteenth, focusing of the Byzantine Empire, the rise and spread of Islam, and relations between the European and Arab worlds.


HIS 3320/4320 History of Greece  (3)

Prerequisite: HIS 1010

A political and socio-economic survey of Greek history from the second millennium BC to the end of the Hellenistic period. Topics include Minoan and Mycenaean civilization, the Trojan War, Homer and epic poetry, the rise and decline of the polis, Athens and Sparta, the Persian War and the Athenian Empire, the Peloponnesian War, the rise of Macedon, Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic state system, Hellenistic philosophy and science, and the Roman conquest of the Greek world.


HIS 3351/4351 History of Rome  (3)

Prerequisite: HIS 1010

A political and socio-economic survey of Roman history from the legendary founding of the city in 753 BC to the end of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. Topics include the Roman monarchy, the early Republic and the Conflict of the Orders, the Punic Wars and the growth of the empire, the Civil Wars and the collapse of the Republic, the Augustan empire, the Pax Romana and the Romanization of the provinces, the rise of Christianity, the later Roman empire and the “fall” of Rome.


HIS 3355/4355: Medieval Europe I: The Making of Europe  (3)

An examination of the foundations of Europe from the German migrations and the transformation of the Roman Empire, to the wave of invasions by Vikings and other groups and the creation of a fragmented, feudal Europe. The early developments of European political and social institutions are covered along with the process of Christianization.


HIS 3360/4360:  Medieval Europe II: The European Take-Off  (3)

Follows the rapid expansion in size, wealth, and complexity of Europe during the first half of the second millennium AD. We shall investigate the dynamic political, social, economic, and cultural changes occurring in the High Middle Ages, followed by the catastrophe of the Black Death, its various effects, and the responses that will begin moving Europe in the direction of its modern form.


HIS 3380/4380: French Revolution and Napoleon (3)

This course will trace the causes and outbreak of revolution in 1789, the establishment of the revolutionary government and the fall of the monarchy, the Terror under Robespierre, the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.


HIS 3400/4400:  Early Modern Europe from 1400 to 1648  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1010 or 1020

Political, social, and economic developments in Europe from the late Middle Ages to the Peace of Westphalia.


HIS 3410/4410:  Early Modern Europe from 1648 to 1815  (3)

Early modern Europe from the Thirty Years’ War to the Congress of Vienna, focusing on the outstanding political, intellectual and social developments of the period:  the Modern State, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Romanticism, and the Industrial Revolution.


HIS 3420/4420:  Modern Europe from 1815 to 1890  (3)

Survey of modern European history between 1815 and 1890. The course will focus on the political, intellectual and social developments of the 19th century.


HIS 3430/4430:  Modern Europe from 1890 to 1945  (3)

Europe prior to the First World War, the Communist Revolution in Russia, fascism, and World War II.


HIS 3440/4440:  Contemporary History of the Western World  (3)

An examination of historical developments common to both Europe and the United States. Topics covered include the Cold War and nuclear arms race, decolonization and the North-South dialogue, and economic developments since World War II.


HIS 3450/4450:  Intellectual History of Europe in the 19th Century  (3)

Topics include romanticism, German idealism, the rise of the social sciences, and three traditions of political thought: liberalism, socialism, and the politics of cultural pessimism. (Dual listing with PHI 3450)


HIS 3460/4460:  Intellectual History of Europe in the 20th Century  (3)

Readings and discussions on selected topics of 20th century European thought. Topics include existentialism, the impact of science and technology, political thought, and others. (Dual listing with PHI 3460)


HIS 3470/4470:  Women in European History  (3)

A study of the history of women in Europe from prehistory to the present, with primary emphasis on the Early Modern and Modern eras. The course will stress developments in the following areas:  the nature and extent of women’s participation in the public realm, educational opportunities for women, women’s economic roles, the impact on women’s lives of societal and cultural attitudes about women, the impact of major developments in western civilization on women’s lives, and the accomplishments and contributions of individual women.


HIS 3500/4500:  History of England to 1660  (3)

English life and the development of English institutions-monarchy, Parliament, common law, the Church-from Roman Britain to 1660.


HIS 3510/4510:  History of England since 1660  (3)

The development of English and British political institutions, and the growth of British commercial and industrial and intellectual power, from 1660 to the 20th century.


HIS 3515/4515:  History of Modern Russia  (3)

The history of imperial Russia from Peter the Great to the Bolshevik Revolution, the Soviet regime.


HIS 3520/4520: History of Nazi Germany (3)

This course examines the political, societal, and intellectual origins of the anti-democratic impulse in Germany after 1919. It also examines the growth of the totalitarian one-party state, the rise of Hitler, World War II and the Holocaust.


HIS 3551/4551:  War in the 20th Century  (3)

A study of the causes, efforts at prevention, prosecution, and results of war in the 20th century, with some emphasis upon the effects on civilian populations.


HIS 3552/4552: History of the Early Church (3)

Prerequisite: HIS 1010 or permission of instructor

The history of ancient and mediaeval Christianity, including the origins and spread of the church, the emergence of its organization, its relations with non-Christian groups and the secular authorities, the development of Church literature, and the evolution of doctrine.


HIS 3600/4600:  American Military History  (3)

A study of American military activities and institutions in war and peace from the colonial period to the Persian Gulf.


HIS 3620/4620:  Colonial America to 1763  (3)

The study of the English background and settlement of North America; the development of colonial political, social, economic and ecclesiastical institutions to 1763; backcountry issues and the significance of the French and Indian War.


HIS 3630/4630:  History of Virginia  (3)

The development of colonial institutions as influenced by frontier conditions and British policy and culture. A survey of Virginia history from colonial times to the present.


HIS 3640/4640:  Foreign Policy of the United States since 1900  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1080

An examination of American foreign policy since 1900. The class emphasizes the foundations and the implementation of policy and examines the extent to which policy has remained consistent through the 20th century. Topics include the world wars, the development and end of the Cold War, and American involvement in the Middle East.


HIS 3645/4645:  Workers and Work in Modern America  (3)

This course explores the history of the American worker in the 19th and 20th centuries with an emphasis on the changing nature of work itself, the labor movement, the impact of war, protest, issues of class, gender and race, and a consideration of current debates on unions and deindustrialization.


HIS 3650/4650:  Women in American History  (3)

This course examines the history of women in the United States from the pre-colonial period to the present, and will consider the experiences of women of different races, classes and ethnic groups regarding work, family, sexuality and social/political activism.


HIS 3655/4655:  The Immigrant in American History  (3)

This course explores the history of immigration and ethnicity during the 19th and 20th centuries with an emphasis on the socio-cultural dimensions of the immigrant experience, and on historical debates on citizenship, national identity, legislation, work and family life, and ethnic identity.


HIS 3660/4660:  Jefferson’s America  (3)

The coming of the American Revolution; Confederation and Constitution; the Federalist era and the rise of the first two-party system; the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; the War of 1812 and its aftermath; the significance of slavery in the early republic.


HIS 3665/4665:  Expanding America, 1815-1850  (3) 

Prerequisite:  HIS 1070

An examination of American history from the aftermath of the War of 1812 to the Compromise of 1850.  It covers the forging of a national identity, politics and culture in Jacksonian America, the market revolution and the coming of industry, slavery and expansion, religion and reform. 


HIS 3670/4670:  Civil War and Reconstruction  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1070

A study of the middle period of American history in the 19th century with emphasis on the social, political, economic and military aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction.


HIS 3680/6480:  African American History, 1800 to the Present  (3)

A study of the major trends in African American history from 1800 to the present, with emphasis on social, economic, and political trends and issues including slavery, segregation and civil rights.


HIS 3700/4700:  The South  (3)

A study of the development of southern social, economic, political, and ideological trends and institutions, with particular emphasis on slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, and civil rights.


HIS 3705/4705:  Steel, Strikes and Scandals: Gilded Age America  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1080

This course examines the history of the United States from the end of Reconstruction to the assassination of McKinley in 1901.  Central stage is the effect of industrialization, immigration, and urbanization that transformed the nation.  Other topics include politics and scandal, popular protest and race relations.


HIS 3710/4710:  United States, 1900-1945  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1080

An examination of the first half of the “American Century,” concentrating on the response to industrialization and reform, the birth of the modern liberal state, and the arrival of America as a world power.


HIS 3720/4720:  United States Since 1945  (3)

Prerequisite:  HIS 1080

A continuation of HIS 3850/4850. An examination of the American economic, political, and social scene in the Cold War era and during a period of great social upheaval, as well as the roots and course of the Cold War, the ‘60s, civil rights, the impact of Watergate, resurgent conservatism, and the end of the Cold War.


HIS 3730/4730:  Intellectual History of the United States  (3)

A survey of the intellectual history of the United States from the Constitutional debates to the present. Topics which may be included are federalism and anti-federalism, transcendentalism, social Darwinism, socialism, liberalism, pragmatism, African-American thought, environmentalism and feminism. (Dual listing with PHI 3880)


HIS 3740/4740:  Appalachia  (3)

The course surveys the history of the Appalachian region from pre-European contact to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the environmental history of the mountains and the effects of industrialization (timbering, coal, textiles, etc.) on the people.


HIS 3745/4745:  Introduction to Public History  (3)

 Introduction to the field of public history: how historians interpret and present the past to the public at large.  Lecture and discussion topics include collective memory, oral history and historic preservation.  Students will also work on projects at local history museums, historic sites, or archives.


HIS 3750/4750:  Local History/Appalachian Studies  (3)

The practice of local history:  sources and methods; a survey of the history of south-central Appalachia from colonial times to the present; topics in Appalachian history.


HIS 3930/4930:  Philosophy of History  (3)

Readings, papers, and discussion in problems of historical epistemology, such as the nature of historical truth and the question of objectivity in history; consideration of the various philosophies of history developed by St. Augustine, Vico, Hegel, Marx, Comte, Spengler, Toynbee, and others. (Dual listed as PHI 3930.)


HIS 3950/4950:  Special Topics  (3)


HIS 4780:  Readings in European History  (1-3)*


HIS 4790:  Readings in American History  (1-3)*


*Note:  Before a student may be registered in HIS 4780 or HIS 4790, he or she must present (a) the title of his or her reading project; (b) a statement of the course objectives; (c) a full bibliography containing those books and articles which will be read; and (d) a description of any special research projects which the student intends to carry out as part of the course.