The Meaning of America: People, Identity, and Conflict that Built a Nation
MET IS 327
The course examines the philosophical underpinnings of what it means to be an American and the experiences of ordinary men and women in the making of modern America. It will look closely at the ideas of those who founded the nation and how this affected the idealism which became the American identity. The role of immigration, the change from agrarian to urban industrialized society, the growth and influence of labor unions, the shift of the U.S. from maker to buyer of goods and services, and how the ideological notion of what it means to be American evolved will be examined. How events shaped lives and national identity will be discussed. The course will look at ordinary workers and their communities and how they adjusted to changing events and forces around them.