SLU Department of History

Spring 2017 History Courses

Professor Stefan Bradley in the classroom

Our Spring 2017 Course Booklet is available here!

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Introductory Courses

3000 Level Courses

4000 Level Courses

Introductory Courses:

HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500
A developmental and conceptual approach to the origins of the modern world. The course will cover ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East; Greece, Rome, Christianity, Islam, Byzantium, and Germanic tribal society; the contributions of each to the European Middle Ages, Renaissance, the beginnings of European Expansion, Scientific Revolution, and Reformation.

HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World since 1500
A developmental and conceptual approach emphasizing increasing European awareness of and contact with the rest of the world. The course will cover transatlantic encounters, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the Scientific Revolution, Absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, imperialism, the world wars, totalitarian systems, and the new global age.

HIST 2600 History of the United States to 1865
This survey course examines the development of the United States from its pre-Columbian origins through the Civil War. Required for majors.

HIST 2610 History of the United States since 1865
This survey course examines the United States from Reconstruction through the present.

HIST 2700 China and Japan to 1600
Survey of Chinese and Japanese history to 1600.

HIST 2710 China and Japan since 1600
Survey of Chinese and Japanese history since 1600.

HIST 2800: Historian's Craft: Methods Proseminar
This course is to equip students to do the work of historians and to prepare them for a successful career as a history major (and a vocation after college, no matter what that job might be). More precisely, this course will help develop the reading, writing, analytical, and research skills necessary for tackling assignments and research projects in 300-level courses and in the senior seminar. To that end, we will read books from a variety of fields using a variety of historical methodologies and address different career paths that employ disciplined historical thinking. The idea is to learn how to think critically about sources and arguments and to hone your analytical skills in our seminars and your weekly assignments. Along the way we'll read some great books and learn about a lot of different historical fields too!

3000 Level Courses:

HIST 3000 Ancient Greece
History of the Greek people from the Mycenaean period to the Hellenistic Age.

HIST 3010 Roman Republic
The history of Rome from the beginning of the foundation of the city to the fall of the Empire.

HIST 3020 Roman Empire
The history of Rome from the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. to the end of the Western Empire in the fifth century A.D. An examination of the career of Augustus and the transformation of the Roman world he brought about, the Julio-Claudian emperors, the second century Pax Romana, the crises of the third century ,the Barbarian Invasions, the rise and eventual dominance of Christianity, and the end of imperial power in the West.

HIST 3030 The Byzantine Empire
This course examines the waning years of the Roman Empire in the West and the subsequent millennium of its history in the East. We will examine Byzantine politics, culture, and society as well as Byzantine interactions with the Islamic East and Catholic West.
HIST 3040 The Middle Ages to 1100
Political, ecclesiastical, and cultural developments in Europe from the collapse of Rome in the West to the struggle of Empire and papacy.

HIST 3050 The Middle Ages, 1100-1450
The High and Late Middle Ages from the rise of universities to the fall of Constantinople.

HIST 3060 The Crusades
Why did pious Christians bring fire and sword to the home of the Prince of Peace? This is just one question that this course will explore. Along the way we will examine the Islamic response to the crusades, the Crusader States, and the effects of the movement on Byzantium.

HIST 3090 The Age of the Renaissance
The political, social, and cultural influences which brought the medieval period to a close and prepared the way for a new European society.

HIST 3100 The Reformation Era
The religious crisis of the age against the background of political, economic, and intellectual change, 1500-1600.

HIST 3110 The Age of Absolutism
The rise and fall of dynasties; the Scientific Revolution and Age of Reason; beginnings of industrialization, 1600-1789.

HIST 3120 French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815
The origins and history of the French Revolution; social, economic, intellectual, institutional, and constitutional changes; European war; the Napoleonic empire and its collapse.

HIST 3130 The Age of Industrialism and Democracy, 1815-1914
The history of Europe from the Congress of Vienna to the First World War.

HIST 3140 Twentieth Century Europe: Era of World Wars, 1914-1945
Background and events of World War I; the inter-war period and the rise of Fascism and Nazism; the origins and events of World War II.

HIST 3150 Europe Since 1945
 This course examines how the European continent entered into an unexpected and unprecedented era of political and economic stability after 1945. It will look at the role played by Christian democracy, economic prosperity, the Cold War, movements towards European union, widespread ethnic cleansing and decolonization in achieving this stability. This course will also examine challenges to the postwar European order, including student protests, immigration, economic stagnation and the overburdening of welfare states

HIST 3160 Eastern Europe
Survey of the lands and peoples between Germany and Russia, the Baltic to the Black Seas from the fall of Rome to the present. Emphasizes religious, cultural, political, and economic elements which have shaped Eastern Europe today, including the impact of outside forces such as the Byzantine, Ottomans, Habsburg, and Russian Empires, plus Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

HIST 3170 Colonial Latin America
A survey from the pre-Columbian period to the wars for independence.

HIST 3180 Modern Latin America
A survey from the wars for independence to the contemporary situation in Ibero-America.

HIST 3190 Mexico
Political, cultural, and economic survey from pre-Columbian times to the present.

HIST 3200 China to 1644
From the embryo of the Middle Kingdom to the first confrontation with the West.

HIST 3210 China since 1644
From Manchu to Mao Tse Tung.

HIST 3230 Africa to 1884
Population movement and interaction; development of institutions and ideas in African civilizations; varying types of polities and revolutionary changes; slavery and the Atlantic encounter; impact of Christianity and Islam.

HIST 3240 Africa since 1884
Political, economic, and social developments in Africa since 1884. Includes European scramble for and partition of Africa; African initiatives and reaction to imposition of colonial rule; the colonial state; independence movements; nationalism and nation building.

HIST 3250 The World in Conflict since 1945
Crises of the period after 1945 caused by the weakening of European influence in the world; the decline of Europe and the Cold War; terrorism in the West; the various mid-East crises; the legacy of imperialism in Africa and Asia.

HIST 3260 Modern France since 1815
History of France from the restoration of the Bourbons to the organization of the European Community, with special emphasis on the development of and the struggle over French national identity.

HIST 3280 Russia to 1905
Survey of Kievan, Muscovite, and imperial periods with major emphasis on Peter the Great and his successors; foreign and domestic politics, economic and social changes, westernization, religious and cultural developments.

HIST 3290Russia since 1905
Causes and effects of the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Foreign and domestic evolution of the Soviet state from its origins to its demise; the post-Soviet era.

HIST 3320 Early Modern Spain, 1469-1808
Ferdinand and Isabel to the Napoleonic invasion.

HIST 3330 Modern Spain, 1808-present
French invasion to the present day.

HIST 3340 The Spanish Civil War
The history of Spain as seen through its most important upheaval in modern times. The war is used as a focal point to concentrate on the various themes, trends, and issues of modern Spanish history.

HIST 3390History of English Law
Introduction to fundamentals of English law: terminology, concepts, and historical development.

HIST 3450 Colonial America
Survey of the foundations of the colonies, development of government structures, as well as social structures up to the Revolution. Although emphasis is on the English colonies, French and Spanish North American colonies will also be included.

HIST 3460 Foundations of the American Republic, 1763-1816
The American Revolution, the Constitution, and the early years of the Republic.

HIST 3470 U.S. Nationalism and Sectionalism, 1816-1860
Aftermath of the War of 1812; the age of Jackson; the coming of the Civil War.

HIST 3480 U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
Causes of the war; personalities; factors in the northern victory; results of the Lincoln assassination; Reconstruction; plight of the freedmen.

HIST 3490 The Gilded Age, 1865-1890
The rise of industrialism in the United States and response of various institutions.

HIST 3500 Progressive Era to the Jazz Age, 1890-1920
Survey of the domestic and foreign implications of Wilson's New Freedom; World War I.

HIST 3510 Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945
The 1920's; the New Deal, and World War II.

HIST 3520 Contemporary America, 1945-present
The Cold War, civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the technological revolution and modern society.

HIST 3540 U.S. Diplomatic History, 1900-1945
The rise of the U.S. from its early isolation to the status of a great power at the end of World War II.

HIST 3550 U.S. Diplomatic History since 1945
An analysis of foreign policy beginning with the Cold War, focusing on the historical roots of the present status of American diplomacy.
HIST 3580 American Slavery
This course studies American slavery as a social, political, and economic institution. Themes include the introduction and institutionalization of slavery in America; the slave experience(s); evolving perceptions of slavery; impact of changed perceptions; and slavery's role in the Civil War.

HIST 3590 American Women
Surveys the position of women from colonial beginnings to the present. Deals with women's role in the family and society, with women's movement for change, the education of women, the suffrage movement, women in the working world.

HIST 3600 American History in Film
This course examines American history as presented in film and focuses on the relationship between objective, factual history and its representations through the genre of film, and on the effect of this form of dissemination of historical knowledge on the public mind.

HIST 3610 Civil Rights in America, 1865-1965
This course examines the hundred-year struggle to secure civil rights for African-Americans from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Movement. Students will examine the factors creating a racially segregated society and the efforts undertaken by civil rights groups to dismantle Jim Crow Society.

HIST 3630 Saint Louis Region
Examines the rich and varied heritage of St. Louis; its social, cultural, and intellectual dominance of the American heartland, its contributions in business, religion, politics and the arts.

HIST 3640 History of the American West
This course surveys the history of the Trans-Mississippi West by addressing human settlement and migration, interactions among diverse groups who called the West home, the political status of western regions, and the economic and ecological relationships between westerners and western lands.

History 3660 North American Environmental History

This course surveys the environmental history of what is now the United States from the fifteenth century to the present by addressing how human relationships with nature in North America have changed over time.

HIST 3700 U.S. Constitutional History
This course examines the origins, drafting, and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and its subsequent history as revealed in landmark Supreme Court decisions and in constitution crises from Nullification to the Clinton era. Attention will also be given to the growth of American law and development of the legal profession.

HIST 3710 The Catholic Reformation
This course examines a major transformation in the history of the Catholic Church (1500-1700) as church reformers sought to correct abuses in the church, provide greater pastoral care, and confront Protestantism. Will also explore the impact of Catholicism n social life, intellectual thought, and political development.

HIST 3720 Cultural Encounters, 1500-1750
This course explores the cultural interaction between European and indigenous peoples in Asia, Africa, and the Americas from the time of exploration to colonization. Focus on missionary endeavors and the socio-economic impact of European conquests.

HIST 3730 Daily Life in Early Modern Europe
Examination into the social life and daily routines of ordinary people in Europe from 1500 to 1800. Course focuses on material life, popular religion, gender relations, urban and rural labor, and community construction.

HIST 3750 Women in Modern Europe
This course surveys the history of European women from the Enlightenment to the present. In addition to restoring women's voices to history, we will examine well-know historical events from the perspective of women's history and examine the historical roots of issues and debates still informing the lives of European women.

HIST 3760 Medieval Spain
A study of 800 years of Jewish, Moorish, and Christian occupancy in Spain. Focus is on the way each of these civilizations contributed to the social, cultural and political formation of Spanish society, and an analysis of the events which brought this era to an end.

HIST 3810 Islamic Civilization
A survey of Islamic civilization from the time of Mohammed to the present day.

HIST 3820 Islamic Middle East to 1250
We will examine the rise of Islam, the early Islamic empire/caliphate and aftermath including the process of political fragmentation and cultural continuity in Muslim societies from Spain to North India. We will focus on political, intellectual and religious currents through an examination of primary texts.

HIST 3830 Modern Middle East
A survey of the history of the Middle East from the time of the Ottoman Empire to the present day.

HIST 3930 Special Topics
Various topical courses offered from time to time.

400 Level Courses:


HIST 4900 Seminar in European History
A limited enrollment seminar exploring a specific topic in European history. Discussion format based on close reading of primary sources. Prerequisite: Two 300-level History courses.

HIST 4910 Seminar in American History
A limited enrollment seminar exploring a specific topic in American history. Discussion format based on close reading of primary sources. Prerequisite: Two 300-level History courses.
HIST 4920Seminar in Non-Western History
A limited enrollment seminar exploring a specific topic in Non-Western history. Discussion format based on close reading of primary sources. Prerequisite: Two 300-level History courses.

HIST 4930 Special Topics in History

Various topical courses offered from time to time.

HIST 4950 Senior Residency
Zero credit hour course; required to indicate graduation.

HIST 4960 Internship: History in Practice

A practical application of History through an internship with an archive, library, museum, historical site, or project.

HIST 4970 Honors Tutorial

HIST 4980 Advanced Independent Study

HIST 4990 History Senior Thesis Prep -- 3 credit hours -- non-repeatable

HIST 4991 History Senior Thesis -- 3 credit hours -- non-repeatable

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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