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U.S. History: From the Civil War to the Present by Jennifer Burns

U.S. History: From the Civil War to the Present

webcast.berkeley Course - History 7B

by Jennifer Burns


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Far from being a fixed concept, over the past 150 years American identity has been constructed and reconstructed through the conflicts, interchanges, and negotiations between different ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. In this course, we will pay particular attention to two major transformations in American identity: the shift from a conception of citizenship grounded on race to one grounded on shared democratic ideals; and the development of the United States from a colonial backwater to a global superpower. Through a combination of lectures, readings, films and small discussion groups, we will examine the past as both a “foreign country” with its own customs, mores and rituals, and the source of deeply rooted patterns that continue to play out in contemporary society. Beyond covering just facts and figures, this course will focus on how the everyday lives of Americans looked, sounded, smelled, and felt.

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