The Emergence of Modern America, c. 1870-1930
The United States changed drastically from a society attached to local forms of life to a society dominated by national institutions, big business, and big government in the period covered in this course. Throughout the course, we will investigate the ways in which Americans have attempted to keep their modern mass society democratic while negotiating the conflicts of region, faith, class, race and gender. Among the topics studied in some detail are the rise of corporate America, the simultaneous creation of the regulatory state, the organization of modern knowledge, the creation of the first military-industrial complex of World War I, and the requirements of a consumer culture. We will focus also on the landscape of large urban and industrial hinterlands in the making of modern America.