History is the study of change over time. This course will examine change in Virginia from about 1865 to the present. The course will consider four issues: (a) which groups have tried to empower which Virginians, at what times and utilizing which strategies, and which groups have tried to disempower which Virginians; (b) how have Virginians used racism to weave the political, social, moral, and economic fabric of modern Virginia; (c) the role of sovereign debt and the resolution of the conflict between Funders and Readjusters in constructing Virginia’s “pay-as-you-go” philosophy; (d) in which respects were the changes in the political, economic, social and racial landscapes of Virginia during the sixty years following the Civil War similar to such changes in the sixty years following World War II?
Readings will average approximately 120 pages per week, and will be drawn from both primary documents and secondary material. Among the readings will be selections from Ronald L. Heinemann et al., Old Dominion/New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607-2007;as well as: Elizabeth R. Varon, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War; Jane Dailey, Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia; and J. Douglas Smith, Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia. The class meets twice per week. Approximately 2/3 of each class will be spent in lecture and 1/3 in guided class discussion. There will be a short essay, a short-answer mid-term exam, one 8-10 page paper based upon the student’s original research in primary source materials, and an essay-type final examination.