History

Requirements & Courses

  • The study of history provides a historical perspective which contributes to an understanding of the economic (E), social (S), political (P), intellectual (I) and technological (T) factors which affect human behavior as well as the historical interpretation (H) which explains that behavior. Students may identify these central course themes by noting the explanatory caption, e.g. (ESPI). All lower level courses focus on the principal economic, social, political and intellectual problems in particular historical eras.  Similarly, courses which emphasize a multinational or global perspective are noted by the caption (GP).

  • Major Requirements
    1. Thirty-six credits which must include HST 323, 325, 326 or another 300-level American history course pre-approved by the Department; HST 300, 330, 331 or another 300-level European history course pre-approved by the Department; HST 353, 360 or another 300-level non-Western history course pre-approved by the Department; and one 400-level seminar (not an independent study).
    2. All 36 credits that count toward the major must be taken for letter grade. History courses may be taken for S/F credit but only above and beyond the 36 credits taken for letter grade for the major.
    3. No more than eight credits may be taken by proficiency to count toward the 36 credits required for the major. Students seeking credit by proficiency must obtain permission from the instructor for the courses in question and from a History Department committee. Students seeking credit by proficiency must pay the appropriate fee(s) and show proof of such payment to the Department chair. The instructor must prepare a written statement indicating what a student must do to obtain credit for proficiency.
    4. Successful completion in the student’s senior year of the comprehensive examination administered by the Department is mandatory.
    5. Honors candidates must have a minimum overall of 3.3 GPA and a 3.5 in the History Department, complete a one-credit advanced bibliography course, submit an honors thesis, and, where possible, present the thesis in an external forum.
  • Teaching Major Requirements
    1. Thirty-six credits which must include HST 323, 325, 326 or another 300-level American history course pre-approved by the Department; HST 300, 330, 331 or another 300-level European history course pre-approved by the Department; HST 353, 360 or another 300-level non-Western history course pre-approved by the Department; and one 400-level seminar (not an independent study).
    2. HST 100, 101, 104, 105, 206.
    3. The following cognate courses, unless a student is taking one or more of the following as part of another major or minor the student is completing: ECN 201, GGR 101, GGR 102, POL 101.
    4. Students seeking a history teaching major are strongly urged to have an academic advisor who is a tenured or tenure-track member of the History Department.
  • Additional Notes

    100 and 200 level courses are recommended for first-year students and sophomores. HST 300 and above are recommended for sophomores, juniors and seniors; freshmen admitted only with permission of the instructor.

  • Four credits from HST, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Social Sciences.

Courses

  • HST
    100
    .
    World History Survey I
    4
    Introductory overview of ancient world history from Paleolithic times until the sixteenth century, emphasizing how early civilizations developed and their relationships with each other. Goals include familiarizing students with the major (shared and unique) characteristics of early societies, highlighting the continuity and change as societies developed around the globe.
  • HST
    101
    .
    World History Survey II
    4
    Introductory overview of modern world history since the 16th century, emphasizing developments within Europe and interaction with the rest of the world. Focuses on topics such as the origins of European expansion in the first “global age,” rise of absolutism, Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, age of revolution and industrialization, modern imperialism, origins and impact of the World Wars, and the Cold War and its aftermath.
  • HST
    104
    .
    The Making of America to 1877
    4
    Examines American history from colonial times to Reconstruction; concentration on political, constitutional, social, economic and intellectual problems. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    105
    .
    The American Century: 1877-Present
    4
    Political, economic, social and intellectual issues from Reconstruction to the present. Focuses on 1877-1990. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    121
    .
    American Legal History I
    4
    Introductory survey, 1620-1877. Indigenous and colonial law, crime and punishment, religion and the law, creation of the law of slavery, imperial conflicts and the Revolution, the Constitution, the Marshall and Taney courts, abolition and women’s rights, and legal aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. (ESPI)
  • HST
    122
    .
    American Legal History II
    4
    Introductory survey, 1877-2001. Labor and industrialization in the law, legal education and philosophies, civil rights, the New Deal and the courts, law and the economy, the growth of government and the expansion of presidential power, terrorism and the law. (ESPI)
  • HST
    130
    .
    Women in European History
    4
    Survey of Western European history, focusing on women’s (and men’s) roles in the family and society from Classical Greece and Rome through the French Revolution, highlighting particular women whose contributions have been celebrated through the ages as well as discussing what kinds of lives most women led.
  • HST
    140
    .
    American Women’s History
    4
    Introductory survey and examination of problems and issues in American women’s history and American feminism, colonial era to the present. Emphasizes gender, race and class as categories of historical analysis. (ESPITH)
  • HST
    180
    .
    Topics & Problems in History
    2-4
    Analysis of special topics: Age of Global Power 1938-80, Japanese-American relations, comparative studies in economic and diplomatic history, 20th century business and economic history, and the Marshall Court. No more than six credits may count toward the History Major. (ESPIT/GP)
  • HST
    199
    .
    Independent Study in History
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    200
    .
    Ancient Near East
    4
    Ancient history from its beginnings in Mesopotamia until the 4th century B.C. Includes the kingdoms and empires of the Fertile Crescent (Sumerian, Babylon, Assyria, Israel and foundations of Judaism, Phoenicia, etc.), Egypt, Persia and other Near Eastern societies. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    201
    .
    Ancient Greece
    4
    An overview of ancient Greece from Minoa through Mycenae, the Dark Age, Archaeic and Classical Greece, and the Hellenistic Period. Includes an examination of Greek culture, the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, Alexander and his conquests and more. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    202
    .
    Ancient Rome
    4
    History of Rome from its legendary beginnings through the Republic, the Principate and the Empire. Traces the rise of Christianity, the causes of Roman decline and Rome’s legacy. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    203
    .
    Medieval World
    4
    From the 3rd through the 15th centuries. Uniqueness of medieval society and its legacy to the modern world. Origins of the Middle Ages, society and decline of the medieval world.
  • HST
    206
    .
    Approaches to Michigan History
    4
    An introduction to historical methodologies, focusing on the history of Michigan from the pre-contact period to the present. Native American societies, European contact and first settlements, imperial wars and the American Revolution, territorial period and statehood, economic evelopment and reform movements, Civil War, industrialization and urbanization, immigration and race relations, the two World Wars and the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, suburbanization and the decline of the auto industry, contemporary Michigan. Course fee.
  • HST
    207
    .
    American Foreign Relations
    4
    Introductory survey and examination of the American foreign relations, including policy-making process and implementation, from 1890s to the present. Analyzes the expansion of American Empire, World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the Post-Cold War era. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    209
    .
    Selected Problems in Historical Research
    2-6
    Introduction to archival research. Classification and cataloging; search and retrieval methods in local, state and federal government archives; periodical literature and research in the social sciences. Problems may be selected. Examples are literature of American history, European studies, Asian studies, Latin American studies and Mediterranean studies. Requires instructor permission. (GP)
  • HST
    221
    .
    English History
    4
    Survey of English history from the Norman conquest to modern times. The principal emphasis is on political and constitutional issues and problems, but attention is also given to social, economic, legal and cultural developments.
  • HST
    228
    .
    Immigration & Ethnicity in American Hist
    4
    Examination of the experiences of immigrants and their transformation into ethnic Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries. Discussion of what it means to be American and the diversity of American society in a historical perspective. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    238
    .
    Europe in Upheaval, 1914-45
    4
    Analysis of causes and course of World War I; Russian Revolution and Stalinism; interwar diplomacy, crisis of democracy, and Great Depression; Fascism and Nazism; special focus on causes, course, and impact of World War II. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    240
    .
    Modern Germany
    4
    Survey of German history since 1815, with emphasis on the period 1848-1945. Topics include historic characteristics of major German regions, emergence of a modern industrial economy, the failed liberal revolution in 1848, unification, politics of Imperial Germany, promise and failure of democracy in the Weimar Republic, rise and fall of Nazism, and emergence of a united, democratic Germany out of the divided society of the postwar era. Emphasis is on the struggle between liberalism and authoritarianism in shaping modern Germany, but also explores major social, economic and cultural developments. (ESPIT/GP)
  • HST
    249
    .
    Russian Studies
    4
    Analysis of Russian economic, social, political and intellectual development from the era of Peter the Great, with particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries; origins of the Russian intelligentsia; Slavophiles and Weternizers; abolition of serfdom; Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution; and others. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    253
    .
    Asian Studies: Modern China & Japan
    4
    Introductory study of the modern history of China and Japan. Examines the dynamic developments of political, social, economic and cultural changes, including relations with the West, from 1800 to the present. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    254
    .
    Colonial Americas
    4
    Examines the development of European colonies in the Americas from 1492 to independence, including the comparative interaction of Native American, African and European cultures in the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English colonies. Analysis of the political, economic, social and intellectual changes from the early colonies to independence.
  • HST
    255
    .
    Latin America Since 1825
    4
    Analyzes selected countries. Caudillos and dictators, reform and revolution, neocolonialism and imperialism, economic growth and development. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    260
    .
    Introduction to African History
    4
    Introductory survey of African history, emphasizing the sub-Saharan region. Chief focus is on the pre-colonial peoples and cultures of the region; attention also given to the nature and impact of the trans-Atlantic trade, European colonization, and the struggle for national independence in the 20th century. (ESPIT/GP)
  • HST
    271
    .
    Science & Public Health: A Global Study
    4
    Germ theory and bacteriology revolutionized the knowledge of disease. This course studies modern public health in a global perspective, covering details about Europe, the United States, and China.
  • HST
    272
    .
    Plagues and Peoples
    4
    Scientific and historical approaches to explore the connections between major epidemics and world history, combining a general overview of the subject with more focused case studies. Study the social, economic, political, cultural, religious, and technological contexts in which epidemics arose, how those contexts shaped responses to them, and the impact of these epidemics on society at large. Requires instructor permission to register.
  • HST
    277
    .
    Am Studies: Civil War & Reconstruction
    4
    Examines sectional crisis, disunion and reunion from 1845-77. Topics include significance of Civil War era for industrialization; agriculture and urbanization; emancipation of slaves and race relations; development of the Presidency; constitutional issues; and modern warfare. (ESPI)
  • HST
    280
    .
    Topics and Problems in History
    2-4
    Analysis of topics which include military and naval history; global economy, multinational corporation and foreign relations; and Supreme Court in modern era. No more than six credits may count toward the History Major. Requires instructor permission. (ESPIT/GP)
  • HST
    *
    299
    .
    History Independent Study
    1-4
    300-, 400- and 500-level courses are recommended for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Freshmen admitted only with permission of the instructor.
  • HST
    *
    323
    .
    Creating the Republic, 1763-1815
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Analysis of selected economic, social, political and intellectual issues, including the coming of the American Revolution; “state-building” during the war for Independence; the “Critical Period,” ratifying the Constitution; origins and early development of political parties, ideologies of republicanism and nationalism; diplomatic problems and territorial expansion; minorities in the early republic; and the War of 1812. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    *
    325
    .
    Reform & Search for Order
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Urban revolution; middle class reforms; response of industry, labor, and public institutions to the progressive era; World War I; the Jazz Age; the stock market crash of 1929; and the Hoover administration. (ESPITH)
  • HST
    *
    326
    .
    The Roosevelt Revolution, 1932-45
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Analysis of the Great Depression, the New Deal, American isolation in 1930s, and American involvement in World War II. Historical perspectives of the New Society which emerged from the Great Depression and World War II. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    *
    327
    .
    Constitutional History
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Beginning with the debates over the ratification of the Constitution in 1788-89, this remarkable document has been contested, amended, and reinterpreted through many dramatic developments in American history. As a blueprint for a national government, it has shaped government, politics, and society; in turn, it has been influenced by changes in American politics, society, culture, technology, and the economy. The interplay between, on the one hand, the Constitution and constitutional law, and on the other, major historical events and trends, is the focus of this course.
  • HST
    *
    330
    .
    The Medieval Mediterranean
    4
    Sophomore Standing and one history course or Permission
    Examines the historical background of the ancient Mediterranean then proceeds to the rise and expansion of Islam through contact, commerce, conflict and crusade. Discuss political, economic and religious narratives alongside equally important developments in the roles that culture, gender, piracy, slavery, and technology played in shaping the peoples of the Mediterranean.
  • HST
    *
    331
    .
    The Renaissance & Reformation
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Analysis of European society in the crucial era of transition from the medieval to the modern world, Renaissance in Italy and northern Europe, humanism, Protestantism, the Counter-Reformation and religious wars. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    *
    335
    .
    London Pre-Seminar
    4
    HST 238 or another approved history course and Permission
    HST 335 is the preparatory course taken in Alma in the winter before the spring term London Research Seminar. Introduction to advanced historical research, focusing on World War II. Interpret the relevant aspects of World War II,as well as the rudiments of British culture and history. Includes major research project. Prerequisites include HST-328 or another approved HST course and instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    353
    .
    China’s 20th Century Revolution
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Examines China’s 20th-century revolutionary history, including the Republican Revolution of 1911, the Nationalist Revolution of the 1920s and 1930s, and the Communist Revolution of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, culminating with an analysis of the Communist party’s revolutionary rule, 1949 to the present. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    *
    360
    .
    South African History
    4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Introductory survey of main themes and problems in recent South African historiography. Focuses on early colonial roots of segregation and white supremacy, impact of British rule and mineral revolution, development of institutionalized racism through segregation and radical apartheid program, ethnic conflict, constitutional problems, industrialization and urbanization, and Afrikaner and black nationalism. Also analyzes contemporary crisis and potential for conflict resolution in this key area of confrontation between the developed and developing worlds. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    *
    380
    .
    Topics and Problems in History
    2-4
    Sophomore Standing, and one history course or Permission
    Advanced-level history problem-solving. Topics include United States and China; United States and Japan; American foreign policy and world politics, 1917-73; oral history, World War II; comparative study in 20th century revolutions; the Nazi revolution; Churchill and his times; Constitutional history.
  • HST
    *
    385
    .
    Internship in History
    4-12
    Study/work program requiring archival and/or field work in conjunction with archives, research libraries, or private or public agencies. Only eight credits may count toward the degree. Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    399
    .
    History Independent Study
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    407
    .
    Foreign Policy Seminar
    4
    Research seminar examining problems and issues in American foreign relations and diplomacy with emphasis on the 20th century. Frequent discussion, limited lecture, term research paper. Fulfills history major seminar requirements. Requires instructor permission. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    *
    433
    .
    World War II Seminar
    4
    Focuses on the Second World War, primarily but not exclusively the European theater. Introduction to advanced historical research, including developing complex bibliographies, writing a literature review, developing a hypothesis, using different kinds of primary sources, the technicalities of referencing sources, and stylistic issues in writing history. Design a major research project, written in stages, with close feedback and group discussion in weekly meetings. Also an introduction to important relevant aspects of interpreting the Second World War. Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    434
    .
    Comparative Fascism
    4
    Research seminar compares the varieties of fascist and semi-fascist political movements, investigating theories of fascism and a variety of case studies. Special focus on German Nazism and Italian Fascism, using a global perspective - including other European countries, the United States, South Africa, Latin America, and Japan - to enrich comparative analysis. Includes an examination of contemporary far right movements. Requires instructor permission. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    *
    435
    .
    London Research Seminar
    4
    HST-238, 335 and Permission
    Focus on World War II, primarily in Europe, using the National Archives of the United Kingdom in London. Study various aspects of history and culture, in relation to World War II, Britain and Western civilization as a whole, by visiting selected museums, galleries, cathedrals, palaces and other historical landmarks in the greater London area and other selected British locations. Continue archival research and development of papers written in HST 335. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    *
    480
    .
    Topics and Problems in History
    2-4
    Senior Honors Seminar. Analysis of business and economic history of East Asian- American relations; comparative revolutions; 20th century technology, geo-politics and global perspective. No more than 12 credits may count toward the degree. Only eight credits may count toward the History Major. Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    499
    .
    History Independent Study
    1-4
    Advanced bibliography and selected problems. Requires instructor permission.
  • HST
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.