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 Home < Academics < Undergraduate < Division II < History




Programs offered:

B.A. in History
B.A.L.S. in History
Minor in History (TU)
Minor in History (EDP)

History bridges the disciplinary perspectives of the humanities and social sciences. The causes, experience, and impact of important moments in the past are examined in order to explain, analyze, and assign contemporary significance to the movements and events that have shaped human experience. History courses at Oglethorpe begin where traditional survey courses and textbooks leave off. Rather than simply viewing the parade of events, students consider the origins and implications of events, their impact on our values, assumptions, social relations, and world views. In this spirit students are invited to enter into dialogue with historians past and present.

Courses are taught in a seminar format designed to promote lively interchange and informed debate. Reading assignments draw on a wide range of historical methods and traditions, including perspectives from religion, philosophy, art, music, literature, and popular culture as well as politics, economics, and geography. These methods and perspectives inform independent student research. In their individual projects, students develop their own research agendas and learn to master the techniques of historical research. Particular emphasis is placed on presentation – both written and oral – of evidence, arguments, and conclusions.

Oglethorpe’s location provides many opportunities for creative research as well as internships. The experience and training of History majors prepares them for post-graduate study in a wide variety of academic disciplines, including history, archaeology, anthropology, politics, international studies, and social work, as well as careers in such fields as education, law, journalism, public relations, art, theology, diplomacy, and public service.

Lower-level courses are especially recommended for freshmen and sophomores; upper-level courses generally require a research paper, may have prerequisites, and are primarily aimed toward juniors and seniors.

Please consult the University Bulletin for degree requirements.

The following is a sample of courses offered in History:

HIS 110. The Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons 4 hours
This course will examine the meteoric rise of the Scandinavians from obscurity to become the terror of Europe in the 8th through the 11th centuries. For purposes of comparison, a look also will be taken at the Vikings’ more "civilized" cousins, the Anglo-Saxons. While both medieval and modern historians have tended to draw a thick line between these two cultures, this course will suggest that both represent aspects of a general political, economic, and cultural zone in the Northern Seas.
HIS 130. United States History to 1865 4 hours
A survey from Colonial times to 1865, concerned mainly with the major domestic developments of a growing nation.
HIS 131. United States History Since 1865 4 hours
A survey from 1865 to the present, concerned with the chief events which explain the growth of the United States to a position of world power.
HIS 201. Ancient Greece 4 hours
This course will examine the Greeks from their Minoan and Mycenaean antecedents through the rise of Macedonia in the mid-fourth century B.C.E. Students will investigate the
political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of Greek civilization as well as an appreciation of the Hellenic world’s legacy. Specific topics include: the collapse of Mycenaean civilization and the problem of a "Dark Age;" the rise, development and failure of the polis system; Greek contact with eastern cultures; the political significance of hoplite warfare; the roles of women in various Greek poleis; and competing models of Greek political organization.
HIS 202. Roman History 4 hours
This course will trace the history of Rome from its Italian precursors through the ascension of Constantine. Topics will include political, religious, social, cultural, and economic aspects of Rome’s development, focusing on the origins, maturation, decline, and transformation of its civilization.
HIS 210. The Age of Chivalry, 800-1450 4 hours
This course will cover the High and Later Middle Ages, from the later Carolingian period through the War of the Roses. The main focus will be on the evolution of state and society in northern and western Europe during these periods. Special attention will be given to such events as the rise of feudal monarchies, the Investiture Contest, the Norman Conquests, the Crusades, and the Hundred Years’ War.
HIS 211. The Renaissance and Reformation 4 hours
Students will study the significant changes in European art, thought, and institutions during the period from 1300 to 1550. The course will focus on critical readings of primary sources from this era.
HIS 212. Early Modern Europe 4 hours
This course will examine the development of European society and politics from the end of the Reformation to the eve of the French Revolution. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of the modern state, the contest between absolutism and constitutionalism, and the Enlightenment.
HIS 213. The Age of Revolution - Europe and the Atlantic World 1776-1849 4 hours
The "old regime" (serfdom, rule by monarchs and nobles, and a politically powerful church) and an agrarian way of life had prevailed in much of Europe and the New World since the Middle Ages. From 1776 on, however, a series of upheavals, such as the American and French revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, the Latin American Wars of Independence, and the European revolutions of 1820-21, 1830-31, and 1848-49 had challenged the old order. This course studies the events of this dramatic period, including the Industrial Revolution and the rise of romanticism, socialism, nationalism, and liberalism.
HIS 214. The Age of Empire and Nationalism - Europe 1848-1914 4 hours
The six decades following the revolutions of 1848 were a period of remarkable power, prosperity, and creativity in Europe. New nation-states (Germany and Italy) were formed; old multiethnic empires (Russia and Austria-Hungary) seemed rejuvenated; and Europeans acquired immense colonial empires. Meanwhile, industrialization and modern science and art revolutionized European life and thought. However, this fusion of cultural and economic modernity with social and political conservatism concealed grave weaknesses that would lead, beginning in 1914, to the upheavals of world war, communism, and fascism.
HIS 215. The Age of World War - Europe 1914-1945 4 hours
This course examines the disasters that befell Europe in the three decades after 1914: World War I; the Russian Revolution; the ill-fated Treaty of Versailles; the rise of Mussolini; the Great Depression; the dictatorships of Hitler and Stalin; the spread of fascism in the 1930s; and World War II. The course discusses the reasons for the failure of the international order to prevent two horrific military conflicts, and for the failure of moderate forces in many European countries - including Russia, Germany, Italy, and Spain - to block the rise to power of violent and millenarian political forces.
HIS 216. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich 4 hours
The course examines the roots of National Socialism in Germany before World War I; the reasons for the failure of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, which ended in Hitler’s coming
to power; and the nature of Hitler’s dictatorship, with its policies of totalitarian rule, world war, and genocide.
HIS 240. Latin America to Independence 4 hours
Latin American history from the origins of pre-Columbian civilizations to independence will be examined by exploring: the origins and development of indigenous societies in Mesoamerica and the Andes; the conquest and colonization of (what became) Spanish and Portuguese America; the nature of colonial control; the response of indigenous populations to colonial society, administration, and religion; and the developing tensions between Spaniards and Creole elites. The movement for independence, which arose from a variety of issues, created by contrasting views and concerns of distant European authority and local cultural identity, will be studied. Finally, the major challenges that faced the newly emergent Latin American nations will be considered.
HIS 301. History of Christianity 4 hours
This course will examine the origins and development of Christianity through the modern era. Special areas of interest include the structure and organization of the church, the development of liturgy and doctrine, and the counterpoint between orthodoxy and heresy. A central question will be the relationship between the "three pillars" of doctrine – revelation, reason, and tradition – and social pressures in the history of the church and doctrine.
HIS 311. The Old Reich: German History to 1800 4 hours
The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation has been derided by Voltaire as being none of the above. At the same time, the Empire provided the primary political organization of pre-Modern Germany, from the Middle Ages to the Napoleonic Wars. This course will survey the general history of the Empire from the Renaissance to the end of the 18th century. Special emphasis will be paid to questions of social, cultural and constitution history, in particular, the development of German identity and political culture in the Early Modern era. Prerequisite: HIS 211, HIS 212, or HIS 213, or permission of the instructor.
HIS 312. German History Since 1800

4 hours

This course is a survey of German history in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on the unification of Germany in the 19th century, the Bismarckian state, the two world wars, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the division and subsequent reunification of Germany after World War II.
HIS 320. Russia under the Tsars

4 hours

This course studies the thousand years from the formation of the Kievan state until the abolition of serfdom. It covers the Mongol invasion, the rise of Muscovy, the reign of Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles, Imperial Russia’s Westernization under Peter the Great, and its apogee under Catherine the Great and her grandsons.
HIS 321. Russian History Since 1861 4 hours
This course studies Russian history from the abolition of serfdom, which began Imperial Russia’s last attempt to reform itself and stave off revolution, until the present. It also covers the 1905 and 1917 revolutions, the rise of communism, the era of Lenin and Stalin, and the fall of the communist system.
HIS 330. Between World Wars: The United States, 1920-1945 4 hours
During this period of war, prosperity, and depression, the United States underwent dramatic economic, political, social, and cultural changes. The interwar years witnessed the
emergence of the United States as a world power, an increasingly sophisticated women’s movement, the rise of mass production and mass consumption, and a variety of new challenges to social and economic policies. The Great Depression and the New Deal brought further challenges to traditional liberal political and economic assumptions as the federal government intervened in nearly every aspect of American life. World War II, then, again transformed the nation as it ushered in the "age of affluence" and cold wars in the international and domestic realms. Prerequisites: HIS 130 and HIS 131 or permission of the instructor.
HIS 331. The Age of Affluence: The United States Since 1945 4 hours
An interdisciplinary study of American life since World War II, this course will emphasize political, economic, and social developments. Foreign policy is considered principally with respect to its impact on domestic affairs.
HIS 335. Georgia History 4 hours
This course is a chronological examination of the history of Georgia from the Colonial period to the 20th century. Emphasis is given to Old and New South themes, higher education development with attention to the history of Oglethorpe, the transition from rural to urban life, and Georgia’s role in contemporary American life. Prerequisites: HIS 130, HIS 131, or permission of the instructor.
HIS 340. Dictatorship and Democracy in Latin America 4 hours
This course will examine the roots, character, and impact of authoritarian rule – and resulting resistance movements – in Latin America. Included will be a look at the caudillos who competed for power after independence, the Liberal dictatorships of the late 19th century, the Depression Dictators of the 1930s and Populist dictators of the 1940s and 1950s, and the rise of military-bureaucratic dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s. An understanding will be sought for why almost all political orientations (Republicanism, Liberalism, nationalism, Populism, and Communism) offered up a dictator as their champion at some point in Latin American history and how Latin American nations have been able to make a transition to democracy. Finally, consideration will be given to how dictatorships affect the everyday lives and perceptions of the people living under them and in their aftermath. Prerequisite: HIS 240 or permission of the instructor.
HIS 350. Special Topics in History 4 hours
Courses offered to respond to topical needs of the curriculum. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
FRE 402. The Modern French Republics and Their Institutions 4 hours
A study of both political and cultural institutions in France from 1870 to the present with emphasis on the traditions established by the new republican government in the 1880s and the creation in 1958 of the Fifth Republic under which France is currently governed. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRE 301.
HIS 410. Ancient History and Ancient Historians 4 hours
In this course, the history of Greek and Roman civilizations will be studied through the writings of several ancient historians. The methods used by ancient authors, their literary style, and the relation of their works to the specific historical context in which they were written will be examined. The course will focus on detailed analysis of specific historical events such as the 5thcentury Athens, the rise of the Roman Empire, and the Roman civil wars. Since the thematic focus and selection of readings will not always be the same, the course may be repeated for credit with the permission of the instructor.
HIS 411. The Fall of Rome and the Barbarians 4 hours
This course will examine the "fall" of the Roman Empire in late antiquity and the subsequent rise of barbarian kingdoms in Europe. The primary issue will be to determine whether the Roman Empire did in fact "fall" during this time, or whether the period actually marks a transition, the birth of Europe. The role of Christianity in the transformation of Europe will be a major focus of discussion, as well as other social, political, and economic issues. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.
HIS 412. Radical Religion and Revolution  
This course will examine the role of radical theologies in shaping a series of rebellions and revolutions in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern era. Some of the conflicts studied will
include the Hussite Revolution, The German Reformation, and the English Civil War. In addition, some modern examples illustrating the connections between religion and revolutionary thought, in particular, liberation theology in Latin America and the current crisis in the Middle East will be considered. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
HIS 430. The American Civil War and Reconstruction 4 hours
A course for advanced history students emphasizing the causes of conflict, the wartime period, and major changes that occurred. Prerequisites: HIS 130 and HIS 131.
HIS 431. History of United States Foreign Relations 4 hours
This course is a study of major developments in American diplomacy from the end of the Revolution until 1945. Prerequisite: at least one prior United States history course, or permission of the instructor.
HIS 450. Independent Study in History 1-4 hours
Supervised research on a selected topic. Prerequisite: Submission of a proposed outline of study that includes a schedule of meetings and assignments approved by the instructor, the division chair, and the Provost and Senior Vice President prior to registration.
HIS 451. Internship in History 1-4 hours
students. The internship generally requires the student to obtain a faculty supervisor in the relevant field of study, submit a learning agreement, work 30 hours for every hour of academic credit, keep a written journal of the work experience, have regularly scheduled meetings with the faculty supervisor, and write a research paper dealing with some aspect of the internship. Written work should total five pages of academic writing for every hour of credit. An extensive list of internships is maintained by the Career Services Office, including opportunities at the Atlanta History Center, the Atlanta Preservation Center, the Holocaust Center, and the Coosawattee Foundation archeological dig. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty supervisor and qualification for the internship program.
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