The course concerns the main political aspects of the history of the United States, considering the historical developments of the nation from its birth to the present, and offering critical discussions of some fundamental documents of U.S. History as well as of current affairs in the U.S. in historical perspective. Topics include the major schools of thought and approaches, the connection between domestic and foreign politics, and the connection between the principles of the American republic and the pragmatism of its leadership. Corcerning knowledge and understanding the course aims to apply original ideas in a research context, and to solve new problems in the field, making judgements on new issues, as well as the ability to communicate these skills to a broad publlic. Finally with the exercise of the comprension of historical cases we will try to obtain learning skills to study in an autonomus way.
Expected learning outcomes
Lesson period: First trimester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The program addresses issues concerning the history and politics of the United States, including the creation of the American Constitution, the birth of the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, Congress and presidential powers, and national security. Following the study of American history, as well the main interpretations that changed over time, these issues will help us for a better understanding of American politics today. Original documents on the website of the course, on the data bank American's Historical Newspapers and on https://zinnedproject.org/ can be searched and commented by the students in class.
Prerequisites for admission
Frontal lessons with the help of slides, PowerPoint, images, websites and video.
Jill Lepore, These Truths. A History of the United States, Norton, New York, 2018; Julian Zelizer, "Politics and Policy: The Case On National Security" in Governing America: The Revival of Political History, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2014, Part. IV, pp. 307-349.
Assessment methods and Criteria
A written exam on the topic of the course with 24 questions with a multiple choices, a question of 20 lines, and a question of 2 pages. Plus an oral exam intended to communicate the conclusions of the research on the original documents on the data base American Historical Newspapers online, concerning one of the arguments of the course. More in general the exam aims to verify that the student was able to obtain these notions, was able to express them in a clear and exact way, and to articulate her/his thought using the right words. Finally she/he was able to frame and understand new events or other cases of studies with the ability to communicate these skills to a broad publlic .