History of North America

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The general part of the program addresses issues that aimed to give the students basic knowledge of the history of the United States, including the creation, the institutionalization, and the political, social and cultural expansion of the Republic. The course tries to understand from one side the rhetoric that justify the imperial path of a Nation in the name of internal security, and terrorist struggle. On the other side, the course will consider the plurality of ideas expressed by the American society in the course of its history.
The monographic part of the course change every year and touches particular arguments in the history of North America emerged as strong issues in the historical debate on the other side of Atlantic ocean. Some of these arguments of the past year are: urban development and the rise of industry, environmentalism and the protection of nature, expansionism and manifest destiny in the age of Thomas Jefferson, slavery and abolitionism, the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the neocon, muckraking and new medias.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to give the ability to read advanced textbooks, and to apply these reading to professional works in a way to argue in a discussion with colleagues and to solve problems in the field, writing report and useful judgments, as well as the ability to communicate these skills to a broad public. Finally, we will try to obtain learning skills to continue the studies toward future steps.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Course syllabus
The first part of the program addresses issues concerning the history and politics of the United States, including the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, Congress and presidential powers, and national security. Following the study of American politcal history, as well the main interpretations that chaged over time, these issues will help us for a better understanding of American politics today.
The monographic part of the course reflects on Alexander Hamilton's text "Report on American Manufactures". Secretery of treaury of George Washington's presidency, Hamilton reflects on the importance of manifacture for the national security of the United States for obtaining an economic egemony. About the origins of this egemony as well as the starting of Anerican capitalism and global commerce in the first part off Nineteeth century we shall have an exhibit in our space entitled "The age of the sailing ships. Clipper and schooner from James Fenimore Cooper to Herman Melville".
The third part of the course reflects on the trasformation of American journalism from Benjamin Franklin's newspaper to the political use of the press in the age of penny press and muckrakingsi. In particular we will reflect on the figuer of Abraham Lincoln as great communicator. To carry on this part we will use movies, documentaries, and websites.
Prerequisites for admission
To attend the course is necessary to have the exam of Contemporary History done.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with the help of slides, PowerPoint, images, websites and video.
Teaching Resources
Giovanni Borgognone, Storia degli Stati Uniti. La democrazia americana dalla fondazione all'era globale, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2016;
Alexander Hamilton, Sulle manifatture americane, Ibis, Como-Pavia, 2018;
Marco Sioli, Abraham Lincoln. Le parole, le politiche e l'uso politico, Ibis, Como-Pavia, 2016.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists in a written test and an oral discussion. The test points to evaluate in a clear way the general knowledge through 24 multiple choice questions and two open questions one 30 lines long and the other of two pages. Starting from the result of the test, the oral discussion addressed all the argument treated in the monographic part of the course. There will be also a written paper on an article chosen by the students on the databank online American Historical Newspapers related to an argument of the course. More in general the exam aimed to verify that the lessons drawn from American history can be useful to describe politics in contemporary United States, up to the impeacment of Donald Trump.
Unita' didattica 1
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica 2
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Untill the end of the sanitary emergency, meetings will run on Teams on Tuesday from 9,30 to 12,30
Sesto S.G., Piazza Montanelli 1, room 1052 and Milan, Via Passione 13, room 112.