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HYM5430 - Perfecting America: Rhetoric, Reform and Reaction

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Mark Peel


Not offered in 2007


This unit examines the history of the United States through case studies of reform and reaction and in particular the ways in which these tended
to emphasise both the difficulty and the continuing mission of 'perfecting America'. Examples may include Progressivism, isolationism, responses to the Great Depression and the Second World War, anti-communism, movements for civil, women's and gay rights, cultural, social and religious conservatism, struggles over race, poverty and indigenous rights, abolitionism and moral reform, women's suffrage,
and agrarian populism. The unit will also examine the relationship between these movements and debates about America's role as a global power.


As for HYM4430, with the additional objective that students successfully completing this unit will demonstrate excellent skills in the analysis of competing historical interpretations and positions, and a strong degree of independence in the locating, evaluation and critical use of historical resources.


Tutorial presentation: 10%
Tutorial paper (2000 words): 20%
Research essay (5000 words): 50%
Reflective essay (2000 words): 20%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week