Week 1: Introductions

 August 22

Introduction: The Gilded Age


Week 2: lincoln’s America

August 27-29

The Republican Ideal

Reading: White, Introduction, chapters 1-2

Primary Sources: Walt Whitman, “When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d”

Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial mid-1920s

Funeral Train

Pioneer farm


To Consider: WHat is the republican ideal?

what role did it play in the Civil War?

In Reconstruction?

What fundamentally different worldviews separated North, South, and West?

White argues that the Midwest was the moral center of the nation. What does he mean?

who is Walt Whitman?

Paragraph (due Tuesday): Lincoln as everyman (draw on white and whitman and one other source)

Thursday Quiz: White, Introduction, chapters 1-2

Week 3: Reconstructing the nation

 September 3-5



Whiteness and the home

Reading: White, chapters 3-4

Primary Sources:

cotton, “God’s Promise to his plantation, 1630

Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address 

uncle sam’s song to miss texas

the homestead act

exports from colorado by station

Tecumseh to the Osage, 1811

satanta, speech at medicine lodge + rister commentary

A 1-2 paragraph selection from wishart collection, special collections library annotated and brought to class


To Consider:

What is the Greater Reconstruction?

Spoiler Alert: What happened to the republican dream?

What drove the pioneers?

what drove the nation to facilitate expansion?

what happened to those who got in the way?



Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 3-4

Week 4: The Nightmare of the Ruling Class

 September 10-12

Politics and economics in the 1870s

Reading: White, chapters 5-6

Primary Source: A Sharecropper’s Contract

Canton, Home Life 

Douglass, A Composite Nation

Plunkitt, Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft

Nast, The American River Ganges 

Nast, Can the Law Touch Him

To Consider:

The place of the individual in mass society

The changing demographics of america

the relationship between worker and owner

Ideas about currency

how power should work in new urban centers


Paragraph (due Tuesday): Individualism in a polyglot world 

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 5-6

Week 5: Panic

September 17-19


Reading: White, chapters 7-8

Primary Source:

ThE Crime? of ’73

Civil Rights Bill 1875

I Feed You All

McCormick Reaper

Panic of 1873

Modern Pharisees

Custer’s last fight

To Consider:

Paragraph (due Tuesday): The Indian “problem” OR the problem of regulation 

Response Paper prompt: The Crime of ’73

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 7-8

Week 6:Class divides

 September 24-26

the dangers of the wage economy

Reading: White, chapters 9-10

Primary Source:

To Consider:

Paragraph (due Tuesday): “Older ideals of independence and manhood fed the strike.” As a theme of the chapter apply the idea of older ideals of independence and manhood” to other conflicts 

Response Paper: Red Wars

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 9-10

Week 7:

October 1-3

Immigration and radical answers

Reading: White, chapters 11-12

Paragraph (due Tuesday): Choose the thematic element that white explores in any one section of a chapter and explain how (as a writeR) he develops that idea. 

REsponse PAper (due Tuesday): Choose the thematic element that White explores in either chapter and explain how (AS A WRITER) HE DEVELOPS THAT IDEA.

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 11-12


Week 8: Ranchers and Breakfast Cereal

October 15-17

Entrepreneurial culture and the American frontier

Reading: White, chapters 13-14

C.W. Post and Post City

Lecture: The Ranching Economy

Lecture: C.W. Post and Labor


Response Paper: The unexpected Crises of the Industrial Economy

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 13-14


Week 9: the dream of springfield dies

October 22-24

The Alliance

lecture: The Birth of the farmers alliance

Reading: White, chapters 15-16

Primary Source:

the cleburne demands

looking backward

the virginian

To Consider: the relationship between the rise of the capitalist class and the roots of reform 

Paragraph (due Tuesday): white argues that reform was more possible in the west (592)than elsewhere what does he mean?

response paper (due Thursday): New Utopias in the industrial world

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 15-16



Week 10:

October 29-31

Theme: The Political and cultural realities of industrialism

Reading: White, chapters 17-18

Primary Sources:

Out of the Silver Flood – Puck cover 

In your Pocket – GOP Campaign Ad

 The Lodge Bill

Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth


Interpretative Sources:

Oklahoma Moments on the 1889 Land Rush

INdian Country Today, the Truth about the Wounded Knee Massacre

History Channel, Homestead



Moving Books from Frick Library to new library

To Consider:

Paragraph (due Tuesday): Choose one of the primary sources to evaluate and consider it in the context of the White text. 

Response Papers: Compare the interpretative sources to white’s account

Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 17-18

Week 11: collapse?

November 5-7


Reading: White, chapters 19-20

Primary Source: see below

To Consider: we are entering the climax of the story he has been telling for ten weeks. Think about the themes and stories he’s developed thus far. let’s pay attention to what conclusions he will start to draw over these next few chapters. 

Paragraph (due Tuesday): Find one primary source that speaks directly to an issue or event discussed by White. Images are fine. go beyond google by using our library’s online database of historical collections. when you cite the source include a description of how and where you got it, i’m interested in the process.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find exactly what you want, research is often more an art than a science. Don’t just choose the first one you find; explore a little bit. Find just the right source. How do you know it’s the right source? it will be the one you want to write about. then write a paragraph about it. 

Response Paper (Due Tuesday):

Find three different types of primary sources representing at least two different forms of media that speak directly to an issue or event discussed by White. Go beyond google by using our library’s online database of historical collections. when you cite the sources include a description of how and where you got them; i’m interested in the process.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find exactly what you want immediately; research is often more an art than a science. Don’t just choose the first ones you find; explore a little bit. Find just the right sources. How do you know they’re the right sources? they will be the ones you want to write about. then write a response paper about them. if you need a secondary source for context use white. 

Week 12:

November 12-14

Collapse of what?

Reading: White, chapters 21-22

Primary Source:

pullman town plans

pullman house plans

remington, pullman

 PUck, coxey’s army


To Consider: think of any of the themes developed by white over the text and how the events he describes in these chapters represent a narrative arc 


Thursday Quiz: White, chapters 21-22

Week 13: Research Paper Workshop

November 19-21

Week 14: Research Paper Workshop

November 26

Week 15: research paper workshop

December 3-5