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. Concerning 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 exercises of comprension of historical cases, we will try to obtain learning skills to study in an autonomus way.
Expected learning outcomes
The whole skills will enable the students to develop an ability to understand critically contemporary issues. They would be able to understand the complexity of contemporary world, perceive cultural, social and political interchanges, and behave as careful citizen in a world in transformation.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
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 political history, as well the main interpretations that changed over time, these issues will help us for a better understanding of American politics today. The monograph part of the course reflects on the war of 1812 between United States and Great Britain and how the War Hawks were able to bring the American citizens in a second War of Independence and to create the symbols of contemporary America such as the figure of Uncle Sam and the hymn The Home of the Brave.
Prerequisites for admission
Frontal lessons with the help of slides, PowerPoint, images, websites and video.
Giovanni Borgognone, Storia degli Stati Uniti. La democrazia americana dalla fondazione all'era globale, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2016; Marco Sioli, a cura di, War Hawks. Gli Stati Uniti e la guerra del 1812, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2019; Marcus Rediker, Il piantagrane. Storia di Benjamin Lay, Eleuthera, Milano, 2019.
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 .