Course Descriptions — History

HIS1200 American History I (to 1877) 4 semester hours
This course examines the evolution of the U.S. from its colonial origins to the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It looks at the Columbian Exchange and the exploration of North America, the concept of empire as practiced by Spain, France, and England in the Americas, and the founding of the British American colonies and their differences. The course compares the colonial American experience in the 17th and 18th centuries. It analyzes the causes and nature of the American Revolution and the problems associated with the founding of the nation. Students will examine the development of the American party system and economy, along with the clashing voices of growing nationalism and sectionalism. The course will analyze the causes and nature of the Civil War and the problems associated with reuniting the country.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement (for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS1210 American History II (since 1877) 4 semester hours
This course surveys the major political, economic, social and cultural developments in the U.S. since 1877. It considers such political developments as imperialism, the growth in the power of the federal government (especially the presidency), the development of the Cold War, and the emergence of the U.S. as a superpower, and such economic developments as the maturation of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression. The course examines the causes and consequences of six wars (including the two world wars) and the major social reform and liberation movements since 1877 and the conservative reactions produced by them.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement (for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS2200 Introduction to Historical Methods 4 semester hours
This course introduces students to the tools and methods used by historians. Students will explore archives, both physical and virtual, to learn how to work with primary sources. Additionally, they will acquire the knowledge necessary to be able to analyze secondary sources.

PHL/HIS2250 Ancient Philosophy: History of Philosophy I 4 semester hours
This course will focus on Greek and Roman philosophy from the pre-Socratics up to the Hellenistic era. Special attention will be placed on the seminal work of Plato and Aristotle.
Meets General Education “Aesthetic and Philosophical Expression” Group A requirement ( for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS2310 Early Modern British History 4 semester hours
This course will survey the political, social, economic and cultural history of the British Isles (including Ireland) from c. 1500 to 1800. Course topics include the English Reformation, the Age of the Tudors and Stuarts, exploration and imperialism, the English Civil War, and the Glorious Revolution.

HIS2320 Modern British History 4 semester hours
This course will survey the political, social, economic and cultural history of the British Isles (including Ireland) from 1800 to the present. Course topics include the formation of the United Kingdom, the rise of the British Empire and decolonization, 19th-century industrial development, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the First and Second World Wars, post-war cultural developments, and Britain’s role in the European Union.

HIS2400 History of the Ancient Mediterranean World 4 semester hours
This course is an examination of the ancient societies that emerged around the Mediterranean Sea. The course will survey the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece and Rome through a variety of primary and secondary resources. The course will begin with the rise of Egypt and end with the fall of Rome and will focus on the connections between the three societies.

HIS2500 Western Civilization I (to 1500) 4 semester hours
This course surveys the political and cultural history of the ancient classical world from its earliest beginnings in the Near East to the close of the Roman Empire in the West. This course presents the ancient Mediterranean civilizations as forerunners of modern Europe and the Western world. This course covers up to the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement (for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS2600 Western Civilization II (since 1500) 4 semester hours
This course investigates the religious, intellectual, social, economic, aesthetic and political forces at work in Europe from the 16th century to the present day. This course will cover the Renaissance and Reformation, the age of religious wars, the rise of absolutism and constitutionalism and the scientific revolution. It will also cover the French and Industrial Revolutions, the rise of capitalism, imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War era.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement (for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS2700 20th Century European History 4 semester hours
This course will survey the history of Central, Western and Eastern Europe from the late 19th century to the present. The course will cover such topics as the First and Second World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the rise of dictatorships during the interwar period, the Holocaust, imperialism and decolonization, post-war culture and the rise of civic activism, the creation of the European Union, the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War.

HIS/REL2750 Topics in Religious History 4 semester hours
These are regular courses reflecting faculty interests. Courses are designed to provide students with an introduction to significant religious figures, events and movements and the history of religion in specific regions or eras. Students will gain skills in analyzing both historical and scholarly sources and learn the foundational principles needed for taking more advanced courses found at the 3000-level. This course designation is repeatable for credit.

HIS/REL2760 Religion in America 4 semester hours
This course will survey the history of religion in America from the period immediately prior to European contact with its indigenous peoples to the present, examining the religious institutions, beliefs, practices and experiences that have been formative in the shaping of American culture. Topics may include Native American religious traditions prior to European contact; Christian implication in and critiques of the European colonization of the “new world”; Christian enslavement of native peoples; religious aspects of the early colonial experience; the Puritan commonwealth; the experience of religious minorities in the colonies (e.g.,Catholics, Jews); the Great Awakening; religion in the American Revolution; the Second Great Awakening; the abolition movement; religion and the Civil War; challenges to traditional religious belief in the nineteenth century (e.g., Darwin,Marx, Freud); religion and the rights of women; the global missions movement; industrialization and the social gospel; fundamentalism and liberalism as responses to modernity; religion and war in the twentieth century; the rise of religious pluralism and the “post-secular” state; and Islam in America.

HIS2900 Topics in U.S., European, Non-Western or Latin American History 4 semester hours
These are regular courses reflecting faculty interests. Courses are designed to provide students with an introduction to the histories of specific regions, eras or themes from ancient times to the present. Students will gain skills in analyzing both historical and scholarly sources and learn the foundational principles needed for taking more advanced courses found at the 3000-level. Courses will cover such things as national histories of countries around the globe; histories of imperialism and colonialism; women’s and gender history; environmental history; comparative histories; and a range of social, cultural and political histories. This course designation is repeatable for credit.

HIS3050 American Urban History 4 semester hours
This course examines American city-building and the diverse populations that inhabited American cities. It compares the preindustrial city of the colonial period and early 19th century with the modern, industrial city in the 19th and 20th centuries. It considers such contributing factors to urbanization as industrialization, the transportation revolution, population growth/immigration, and new types of architecture/city planning. the course investigates such 20th century developments as the emergence of the metropolis, the modern suburb, urban sprawl and the modern urban planning movement.

HIS3100 The African-American Experience 4 semester hours
This course surveys the history of the black experience in the U.S., tracing the history of African Americans from their African origins through their struggle against slavery and segregation to the drive for civil rights and full legal and social equality.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement ( for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS3150 Women in American History 4 semester hours
This course emphasizes the average woman from the colonial period to the present— her life’s opportunities, values and culture—and the changing idea of womanhood and the family as reflections of changing socioeconomic conditions in the U.S. The course examines the origins, development and major ideas of the 19th and 20th-century women’s movements. It reviews the status of modern women in the work place and family as well as the major, current women’s issues.

HIS3200 United States History since the 1960s 4 semester hours
This course examines the major social, cultural, political, and economic developments in the U.S. since the 1960s. It emphasizes the social/cultural revolution that swept the U.S. in the 1960s and its consequences (including a resurgence of conservatism) and the political developments of this era, such as the changing relationship between the President and Congress and the United States’ changing role as a superpower, both during and after the Cold War.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement ( for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS3250 Illinois History and Government 2 semester hours
This course provides an overview of Illinois history and government from the colonial era to the present. It emphasizes the geography of Illinois, the political and economic development of the state, and the various groups of people across the centuries who have made Illinois their home. Surveys the major historical figures in Illinois history. (Every year)

HIS3300 The American West 4 semester hours
This course examines the Old West of the 19th century, discussing both myth and reality, and the New West of the 20th century. It investigates the exploration and settlement of the Old West, including the mining, ranching and farming frontiers. It reviews the various Native American cultures in the Old West and their changing relation ship with the U.S. government (including the Indian wars and reservation system). The course examines the ways in which the West changed in the 20th century, considering such issues as growing corporate and governmental power, the environmental movement and urbanization.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement (for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS/SBS3350 The Native Americans 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SBS3350. For description, see SBS3350.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement ( for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

HIS/ART3360 Renaissance, Renovation and Revival 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with ART3360. For description, see ART3360.
Prerequisite: One prior college-level history or art history course.

HIS3400 Problems in History 4 semester hours
This is a reading seminar that focuses on a major era, issue or event in history. This course is based on such readings as historical monographs, journal articles and primary sources. Such issues as interpretation, bias, sources and documentation will be discussed. There will be extensive reading on the selected topic (which will change each time the course is offered).
Prerequisite: HIS2200.

HIS3450 Latin American History 4 semester hours
This course examines the establishment of European power and civilization in Latin America, the wars for independence, and the major developments during the 19th and 20th centuries. This course will also cover the contributions of indigenous peoples and those of African descent to Latin American culture. This course emphasizes major trends and developments in the various Latin American countries rather than the details of each of the present republics.

HIS3650 Hitler and the Nazi Revolution 4 semester hours
This course examines the origins and development of European fascism (including 19th-century racial thought, World War I and the Great Depression), the nature of European fascism, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party to power, and Hitler’s blueprint for the Nazi revolution (and the extent to which it was fulfilled, both domestically and internationally). The course reviews the origins of World War II, Hitler’s performance as a war leader, and the nature of the German home front and the Nazi Empire during the war. It investigates the origins, implementation and consequences  of the Holocaust, as well as the question of why Hitler’s revolution ultimately failed.

HIS3700 History of the Middle East 4 semester hours
This course examines the political, cultural, social and economic history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present, focusing in particular on the rise of Islam; the expansion and development of Islamic empires; the region’s relations with Western powers, particularly since the 19th century; nationalism, the creation of Israel, and Israeli-Arab relations; the Iranian Revolution; the politics of oil; and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (and reactions to it).

HIS3750 History of East Asia 4 semester hours
This course examines the development of East Asian civilization up to the present, focusing in particular on cultural, social, economic and political trends; the relations between China, Japan and Korea; the region’s interaction with Western powers, particularly since the 19th century; and the development and growing influence of East Asian countries in the 20th and 21st centuries.

HIS/REL3800 Reformation Europe 4 semester hours
This course will examine the fragmentation of Western Christendom in the 16th century, a constellation of events with epoch-making consequences for the religious, political, social and economic history of Western civilization. Topics may include the late medieval backdrop to the Reformation movements; competing theories of papal authority and secular sovereignty in the later middle ages; the rise of print technology; renaissance humanism; the life and career of Martin Luther; the “princes’ reformation” in the Holy Roman Empire; the “urban reformation”in upper Germany and the Swiss cantons; the Peasants’ War; the life and career of John Calvin; the Huguenot movement and the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre; the French Wars of Religion; the Dutch Revolt; reform of the church under the Tudor monarchs; the Anabaptist movement and the “Radical Reformation”; the Counter-Reformation, Catholic reform, and the Council of Trent; the life and career of Ignatius of Loyola and the formation of the Jesuit order; the confessionalization of church and state; the effects of the Reformation on art, architecture, and music; and modern interpretations of the Reformation era (e.g., Engels, Weber).
Prerequisite: One prior college-level history or religion course.

HIS3900 Advanced Topics in U.S., European, Non-Western or Latin American History 4 semester hours
These are regular courses reflecting faculty research interests. These 3000-level courses enable students to build upon the content knowledge and skill sets acquired in lower-level courses, to study an historical topic in depth, and to become more familiar with the historiography on a given subject. Courses taught will cover such things as national histories of countries around the globe; histories of imperialism and colonialism; women’s and gender history; film history; environmental history; and a range of social, cultural and political histories. This course designation is repeatable for credit.
Prerequisite: One prior college-level history class

HIS4100 Readings Seminars in U.S., European, Non- Western, Latin American or Intellectual History 4 semester hours
These are regular courses reflecting faculty research interests. These readings seminars assume proficiency in foundational and intermediate-level subject matter and provide students with the opportunity to analyze the historiography and historical sources on a particular topic in depth. This course designation is repeatable for credit.
Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior history majors or by permission of the instructor.

HIS4940 History Internship 1–4 semester hours
The purpose of the history internship is to enable Aurora University students to acquire work experiences in the history profession. This experience is designed to expand on the learning experience and to integrate and reinforce skills and concepts learned in the classroom. The internship provides a practical experience in a structured employment environment approved by the History Department, including internships on campus in the Jenks Memorial Collection of Adventual Materials and the Doris K. Colby Memorial Archives. This course designation is repeatable for credit.
Prerequisites: Major or minor in history and at least junior-level standing. Students must seek advanced approval from a history department faculty mentor
prior to registering for the history internship.

HIS4990 Senior Seminar in History 4 semester hours
This is a capstone course that examines the nature and definition of history and historical truth, research methodology and tests of evidence, synthesis and skill in writing, the evolution of history as a discipline, and the tasks of the professional historian. It treats history as a liberal arts discipline and as a profession and is designed to be useful both to those going on to graduate work and to those who will undertake no further formal study of history.
Prerequisites: Open only to senior history majors; successful completion of HIS3400 (no lower than “C” grade).