Department of History
HIST 250: The Progressive Era
Goals of the Class:
- to understand the Progressive Era on its own and connected to
the larger stream of history
- to read, analyze, and appreciate the fundamental documents in
Progressive Era history.
- to strengthen your analytical skills, critical thinking skills,
writing ability, and reading comprehension.
- to master one aspect of Progressive Era history through a
lengthy research paper.
- to engage in fruitful discussions on interesting historical
- to impart a sense of how history is constructed.
Assignments and Class Policies
- Discussion: This class will be discussion-based. Discussion should be respectful of others'
opinions and be based on your close reading of the assigned documents.
Your thoughtful contribution to our discussions is an aid to your
colleagues' learning. After each class meeting, I will note in
my grade book who participated and who did not, and a lack of participation
over the course of the semester will drop your final grade by a half-grade
(for example, from a B to a C+).
- Attendance: Attendance is required in this class because so
much of it will be discussion-based. If you are more than ten minutes late
to class, you will be counted absent. After the third unexcused absence, you
will be put on a no-cut policy.
- Classroom presentations: These will be brief presentations
of a biographical figure or an event of your choice that can be connected to
your research paper, but not the focus of it. The biographical
sketch presented--yours and your colleagues--will likely appear on the final, so take notes when others are presenting.
You must append an annotated bibliography done in
Manual style. The presentation will be worth 30 points, should
be no longer than fifteen minutes, and will be graded on the breadth and
depth of your understanding of the topic, your ability to convey it, your
facility with questions, and the correct execution of your bibliography.
- Research paper: The centerpiece of the course assignments will be
your research paper. It will break down into several different parts,
with different due dates as noted on the syllabus.
- The paper topics will be chosen in consultation with the professor Because
so much is riding on this assignment, you will want to choose a topic that
will keep you interested all semester. You will emerge from this class
an expert on your topic, and your writing should be good enough to use for a
graduate school sample.
- The paper must contain original research and a variety of sources.
I expect you to work very
closely with me and with the library staff on locating and using the sources for the research
paper--this should be your very best work.
- I follow the
Monmouth College policies on plagiarism which are outlined on the College website
and in the ScotsGuide. If you ever have any questions about whether or not
you are committing plagiarism, ask before you hand something in.
- The paper will be worth 200 points. Due in class on Monday, 5
December 2011. Feel free to email it to me. It is late at 11:01 and will
drop a grade for each day late (the first day late begins at 11:01 on 5
- Encyclopedia articles for the Theodore Roosevelt Digital
Library (TRDL): You will write four encyclopedia articles which will be used
by the TRDL. These articles can be on almost any topic connected to or
important during Theodore Roosevelt. Aim for 250 words. Do not go over 300.
Do not in any way copy Wikipedia or any other source. This must be your
prose. Each of the articles is worth 25 points; 100 points total. They are all due before
- The Jungle paper: a paper of around five-pages that
demonstrates your understanding of Gilded Age and Progressive Era labor
issues as we've studied them and that responds to the writing prompts
here. 50 points.
- Other papers and exams: I reserve the right to assign papers or
exams over the
readings and/or the discussions as the semester goes on.
Schedule of Classes and
Aug: Completion of discussion over
Progressivism, ch. 2
A Gilded Age morality tale, told by us (chapters assigned in email sent on 30
How the Other Half Lives, chapters 1-4, 8, 11-13, 15-16, 20-21
- LABOR DAY LECTURE: Dr. Jane
Simonsen, 7:00 p.m., Barnes Electronic Classroom, Hewes Library
7 Sept: The
photographs of Lewis Hines and Jacob Riis;
Gilded Age Illinois
(please watch the video on this page--click on the red button in the upper right
of the page.
American Politics in 1900, handout
American Politics in 1900, handout
14 Sept: Theodore
16 Sept: No class--read for
Progressivism, pp. 35-50
21 Sept: Theodore
Roosevelt's thoughts as explained by you
to locate one of his speeches; read it; take notes; be ready to report on it
to the class
Theodore Roosevelt's thoughts as explained by you, continued
26 Sept: Discussion
over The Jungle
The Pure Food Laws
Roosevelt and Foreign Policy as explained by you in five minutes
Brief overall explanation
- Frakes -- Imperialism in 1900
- Avila -- Spanish-American War
- Milsteadt -- Philippine--American
- Shields -- Canadian Boundary dispute
3 Oct: Big
Stick Diplomacy as explained by you in five minutes
- Damewood -- 1905 Congressional
junket to Asia
- Dwyer -- Roosevelt on WWI
- Legg -- Russo-Japanese Peace
- Murtagh -- Algeciras Conference
- Ruglio-- Roosevelt Corollary
- Teal -- Panama Canal
- Teresi -- Great White Fleet
Foreign Policy Wrap-Up
Children: Labor, Play, Illness, and Child-Saving
- Damewood on Efforts at Children's
- Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull
House, pp. 117-125, Chapter 13, Chapter 14
Fall Break: no class
Race in the Progressive Era
14 Oct: "Lifting as We
17 Oct: Progressivism
in the States
- Progressivism, 55-73
- Teresi on the Dear Maria Controversy
19 Oct: Mentoring
Day: no class
No class: work on research paper
24 Oct: William
Howard Taft: biography
26 Oct: No class: work
on research paper
28 Oct: No
class: work on research paper
31 Oct: Taft's Progressive
- Discussion over handout on
2 Nov: The
- DUE IN
Outline of paper. 25 points.
outline should be as complete as you can make it. Include your first
paragraph and your thesis statement. Indicate the sources for the
points on your outline. No outline should be less than two pages
long, if you include the sources.
4 Nov: Women
in the Progressive Era
Research help with the research paper from Lynn Daw and Lauren Jensen, Hewes
No class: work on research paper
Nov: No class: work on research paper
14 Nov: Wilson's Reform
- Progressivism, 98-107
- Ruglio on the Federal Reserve Act
- Dwyer on Farm Women
- Avila on Reform Efforts for Working
Draft of your paper. 35 points.
16 Nov: The Presidency of
The New Freedom vs. The New Nationalism (refer to Monday's reading)
21 Nov: Sex and the
Progressive Era Topics:
23 Nov: Thanksgiving Break:
25 Nov: Thanksgiving Break:
- Legg on Florence Kelley & Labor
- Milsteadt on football reform in the
- Shields on John Muir, TR, and
conservation in the Progressive Era
30 Nov: Native Americans,
Football, and Culture in the Progressive Era
2 Dec: Woodrow
Wilson, Ellen Wilson, and Edith Wilson
Wilson, Foreign Policy, the Coming of World War I
- Progressivism, Chapter 5
Final paper. 130 points. Don't forget the bibliography.
Final Conclusions about the Progressive Era
The final exam for this
class is 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, 13 December.
Neither the date nor the time of the final may be changed.