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HST 3128 Testing Democracy: Reform in Antebellum America, 1787-1865 (3 credits)

This course will explore the grass roots movements that tried to expand the benefits that the founders originally guaranteed for elite white males. These powerful reform movements challenged established authorities, compelling them to either accommodate popular demands or coerce a restoration of the status quo. We will investigate the resulting clashes that characterized reform efforts during the early 1800s, including those centered on anti-slavery, women's legal rights, temperance, religious reform, and other causes. In doing so, we will examine both why many people were denied equality and how the gradual extension of toleration and equal opportunity developed. By understanding past tragedies, successes, and conflicts, students will be better citizens of the present.
Common Course Outline