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The Gilded Age

HST 368-  The Gilded Age                                           
Professor Kuhl  
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh                                  
Office:  Clow Faculty 307                    
Spring 2005                                                                  
Office Hours:  T/Th  9:45-11:00



The transformation of life between in the United States between the Civil War and the 20th century. The rise of industry in the United States, working class response, creation of the urban society, settlement of the New West, transformation of agriculture, reassessment of sex roles, creation of a new political structure, and rise of United States as an international power.



Available at the Campus Bookstore

  • Leon Fink, ed.  Major Problems in the Guilded Age and Progressive Era
  • William Cronon  Nature’s Metropolis
  • Kathy Peiss  Cheap Amusements:  Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York
  • C. Vann Woodward  The Strange Career of Jim Crow



  • Students are expected to attend class.  See attendance policy for more details.
  • Students should complete the day’s reading before class, and come prepared to discuss it.
  • There will be one short (4-5 page) paper based on the reading.
  • There will be one 10-12 page research paper on a topic of your choice.
  • There will be one midterm and one final exam, with short identifications and essays.
  • Late work will be docked one letter grade per day, with missing work factored as a zero.



Attendance records will be kept in this class.  I understand that occasionally uncontrollable events happen, and am willing to excuse them.  To facilitate that process, you must write down your name, the date of class you missed, and attach appropriate documentation.  Bring those items to the next class period, and turn them in to me after class.  Only the following reasons and documents will be accepted:

  1. Medical illness.  A Doctor’s note testifying to the date and seriousness of incident.
  2. Family death.  I must receive:  the name of the deceased, the name of the funeral parlor, and your parent’s address so that I may send condolences.
  3. Religious holiday.  You must have a note by Feb. 10 from your faith leader verifying your good standing in a faith community and all the dates of conflict in the semester.
  4. University related event such as soccer game, debate tournament, etc.  Bring in the schedule at the beginning of the semester.
  • If one of these categories applies to you, bring your documentation to your next class.  No conversation is necessary.  I will return the pages to you with your next assignment marked “approved” or “disapproved.”
  • I also understand that occasionally people miss class for serious reasons that do not quite make the above requirements.  To allow some flexibility, I will permit 2 unexcused absences



Professor Kuhl holds office hours every week.  Please feel free to drop by to ask questions about the readings, clarify points from lecture, challenge my interpretation of history, or hold other sorts of intellectual conversations.



Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from The University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of The University; policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.   For more information on The University policy see



Course grades will be determined as follows

  • Class Participation         20%
  • Short Paper                   10%
  • Research Paper                        25%
  • Midterm Exam              20%
  • Final Exam                    25%




Week 1 Beginnings

tues. 2/1           Introduction

thurs. 2/3          Major Problems ch.1 Cashman essay; Cronon Intro. and ch.1

Week 2 Rise of the Big City

tues 2/8            Cronon ch.2-3

thurs 2/10         Cronon ch.4-5

Week 3 Southern Troubles

tues 2/15          Major Problems  ch.4  “Trials of the New South”

thurs. 2/17        Woodward preface, intro, ch.1-3;  short paper due

Week 4 Crisis of Capitalism

tues 2/22          MP  ch.2  “Capitalism and its Discontents”

thrus 2/24         Cronon ch.6-7

Week 5 World’s Fair   

tues. 3/1           Cronon ch.8-epilogue; research paper proposals due

thurs. 3/3          Online reading “How did African-American Women Define their                                               Citizenship at the World’s Fair in 1893?”                                                

Week 6 Culture

tues. 3/8         Midterm

thurs. 3/10        MP ch.11 “Consumer Culture and Commercialized Leisure”

Week 7 Happy Holiday!  Spring Break  3/13-3/18

Week 8 The Wild West

tues. 3/22         MP ch.3  “Behind the Bravura of the Wild West”; outline due

thurs. 3/24        Movie:  Stagecoach

Week 9
Working Class Culture

tues. 3/29         Peiss intro-ch.4

thurs. 3/31        Peiss ch.5-concl.

Week 10 Immigrants

tues. 4/5           MP ch.5 all docs., essays by Klein and Bodnar; rough drafts due

thurs. 4/7          MP ch.5 Sanchez essay; online reading Jacob Riis                                                            

ch.5 “The Italian in New York,” ch.9 “Chinatown,”

and ch.10 “Jewtown.”

Week 11

tues. 4/12         MP ch.8 “Professionalism and the Uses of New Knowledge” 

thurs. 4/14        Online reading:  Minnesota WCTU

Week 12 Politics

tues. 4/19         MP ch.6 docs 1-3 and Calhoun essay

thurs. 4/21        MP ch.6 docs 4-5 and DuBois essay;  online reading

“Why did Colorado Women Win Suffrage in 1893?”

Week 13

tues. 4/26         Final Drafts Due

thurs. 4/28        MP ch.7  “The 1890s:  Economic Depression and Political Crisis”

Week 14 Jim Crow

tues. 5/3           MP ch.10  “Race and Power under Jim Crow”

thurs. 5/5          Woodward ch.4-afterword

Week 15 Empire

tues. 5/10         MP ch.9  “The Language of Empire”     

thurs. 5/12        Final Exam

by linnm37 — last modified Jun 08, 2012 01:55 PM