HIST 2110: Lecture Slides for the Remainder of the Semester

It’s that time of the semester — the home stretch.  The lecture notes for our remaining classes are all available below.

20 – Building a Free World

21 – The Third American Revolution

22 – Vietnam and Rise of New Right

23 – The Washington Consensus

24 – America in Globalization and War

Key Crash Course videos:


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HIST 8030: Big Narratives

“The past has nothing of interest to teach us.” (Judt, 2). When I think about the twentieth century, the first thing that comes to mind is how much our world changed in just one hundred years; from cars to the Internet to how we live our lives in convenience. The wars and policy that were implemented during the twentieth century has had lasting affects on our lives today. Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore discuss the lasting impact of the New Deal throughout the twentieth century in The Long Exception, while Timothy Mitchell’s Carbon Democracy dives into the correlation of oil, war, and political powers throughout the twentieth century and its lasting impact on today’s world. When considering all that occurred in the twentieth century, how much changed, and how much endured, I think it is important to remember that the past has so much to teach us if we only remember that we are not too good to look for help and make sure the same mistakes are not repeated again and again.

In Tony Judt’s “The World We Have Lost”, an introduction to Reappraisals, Judt discusses how close and yet how far away we are from the twentieth century. We always discuss that we should remember the past and learn from it, but Judt making the argument that, for some reason, we, seem to be too good to do the same for the twentieth century. As a society, we look at the twenty-first century as a fresh start and it learning from the past one hundred years would do nothing to benefit us going forward. At one point, Judt states, “… on not listening with greater care to some of the wiser heads of earlier decades; on seeking actively to forget rather than remember.” (Judt, 2) I struck me how true this statement was, I hear all the time how those old, white men do not know what they are talking about and how “old-fashioned and narrow-minded they are. While some of them may not agree of a twenty-somethings’ idea of marriage or illegal immigration, the past generations have seen so much and we are missing this opportunity to learn from their experiences.

Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore give a compelling argument, in The Long Exception, that the New Deal was more than a simple way to end the Great Depression and boost the economy, it changed the trajectory of the entire twentieth century. In Timothy Mitchell’s Carbon Democracy, our dependency on oil and that issues it is causing becomes very clear. Mitchell argues that our entire foreign policy centers around the idea that we need to get oil, we need to be in friendly with countries who have oil, and that we cannot live without oil. To be such a world power, we are constantly at the mercy of enemies who can provide oil for us to continue living our everyday lives.

1. In your opinion, what steps need to be taken to lessen the U.S.’s dependency on oil and increase our governance as a world power?

2. How can history be taught so that we’re not simply memorializing history through the museums, inscriptions, etc. but to actually help future generations become educated and global citizens? (Judt, 3)

3. Do we have something to learn from the twentieth century and in history in general?

4. In your opinion, what was the most significant lasting impact of the New Deal?

5. Going forward, how can we learn from the triumphs and turmoil of the twentieth century?

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HIST 2110: Exam 2 Study Guide


Compromise of 1850

John Brown

Homestead Act

Emancipation Proclamation

Black Codes



Fourteenth Amendment

Knights of Labor

Dawes Act

Gilded Age

Tammany Hall

Jim Crow

Booker T. Washington

Eugene Debs

Settlement houses

Lochner v. New York

Birth of a Nation

Margaret Sanger

Fourteen Points

Nineteenth Amendment

Alice Paul

Marcus Garvey

Great Migration

Bonus Army


Social Security Act

Wagner Act

New Deal Coalition


Congress of Industrial Organizations

Four Freedoms

A. Philip Randolph

The Manhattan Project

Essay Questions 

In what ways did the United States’ triumph in the Mexican War create problems that led to the Civil War?

What does Jourdon Anderson’s letter to his former master tell us about the changing relationship between black workers and white landowners in the wake of Emancipation? If he had decided to go back, what kind of economic arrangement do you think might have developed between Jourdon Anderson and P.H. Anderson?

Discuss what the “frontier” symbolized for Americans in the nineteenth century, and then describe at least two ways in which the reality of the West differed from the myth.

What were three ways that the US government sought to defeat Native American resistance and change their way of life?

Describe at least three problems that farmers faced in the late nineteenth century, and then discuss ways that the Populists hoped to remedy those problems.

What are two different theories scholars have used to explain the emergence of a Progressive reform movement among the middle and upper class in the early twentieth century? What motivated the Progressives?

Describe the differences between Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey’s visions for improving the lives of African Americans in the early twentieth century.

How did Austen Bolam and Norman Thomas see the New Deal differently?

How did the administration of Franklin Roosevelt try to solve the problems of the Depression through the New Deal? Describe three different policies and the issues or concerns they were meant to resolve, as well as their consequences (good and bad).

How did the mobilization for World War II change the lives of women and African Americans?

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HIST 2110: Lecture Slides for the Remainder of the Semester

It’s that time of the semester — the home stretch.  The lecture notes for our remaining classes are all available below.

18 – Depression Era America slides

19 – The Ideological War

20 – Building a Free World

21 – The Third American Revolution

22 – Vietnam and Rise of New Right

23 – The Washington Consensus

24 – America in Globalization and War


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HIST 2110: Progressives, the Great War, and the 1920s

Here are slides for this week:

15 – The Yen for Reform

16 – The Progressives’ War

17 – The World of the 1920s

And Crash Course videos:


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HIST 8030: Copyright, Music, and American Political Culture

Here is Daa’ood’s post for next week’s class:

Cummings, Alex Sayf. Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century. New York: Oxford Press, 2013.

The word piracy often conjures images of scraggly bearded men with tricorn hats who sailed the open waters of the Caribbean Sea looting and causing general mayhem wherever they sailed. Or in a more modern context the desperate actions of men from depressed third world nations that make menacing declarations about who posses the title of captain. While both of these generalizations are not necessarily wrong, the image that would be more fitting is actually that of your neighbor who works in the accounting department of a local firm or the barista from your favorite café that prepared your mocha latte. The ease of information exchange and the prevalence social media has created a society that values the art of sharing information and experiences. Bored at work with a catchy tune stuck in your head? Go to Youtube and play the song over and over to your heart’s content without paying a cent. Need something to inspire the students in your spin class? Go create a playlist of the Billboard 100 electronic/dance or hip-hop/ R&B. Your favorite band released an album but its getting negative reviews? Torrent it and decide for yourself and while you are at it send a copy to a friend, or four. It is easy to forget as consumers the musical experiences we share with friends and family is the hard work of one or several individuals who produce content for profit. While very few would argue against an artist ability to receive a profit from their work, the idea of commoditizing communal or intimate experiences blurs that argument. What should you do? At what point does sharing a personal experience become an infringement on another individual’s “intellectual property?”

Alexander Sayf Cummings and his book Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century chronicles a century long battle against music piracy and examined how society reacted to the unique relationship piracy has shared with the music industry. Cummings makes a wonderful use of legal precedents, advertisements, and social commentary to follow the changing positions on piracy from a legal and cultural perspective. Before the reader is placed on the yellow brick road to all things related to copyright infringement and property rights, he attempts to clarify the distinctions between the important terms of pirating, bootlegging, and counterfeiting. Bootlegging is regarded as the documentation of “performances that had never been officially published” and is seen as a supplement rather than a deduction from the larger body of work.(5) A counterfeit is the unauthorized reproduction of something in an attempt to imitate an authentic item; while pirating is generally seen as the unauthorized use of work that is not your own. So by those definitions one could sell unpublished music in professional packaging and still be considered a bootlegger although, they are using tactics most counterfeiters employ to fool the consumer into thinking they are buying a legitimate item. While both of these acts are made possible by pirating, which is the unauthorized use of another individuals work, pirating does not automatically make you a bootlegger or a counterfeiter. The scenario also does not take into account that pirated works often mix published and unpublished material in compilations; this level of confusion underscores the vague nature of copyright law.

Cummings started in the late nineteenth with the creation of early recording devices, player pianos, and music boxes and progressed to the growing consumption of recorded music in the early twentieth century. Highlighted by the landmark cases White-Smith v. Apollo (1908) and Fonotipia v Bradley (1909) and the subsequent Copyright Act of 1909 the author set the stage for decades of legal battles over the concept of property rights in recorded music as well as the ownership and extent of those rights in relation to public domain. Throughout the book Cummings was careful to distinguish not all forms of piracy were not inherently malicious in intent but in fact were a response to the discontinuation of many lesser-known works of music. Although technically pirating, the individuals that participated had done it out of historical preservation for cultural works that would have other wise been lost forever. The climax of the book centered on the Sound Recording Act of 1971 and the Copyright Act of 1976, laws that marked a fundamental shift in the government’s view on property rights for musicians and the record industry. The act of 1971 transformed copyright from something designed to “promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts” to the protection of business interest.(135) That shift in copyright approach was supported by the act of 1976 which extended protection to all ideas “expressed in tangible form” in both written and electronic forms. Cummings was quick to indicate even though record companies and artist had made huge strides for better copyright protection, it would not signal the end of piracy. For better or worse piracy was an integral component in the culture of enjoying music, as well the creation of certain musical genres like hip-hop.

Democracy of Sound tackled several important issues of law, morality, and culture of music consumption but the recurring theme was of the issue of property rights or what is often referred to as ‘intellectual property’ in the twenty-first century. The importance of property rights in relation to copyright and piracy cannot be overstated, that fact it was mentioned or alluded to in the book nearly fifty times is a testament to how difficult it was to adequately define and defend. The decline of physical media and the emergence of digital downloading and online streaming services have raised new questions about what constitutes ownership, and the fair use of digital media. The aggressive push to enforce DRM (digital rights management) by large software companies like Microsoft has once again thrown the discussion of property rights into the national dialog. Much like the face off between the record industry and the counterculture movement of the 1960’s; the debate over DRM has strong opinions on the side of the content producers and consumers. Regardless of the course future debates take, the work of skilled historians like Alexander Sayf Cummings is indispensable to the public discourse.

Discussion Questions

1) Do you agree with the author that music is a communal experience?

2) What role did the ever-changing medium music was stored on (vinyl to tapes, tapes to CDs) had on its ability to be pirated?

3) Does piracy become an integral part of the music culture if the federal government had a firmer grasp on property rights as it related to musicians and the recording industry in the early 20th century?

4) What was the bigger obstruction to the development of a more robust copyright law, progressivism? Or the vague distinctions between of pirating, counterfeiting, and bootlegging?

5) Does the cultural component of music necessitate piracy?

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HIST 8030: Jackson and Blackmar on space

John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Landscape in Sight: Looking at America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997)

To John B. Jackson, the landscape is a “concrete, three-dimensional shared reality” which should be shared among everyone and easily understood (300).  Before reading this book, I think we can all agree that we viewed our landscape as a physical scene found outside our window.  Living 50 miles outside of Atlanta down a rural road full of small farms, I sometimes find myself taking the precious land my Father bought at 18 for granted.   Although I did not find this as a true non-fiction book full of historical analysis, arguments and sources, Jackson helped me to appreciate the beauty behind the small farm I currently live on.  Furthermore, after reading this book, I look at garages, roads, trailer park homes, and modern architecture in a different way.

Thanks to Daniel Horowitz’s wife and editor of this book, Helen Horowitz, we are introduced to Jackson and his prerogative in writing on landscape.  Horowitz proposed a need to understand the history behind American Architecture.  She wanted to understand how people in the past imagined and created the spaces in which they lived in.  From this investigation, she discovered Jackson’s magazine publication Landscape, which was an outlet to write on American landscape and human geography from 1951 through 1996.

Although Jackson was not a trained geographer, he realized early on in his college career at Harvard his interest in human geography.   He developed an eye for the beauty of American Southwestern terrain after college when he decided to become a cowboy in New Mexico.  Later, he fell in love with the romantic, baroque architecture in Europe while serving in the Army during World War Two.  After the war, he bought himself a jeep and decided to drive out West in America and took note of the Nation’s countryside with “fresh eyes.” (xix)   While appreciating the past through classical architecture, farmlands, the American Southwest, and roads, Jackson was extremely quick to judge and criticize the emergence of modern architecture in the 1960s and the downfall of cultivation in farmlands once technology emerged on the land.   One could say that he developed this sense of nostalgia while growing up in New England and appreciating the traditional and baroque architecture when traveling across Europe during World War Two.

In this book, Horowitz gathered numerous essays and accounts that Jackson wrote in his publication.  Although there is no clear thesis, readers can sit back and enjoy a fresh new way of appreciating the classical human geography and architecture found in America, especially in the Southwest. Without the clear thesis or historical argument, the audience can read essays in a strategic chronological order that examines the Landscape in the past, present, and future.

The city of Optimo in the essay titled, “Almost Perfect Town,” hit home for me, because I come from a small town, where the Dallas Courthouse is crucial to the landscape and the center of sociability much like when Jackson is describing the courthouse in Optimo.   He appreciates the value of these still hthe hundreds of Optimos throughout America, so valuable: the ties between country and town have not yet been broken.  Limited though it may well be in many ways, the world of Optimo City is still complete.”  (35)

Also, in the essay, “The Westward Moving House,” (81) Jackson gives a timeline of how the functions of homes and land have changed through time from the 1600s to the 1950s.  One can see the beginnings of domesticity in the New World to the emergence of farmland technology that changed the relationships with landscapes a great deal in the 1950s.  All throughout the book, Jackson is criticizing modernity, and this essay shows his criticism.  He hates this idea of the new modern farmer much like Ray Tinkham in “Westward Moving Houses,” as he says they are not for the better in the later essay “Engineered Environment” (225).

When taking on the modern movement in architecture, one can see that Jackson despises the international modern style.  He is an advocate for the vernacular function of land and homes, which is based on human needs and function, not to pleasure the human eye in aesthetics.  When reading “Living Outdoors with Mrs. Panther,” (281) in which he wrote under his pseudonym Ajax, it is evident that he is mocking the modernity as Mr. and Mrs. Panther are explaining their new modern home of the 1960s.  I found this essay a bit odd, but I read a little deeper and assumed that Jackson is possibly against the emerging counterculture movement of the 1960s? He writes Mrs. Panther’s dialogue on their new home, “When we have company I open some cans and toss a salad: we have a bottle of French wine, some cheese, and then sit around on cushions and discuss McCarthyism and how we dislike it.” (284)

All in all, I found this to be an interesting read and an overall eye-opener in how we can view the land we live on.  Jackson is clearly frustrated with the modernity of architecture and homes when analyzing this collection of essays, but he finds great pleasure in the American Westward landscapes and the small towns that are dotted across the Nation, as most of the land can spark a sense of nostalgia within him.  I was a bit confused, because some of it seemed fictional and other parts seemed historical, but I believe we can appreciate his passion for wanting Americans to always recreate a vernacular domesticity.

In looking at Elizabeth Blackmar’s essay, “Of REITS and Rights: Absentee Ownership in the Periphery,” she too discusses the degradation of land as it now becomes more of “nonmaterial form of property, a claim on a stream of income abstracted from geography” (83).  She looks at the influx of shopping malls in the 1980s and 1990s and how the land has “lost its grounding in the natural world.”  Now, REITS or Real Estate Investment Trusts are invested in a money game in attracting a great deal of home buyers with liquid mortgages, but the retail investors like Simon Properties and Bucksbaums’ General Growth Property are following the outward influx and practically calling the shots.  Both Blackmar and Jackson criticize the direction in which landscape is following, which to them is a downward spiral.  It is becoming less of a personal attachment and commodity and more of a financial game.  Blackmar says that we are “severing our connection to the land that sustains us,”(98) which I am sure Jackson would agree.

Source of article: http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittpress;cc=pittpress;idno=31735060482266;rgn=full%20text;didno=31735060482266;view=image;seq=0091;node=31735060482266%3A1.8.1


  • Which article/essay stood out to you in this collection? Why? Did you make a personal connection to it? Why, why not?
  • Why did Jackson have this obsession with roads? What did he say about them?
  • What makes the Western Landscape different than any other Landscapes found in America? Do you have the same fascination with it much like Jackson?
  • He mentions “vernacular architecture” a great deal in his essays? What does this mean, and why is this important to him?
  • Did you see any similarities or differences in Landscape in Sight and “Of REITS and Rights?”
  • In looking at the bigger picture in his account on the Modern Movement in “Living Outdoors with Mrs. Panther”, do you think that Jackson was just a bit too conservative and could not handle the rise of change and the counterculture movement that began in the late 1950s?
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