Call for thoughts

I have posted this on H-World, but to generate responses from a different perspective, I'm also posting this request here on H-War.


Once again I'm staring down the barrel of a World History II course this fall. Swallowing the entire elephantine half millennia of history (to mix my metaphors) is always a challenge.

I'm looking for a new way of approaching it, and the thought occurred to me that I might try to teach it backwards. Perhaps someone else has tried this?

Re: QOTW - Students & the GAPE

I have actually found that students are much more likely to be critical of our current financial and political system than they were three or four years ago. Some of this, I think, is because Bernie Sanders raised the profile of socialism, and also because his campaign targeted so many issues that reformers tackled during the GAPE. I recently, for instance, had a student who was a member of a lifeguard's labor union and the whole class was fascinated by his experience and connected it to our discussions of the WTUL, etc.

Re: QOTW - Students & the GAPE

I've noticed that too. It's the same with "well unions were a good idea back in the day but they're not needed today." I think it's only marginally related to what actual working & living conditions are today; I think it's mostly that the kids have learned in their history classes that things were bad in the past (because that allows us to tell a story about how things get better and better) and those have come with some concrete examples, whereas they haven't heard that much about what things actually are like today.

Re: QOTW - Students & the GAPE

I have noticed that students seem to be much more sympathetic to the plight of workers and immigrants who lived during the GAPE than they are towards the problems facing workers and immigrants today. Even conservative/libertarian students tend to agree that working and living conditions were unacceptable during the GAPE. I am not certain why this is the case, but I suspect that this is partially due to the fact that material living conditions for workers and immigrants are generally better today than they were during the GAPE.

QOTW - Students & the GAPE

Welcome to H-SHGAPE's Question of the Week! Every other Wednesday, the list editors will ask a question about the Gilded Age and Progressive Era that we hope will provoke lively discussion. We encourage you to share your thoughts by typing in the "Post a Reply" box below the original post, or, if you're getting this by email, by clicking on the "Read More or Reply" link.


Re: Native American History Comprehensive Reading List

Hi Dawn,
That's wonderful that you're teaching a seminar in Native American history. Some books you might consider: Julian Barr, Peace came in the form of a woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas borderlands, Kathleen Duval, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution, and Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater frontier: Indians and the contest for the American coast. I also like Bonds of Alliance by Brett Rushforth.


Subscribe to RSS - teaching query