Cross-listed with English C136
Mark Twain's and Charles Dudley Warner's collaborative novel of 1873, The Gilded Age, has given a name to the American historical period of the post-Civil war era (roughly 1865 to 1890). It is a period of great changes in the country - the rise of monopolistic industrial capitalism in powerful corporations with consequent urbanization and the rise of cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, etc., and the struggle of a rural America against these new powers. It is a period of great economic unrest, with regular depressions and labor strikes. With Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1865), we glimpse the failed Reconstruction of the freed men and women from slavery as various forms of oppression are invented in the nation to re-subjugate African Americans. And, this is a period of a certain intellectual turmoil as writers try to understand what is going on in the country. There will be two midterm exams and a final exam.
This course satisfies the pre-1900 historical requirement for American Studies majors.