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HIST 408 History of the Great Plains

HIST 408.  History of the Great Plains.  3 Credits.   H   

This course is an overview of the history of the North American Great Plains up to 1900. Today's plains region comprises ten American states and three Canadian provinces, but it also connects dozens of Indigenous nations that (historically and presently) overlapped through seasonal migrations, trade, resources, and sacred lands. The Great Plains is a unique geographical area that is united by several environmental traits: flatness, aridity, unusual elevations, and an abundance of grasslands. It is also a region of North America characterized by significant cultural diversity, contested spaces, and national myths of empire and settlement. Lectures, readings, and discussion will cover these topics chronologically while emphasizing major themes of ethnicity, race, gender, class, environment, politics, and economic development.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in History

History does not just narrate a sequence of past events. The practice of history examines change over time and tries to understand the forces that contributed to those changes. Historians are most interested in questions that begin by asking ‘why’ or ‘how.’ These questions demand complex answers about who we are, how we have come to where we are, and what forces have shaped humanity through time.