>History Department, Shepherd University

Studying History At Shepherd University

History is the exploration of the past as a key to understanding the human condition. Historical study enables students to understand their own and other civilizations and to confront the present and future with intelligence and perspective.

Shepherd’s location on the banks of the Potomac and in the lower Shenandoah Valley provides a setting especially conducive to historical study. The many Native American names on the landscape provide evidence of the earliest dwellers in the area. The oldest town in West Virginia, Shepherdstown is a living museum of architecture and material culture. James Rumsey built and operated the first steamboat here, and the contending forces of the Civil War fought the deadliest battle in American history across the river at Antietam. Three national historical parks are nearby: the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Harpers Ferry, and Antietam. Other parks, historical sites, museums, and the major research repositories of the Library of Congress and the National Archives are within a reasonable drive or accessible by commuter train.

The History Department offers a broad range of courses in American, Latin American, European, African, and Asian history. Specialized concentrations within the major are available in the Civil War/Nineteenth-Century America and in Public History.


Specific General Studies Requirements

PSCI 101, American Federal Government
3

Total hours required for a major
36
Required courses
18
HIST 201 and 202, History of the United States
6
HIST 250, Introduction to Historical Studies
3
HIST 314, Recent United States History OR
HIST 404, Contemporary World since 1929
3
One 300 or 400 level course in European history from among the following:
3
HIST 329, Renaissance & Reformation
HIST 332, Medieval History
HIST 333, Modern Europe
HIST 338, European Women to 1500
HIST 339, European Women since 1500
HIST 360, Evolution of European Government
HIST 375, First World War
HIST 407, England to 1603
HIST 408, England since 1603
HIST 410, Russia to 1855
HIST 412, Russia since 1855
HIST 416, Italian City States
HIST 440, Ideas in the Modern West
Any other course (including independent studies and special topics courses)
in European history with permission of the Department
One 300 or 400 level course in the History of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American history chosen from among the following:
3
HIST 320, Sub-Saharan Africa
HIST 331, Ancient History
HIST 419, East Asia to 1800
HIST 420, East Asia since 1800
HIST 421, Modern Japan
HIST 445, Latin American History to 1840
HIST 446, Latin American History since 1820
Other courses (including independent studies and special topics courses)
in African, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American history with permission of the Department

Traditional Concentration


18
Six electives selected from among 300 or 400 level History courses
18

Concentration in the Civil War and Nineteenth-Century America


18
HIST 304, Civil War America, 1850-1865
3
HIST 307, The Reconstruction Era, 1865-1877
3
HIST 430, Civil War Seminar OR
HIST 435, Practicum in Civil War Studies
3
One of the following courses:
3
HIST 303, The Jacksonian Era, 1816-1850
HIST 308, The Old South
HIST 405, Introduction to African-American History
HIST 438, Soldiers and American Society, 1861-1865
Two electives selected from among 300 or 400 level History courses
6

Concentration in Public History


18
HIST 300, Historic Preservation
3
HIST 345, Introduction to Public History
3
HIST 432, Internship in Public History OR
HIST 435, Practicum in Civil War Studies
3
One of the following courses:
HIST 318, The United States in World War II
HIST 360 The Evolution of European Government
Any 300 or 400 level course in American History (except HIST 432 and 435)
Any other 300 or 400 level history course by arrangement with the instructor
ANTH 221, Introduction to Museum Studies
ANTH 345, Archaeological Field Methods and Lab
ANTH 370, Historic Architecture in the United States
ENVS 220, Battlefield Preservation
HIST 375, First World War
ENVS 332, Environmental History
3
Two electives selected from among 300 or 400 level History courses
6


Curriculum for a Minor in History

Total hours required for a minor
24
Required courses
15
HIST 201 and 202, History of the United States
6
HIST 314, Recent United States History OR
HIST 404, Contemporary World since 1929
3
One 300 or 400 level course in European history from among the following:
3
HIST 329, Renaissance & Reformation
HIST 332, Medieval History
HIST 333, Modern Europe
HIST 338, European Women to 1500
HIST 339, European Women since 1500
HIST 360, Evolution of European Government
HIST 375, First World War
HIST 407, England to 1603
HIST 408, England since 1603
HIST 410, Russia to 1855
HIST 412, Russia since 1855
HIST 416, Italian City States
HIST 440, Ideas in the Modern West
Any other course (including independent studies and special topics courses) in European history with permission of the Department
One 300 or 400 level course in the History of African, Asian, Middle Eastern,
or Latin American history chosen from among the following
3
HIST 320, Sub-Saharan Africa
HIST 331, Ancient History
HIST 419, East Asia to 1800
HIST 420, East Asia since 1800
HIST 421, Modern Japan
HIST 445, Latin American History to 1840
HIST 446, Latin American History since 1820
Other courses (including independent studies and special topics courses)
in African, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American history with permission of the Department
History Electives
6
Two electives selected from among 300 or 400 level History courses

Course Descriptions

HIST 100. HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION: ASIAN TRADITIONS (3) The course covers the histories of East, Southeast, and South Asia from the inception of civilizations to approximately 1700 AD. It focuses on both political and cultural development within these regions. Cannot be taken together with HIST 101 to fulfill general studies requirement. Back to top>>

HIST 101. HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION: THE ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL WORLDS (3) A survey of ancient and medieval world civilizations. Emphasis is placed on basic similarities and differences in government, religion, economics, society, culture, and intellectual development. Cannot be taken together with HIST 100 to fulfill general studies requirement. Back to top>>

HIST 102. HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION: CHANGE AND GLOBAL CONNECTIONS IN THE EARLY MODERN WORLD (3) A survey of civilization between roughly 1200 and 1800. Topics may include the Mongol conquests, the rise of West African kingdoms, the expansion of Islam, the Renaissance and Reformation, the rise of the modern state, the European Age of Exploration, the conquest of the Americas, the slave trade, the scientific revolution, and the French Enlightenment. Back to top>>

HIST 103. HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION: THE MODERN WORLD (3) A survey of the French Revolution and its aftermath, of liberalism. nationalism, industrialization, materialism, and imperialism. The student will investigate 20th-century wars, international organizations, and global interactions in the post-colonial world. Back to top>>

HIST 201. HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TO 1865 (3) Survey course examines the basic political, economic, diplomatic, and social forces in the formation and development of the American nation from the Colonial Period through the Civil War. Back to top>>

HIST 202. HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, 1865 TO PRESENT (3) Course surveys the basic political, economic, diplomatic, and social forces in the rise of the republic from the end of the sectional conflict to a major international role. Moving from Reconstruction to the recent decade, it covers the evolution of the nation from an agrarian to an industrial society. Back to top>>

HIST 250. INTRODUCTION TO HISTORICAL STUDIES (3) An introduction to historiographic and historical methodology. Back to top>>

HIST 300. HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND INTERPRETATION (3) Course will familiarize the student with the historic preservation policies and procedures of local, state, and national governments and of the outstanding private efforts in the field. A study of the general principles and methods of interpretation of historic phenomena to the general public will be involved. Extensive out-of-classroom use will be made of the historical resources in the local area for interpretive practice and preservation examples. Prerequisite: HIST 201/202 or consent. Back to top>>

HIST 301. AMERICAN COLONIAL HISTORY (3) This course examines the development of colonies in America, 1492-1763. Instead of seeing the history of the mainland North American colonies as the rise of the United States, the course places the colonies in an Atlantic context. This multi-imperial, multi-ethnic, multicultural approach will focus on political, cultural, social, and economic interactions among Indians, African, and Europeans in the New World. Back to top>>

HIST 302. ERA OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 1763-1815 (3) An intensive study of the 1763-1815 period, this course focuses on the causes, nature, and consequences of the American Revolution and the formation of the United States through the War of 1812. It examines how all peoples living in the mainland colonies affected the creation and security of the new nation and how that new regime in turn shaped their lives. Back to top>>

HIST 303. THE JACKSONIAN ERA, 1816-1850 (3) Covering the period from the Era of Good Feelings to the aftermath of the Mexican War, this course encompasses the rise of early nationalism, territorial expansion, the westward movement, the development of the market economy, the rise of the common man, and the manifestation of reform. This complex era epitomized Andrew Jackson's career, saw the rise of disparate economic systems and political goals among the nation's geographical sections. Back to top>>

HIST 304. CIVIL WAR AMERICA, 1850-1865 (3) A study of the causes of the Civil War and the war itself, with emphasis on the military conflict and on the societies that waged it. The course will examine the economic, social, cultural, and political causes of the War, Union and Confederate political and military leadership, the conduct of military and naval operations, and the relationship between war and society. Back to top>>

HIST 305. HISTORY OF THE LOWER SHENANDOAH VALLEY (3) This regional course investigates historical development within the national context. It examines geographical features; early explorations and settlement; the colonial influences in migration, politics, and economy; antebellum matters such as slavery, transportation, and cultural manifestations; the American Civil War; Reconstruction, the farmer's revolt, and industrialization; the limestone and orchard industry; and the 20th-century impact. Some attention is devoted to regional literature as it reflects historical character and biography of major personalities. Back to top>>

HIST 307. THE RECONSTRUCTION ERA, 1865-1877 (3) This course will detail the immediate effects and the enduring impact of the American Civil War upon the modern United States in the areas of race, constitutional development, national and state politics, and economy. It will explore post-war adjustments in all sections, the evolution of national policies on major issues, and various interpretations of national reconciliation that culminate in the disputed presidential election of 1876. Back to top>>

HIST 308. THE OLD SOUTH (3) This course examines the development of the American South from the Colonial period to 1850 as a distinctive section. It traces the origins of the plantation system, the rise of democracy, slavery, the westward movement, and the Southern position on national political issues. It also appraises societal, intellectual, and political conflicts within the section. Back to top>>

HIST 309. WEST VIRGINIA AND THE APPALACHIAN REGION (3) Emphasis upon the development of western Virginia and the state of West Virginia. This course will examine the general geographical, political, and economic aspects of the southern Appalachian region. The impact upon the Mountain State of the patterns of settlement, the heritage of sectional conflict, the statehood movement, legal and political developments accompanying the assimilation of the area into the national economy, and national events will be considered. The student will view the current problems of the area and contemporary Appalachian society. Back to top>>

HIST 310. THE GILDED AGE AND PROGRESSIVE ERA (3) Course will encompass the domestic development of modern America from the end of Reconstruction through the New Freedom program of Woodrow Wilson. Back to top>>

HIST 311. ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (3) This survey course traces the historical development of the American economy from the Colonial Period to the 20th century. Based on the broad social, cultural, and legal context of economic growth, it devotes attention to the major historiographical debates about various phases of United States economic history. Back to top>>

HIST 312. AMERICAN HISTORY IN AN ERA OF CRISES, 1917-1945 (3) A survey of important social, cultural, economic, and political trends and events in the United States from the U.S. entry into World War I through the end of World War II. Back to top>>

HIST 314. RECENT UNITED STATES HISTORY, 1945 TO PRESENT (3) A survey of important social cultural, economic, and political trends and events in the United States since the end of World War II. Back to top>>

HIST 318. UNITED STATES AND WORLD WAR II (3) Covers the causes of the war and the reasons for U.S. involvement, the major campaigns, the effects of the war on the home front, and wartime diplomacy. Major emphasis is upon military strategy and the campaigns. Back to top>>

HIST 320. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (3) An interdisciplinary examination of Sub-Saharan Africa, including the great migrations, the genesis of modern Africa in the nineteenth century, the impact of imperialism, and the rise and consequences of nationalism. Back to top>>

HIST 329. THE RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION (3) A study of Renaissance politics, literary and intellectual contributions, and the conditions of social and religious unrest which led to the successes and failures of the Reformation. Back to top>>

HIST 330. HISTORY OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY (3) A history of early Christianity with a strong emphasis on its Judaic and Greek roots. Stress will be placed on geographical spread, significant persons, philosophies, governments, and theological concerns (also listed as RELG 330). Back to top>>

HIST 331. ANCIENT CIVILIZATION (3) The process by which civilizations develop and the application of this process to the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean with special emphasis on the Hebrew and the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. Prerequisite: HIST 101 or its equivalent. Back to top>>

HIST 332. MEDIEVAL HISTORY (3) Concerns the development of Western traditions during this formative period of history from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Emphasis is placed on the development of the Christian Church and philosophy, the barbarian invasions, the crusade, and the formative beginnings of nation-states. Prerequisite: HIST 101 or its equivalent. Back to top>>

HIST 333. MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY (3) The political, economic, and intellectual achievements and failures of Europe from the time of the French Revolution to the coming of World War I, including the impact of European contact with the non-European world. Prerequisite: HIST 102 or its equivalent. Back to top>>

HIST 338. EUROPEAN WOMEN TO 1500 (3) The course is an introduction to the history of women from Antiquity through the Renaissance. It explores the role of gender in historical experience and evaluates that experience for women. The course will also examine women's participation and status in the political and economic realm and their role in the private sphere. Back to top>>

HIST 339. EUROPEAN WOMEN SINCE 1500 (3) An examination of issues in the political, intellectual, social, and economic history of European women since the Reformation. Back to top>>

HIST 345.  INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HISTORY (3)  This course examines how academic history reaches wider audiences and the way in which history and memory shape culture, politics and collective identity. The course, which includes field trips to historic sites, also introduces students to potential sources of employment for historians in non-academic settings.

HIST 375. THE FIRST WORLD WAR (3) An examination of the origins, conduct, and impact of World War I. The scope of this course is global; it investigates the conflict from the viewpoint of those who experienced it as well as from the perspective of historical scholarship. Back to top>>

HIST 402. DIPLOMATIC HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (3) A survey of the development of the foreign policy of the United States from Colonial times to the present. Back to top>>

HIST 404. TEE CONTEMPORARY WORLD SINCE 1929 (3) Concerns political and intellectual events since the Great Depression and their impact on the contemporary scene. Back to top>>

HIST 405. INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY (3) An examination of the African and West Indian background of slave trade; the institution of slavery in antebellum United States; the effects of Civil War and Reconstruction; the pursuit of self-help and democracy and repression; and the black renaissance and revolution. Attention will be devoted to historical development of the African in American cultures other than the United States. Prerequisites: HIST 201 or 202 or their equivalent. Course Outline/Syllabus. Back to top>>

HIST 407. HISTORY OF ENGLAND TO 1603 (3) A survey of British civilization from the Roman Conquest through the Tudor Age with emphasis on political, economic, social, and cultural developments. Back to top>>

HIST 408. HISTORY OF ENGLAND SINCE 1603 (3) A survey of British civilization from the Stuarts to the present, continuing the political economic, social, and cultural developments. Emphasis will be placed on Britain's emerging role in world affairs. Back to top>>

HIST 410. HISTORY OF RUSSIA TO 1855 (3) A survey of medieval and early imperial Russia with special emphasis on political, social, economic, and cultural developments. Back to top>>

HIST 412. HISTORY OF RUSSIA SINCE 1855 (3) A survey of late imperial and Soviet Russian history with special emphasis on political, social, economic, and cultural developments. Course Outline/Syllabus. Back to top>>

HIST 416. ITALIAN CITY STATES (3) This course examines the evolution of the city states of northern and central Italy from the 9th to the 16th centuries. It explores how this region experienced various forms of republican government, produced merchant empires, created an influential artistic movement, and dominated European politics for centuries. Back to top>>

HIST 419. EAST ASIA TO 1800 (3) This course examines the histories of China, Japan, and Korea, from their beginnings to the commencement of their intensive contact with Western nations. The course will balance the historical primacy of China in the region with the political and cultural independence of neighboring states. Back to top>>

HIST 420. MODERN EAST ASIA SINCE 1800 (3) The response of China, Japan, and Korea to the challenge of the West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Back to top>>

HIST 421. HISTORY OF MODERN JAPAN (3) The course will familiarize students with the main events and trends of early modern (1600-1867) and modern (1868-present) Japanese history. Emphasis will be placed on the political, social, and intellectual dimensions of Japan's experience of modernity. Back to top>>

HIST 425, HIST 426. READINGS IN AMERICAN AND WESTERN HEMISPHERIC HISTORY (3 each) Course will be devoted to the extensive reading of standard and classic monographs, biographies, or articles on selected American or Western Hemispheric topics. The specific topics and presiding professor will be announced prior to registration periods. Back to top>>

HIST 427, HIST 428. READINGS IN EUROPEAN AND WORLD HISTORY (3 each) Devoted to the extensive reading of standard and classic monographs, biographies, or articles on selected European and World topics. The specific topics and presiding professor will be announced prior to registration periods. Back to top>>

HIST 430. CIVIL WAR SEMINAR (3) A special topics seminar which investigates various aspects of the Civil War. The topic will vary from year to year. Each student, in consultation with the seminar director, will write a research paper related to the topic. Back to top>>

HIST 432. PUBLIC HISTORY INTERNSHIP (3) This course offers practical learning experience at a historic site, museum, archive, government agency, or similar setting. Students will work at least 40 hours at tasks assigned by the cooperating site supervisor and the course instructor. A research paper related to the site will be written by the student in consultation with the instructor. Back to top>>

HIST 435. PRACTICUM IN CIVIL WAR STUDIES (3) Provides practical learning experience in a Civil War or 19th Century related park, museum, library or similar setting. Students will work at least 40 hours in tasks assigned by the co-operating site supervisor and the instructor and, in consultation with the instructor and the site supervisor, will produce a research paper related to some aspect of the site. Back to top>>

HIST 438. SOLDIERS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY, 1861-1865 (3) An intensive research and writing course that examines the life of the common soldier during the Civil War and the society to which he belonged. The course includes a research trip to the National Archives and participation in the annual Summer Seminar hosted by the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War. Back to top>>

HIST 440. IDEAS IN THE MODERN WEST (3) The course will familiarize students with major thinkers and intellectual movements in the Western world from approximately 1750 to the later 20th century. It will treat the French Enlightenment as the impetus for a variety of conflicting efforts to understand human nature, society, and the cosmos. Back to top>>

HIST 445 LATIN AMERICA TO 1840 (3) This course examines the political and social formation of Latin America to 1840, including the pre-Columbian era, colonial society, and independence movements. Themes examined will include relations between the individual and the state, and issues of gender, race, and religion. Students will work extensively with primary documents. Back to top>>

HIST 446 LATIN AMERICA SINCE 1820 (3) This course examines modern Latin America from the formation of independent states around 1820 through the present day. Themes emphasized include political and economic structures, relations with the United States, human rights, and the impact of globalization. Back to top>>