MSU Billings Course Descriptions

HSTA - American History

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* HSTA 101 American History I

[formerly HIST 204 United States History to 1877]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Surveys American history from the establishment of the colonies to the end of the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.  Includes such topics as the English political and cultural heritage, independence, creation of the Constitution, early national period, increasing democracy, economic problems, manifest destiny, slavery, sectionalism, disunion, war, and reunion.


* HSTA 102 American History II

[formerly HIST 205 United States History Since 1877]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Surveys the political, economic, and social development of the U.S.  since Reconstruction.  Deals with industrialization and the agrarian reaction, Progressive Era, U.S. reaction to World War I, 1920s, Depression and New Deal, background to involvement in World War II, Cold War leadership (including Korea and Vietnam), and domestic changes since WWII.


HSTA 200 Historian as Detective

3 cr. (F, Sp, Su)  Examines the basic research methods of History.  Includes basic research writing and information gathering skills appropriate to History.  Students will be instructed in the use of the Turbian/Chicago Manual of Style system of documentation.  The course also prepares students to delve more deeply into the discipline of History by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in more advanced study through upper division courses in the History program.


HSTA 298 Internship/Cooperative Education

[formerly HIST 296 Cooperative Education/Internship]

V1-9 cr.  Provides university credit for a sophomore work experience in the area of History supervised by faculty.  Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).


HSTA 309 The Atlantic World 1492-1763

[formerly HIST 309 Creating Empire and Identity in the Atlantic World 1492-1763]

3 cr. Prerequisite: HSTA 101 or HSTR 102 or consent of instructor.  Explores the nature of the encounters between people and cultures from the Americas, Europe, and Africa from Columbus to the end of the French and Indian War.  Emphasis will be on how global trade patterns and technological developments gave rise to different kinds of relationships; the formation of new economic, demographic, political, and cultural configurations; and how the identities of people fundamentally changed during the time period, particularly in a colonial context.  The class will study the Atlantic world’s various geographic segments (i.e. Europe, Africa, North America, Latin America) in a comparative and/or integrated way.


HSTA 313 American Colonial and Revolutionary History to 1789

[formerly HIST 312 The American Colonial and Revolutionary Era to 1787]

3 cr. Recommended background: HSTA 101. (every third semester)  Examines the origins and evolution of colonial America, the development of a distinct American identity, the birth of the United States, the struggle for independence from Great Britain, and the problems and challenges of a new nation.


HSTA 315 Early American Republic 1787-1848

[formerly HIST 314 The New and Expanding Nation, 1789-1846]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester)  Examines the early Constitutional era, the political, social, and diplomatic issues of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian America, the emergence of the two party political system, the evolution of social reform movements, and the growing complexities of territorial conquest and expansion.


HSTA 316 American Civil War Era

[formerly HIST 316 The American Civil War Era, 1846-1877]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester)  Considers the social, political, and economic background of events culminating in the sectional and constitutional crises of the 1850s, the American Civil War of the 1860s, and the subsequent reconstruction of the United States in the 1870s.


HSTA 320 Birth of Modern United States

[formerly HIST 317 The Birth of Modern United States, 1877-1929]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester)  Covers the period 1877-1929 with special emphasis on those events which were crucial to America’s emergence as a great power.  Particular attention will be given to the rise of industrialism and the city, the decline of American agriculture, the rise of the United States’ worldwide empire, the Progressive Era, United States involvement in the First World War, and the 1920’s.


HSTA 321 America in Crisis

[formerly HIST 318 The United States from Depression to Prosperity, 1929-1960]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester)  Covers the period 1929-1960 in an effort to focus on America’s response to world turmoil characteristic of that era.  The Depression of the 1930’s, the Second World War, the beginning of the Cold War, and increasing economic disparity represent the principle upheavals in which the United States found itself involved.


HSTA 325 United States since 1960

[formerly HIST 319 The United States since the New Frontier, 1960-Present]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester)  Considers the problems of the United States since the beginning of the Kennedy administration including such topics as the Cold War, Vietnam, domestic politics, the radical left and the radical right, and the end of the Cold War.  The social, cultural, and economic problems created by such forces in American life as Far- and Middle Eastern affairs, presidential politics, and the global electronic economy will be examined in detail.


HSTA 408 Gender in America

3 cr. (3 lec/wk) Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (Sp)  Explores the history of women in American history from colonial times through the present day.  The main focus will be on understanding of gender as a historically specific social construct and how ideas regarding gender related to broader themes in the political, social, and cultural history of the United States.


HSTA 428 Historical Archeology in the Americas

[formerly HIST 425 Historical Archeology in the Americas]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (even Sp)  Explores how archaeological research contributes to the understanding of American history.  The class examines the development of historical cultures and sub-cultures in the New World from 1500 to the recent past.  Focus will be on the importance of material culture; the intimate relationship between archaeology and primary documents; and a review of current models, theories, and paradigms used in archaeological interpretation.  A secondary focus will be the use of technology in the process of archaeological analysis.


HSTA 460 Montana and the West

[formerly HIST 424 Montana History]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (F, some Su)  Traces the political, social, economic, and cultural development of Montana from pre-contact period through the present.  Special emphasis on Montanan’s changing historical relationship with natural environment, the contest of cultures, and twentieth century issues.  Course includes occasional field trips to historic sites.


HSTA 470 American Environmental History

[formerly HIST 470 American Environmental History]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (every third semester/summer)  Focuses on human interaction with and within the variety of North American environments.  Compares Native American, European, and American philosophies and mythologies surrounding nature.  Special emphasis on technology and nature, the American West, and the historical roots of recent ecological movements and controversies in Montana, the region, and the nation.


HSTA 480 Constitutional Law:  Civil Liberties (crosslisted with PSCI 472)

[formerly HIST/POLS 423 Constitutional Law:  Civil Liberties]

3 cr. Prerequisite: HSTA 101 or PSCI 210, or consent of instructor. (even F)  Examines major Supreme Court decisions in the field of individual rights.  Provides an overview of civil liberties decisions with emphasis on the recent past, or may consider specific constitutional issues (i.e., church and state, freedom of speech and press, the death penalty) over the course of American history.


HSTA 481 Constitutional Law:  Powers and Structures (crosslisted with PSCI 473)

[formerly HIST/POLS 427 Constitutional Law:  Powers and Structures]

3 cr. Prerequisite: HSTA 101 or PSCI 210, or consent of instructor. (odd F)  Introduces the evolution and structure of the United States constitutional system, focusing on the federal relationship, the separation of powers, and the judicial review, relying primarily upon the case method of analysis.


HSTA 492 Independent Study

[formerly HIST 491 Independent Study]

V1-5 cr. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and chairperson of the department.  Provides outstanding students an individual opportunity to explore material not covered by regular History courses.  The student’s proposal for independent study must be approved before registering and the student’s GPA in previous History courses must be at least 3.00.


HSTA 494 Seminar/Workshop

[formerly HIST 492 Seminar]

3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  Provides advanced students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of History.


HSTA 494 Seminar/Workshop

[formerly HIST 493 Workshop]

V1-8 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  Provides an opportunity for experimental study in an area of History.


HSTA 498 Internship/Cooperative Education I, II, III

[formerly HIST 490 Internship:  Public History]

V1-6 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  Provides public history opportunities for students in local organizations which utilize public historians.


HSTA 498 Internship/Cooperative Education I, II, III

[formerly HIST 496 Cooperative Education/Internship]

V1-9 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  Provides university credit for a work experience in the area of History supervised by faculty.  Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).


HSTA 499 Senior Capstone:  Historical Methodology

[formerly HIST 499 Historical Methodology]

3 cr. Prerequisite: 12 semester hours of history or consent of instructor. (F, Sp)  Analyzes how historians ask methodological and interpretive questions and how they answer those questioned intellectually and technically.  Aids the student in developing an understanding of the historical profession and the tasks of the historian through research and writing exercises, the investigation and evaluation of primary and secondary materials, and study of various methodologies employed by historians.