History & Politics Course Descriptions
A synthesis of the political, diplomatic, social, cultural, and religious phases of American life. First semester to 1877; second semester since 1877. This course is designed as a general survey course which emphasizes an interpretive approach. Open to freshmen. 111D or 112D includes Georgia history for history education students. Three hours each semester. HUM
An introduction to the study of history as a field of scholarly research and a diverse academic and public profession. The course provides students with a basic overview of historical studies including fundamental research methodologies, rudiments of historical writing, sub-fields of historical inquiry, and a “hands-on” exploration of career opportunities in the general field of history. This course should prepare students for all subsequent history electives and may be used to help assess the value of a history major. History majors should complete this course by the end of their sophomore year. Three hours. ‘W’
A readings course on general topics in U.S. History to 1877. One hour.
A readings course on general topics in U.S. History since 1877. One hour.
A survey of the development of European political and cultural traditions from their roots in the ancient Near East and classical Mediterranean through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the beginnings of the Reformation. Topics include discussion of the classical Greco-Roman legacy, the development of Judeo-Christian religious traditions, and the impact of Germanic and other north European peoples. Explores the development of institutions and social organizations: the Church and religious movements; the state and politics; cities and commerce, the nature of the family, and other social structures. Three hours. HUM
A survey of the growth and expansion of modern European civilization as it emerged from the Reformation and era of religious wars, through the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial Revolutions, to the time of imperial expansion with the unification of Germany. The course traces changes in people's lives from the still very traditional societies of the sixteenth century to the individualistic and technological culture emerging in the nineteenth century. It examines the tensions and contradictions within "western values," particularly in such issues as the individual and the community, the sacred and the mundane, and the problems of "progress." Three hours. HUM
A study of the origins of the Constitution with special attention given to the constitutional convention, body of the Constitution, amendments and significant court decisions which interpret the Constitution. Three hours.
Historical survey of New York City from colonial times through the present that explores the city as both a resource for the study of public history and an urban landscape for exploration in its own right. Major themes include the urbanization, industrialization, immigration, housing, intercultural relations, “downtown” commerce, machine politics, intellectual life, and the arts. The course also introduces basic concepts, tools, and hands-on experiences in public history. Three hours.
A survey of religious ideas, peoples, and traditions through American history. Attention is given to the role of religion in America and its historical relationship to politics and culture. While the development of Christianity is observed, its varied responses to religious diversity in American life is of special concern. Another important theme is the emergence and significance of civil religion in America. Three hours. HUM
Following the end of the American Civil War virtually every aspect of southern life changed as the region faced not only the impact of the war but the rise of modernity. The New South is a multi-disciplinary study surveying the Southern experience since the mid 1870s through the present. This course emphasizes the historical, sociological, cultural, economic, environmental, political and psychological issues in the study of the South since the last years of Reconstruction. Three hours. HUM
This course offers opportunities for study in various topics of interest within the field of history. These may be short-term courses offered during the semester or during the summer term. Topics will be decided upon by the history faculty as need and interest arise. Credit to be determined.
A survey of the two centuries of English history in which this nation passed through two dynastic changes, emerged as a nation-state, experienced both Renaissance and Reformation, witnessed the flowering of its literature, and asserted itself as a major sea power. Prerequisite: HIS 214. Three hours.
A study of Bronze Age Greece, the rise and formation of the Greek city-state, the impact of Alexander the Great, and the institutions of the Hellenistic world. Attention will then shift to Rome, the rise and development of the Republic, the transition to Empire and its eventual disintegration. Three hours.
The medieval world is studied as a civilization in its own right, having its own particular values and institutional structure. The course begins with the Germanic invasions of the western Roman empire and ends with the decline of the church in the fourteenth century. Attention will focus on the development of the concept of a united Christian society and the accompanying cultural differentiation. Prerequisite: HIS 213 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A one-semester study of the major political theorists of the West since the Renaissance. Some attention will also be given to contemporary Christian political writing. Prerequisite: COR 226 or HIS 214 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A onesemester study of the major political theorists of the West since the Renaissance. Some attention will also be given to contemporary Christian political writing. Prerequisite: COR 226 or HIS 214 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A study of the historical and theological formation of the early church (C.E. 30-600). Emphasis will be placed on the major theological controversies of the period, and the development of church government. The role of women in the early church will also be discussed. Students will be challenged to understand early Christianity within the context of the social, political, and spiritual climate of the Roman world. Cross-listed as BIB 384. Three hours.
A study of modern Britain from the “Glorious Revolution,” through the era of commercial, industrial and imperial expansion, and into the late 20th century and the age of decolonization and economic reorganization. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction and interdependence of social, cultural and political changes in British history. Prerequisite: HIS 214 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A study of Russia since Peter the Great. Emphasis will be on the structural character and the ideals of Tsarist Russia, the growing revolutionary movement and the development of Marxist society. Prerequisite: HIS 214 or 325. or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A study of modern Germany since 1815 with emphasis on the twentieth century. Student reports and papers will largely focus on the Nazi era. Considerable effort will be given to discussion and analysis of the “German problem.” Prerequisite: HIS 214 or 325 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
This course surveys the spread of Christianity from its Middle Eastern origin, its gradual modification from a Semitic to a largely Gentile movement, and its ever-closer identification with central and Western European territories. Special note is taken of the development of Christian doctrine, through the major debates which troubled the Early Church, and of the rise of the Roman papacy. The semester concludes with an examination of a more confident Christian church in medieval times: ready to attempt mission to North Africa, military crusades to the Middle East, and evangelization in the Western Hemisphere. Pre- or co-requisite: BIB 277 or 278. Cross-listed as BIB 302. Three hours. HUM
This course surveys Christian history from the era of the European Renaissance and Reformation of the sixteenth century, the establishing of the Protestant tradition, the eventual Wars of Religion, the transmission of Christianity to the western hemisphere and Asia by trade, colonization, and the rise of the eighteenth century missionary movement. The effects on world Christianity of de-colonization and the major military conflicts of the twentieth century are especially noted. The future of Christianity as an increasingly non-Western and Global South movement will be noted in detail. Pre- or co-requisite: BIB 277 or 278. Cross-listed as BIB 303. Three hours. HUM
A study of late colonial America from the early 1700s through the Revolution and the establishment of the new government under the Constitution. Specific attention will be given to the ideological, economic, political and religious origins of the Revolution. Prerequisite: HIS 111 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
An in-depth study of the “long decade” of the 1960s in the history of the United States. The course will focus on social, cultural, diplomatic, political, and economic forces from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s that helped shape modern American society. Three hours.
A course which will focus on sectionalism, slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction during the mid-nineteenth century. An important focus of this course will be on the political, social, and cultural issues that led to the war. Prerequisite: HIS 111 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
Between 1890 and 1920, Americans experienced an aggressive cultural shift as the United States transitioned into a new century. During this period the individuals known as “progressives” confronted the wrongs plaguing the country. The national movement advocated reform through educational, political, environmental, cultural, and social reform. Although not unified in their particular agendas these leaders promoted reform through both government and grassroots efforts. This class will seek to survey the issues that marked the Progressive Era in America.Prerequisite: HIS 112 or permission of the instructor.Three hours.
A survey of the history of China and Japan since 1800. Consideration will be given to political, diplomatic, social and economic transformations in both countries with a particular emphasis on the interchange between China and Japan and Western civilization. Three hours.
A study of the emergence and character of the forces and changes that created a global, interdependent world in the twentieth century. Special attention is given to the impact of industrialization and imperialism in creating that global world, and the various ways in which developed and developing nations and cultures responded to those changes. The impact of two world wars and the role of global ideologies are highlighted. Prerequisite: COR 226 or HIS 214. Three hours.
An historical study of the southern regions of Africa from the age prior to the first Dutch settlement in 1652 through the dissolution of Apartheid in the early 1990s. The course explores the diversity of indigenous people groups in southern Africa, the nature and growth of European settlements in Africa, and the modern struggle for political power in South Africa. Close attention will be paid to the Afrikaner ideology of Baaskap, the political implementation of Apartheid and the long history of black resistance. Three hours.
An exploration of post-WWII events and trends in regions collectively known as the “developing world”: Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and significant portions of Asia. In addition to internal concerns such as ethnic rivalry and political volatility, the course also considers the emergence of complex socio-economic relationships between “developing” and “developed” nations. A significant component of the course will be the discussion and analysis of current global events. Prerequisite: HIS 325. Three hours.
A survey of the environment’s influence on humans and their institutions, and the impact of humans and their institutions on the environment over the course of American history. The course will focus on key themes in American environmental history. Three hours.
A study of the modern Middle East focusing on the influence of Islam, oil and Israel on the Arab world since 1800. Topics to be studied in depth include imperialism and nationalism; problems of modernization and development; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the global politics of oil; the Iranian revolution; and Islamic revivalism. Three hours.
Modernity is a complex intellectual historical issue among scholars. This course will attempt to understand some of the traits of modernity by examining major historiographical interpretations of the European Enlightenment as a social, political, religious, philosophical, and intellectual movement. Three hours.
The main purpose of this course is to understand the utilitarian and Victorian worldviews of nineteenth-century England. Using Charles Darwin’s autobiography and his diary, the student will reconstruct the utilitarian worldview of Darwin. The student is also responsible to understand how that worldview fits into the natural religion and political theory of Victorian England. Three hours.
The course will examine Europe in the 14th through 16th centuries in which there occurred simultaneously three great movements: the cultural and literary Renaissance emanating from Italy, the European reconnaissance of the world’s oceans pioneered by Portugal and Spain, and the Reformation of the Christian religion sparked by the Lutheran movement. Emphasis will be placed on the social setting common to all. Prerequisite: HIS 213 or 214. Three hours.
A study of the history of U.S. international relations with emphasis on the twentieth century. Attention will be given to the foundations of the ideology of U.S. foreign policy, to the variety of influences that shape American policy, and to the president’s role in managing foreign policy. Prerequisite: HIS 112 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A study of the development of urban America since the colonial period, with particular emphasis on the history of the city since the late nineteenth century. The course will focus on how and why urbanization developed and how it increasingly influenced the structure of the American nation. Themes of race, ethnicity, class, industrialization, poverty, popular culture, leisure, work, and politics will be considered in an effort to understand the societal changes which develop from the growth of urbanization in the United States. Three hours.
Guided readings in historical topics. Three hours.
This course is an historical examination of the important experiences and achievements of African Americans. Primary attention will be given to the cultural, religious, social and political structures that have given shape to the history of African Americans. In the movement from Africa, to slavery and freedom in America, we will evaluate the successes and failures of selected African American groups and individuals that unfold the fabric of this history. Three hours. HUM
African-American History from the Civil War to the present is a multi-disciplinary study surveying the African-American experience and emphasizing, historical, sociological, cultural, economic, and psychological issues in the study of African Americans since 1865. Three hours. HUM
An overview of the leading ideas and institutional developments that have shaped the character of American education. Of particular interest are the influence of Puritanism on education, the rise of the public school movement, the legacy of John Dewey and the Progressive Movement, and the Christian school movement. Students will look at educational developments within their social, intellectual, and political contexts. Fee $6. Three hours.
An overview of the African continent since 1800 that considers many of its important physical, political, and cultural dimensions. Special consideration is given to the impact of Europe and the United States on African peoples, dimensions of European colonial rule, patterns of indigenous response to colonization, Western images and perceptions of African peoples, and the role Africa has played in shaping the modern world. Three hours.
This course offers opportunities for study in various topics of interest within the field of history. These may be short-term courses offered during the semester or during the summer term. Topics will be decided upon by the history faculty as need and interest arise. Credit to be determined.
An overview of the interaction between North American Indian cultures and Euro-American cultures over the last five hundred years of American history. The course focuses on key themes including cultural interaction, government policy, missionary efforts and Indian response, and the efforts of American Indians to maintain self-determination and sovereignty over the five hundred year period of interaction with Euro-American culture. Prerequisite: HIS 111, 112 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A course designed for historical studies majors in their junior year. The course involves readings and discussions of the issues and problems associated with the study and writing of history. Special attention is given to the issues involved in a Christian interpretation of history and to the writings of both Christian and non-Christian authors. This course both reflects back to courses already taken and prepares the history major for the writing of the Senior Integration Project. Required of all historical studies majors. Prerequisite: HIS 150 or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Three hours.
Independent study in history may be pursued by qualified students in accordance with established guidelines.
Advanced studies in a selected topic in American History. This course is conducted as a seminar with a limited enrollment and consists of extensive reading accompanied by written and oral presentations by the student. Prerequisites: HIS 111, 112 and permission of the instructor. Three hours.
Study of topics in modern history. Normally this course involves considerable student participation through papers, reports, and discussions. Prerequisite: HIS 214 or 325 and six hours of upper-level history courses, or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
Offcampus work that utilizes skills developed by academic study of History and is overseen by an organization or group recognized by the History Department at Covenant College. Prerequisites: HIS 150, an overall GPA of 2.67 and a history GPA of 3.00 or better and at least one reference in the History Department who knows the quality of the student’s work and can speak to the student’s dependability and reliability. One hour per 40 – 45 hours of work, up to three hours.
Work in this course is applied to the formulation and writing of the Senior Integration Project. During the semester, students will produce some short research projects, a polished SIP proposal, a sizable working SIP bibliography, and a substantial historiographic essay on the topic for their Senior Integration Projects involving thoughtful and critical evaluation of both primary and secondary sources. Required of all history majors in the fall semester of their senior year. Three hours.
Prerequisite: HIS 150.Three hours. 'S'
Political Studies Courses
An introduction to the study of politics as a field of scholarly research and a diverse academic and public profession. The course provides students with an overview of the subfields of political studies and the major bodies of theory relevant to each, as well as an introduction to the various methods commonly used to study political phenomena, and current issues with which scholars are engaged. This course is intended as a gateway to prepare students for all subsequent coursework in political studies, and may be used to help students assess the value of a minor or History concentration in Political Studies. Three hours. SS
An introductory course to comparative politics. Students of comparative politics are confronted with two essential questions: How and why do state structures differ, and how do these differences affect state performance? With an emphasis on the 19th century to the present, this course will examine forces in state formation and change, the effect of actors and institutions on political processes, and differences in governance among states. Students will receive a broad exposure to political themes and phenomena in the states of Europe and Asia, together with some exposure to trends in Africa and Latin America. Special attention is given to the prominent themes in comparative politics today: Post-Cold War realignment, East-West relations, emerging state powers, democratization, promises and perils in the developing world, terrorism, and Islam. Three hours.
An introductory course to the governing institutions and politics of the United States. Among modern democracies, the structure of government in the United States is unique. This course introduces students to the country’s governing institutions historically and in detail. Major themes include the dynamics of the federal system, the structures and interactions of the three federal branches, election processes, lawmaking, a survey of major Supreme Court decisions, and the significance of public opinion for government decisionmaking. Three hours. SS
An introductory course to international relations (IR). Traditionally, international relations emphasizes relations among states in the international system, often to the exclusion of other actors and levels of analysis. More recent trends in IR scholarship emphasize the significance nonstate actors and forces for international outcomes, ranging from individuals to systemic configurations. This course will introduce students to the range of theories relevant to the study of IR, and examine how these theories are applied to perennial issues of interstate conflict and cooperation, as well as to emerging issues of the contemporary world. Three hours. SS
A broad survey course on the politics of presidential elections in American history. The course will give attention to a historical review of past presidential elections, an analysis of the development of the franchise in United States, the evolving significance of the presidency in American politics, and the current national election. Offered every four years during the presidential campaign season. Three hours. SS
This course examines the role of international organizations (IOs) in the international system. Generally speaking, IOs are created to facilitate cooperation among states (and sometimes other actors) in international politics. However, IOs tend to be weak, and the functions they serve could be accomplished in their absence by states. So why do states invest in the creation of IOs in the first place? Further, can IOs actually exert an effect on international relations? These questions drive scholarly inquiry into IOs. This course will focus on theories of IOs and cooperation, and apply the theoretical debate to specific IOs in the areas of security, economics, and social issues. Attention is given to contemporary issues and debates on IOs’ roles in global affairs. Three hours.
This course examines the role of public opinion in politics and best practices in conducting survey research. A fundamental assumption of democratic governance is the accountability of government to the governed. Yet government responsiveness to public opinion is shown to vary across issue areas, time, and developed democracies. Contemporary debates in public opinion scholarship involve different explanations for this variation, as well as attempts to identify the precise mechanisms by which public opinion influences (or fails to influence) policy, the psychological structure (or lack of structure) that contributes to individuals’ policy preferences, and the impact of elite manipulation. While most research on public opinion is confined to the United States, this course will approach public opinion and its accompanying debates in comparative perspective. Attention is also given to survey design and alternatives to the use of surveys in the measurement of public opinion. Prerequisite or concurrent: POL 105 or POL 202 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
The same course as POL 217, but with additional assignments for upperdivision credit. Three hours. SSC
A study of the politics of Latin American states in comparative perspective. Emphasis is given to political institutions, regional democratization, economic development and social policies, regional cooperation, and interAmerican relations since the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine. This course is normally taught offsite in a Latin American country. Three hours.
A study of the politics of European states in comparative perspective. More so than any other region of the contemporary world, the domestic politics of European states must be considered in the context of regional integration. To that end, emphasis is given to the puzzles and problems of regional integration that have accompanied the development of the European Union. Attention is given to theories of state sovereignty, the institutional choices embodied in the EU, the organization’s relative successes and failures across issue areas, the heterogeneity of state preferences, and the abiding significance of national and subnational politics in the European landscape. Three hours.
While particular attention is paid to democracies in the contemporary study of politics, most of the world’s population lives under nondemocratic rule. This course introduces students to the complexity of the politics of autocratic states in comparative perspective. Emphasis is given to theories of elite decisionmaking, types of autocracies and institutions of political repression, the roles of the public, dissident organizations and political entrepreneurs, theories of repression, revolution and rebellion, and the behavior of autocracies in the international system. Special attention will be given to contemporary autocracies. Three hours.
This course introduces students to the history and politics of terrorism and political violence in the modern world. Attention is given to intraand interstate terrorism and the theoretical debates how and why terrorism occurs and who participates in it. Three hours.
This course considers the conditions for war and peace between states. War is by definition a ‘rare event’ in international relations, but its destructive nature has made it a subject of intense study and debate throughout history. Special attention is given to competing theories of the causes of war and peace, the relevance of individual, statelevel, interstate and systemic variables, the lengthy debate over deterrence, alliances, the importance of discourse, and the meaning of emergent, asymmetric threats for the security of states. Three hours.
This course considers the intersection of economics and politics in the context of international relations. Special attention is given to the three major schools of thought that have defined the study of international political economy (IPE): realism/mercantilism, liberalism and Marxism/structuralism. These theories are examined in tandem with contemporary issues and phenomena in IPE, including globalization, dependence and interdependence, issues in the developing world, and the meaning of economic relationships for the security of states. Three hours.
This course offers opportunities for study in various topics of interest within the field of political studies as need and interest arises. These may be shortterm courses offered during the semester or during the summer term. Credit to be determined.
Independent study in political studies may be pursued by qualified students in accordance with established guidelines.
Advances studies in a selected topic in political studies. This course is conducted as a seminar with a limited enrollment and consists of extensive reading accompanied by written and oral presentations by the student. Prerequisites: POL 105 and permission of the instructor. Three hours.
Regardless of one’s theoretical predispositions, ultimately it is individuals who make decisions, act upon those decisions and influence the political phenomena we observe. It is unsurprising then that theories of political decision making are grounded in classical economical models of individual choice. Broad empirical evidence, however, brings the assumption of the homo economicus into serious question. Beginning with an overview of the agentstructure problem in the study of politics, this course is designed to give students a broad and rigorous overview of traditional and contemporary theories of individual decision making, including rational choice and game theory, behavioral economics, cognitive psychology and prospect theory, and new (controversial) theories based in biology and evolutionary psychology. Attention will be given to important substantive debates in the literature, including deterrence, social mobilization, and the relevance of individual decision making for interstate outcomes. Prerequisite: POL 105, and POL 329, 345 or 375. Three hours.