W.R. Miller                                                                   
History 525 / 625                                                                 
Strong Hall 419                                                                                
Phone: 836-4141 (Do not leave a phone message.  Send an Email)                                                                    
Office Hours:  Wed., 5:00 – 5:20 pm and by appointment

Gilded Age and Progressive Era America

Spring, 2020

Required Books  (These books are free at https://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/)

Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today  (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3178)
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 2000-1887  (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/25439)
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House  (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1325)


There will be two take-home exams. Each will count 40% of the student's course grade.  Participation in class discussion and quizzes over the required readings will count 20%.  Students will receive letter grades on all work.  This class will employ the +/- grading scale.  Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students will read and write reviews of four other scholarly books.  Unacceptable book reviews will lower the student’s final course grade by as much as one letter grade.  The book reviews are due on February 14, March 21, April 11, and May 17. 


Attendance for this class is mandatory.  The instructor will hand out a roll sheet at the beginning and after the break of each class. It is the student's responsibility to sign the roll sheet.  If a student fails to sign the roll sheet, the student will be counted absent (no exceptions).  Skipping out during class or the break without permission from the instructor will be counted as an absence.  A student's course grade will be reduced by a letter grade on the second unexcused absence, and by another letter grade for every subsequent unexcused absence.  An absence will be counted as excused only if the student has an acceptable documented excuse (letter from a doctor, towing bill, bail ticket, etc.). 


Your instructor hates tardiness.  Please make every effort to get to class on time.  There will be a 10 minute break at approximately 7 pm.  Please return to your seats and be prepared for class on time.  Remember, when grading exams even the most senile professors have a good memory for those who have irritated him!

Laptops, cell phones, etc.

Laptops, cell phone and other similar devices are banned from class.  If you are afraid you might miss something, you may use a tape recorder or some other recording device.

English as a Second Language

If English is not your native language, please see the instructor immediately after class.


Anyone caught cheating will receive an F for the work involved.

Lecture Subjects, Required Readings, and Exam Dates



Graduate Student's 
Book Reviews

1. Jan. 16

Gilded Age Development


2. Jan. 23

Political Economy and New Immigrants


3. Jan. 30

Andrew Carnegie


4. Feb. 6

Mark Twain's America


5. Feb. 13

Gilded Age Politics

#1 Due

6. Feb. 20

Late 19th Century Labor


7. Feb. 27

The Periphery: The West & the South


8. Mar. 5

The Populist Revolt

9. Mar. 12 Spanish American War and Imperialism

Exam 1 Due
#2 Due

10. Mar. 19

Spring Break 

No Class

11. Mar. 26

Origins of Progressivism and Women


12. Apr. 2

The Great Merger Movement & Theodore Roosevelt


13. Apr. 9

 Spring Holiday  


14. Apr. 16

State & Urban Progressivism #3 Due

15. Apr. 23

Woodrow Wilson and the Regulatory State


16. April 3

World War I


17. May 7

Aftermath of WWI & the End of Progressivism


18. May 13

Exam 2 Due @ 5:30 pm

#4 Due


Course Objectives

1. Students to think critically about diverse interpretations of historical developments.

2. The diversity and appreciation of native and immigrant cultural values, gender, race and class differences as the foundation for advancing the University’s Public Affairs mission.

3. How present-day situations have grown out of past events, which is essential for participation in America’s democratic experiment.

4. How past events shape current possibilities for the individual in American society.

University Policies

The instructor adopts all of the university's "suggested" wording at http://www.missouristate.edu/provost/syllabi.htm