HSTAA 110 A Au 17: History Of American Citizenship

HSTAA 110 A Au 17: History Of American Citizenship

History of American Citizenship

Professor: John Findlay  (jfindlay@uw.edu)                                            Office:  Smith 108B, 206-543-2573

Lectures: MTWTh, 12:30-1:20                                     Office Hours:  Tues. 1:45-3:45, and by appointment  

Room:  Bagley 154          Coffee Hour:  Wed. 1:45-3:00, Starbucks common area, South Ground Floor, HUB



Najja Kossally, Section AC (11:30, MGH 254) and Section AB (12:30, SAV 137)

Devin Short, Section AD (11:30, MGH 238) and Section AA (12:30, MGH 238)



LOGISTICS:  This course surveys the history of American citizenship from the colonial period to around the year 2000.  We meet for lectures on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and hold discussion sections every Friday.  Professor Findlay’s lectures address the theme of citizenship in American history, and are meant to provide information, offer arguments, invite questions and comments, and develop an overall narrative.  The sections are for discussion of weekly reading assignments, lectures, films, and written work.   They also develop the theme of families in U.S. history.  The TA’s will lead the sections and assess student work.

GOALS & EXPECTATIONS:  The aims of the course are to improve students’ abilities to read critically, to think historically and conceptually, and to write well, and to broaden their understanding of the history of the United States.  In support of those aims, students in HSTAA 110 are expected to:  attend, listen to, and review lectures; participate in discussions during lecture sessions; read and think about the assigned readings and videos; attend sections prepared and willing to discuss readings and videos thoughtfully; and complete all written assignments.

READINGS:  Required common readings for HSTAA 110 consist of several items.  Four paperback books are available for purchase at the University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale; Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes; Reed Ueda, Crosscurrents; and Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, Midnight in Broad Daylight).  Copies of these titles are being placed on 24-hour reserve in Odegaard Library; some of the titles are also available from the UW Libraries as e-books.  Five shorter assigned selections are available on the course website (go to “Files,” and click on “Readings for HSTAA 110”).  These shorter readings include William Youngs, “The British American”; Paige Raibmon, “Naturalizing Power”; “Young Joseph” [Heinmot Tooyalakekt], “An Indian’s Views of Indian Affairs”; Vicki Ruiz, “Un Mujer Sin Fronteras”; and Luisa Moreno, “Caravans of Sorrow.”  In addition to the common readings, students will undertake individualized research on family-history projects.  We will also view two films and listen to music in class, and discuss additional texts that will be introduced as part of lecture.

No survey textbook is assigned.  Some students may find it useful to follow along in a college-level U.S. history textbook.  Paul Spickard, Almost All Aliens:  Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity, is a useful example (also on reserve at Odegaard Library, and available from UW Libraries as an e-book, too).  A textbook may assist those who wish to supplement lectures with a factual overview, but use of one is not required to succeed in the course.  The course website does offer a U.S. History Timeline under “Files.”.

MAIN THEMES:  HSTAA 110 interprets the history of the United States by examining how the American definition of citizenship evolved from colonial times to the present.  More specifically, it considers how different groups within the American population, such as white men, Native Americans, specific groups of immigrants, women, and enslaved and free blacks, at different times were denied (or gained) “full membership” (or less-than-full membership) in the United States.  Another, related theme, developed particularly in the readings and the research paper, is the experiences of family units in American history.

Citizenship may be defined as the membership of an individual in a nation.  In 1957, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren explained, “Citizenship is man’s basic right for it is nothing less than the right to have rights.  Remove this priceless possession and there remains a stateless person, disgraced and degraded in the eyes of his countrymen.  He has no lawful claim to protection from any nation, and no nation may assert rights on his behalf.  His very existence is at the sufferance of the state within whose borders he happens to be.  In this country the expatriate will presumably enjoy, at most, only the limited rights and privileges of aliens, and like the alien he might even be subject to deportation and thereby deprived of the right to assert any rights.” 

Warren’s definition of citizenship, with its implications, is problematic.  Yet it points to a key aspect of citizenship in the U.S.—the possession of legal rights guaranteed by the Constitution and other authorities.  And it points out that those without citizenship—and, it should be added, those without full citizenship, for throughout history many, many Americans have technically been “citizens” but never enjoyed all the rights normally associated with complete membership in the nation—are at the mercy of others to watch out for them.  For most of American history, the majority of peoples, both in the U.S. and around the world, were ineligible for full American citizenship due to their place of birth, their race or sex or religion or sexual preference or age, or other factors.  In many ways American citizenship has been an exclusive category.  HSTAA 110 explores how that category has evolved, expanded, contracted, and taken on new meanings.

While recognizing that full citizenship entails a wide range of rights and responsibilities, the class often uses the right to vote, and the act of voting, as shorthand for complete membership in the nation.



The instructors, the Department of History, and the University of Washington offer ample resources to help students succeed in HSTAA 110.

OFFICE HOURS:  John Findlay, Najja Kassally, and Devin Short will hold regular office hours for private meetings with students.  On Wednesday afternoons from 1:45 to 3:00, Professor Findlay will also meet with students over coffee in a less private office hour. We will gather in the commons area next to Starbucks on the ground floor at the southern end of the HUB.  Professor Findlay will be happy to talk about our course, but we could also discuss the University, the city of Seattle, the news, or other things on our minds.  If you cannot attend regularly scheduled office hours, do not hesitate to schedule appointments at other times or reach out via e-mail.

COURSE WEBSITE:  HSTAA 110 has a course website with much information on it, and more added as the course unfolds.   Among the resources on the website are:

Study Questions:  For each discussion section, the instructors will prepare and post several study questions.  These are meant to facilitate discussion by posing questions about some important issues in each set of readings.  Students are asked to prepare one response paper (i.e., an essay that responds to the readings) during the quarter.  One way to choose a topic for that paper is by answering a study question. Ultimately, we want students to improve at framing their own questions about readings on the past.  Study questions will normally be posted by the Monday prior to each Friday discussion section.

Descriptions of Written Assignments:  Students are required to complete several writing assignments.  Those assignments are summarized briefly on this syllabus.  The course website offers more detail about each assignment.

Sample Family History Research Papers:  Students are required to complete a research paper on some aspect of their family’s connection to U.S. history.  The course website offers a variety of examples of this assignment by students who enrolled in HSTAA 110 in earlier years.  (Go to “Files,” and click on “Sample Family History Papers.”)  We will critique two or three of the sample essays in lecture on Thursday 9 November.

Video Recordings and PowerPoint Slides for Each Lecture.  The UW subscribes to a service called Panopto, which video-records each lecture and synchronizes it with the appropriate PowerPoint presentations.  Students can revisit lectures by clicking “Panopto Recordings” on the course website.  PowerPoint presentations from each lecture also will be posted separately to the website—go to “Files” and click on “PowerPoint Slides.”

UW Libraries Resources for HSTAA 110:  In the UW Libraries, Ms. Theresa Mudrock serves as the liaison to the Department of History.  She has created a web guide to help students find library resources for their family history research papers (a link can be found under “Pages” at the course website).  Ms. Mudrock herself is available to field questions and offer guidance for research:  mudrock@uw.edu

WRITING TUTORS.  HSTAA 110 is a W course.  The TA’s and professor will provide feedback on student writing.  For more assistance students may turn to other places on campus where they can get help with writing.  These include the History Writing Center (http://depts.washington.edu/history/centers-resources/history-writing-center); the Odegaard Library Writing and Research Center (http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/); the CLUE Writing Center in Mary Gates Hall (http://depts.washington.edu/aspuw/develop/writing-center/); and the Minority Affairs and Diversity Educational Opportunity Program Instructional Center (http://depts.washington.edu/ic).  Students are more assured of getting assistance if they contact tutors early in the quarter.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:  The UW offers several programs for Multilingual Students and Teachers, including Global Classrooms (http://www.washington.edu/teaching/teaching-resources/inclusive-teaching-at-uw/teaching-im-students/academic-support-for-im-students/) and International Student services (http://iss.washington.edu/).  If you are someone for whom English is not your first language, the Odegaard Writing and Research Center has a program called Targeted Learning Communities to support students enrolled in courses (like this one) that require considerable reading and writing.  See https://depts.washington.edu/owrc/tlc.

RESERVE READINGS:  To ensure their availability to students doing research on family-history projects, or seeking more information on major course themes, several books are being placed on 24-hour reserve in Odegaard Library.  These include Dorothee Schneider, Crossing Borders: Migration and Citizenship in the Twentieth-Century United States; Michael Schudson, The Good Citizen:  A History of American Civic Life; Rogers M. Smith, Civic Ideals:  Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History; Paul Spickard, Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity; and Reed Ueda, Postwar Immigrant America: A Social History.  Some pertinent titles are also available as e-books.  Note that these are supplementary—not required—titles.




A date followed by “section” (e.g. “Sept. 29 section”…) indicates a reading assignment for discussion sections. 

A date followed by “in-lecture discussion” means we will go over the specified readings during lecture.

An asterisk (*) denotes that the selection will be available on-line via the course website.


First Half of Course:  American Citizenship from Colonization to Civil War

 Unit I—Sept. 27 – Oct. 2:  Beginnings

Sept. 27:  Introduction to Course 

Sept. 28:  European Colonizers of North America, 1492-1763

Sept. 29 section: *J. William T. Youngs, “The British American:  William Byrd in Two Worlds,” in American Realities, Historical Episodes, vol. I, From the First Settlements to the Civil War, 5th ed. (1981; New York:  Longman, 2001), 55-73; *Paige Raibmon, “Naturalizing Power: Land and Sexual Violence along William Byrd’s Dividing Line,” in Virginia J. Scharff, ed., Seeing Nature through Gender (Lawrence:  University Press of Kansas, 2003), 20-39.

Oct. 2:  Natives Americans’ Encounters with European Colonizers, 1492-1874

Unit II—Oct. 3-6:  Colonization and Citizens in British North America

Oct. 3:  The English System of Colonization

Oct. 4:  No lectureDVD of A Midwife’s Tale

Oct. 5: Growth, Diversity, Immigration, and Citizenship in the 18th-Century Colonies

Oct. 6 section:  Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale:  The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990; New York: Vintage Books, 1991), 3-161.

Unit III—Oct. 9-13:  Slaves, Citizens, and in Between: Revolutionary America, 1750-1850

Oct. 9:  American Slavery in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Oct. 10:  Slaves, Citizens, and Republican Government, 1775-1789

Oct. 11, in-lecture discussion:  Prepare by viewing the PowerPoint presentation “The Independence Hall of the American West”--on course website click “Files,” then click “Readings for HSTAA 110”

Oct. 12:  Party Politics in the New Republic, 1790s-1850s

Oct. 13 section:  Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale, 162-308.


roughly two double-spaced pages.  Paper worth 10% of course grade.

Unit IV—Oct. 16-20:  Citizens, Immigrants, and The Market Economy: North and South, 1790-1860

Oct. 16:  Growth of the Market Economy, 1790-1860

Oct. 17:  The Expansive North and the Rise of Reformers

Oct. 18:  The Slave South

Oct. 19:  Immigrants in the Antebellum Republic

Oct. 20 section:  Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes:  The Story of an American Family (1956; Boston:  Beacon Press, 1999), 1-111.



Unit V—Oct. 23-27:  Disunion, Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, 1820-1896

Oct. 23:  America Grows Apart, 1820-1857, Over Issues of Slavery and Citizenship  

Oct. 24:  Civil War and Emancipation of Slaves

Oct. 25:  Reconstruction and African American Citizenship

Oct. 26:  The Rise of Jim Crow and the Demise of African Americans’ Rights

Oct. 27 section:  Murray, Proud Shoes, 112-276.


Students will answer one question (choosing from 3-4) on the first half of the course.   Questions will be posted by Thursday 26 October.  Essays should be 5-6 pages long.  Exam worth 20% of course grade.

Second Half of Course:  Citizenship during the U.S. Rise to Global Power

Unit VI—Oct. 30-Nov. 6:  Westward Expansion, Racial Minorities, and American Empire, 1840-1914

Oct. 30:  The American West and the Nation

Oct. 31:  Mexicans and the 19th-century U.S.

Nov. 1:  The Industrializing West and Chinese Immigrants

Nov. 2:  Indians and Indian Policy

Nov. 3 section:  *”Young Joseph” [Heinmot Tooyalakekt], “An Indian’s Views of Indian Affairs,” The North American Review 128 (April 1879): 412-33; Reed Ueda, Crosscurrents: Atlantic and Pacific Migration in the Making of a Global America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), intr., chs. 1-2.


Must consist of at least three titles, including at least one primary source and one secondary work.

Nov. 6:  Foreign Policy, Citizenship, & Empire: U.S. Acquisition of Overseas Territory, 1890-1941

Unit VII—Nov. 7-17:  Industry, Immigration, and Reform, 1877-1930

Nov. 7:  Industrialization Transforms America

Nov. 8:  Industrialization and Immigration

Nov. 9, in-lecture discussion:  critique of sample family history papers

Nov. 10:  VETERANS DAY HOLIDAY—no class


Nov. 13:  Industrialization and its Discontents

Nov. 14:  The “Progressives” Respond to Modernizing America

Nov. 15:  Redefining Who Can Vote and Who Can Immigrate, 1900-1930

Nov.16:   Race, Migration, and Cultural Change, 1920-1960

Nov. 17 section:  Ueda, Crosscurrents, ch. 3; Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught between Two Worlds (New York: Harper, 2016), xiii-xvi, 1-147.

Unit VIII—Nov. 20-Dec. 1:  American Citizenship from Depression to Cold War, 1930-1970

Nov. 20:  Depression, New Deal, and Economic Citizenship

Nov. 21:  World War Two and Immigrants in the U.S.

Nov. 22-26:  THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY—no class

Nov. 27:  in-lecture discussion of Sakamoto, Midnight in Broad Daylight, 149-357; lecture on World War Two and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans

Nov. 28:  Cold War and Containment Policy

Nov. 29:  Immigration Policy in an Era of Global Conflict, 1942-1965

Nov. 30:  African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement

Dec. 1 section:  *Vicki Ruiz, “Un Mujer Sin Fronteras: Luisa Moreno and Latina Labor Activism,” Pacific Historical Review 73 (Feb. 2004): 1-20; *Luisa Moreno, “Caravans of Sorrow:  Noncitizen Americans of the Southwest,” in David G. Gutiérrez, ed., Between Two Worlds: Mexican Immigrants in the United States (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1996), 119-23; Ueda, Crosscurrents, ch. 4.

Unit IX—Dec. 4-9:  Citizenship in Recent America

Dec. 4: No 12:30 lecture; meeting 6:30-9:00 p.m. to view the film Lone Star, dir. John Sayles (1996)

Family-history research paper due at 6:30 P.M., Dec. 4, in Bagley 154

Paper should be 7-8 double-spaced pages, and must have stapled to it the

3 preliminary assignments you submitted previously.  30% of course grade

Dec. 5:  Affluence, Overreach, and the Rise of a “Rights-Based” Citizenship in Postwar America

Dec. 6:  Citizenship Amid Economic and Political Change, 1970-1990

Dec. 7: Race, Immigration, and Citizenship, 1990-2008

Dec. 8 section: discuss the film Lone Star, dir. John Sayles (1996)

Final take-home essay exam, on second half of course.  Questions posted by Friday 8 Dec.  Exams due no later than 9:00-10:20 a.m., Bagley 154, Thurs 14 Dec, 8:30-10:20.  5-6 pages, 20% of course grade



Discussion Sections:  20% of course grade.

Students are expected to complete the assigned readings on time, to come prepared to discuss them (i.e., to have thought about them before class), and to attend regularly.  The TA will evaluate individuals’ contributions to discussions.  The TA may include in this part of the course grade additional assignments specific to the sections, and can also weigh favorably students’ contributions to in-lecture discussions.


Writing Assignments:  80% of course grade

1.  A Response Paper, concerning the reading assignment for October 13, due at the start of section. A response paper is a student’s considered response to the reading for that day. The paper, of approximately 2 double-spaced pages, may concern any aspect of the reading.  One way to find a topic is to answer one of the study questions posed for that day’s reading.  Another way to find a topic is to compare and contrast the day’s reading to readings done earlier.  10% OF COURSE GRADE

2.  Students will take a Mid-term, Take-home, Essay Exam, covering the first half of the course. The exam will be due at the beginning of class on Monday 30 October. Questions will be posted 4-5 days before the exam is due.  20% OF COURSE GRADE

3.   Family-History Research Project

This essay of 7-8 word-processed, double-spaced pages is meant to illustrate how personal and family stories intersect with national history (as we will have seen through our reading of the Youngs, Raibmon, Ulrich, Murray, Ueda, Sakamoto, Ruiz, and Moreno texts).  Students are asked to pick one or two individuals from their families—ideally but not necessarily somebody slightly removed from their nuclear family, such as an uncle or great grandmother—and interweave their personal stories with events or forces operating at the “national” level.  Thus we might hear how the G.I. Bill created upward mobility by allowing a veteran to attend college; how U.S. law or policy presented hurdles for prospective immigrants; how passage of suffrage legislation permitted a great grandmother to vote for the first time; or how U.S. foreign policy led to ancestors experiencing war or dislocation.  There are many, many possibilities.  Students are expected to research in both primary sources (oral interviews, diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers, etc.) and secondary works.  One key to success here is to start thinking about the topic in plenty of time.  Another is to recognize the wide range of resources available, not the least of which are the UW Libraries and History Librarian Theresa Mudrock.  Ms. Mudrock has developed a website to help students launch their research (http://guides.lib.washington.edu/hstaa110).  The course website has copies of sample papers from previous quarters, and we will critique some sample papers in lecture on Nov. 9.

 Some students find it uncomfortable writing about their own family, or do not have family members with substantial connections to U.S. history.  In these cases, students may select someone else’s family history to write about.  Students choosing this option should consult with the professor or TA’s.  Here are some people and books that could serve as starting points for a research paper about someone else’s family’s history:  Kim Barnes, In the Wilderness; Margaret Byington, Homestead: The Households of a Mill Town; John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive; Ivan Doig, This House of Sky; Paula Fass, Inheriting the Holocaust; Louis Fiset, Imprisoned Apart; Carlos Gil, We Became Mexican American; Mary Matsuda Gruenewald, Looking Like the Enemy; Neil Henry, Pearl’s Secret; Gordon Hirabayashi, UW student who protested wartime mistreatment of Japanese Americans; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden; Phoebe Goodell Judson, A Pioneer’s Search for an Ideal Home; William Kittredge, Hole in the Sky; Mary Paik Lee, Quiet Odyssey; Neil Nakadate, Looking After Minidoka; Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter; or Frances Esquibel Tywoniak, Migrant Daughter.  There are many other possibilities.

The family-history research paper will be developed in stages.  All three lead-in assignments must be submitted to receive a final grade on the research projectIf lead-in assignments are turned in late, TA’s cannot guarantee timely feedback on them.

Oct. 20, due at the start of section:  a one-page prospectus, or a description of the topic and argument for your research paper. Students will receive feedback on the suitability of the topic and ideas on how to pursue the topic.  Please submit a hard copy to your TA and an electronic version to Prof. Findlay. 

Nov. 3, due at the start of section: a bibliography of at least three titles in use for your project, at least one of which must be a primary source and one of which must be a secondary work.

Nov. 13, due at the start of lecture:  a rough draft of your essay, as complete as you can make it.  If parts of the essay are incomplete, try to include an outline of how you expect to finish the paper, or a list of the questions that still need answers.  Students will receive feedback on how to improve the essay.

Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. (at the start of the viewing of the film Lone Star):  the final draft of the family-history research paper, stapled together with the three preliminary assignments


4.  Students will submit the Final, Take-home, Essay Exam, in Bagley 154 no later than between 9:00 and 10:20 on Thursday 14 Dec. Questions will be posted by December 8. Students will answer one question from a list of 3 or 4. 




Section: 20%.  Response Paper: 10%.  Midterm: 20%.  Research Paper:  30%.  Final Exam: 20%.


Additional Important Information:

Students are responsible for submitting their own independent work. They are also responsible for understanding and following University policies regarding academic honesty and plagiarism.  Please contact your TA or the professor if you have any questions on these matters.

Late papers will be penalized at a rate of 0.4 per day.  However, in the event of illness or personal emergencies we will try to be accommodating.  Please contact an instructor as soon as possible so that she or he can try to be helpful.

To receive a passing grade, students must complete all assignments, including participation in sections.  In other words, one cannot (for example) skip the response paper (worth only 10% of the total course grade) and still pass the course.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due