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HSTAA 110 A: History Of American Citizenship

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 12:30pm - 1:20pm
BAG 154
Professor John Findlay
John M. Findlay

Syllabus Description:

History of American Citizenship

Professor: John Findlay  (                                                    Office:  Smith 108B, 206-543-2573                           

Lectures: MTWTh 12:30-1:20                       Office Hours:  Tues 2:30-3:45, Th 1:30-2:30 and by appointment                        

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



Katia Chaterji, Section AB (12:30) and Section AD (11:30)

Josué Estrada, Section AA (12:30) and Section AC (11:30)



This syllabus introduces HSTAA 110.  Much more complete information is available on the course website.




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, develop arguments, invite questions and comments, and offer an overall narrative.  The sections are for discussion of weekly reading assignments, lectures, films, and written work.   They highlight the theme of families in U.S. history.  The TA’s will lead the sections and evaluate virtually all 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 DVD’s; attend sections prepared and willing to discuss readings and films 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 Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter).  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 Youngs, “The British American”; Raibmon, “Naturalizing Power”; “Young Joseph” [Heinmot Tooyalakekt], “An Indian’s Views of Indian Affairs”; Ruiz, “Un Mujer Sin Fronteras”; and Moreno, “Caravans of Sorrow.”  In addition to the common readings, students will undertake individualized research on family-history projects.  We will also view a film and listen to music in class, view a film outside of the normal lecture period, and discuss additional texts that will be highlighted during lecture.

            No survey textbook is required for the course.  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 (it is also being placed on reserve at Odegaard Library, and is available from UW Libraries as an e-book, too).  While a textbook may assist those who wish to supplement lectures with a factual overview, use of one is not required to succeed in the course.


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” in the United States.  A related theme, developed particularly in the readings and the research paper, is the experiences of family units in American history.

            Citizenship has been 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, and its implications, are 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.




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


OFFICE HOURS:  John Findlay, Katia Chaterji, and Josué Esrtada 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 the 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 a great deal of information on it.  The URL is  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 on 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 this course in earlier years.  We will discuss two or three of these sample essays in lecture on Thursday 10 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 on the website.

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 (click on “Pages” at the HSTAA 110 course website).  Ms. Mudrock herself is available to field questions and offer guidance for research:


WRITING TUTORS.  The TA’s and professor will provide feedback on students’ writing.  For additional assistance students may turn to several places on campus where they can get help with writing.  These include the History Writing Center (; the Odegaard Undergraduate Library Writing and Research Center (; the CLUE Writing Center in Mary Gates Hall (; and the Minority Affairs and Diversity Educational Opportunity Program Instructional Center (  Students are more assured of getting quality assistance if they contact tutors early in the quarter.


RESERVE READINGS:  To ensure their availability to students doing research on family-history projects, several particularly useful 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.  Copies of the four required texts (Murray, Sone, Ueda, and Ulrich) have also been placed on reserve.  Many of these titles are also available from UW Libraries as e-books.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:  The UW offers several programs for Multilingual Students and Teachers, including Global Classrooms ( and International Student services (  English Language Learners are invited to form Targeted Learning Communities (TLC’s) of 3-5 students to help one another and receive tutoring on assignments for HSTAA 110.  See the Odegaard Writing and Research Center website (





A date followed by “section” (e.g. “Sept. 30 section”…) indicates a reading assignment for discussion sections. 

A date followed by “in-lecture discussion” means we will go over those 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. 28 – Oct. 3:  Beginnings


            Sept. 28:  Introduction to Course


            Sept. 29:  European Colonizers of North America


Sept. 30 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. (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. 3:  Natives’ Encounters with European Colonizers


Unit II—Oct. 4-7:  Colonization and Citizens in British North America


            Oct. 4:  The English System of Colonization


            Oct. 5:  No lectureDVD of A Midwife’s Tale


            Oct. 6: Growth, Diversity, and Immigration Policy in the 18th-Century Colonies


Oct. 7 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. 10-14:  Slaves, Citizens, and in Between: Revolutionary America, 1750-1850


            Oct. 10:  American Slavery in the 17th and 18th Centuries


            Oct. 11:  Slaves, Citizens, and Republican Government, 1775-1789


            Oct. 12, 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. 13:  Party Politics in the New Republic, 1790s-1850s


Oct. 14 section:  Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale, 162-308.



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


Unit IV—Oct. 17-21:  Citizens, Immigrants, and The Market Economy: North and South, 1800-1850


            Oct. 17:  Growth of the Market Economy


            Oct. 18:  The Expansive North and the Rise of Reformers


            Oct. 19:  The Slave South


            Oct. 20:  Immigrants in the Antebellum Republic


Oct. 21 section:  Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes:  The Story of an American Family (1956; Boston:  Beacon Press, 1999), 1-111.




Unit V—Oct. 24-28:  Disunion, Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, 1860-1877


Oct. 24:  Coming of the Civil War:  Clashing Visions for America


Oct. 25:  Civil War and Emancipation of Slaves


Oct. 26:  Reconstruction and African American Citizenship


Oct. 27:  The Rise of Jim Crow and the Demise of Blacks’ Rights


Oct. 28 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 27 October.  Essays should be of 5-6 pages.  Exam worth 20% of course grade.


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


Unit VI—Oct. 31-Nov. 7:  Westward Expansion, Racial Minorities, and American Empire, 1840-1910


            Oct. 31:  The American West and the Nation


            Nov. 1:  Mexicans and the 19th-century U.S.


            Nov. 2:  The Industrializing West and Chinese Immigrants


            Nov. 3:  Indians and Indian Policy


Nov. 4 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. 7:  United States Acquires an Overseas Empire


Unit VII—Nov. 8-18:  Industry, Immigration, and Reform, 1877-1930


Nov. 8:  Industrialization Transforms America


Nov. 9:  Industrialization and Immigration


Nov. 10, in-lecture discussion:  critique of sample family history papers


            Nov. 11:  VETERANS DAY HOLIDAY—no class




Nov. 14:  Industrialization and its Discontents


Nov. 15:  The Progressive Response


Nov. 16:  Redefining Who Can Vote and Who Can Immigrate, 1900-1930


Nov.17:  Cultural Transformations, 1920-1960


Nov. 18 section:  Ueda, Crosscurrents, ch. 3; Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter (1953; Seattle:  University of Washington Press, 2014), 3-144.


Unit VIII—Nov. 21-Dec. 2:  American Citizenship from Depression to Cold War, 1930-1970


            Nov. 21:  Depression, New Deal, and Economic Citizenship


            Nov. 22:  World War Two and Immigrants in the U.S.


            Nov. 23-27:  THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY—no class


            Nov. 28:  in-lecture discussion of Sone, Nisei Daughter, vii-xxiv, 145-238; slide lecture

            on World War Two and the Incarceration of Nikkei


            Nov. 29:  Cold War and Containment Policy


            Nov. 30:  Immigration Policy in an Era of Global Conflict, 1942-1965


            Dec. 1:  African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement


Dec. 2 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. 5-9:  Citizenship in Recent America


Dec. 5: No lecture


Family-history research paper due at 6:30 P.M., Dec. 5, 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, 6:30-9:00 p.m., evening:  view the film Lone Star, dir. John Sayles (1996)


Dec. 6:  Affluence, Overreach, and the Rise of a “Rights-Based” Citizenship in Postwar America


Dec. 7:  Citizenship Amid Economic and Political Change, 1970-1990


Dec. 8: Race, Immigration, and Citizenship, 1990-2008


Dec. 9 section: discuss the film Lone Star, dir. John Sayles (1996)


Final take-home essay exam, on second half of course.  Questions will be posted by Friday 9 Dec. 

Exams will be due in Bagley 154 on Thurs 15 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 14, 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 31 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, Sone, 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 (  The course website has copies of sample papers from previous quarters, and we will critique some sample papers in lecture on Nov. 10.

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; Louis Fiset, Imprisoned Apart (about Iwao and Hanaye Matsushita, Issei from Seattle who were imprisoned during World War II); Ivan Doig, This House of Sky; Carlos Gil, We Became Mexican American; Neil Henry, Pearl’s Secret; Gordon Hirabayashi, UW student who stood up to wartime mistreatment of Japanese Americans; Phoebe Goodell Judson, A Pioneer’s Search for an Ideal Home; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden; William Kittredge, Hole in the Sky; Mary Paik Lee, Quiet Odyssey; Luisa Moreno, Latina civil-rights activist; Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory; Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, Midnight in Broad Daylight; 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 promise to provide feedback on them.


Oct. 21, due at the start of section:  a one-page prospectus, or 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. 4, 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. 14, 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. 5 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.   30% OF THE COURSE GRADE 


4. Students will submit the Final, Take-home, Essay Exam, in Bagley 154 at 8:30-10:20 on Thursday 15 Dec. Questions will be posted by December 9. Students will answer one question from a list of 3 or 4.  20% OF THE COURSE GRADE



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.



Catalog Description: 
Examines how, when, and why different groups of people (e.g., white men, white men without property, peoples of color including one-time slaves, women, immigrants) became eligible for citizenship throughout American history. Explores how and why for many peoples, at many times, citizenship did not confer equal rights to all.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:42pm