Douglas Ambrose’s interests include early America, the Old South and U.S. religious history.
Your studies will cultivate an understanding of the present that is informed by history. Expect to write extensively: Your courses will help you develop sophisticated writing and speaking skills. You also will hone an ability to think critically about complex issues and events of the past. And you’ll learn to conduct research, maybe even collaborating with a professor during the summer.
About the Major
At Hamilton, history is a passionate struggle to understand the human past. Whether you are tracing the spread of Buddhism from India to Japan or exploring the intertwining of peoples and economies across the Atlantic world, the study of history is about understanding people, cultures and places as they change through time.
The professors at Hamilton will teach you that history is not irrelevant – that it is in fact a living enterprise with tangible consequences for civic life and citizenship in the 21st century.
Jacob Sheetz-Willard ’12 — history major
Hamilton history grads have moved on to careers in teaching, law, medicine, journalism, public policy and many other fields.
Careers After Hamilton
- Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
- Director of Education & Interpretation, National Museum of American History
- Editor, New York Post
- Environmental Policy Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Physician, Texas Oncology
- Professor of Military History, U.S. Army
- Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase Bank
- Director, Information Technology, RBS Global Banking & Markets
- Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Murder, Civil War, and Opera 100F
Ivan the Terrible murdered his heir, and left Russia to face economic collapse and mass hunger without a stable government. Then things got really bad. Did Boris Godunov murder Tsarevich Dmitri? Was the First False Dmitri for real? Only Pushkin knew for sure, but it took Modest Mussorgsky to wrap it up in the greatest Russian opera of all time. This course will explore the relationships between history, art and national identity in Russia. Writing-intensive.View All Courses
Europe and its Empires, 1500-1960 104S
A survey of European exploration, imperial expansion and post-colonial society. Examines European debates over the principles and objectives of imperialism in the Americas, the Pacific and Africa. Illuminates changing views toward culture, economics, race, gender and nationality. Stress upon basic skills in the interpretation of historical texts and writing. Writing-intensive.View All Courses
An Introduction to the History of the United States, 1492-1861 110F
Introduction to U.S. history and the exploration and settlement of British North America, the encounter between Europeans and Native Americans, the colonial era, the American Revolution, the Federalist Era, and 19th-century U.S. history including the growing national division over slavery, concluding with the onset of the Civil War.View All Courses
Black Metropolis 125F
This seminar interrogates the role of cities in African-American life. Through course readings and assignments, we will develop an alternative genealogy of black urban life that pushes against predominant narratives of urban crisis and dysfunction to consider instead how cities have also fostered black community, culture, and creativity. At the end of course, using census data, newspapers, city directories, novels, photographs, and oral history interviews, students will work in groups to map the history of black social, cultural, and political institutions on the South Side of Chicago. Writing-intensive.View All Courses
South Africa: From Colonialism to Democracy 178F
South African history from the Dutch settlement in 1652 to the development of a multiracial democracy after 1994. Reading and discussions will focus on the colonial experience of South Africa, emphasizing issues of labor, race, and gender. These issues will be explored through the experiences of indigenous peoples, migrant laborers, the 'coloured' community, Afrikaners, and British settlers. Then we will examine how civil rights activists attempted to bridge the divides of South Africa, while struggling against the brutal oppression of the segregationist apartheid regime.View All Courses
The American Founding: Ideals and Reality 229
An intensive analysis of the philosophical ideals of the Founding Era (1763-1800) and their uneven realization. Social histories of various races, genders and classes will help illuminate the inherent ambiguities, weaknesses, strengths and legacies of the social and political philosophies of late 18th-century America.View All Courses