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History

The goal of Hamilton's History Department is to introduce students to the histories of a broad range of cultures, peoples, places and times while honing their skills in writing, speaking and research.

Do you think of history as a list of names and dates, battles and treaties, inventors and emperors? Be ready for a revelation. 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. History students develop sophisticated writing and speaking skills, learn to conduct research, hone the ability to think critically about complex issues and events of the past, and gain a historically informed understanding of the present.

The study of history is valuable to all students, not just history majors. The discipline offers a broad grounding in the liberal arts and provides a foundation for a wide range of professions and scholarly pursuits. From the history program at Hamilton, graduates have moved on to careers in teaching, law, medicine, journalism, public policy and many other fields.

In your first courses you may explore the origins and development of Christianity from Rome to the Middle Ages or be surprised by the diversity of cultures of Asia as seen through the great cities. In intermediate courses you may turn to the Middle East, the writings of American conservatives from the Founding Fathers to the New Right, and the emergence of Marxism and Darwinism in modern Europe. In more advanced courses you’ll find yourself in small, intense discussion-based classes. There you’ll investigate everything from the Confucian masters of China to the nationalist historiography of the Irish Republican Army.

History majors at Hamilton take 10 courses in the field from among any three of these geographical regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the United States. Minors take five courses in history. With its broad liberal-arts focus and training in scholarly research, history is also popular at Hamilton as a double major.

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