Syracuse University

Renée Crown Honors Program Course Offerings & Descriptions

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A Little Short of Madness: The Erie Canal and the Making of the Empire State

HNR 230 - A Little Short of Madness: The Erie Canal and the Making of the Empire State

MySlice Info:

Term: Fall 2019
Class #: 20848
Section: M002
Credits: 1

Bogucz, Edward

Counts toward:
HNR Seminar (210,220,230)

Course Time(s):
Th 12:30-01:50pm

Class times and locations often change. Please verify your class schedule in MySlice.

Course Description:

In 1817, New York State started an audacious project that President Thomas Jefferson had dismissed as being “a little short of madness”: constructing a 363-mile waterway through wilderness to connect the Hudson River to Lake Erie. After the Erie Canal opened in 1825, it transformed the State and the nation, accelerating trade with Europe and immigration through the Port of New York City. This seminar will explore the history of the development of the Erie Canal and the significance of its lasting impacts. The seminar will include several field trips to canal-era sites in the Syracuse area. Students will learn how key individuals overcame technological, political, and economic challenges to construct a network of canals throughout Upstate New York, and how these waterways fueled the growth and development of communities across the State, including the City of Syracuse—which was transformed from a salty swamp to a leading hub of innovation during the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

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