History of Chicagoland

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 241

       Course Name: History of Chicagoland

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys the history of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, with an emphasis on the growth and development of the area.  Content includes land development, culture, social movements, government, and economic history/development.  Other topics linking Chicago with its suburbs include the growth of transportation and urbanization, with a concentration on the post-WWII boom.

IV.   Learning Objectives

A.    Describe the major eras covered
B.    Describe Chicagoland’s achievements in political, cultural, economic, and social terms
C.    Compare representative works of literature produced within this period
D.    Explain the ethnic, cultural, economic, social, and religious diversity of Chicagoland and episodes of political, social, economic, cultural, and ethnic conflict
E.    Apply conflicting interpretations of Chicagoland’s history
F.    Analyze primary and secondary sources of Chicagoland’s past

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A.    Introduction to Historical methodology and Historiography
B.    Creation of Chicago
C.    Immigration
D.    Social Activities
E.    Creation of Suburbia
F.    The Progressive Era
G.    The Roaring 1920s
H.    The Great Depression and WWII Era
I.    Post-WWII Growth
J.    The 1950s
K.    The 1960s
L.    The 1970s and '80s
M.    The 1990s
N.    Current Issues

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
A.    Read a standard textbook and research materials.
B.    Write outside of class the equivalent of 15-20 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and / or other kinds of writing.
C.    Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

    Papers will be evaluated based on how well they conform to the assignment and on how well they employ the historical method.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.