Course Syllabus - Fall 1996

This course provides an in-depth look at recent United States history from the end of the First World War through the Reagan Revolution. Focus will be on economic collapse and postwar recovery through the development of the welfare-warfare state; the emergence of an affluent post-industrial society, who is included and who is left out and how daily life has changed; the immersion in world affairs from the Second World War through the Cold War; and the political and cultural responses of Americans to this time of enormous change.


COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

This class is designed as a lecture, reading, and discussion course.

1. There generally will be two lectures each week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:10-11:00 pm in Berkey Hall 122. Lecture material is essential for the midterms and the final.

2. On Fridays, the class will be divided into three sections to facilitate discussion of the readings for that week. Discussion sections will be assigned the second week of the semester and are an integral part of the course. Both attendance and participation are therefore essential.

3. This course makes substantial use of Internet technology to deliver course material and facilitate student exploration of modern American history. Students will be expected to subscribe to the History306 electronic discussion list and to use the course webpage on a weekly basis.

4. GRADING: Participation will count for 25 percent of the course grade. Short written assignments will be due each week. These will be assigned weekly and will usually entail listing questions for discussion, outlining a reading, writing a short think-piece, or utilizing the Internet to explore an issue further. Completing all of the weekly readings and preparing for discussion by putting effort into these weekly assignments can significantly improve one's final grade. Participation grades will be based equally on these assignments and on oral participation.

The major written requirements for the course are two take-home midterm essays and a take-home final paper. The midterms each will be worth 20 percent and the final 35 percent of the course grade. (Please note the due dates of these papers. All three will be assigned well in advance and are expected in on time.)


REQUIRED BOOKS:

In addition, there are required readings stored on the webpages for this class. These articles are listed in the weekly course outline below.


INTERNET COMPONENT:

This course has a substantial Internet component. Students MUST participate in the Internet component to pass the course.

1. Reading: Required short readings, both primary documents and interpretive essays are stored on the webpages for the course. These need to be downloaded, printed out, and read.

2. Weekly Assignments: The weekly written assignments for this course will be distributed through the course webpages. Students will need to use the webpages to turn in their assignments.

3. Short Research Assignments: Students will be asked to utilize the Internet for short research assignments relating to the material covered in the course.

4. HST 306 discussion list: Students need to subscribe to an email discussion list for this course. The discussion list will distribute additional course information and will be a valuable forum to discuss issues raised in the course.


COURSE SCHEDULE:

Week of August 26: America at 1920.

Monday Lecture: Course Introduction
Wednesday Lecture: Building Modern America
Friday: Guest Speaker: Prof. David Bailey, Dept. of History

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of September 2: The Twenties.

Monday: No Class, Labor Day
Wednesday Lecture: Change and Reaction
Friday Sections: The Ambivalent Decade

INTERPRETATIONS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of September 9: The Crash

Monday Lecture: From Prosperity to Depression
Wednesday Video: "The Sit-Down Strikes"
Friday Lecture: Hoover and Roosevelt

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of September 16: American Life During the Depression.

Monday Lecture: Evaluating the New Deal
Wednesday Lecture: Popular Culture During the Thirties
Friday Sections: Depression America

READINGS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of September 23: The Second World War.

Monday Lecture: Foreign Policy: the Origins of WWII
Wednesday Lecture: Mobilizing for War
Friday Sections: The Good War?

READINGS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of September 30: From World War to Cold War.

Monday Lecture: The War at Home and Abroad
Wednesday Lecture: From Hot War to Cold War
Friday Sections: The Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


FIRST MIDTERM PAPER DUE MONDAY OCTOBER 7


Week of October 7: Postwar America.

Monday Lecture: The Affluent Society
Wednesday Lecture: The Politics of Anti-Communism
Friday Sections: Cold War Culture

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of October 14: "The Fifties."

Monday Lecture: The Organization Man and Suburban Housewife
Wednesday Lecture: Alienation and Criticism in the Fifties
Friday Sections: The Catcher in the Rye

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of October 21: Civil Rights.

Monday Lecture: The Birth of the Movement
Wednesday Lecture: Civil Rights and Black Power
Friday Sections: The Movement

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of October 28: The Great Society.

Monday Lecture: JFK and the New Left
Wednesday Lecture: LBJ And The Great Society
Friday Sections: Liberalism and the Great Society

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of November 4: The Vietnam War.

Monday Lecture: American Intervention in the 3rd World
Wednesday Lecture: The Vietnam War
Friday Discussion: Vietnam and America

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of November 11: The Cultural Revolution.

Monday Lecture: The Counter-Culture
Wednesday Lecture: The Women's Movement
Friday Sections: Women and Men

DOCUMENTS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


SECOND MIDTERM PAPER DUE FRIDAY NOVEMBER 22


Week of November 18: The Seventies.

Monday Lecture: Backlash and the Rise of the Right
Wednesday Lecture: The Me Decade
Friday Sections: "American Pictures"

READINGS:

DOCUMENTS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


Week of November 25:

Monday: Video - Eyes on the Prize, Volume II, Number 4.
Wednesday: NO CLASS
Friday: NO CLASS


Week of December 5: The Eighties and Beyond.

Monday Lecture: The Reagan Revolution
Wednesday Lecture: Race, Class, Gender in Contemporary America
Friday Sections: Race, Class, Gender in America

READINGS:

INTERPRETATIONS:

INTERNET RESOURCES:


TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM