History | American History II
H106 | 17542 | McGerr


Above class open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors only
A portion of this class reserved for Freshman Interest Group (FIG)
students
H106:  need study skills?  Then register for Professor McGerr’s
HIST-H106 and contact the Student Academic Center (855-7313)for
online authorization for EDUC-X 101 (Learning Strategies for
History, 2 additional credits) that will be offered.

Course Description
This course surveys the broad sweep of modern U.S. history, the
years from the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s down to the
present  We will focus particularly on the consequences of two
fundamental developments: the development of the United States as an
industrial society and as a world power.  Looking closely at the
evolution of American social structure, culture, and politics, we
will analyze such topics as the emergence of consumer culture, the
rise and fall of segregation, the shifting meanings and influence of
liberalism and conservatism, the origins and end of the Cold War,
and the concept of a post-Cold War, post-industrial, post-modern
nation.

Course Goals
In developing your understanding of the issues noted above, this
class pursues the aims common to introductory history courses.
Through lectures, discussions, and assignments, you will practice
using the analytical tools of historians.  You will increase your
ability to think historically, to recognize how the past conditions
the present and the future, to analyze historical evidence, and to
read, view, and write critically.

Assignments
There are three required books, which are available for purchase:
Jeanne Boydston et al, "Making a Nation: The United States and Its
People," Brief Edition, Volume II; Daniel Horowitz, ed., "American
Social Classes in the 1950s"; and Jacob A. Riis, "How the Other Half
Lives."  There are also three required films:  "The Best Years of
Our Lives"; "The Godfather"; and "It Happened One Night."   Each
student will write several short papers, two in-class tests, and a
final examination.