History | American History II
H106 | 10047 | McGerr
Above class open to freshmen and sophomores only
Need study skills help? Then contact the Student Academic Center
(855-7313) for on-line authorization for EDUC-X101 (Learning
Strategies for History, two additional credits) that will be offered
2:30-3:45 MW or 2:30-3:45 TR.
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 capitalist 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 racial 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.
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.
There is one required book, which is available for purchase: Jeanne
Boydston et al, "Making a Nation: The United States and Its People,"
Brief Edition, Volume II. Other reading assignments, including
articles and primary sources, will be available online on the
Oncourse website. There are two required films: "Meet John Doe"
and "Avalon." Each student will write several short papers, two in-
class tests, and a final examination.