History | American History II
H106 | 12484 | Dunak

Above class open to undergraduates and EDUC MA's only

In this class, we will examine the history of the United States from
the Reconstruction Era through 1980.  We will focus on major social,
political, and cultural issues: the promise and failure of
Reconstruction, the growth of the federal government and national
economy, the modern Civil Rights and student movements, and the
emergence of the United States as an international super power. By
examining multiple perspectives and varied experiences, we will see
that the United States has not one history but many histories. These
different narratives all contribute to the country’s
cumulative “history.”  These voices all have a place in our
understanding of the past.

In this class, you will learn to think like a historian.  Beyond
learning facts and dates, we will use these facts and dates to think
about broader themes and analyze major events.  Using secondary
sources (books and articles written by historians) along with
primary sources (documents, music, and film from the time period
under study), we will work to determine how historians craft the
arguments they do.  What evidence do they use?  What makes an
argument convincing?  What biases to historians bring to their
subject, and how does that affect the vision of the past?

Students will read Eric Foner's, "Give Me Liberty," and this
textbook will serve as the main secondary source for the class.
Additional readings, such as articles from scholarly journals and
chapter excerpts from historical monographs, will help students
become familiar with different styles of historical writing.
Primary sources, such as images of the turn-of-the-century urban
poor, letters from the World War II homefront, and protest documents
from the 1960s social movements, will introduce students to the
evidence historians use to develop their arguments.  Over the course
of the summer session, students will write four short essays,
complete a variety of in-class assignments, and take two exams.