United States History II

United States History II


Fall 2011
08/22/2011 - 12/11/2011

Course Information

Section 025
TTh 13:30 - 14:50
RRC1 1222.00
David Haney

Section 043
TTh 10:30 - 11:50
RRC1 1222.00
David Haney

Section 072
TTh 09:00 - 10:20
RRC1 1222.00
David Haney

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

Course Requirements

Course Description


This course examines the industrial and emerging post-industrial eras in the United States, periods of some of the most rapid and transformative change in human history.  We will explore how this change has affected patterns of work, leisure and entertainment, communication, childhood, the production and marketing of goods and services, race relations, gender roles and sexuality, urban and suburban development, warfare, the power and influence of the modern corporation, relationships between society and government, and other aspects of American life.

Instructional Methodology

This course will combine standard lectures with textbook reading assignments, self-assessment quizzes, in-class discussions, multi-media presentations, and the critical analysis of primary-source materials.  Effective reading and note-taking skills are essential to an effective performance in this course, and I will be dispensing suggestions on the cultivation of both of these skills throughout the semester.

Required Textbook

The required textbook is James West Davidson, et. al., Experience History, Volume 2.  The book is available at the campus bookstore, and it can also be purchased in a less-expensive, electronic “eBook” form via the Connect History link that is posted on under the “Announcements”category in the Blackboard system.

Self-Assessment Quizzes

For each chapter of the textbook, students will be required to take a quiz using the textbook’s on-line Connect History feature, which is located under the “Textbook Quizzes”link in the Blackboard system.   (Students will need to register with the Connect History system, using their ACC e-mail addresses, via the Connect History link that is posted on under the “Announcements” category in the Blackboard system.)

These quizzes are intended to allow students to assess their own degree of success in mastering the content of the textbook chapters.  Therefore, while the results of these quizzes will be entered into my electronic grade book in the Blackboard system, a student’s performance on them will not affect his or her course grade.  However, the simple act of takingthese quizzes on a consistent basis willaffect the grade (see Part 6 below).

Primary-Source Readings

Additional supplementary readings are posted in the course calendar (available via the link at the top of this syllabus).  These readings differ from the textbook readings in that they are primary-source documents -- that is, they were written by individuals who experienced some of the historical developments we will be studying, and thus they give more personal and subjective perspectives on historical issues. As the reading schedule posted on-line at the course Web site indicates, these additional readings must be completed in time for particular meetings of the class, so be sure to note their deadlines.

Course Organization and Grading

This course is organized into four units consisting of the following assignments:

  • Quizzes on Primary-Source Readings (30% of course grade):For each unit, I will be giving quizzes on the readings described under Part 4 above, and the quiz questions will be derived directly from the study questions for them.  I will always give quizzes on the primary-source readings, and there will be no make-ups on the quizzes, which means that absences or late arrivals to class raise one’s risk of receiving a zero for a quiz. To help compensate for this, I will drop each student’s two lowest quiz scores.
  • Four Exams (15%, 15%, 20%, and 20%, in that order):  There will be an exam on each of the four units of the course. (See the calendar of deadlines.)  Each exam will consist of “objective” questions and an essay topic.  I will devote some class time periodically to discussions of test preparation and test taking in order to clarify my expectations for the exams.
  • Self-Assessment Quizzes on Textbook Chapters (worth 10% of each exam): As explained in Part 4 above, students will be required to take on-line quizzes on each textbook chapter as a form of self-assessment.  Successful completion of the quizzes within a given unit of the course is then worth a total of 10 points on the exam for that unit.  (Partial credit will be awarded to those who have taken only a portion of the quizzes.)  In other words, each student will enter a given exam with 10 points of that exam already determined by his or her completion on the textbook quizzes that led up to that exam.  The remaining 90 points will be determined by his or her performance on the exam itself.

Grading Policies

To earn grades A through D in the course, a student must take all four exams and maintain an adequate quiz average.  For an A, the total average must be a 90 or above. For a B, that average must be 80 or above. For a C, it must be 70 or above. For a D, it must be 60 or above. For an F, a student should skip as many quizzes, exams, and other assignments as possible, and keep his or her total average below 60.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is required. Any student who accumulates more than four undocumented and unexcused absences by the withdrawal date risks being dropped from the course.  If a student exceeds that number of absences after the withdrawal date, I reserve the right to refuse to grade any remaining assignments produced by that student.  Otherwise, I do not penalize students with lower grades because of absences, but it should be kept in mind that exam questions will reflect what has been discussed in class, and I like to give quizzes.

Class Participation

During each class meeting, I will be asking questions relevant to the material assigned for that day. Consequently, I expect every student to be prepared to discuss the assigned readings on the days for which I have scheduled them.  Discussions will tend to follow the objectives outlined in Part I of this syllabus. While I do not assign class participation a specific percentage of the grade, I will use it as the deciding factor in borderline cases, i.e., when a student's grade lies immediately between an A and a B, etc.

Course Subjects

1. Big Business and the Modern Corporation

2. The Cultures of the Industrial City: Immigrant Workers

3. The Cultures of the Industrial City: The Middle Class

4. The Social, Economic, and Political Turmoil of the 1890s

5. The Evolution of U.S. Imperialism

6. The Birth of Modern American Music and Art

7. The Progressive Movement

8. World War I

9. The "Modern" Culture of the 1920s 

10. Economic Weaknesses of the '20s; The Depression Experience in the Early '30s

11. The Evolution of Modern Liberalism: The First New Deal

12. The Evolution of Modern Liberalism: The Second New Deal
13. World War II and the Birth and Escalation of the Cold War
14. McCarthyism and the Red Scare

15. The Civil Rights Movement

16. Liberalism in the 1960s

17. The Vietnam War

18. The 1960s Student Movement and the Counterculture
19. Nixon, Vietnam, and Watergate
20. The Multicultural Explosion of the 1970s
21. The Rise of Modern Conservatism
22. U.S. Foreign Policy after Vietnam

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

After completing History 1302 the student should be able to:

1. Describe how Anglo-American settlement of the west impacted the lives of women, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and African Americans.

2. Identify the major industries of the 19th century American West.

3. Explain the rise of the major industries in the 19th century United States.

4. Describe the effects of 19th century industrialization on labor unions, women and minorities.

5. Describe the social effects of urbanization on the 19th century United States.

6. Explain the major events of Gilded Age politics.

7. Describe the rise of the American overseas empire by 1900.

8. Identify the main political, social, intellectual and economic effects of Progressivism on American society.

9. Compare and contrast the “Square Deal,” the “New Nationalism” and the “New Freedom” programs.

10. Explain the background of and U.S. participation in World War I.

11. Describe how World War I transformed the roles of women, African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

12. Explain how the 1920s changed American society politically, socially and economically.

13. Identify the major writers of the 1920s.

14. Describe the causes of and results of the Great Depression.

15. Identify the changes in American politics and society brought about by the New Deal.

16. Explain the effects of American foreign policy in the 1920s and 1930s and the coming of World War II.

17. Describe the social, economic and political effects of World War II on American society.

18. Evaluate the major causes and effects of the Cold War on America from 1945 to 1960.

19. Describe the key events of the 1950s and their effects on American society with special emphasis on McCarthy and civil rights.

20. Compare and contrast the “New Frontier” and “Great Society” programs.

21. Examine the American involvement in Vietnam and the effect of that war on American society.

22. Describe the Republican Resurgence and the effects of Watergate.

23.    Evaluate the effects of the 1980s on American society.