History of America, 1865 to the Present
This course is a survey of U.S. history from 1865 to the present. Through lectures, class discussions, written work, and assessment of documentary evidence, students will examine the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the United States as the nation emerged from the Civil War, developed into a superpower, and became part of the modern world. Students will also review sound and film artifacts from the period and consider the role of history in a multimedia world. In this course, students will focus intensively on the role of stories and personal narratives and the ways that individuals construct their own histories, whether based on fact, fiction, or the spaces in between. Students should be aware that this course may differ from an AP or standardized test-driven high school history course. Facts, dates, names, and timelines are very important to this course, but they will mostly be used in helping us seek the larger goal of what mattered about the past, and most important, why it mattered. We will explore the who, what, when, and where of U.S. history, but the big prize we are after is the why.
In this course, students will:
- Demonstrate use of the principles of historical thinking to understand human societies, specifically through the history of the United States from the Civil War era to the contemporary era.
- Define and summarize major events, developments, and themes of United States history from the Civil War era until the contemporary era.
- Evaluate significant themes, issues, or eras in United States history from the Civil War era until the contemporary era.
- Demonstrate basic skills in the comprehension and analysis of selected sources and their relevance in the context of historical knowledge.
- Demonstrate ability to develop interpretive historical arguments drawing on primary and/or secondary sources.
- Demonstrate ability to recognize the differences between original historical source material (primary sources) and later scholarly interpretations of those sources (secondary sources).