History of America, 1865 to the Present
This class will offer a broad overview of American History based on lectures and supplementary readings. Major themes will include political, social, and economic developments, demographic changes, and the diversity of the American experience. We will also examine how the meaning of ideas such as freedom, liberalism, and equality changed over time, depending on particular historical circumstances.
The best way to get a firm grasp of the materials is to focus less on memorizing names and dates and more on understanding human motivations and observing larger historical trends. How did the end of slavery change the lives of Black Americans? Why was Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal considered “new”? How did the nature and meaning of work change over the course of the 20th Century? How did the emergence of the United States as a global power effect government policy as well as social and political life? These are examples of the types of questions you should be considering, and the kinds of topics you will be asked to discuss in class, exams, and written assignments. This course contains many details, which can often be confusing and difficult to remember; however, events, policies, and individuals will carry much more meaning if you can relate them to a larger question or development.
Download the course syllabus for full details about expectations, readings, assignments and more.
- Demonstrate use of the principles of historical thinking to understand human societies, specifically through the history of the United States from the end of the Civil War to the contemporary era.
- Define and summarize major events, developments, and themes of United States history from the end of the Civil War until the contemporary era.
- Evaluate significant themes, issues, or eras in United States history from the end of the Civil War 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.