Course Syllabus: Fall 2012


Course Description


This course will provide an overview of the social, cultural, and political history of the United States from 1865 to the beginning of the twenty-first century, and will equip students to better understand the problems and challenges of the contemporary world in relation to events and trends in modern American history.
This is an honors course and will require students to complete a heavier reading load. Class meetings shall consist of discussions organized using the Socratic Seminar method. Students will be exposed to various historiographical arguments and learn how to compare and contrast and evaluate each interpretation's strengths and weaknesses. Students who complete this course will also learn many of the skills necessary to conduct historical research.

Class sessions will be organized around scholarly discussions of each day's assigned readings. Students are required to complete all assigned readings prior to the start of class and come to class prepared to discuss and analyze its meaning.

Learning Outcomes


Students will demonstrate the ability to think historically through: understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of United States history; comprehension of causal relationships and patterns of change and continuity over time; or awareness of the social significance of ethnicity, gender, race, and class in historical events and study.

Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities that might affect their course performance should contact the course professor as soon as possible. If the student provides the professor with university documentation of their disability appropriate accomodations will be made. It is a student's responsibility to provide the professor with documentation.

Required Textbooks


1. Eric Foner, Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History, Volume Two, 3rd Edition.
2. Howard Zinn, Voices of a People's History of the United States
3. Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States
Additional readings will be assigned throughout the semester. These readings will be available through UWG library databases such as JSTOR.

Course Assessments


Students' final grades will be determined as follows:
  1. Midterm Exam--30 percent
  2. Final Exam--30 percent
  3. Class Discussion--20 percent
  4. Discussion Questions--20 percent


Assessment Descriptions



Course Schedule


Students are expected to read all assignments prior to the start of class. Students should bring their textbooks with them to class daily.

Monday, August 20--Course Introductions; We will watch selections from the film Birth of a Nation during class.
Wednesday, August 22--Emancipation

Monday, August 27--Reconstruction Historiography
Wednesday, August 29--The Guilded Age

Monday, September 3 (Labor Day)-- No Classes Held
Wednesday, September 5--Guilded Age Historiography

Monday, September 10--The Nadir of American Race Relations
Wednesday, September 12--When did Southern Segregation Begin?

Monday, September 17--American Imperialism
Wednesday, September 19--American Imperialism Historiography

Monday, September 24--Immigration Historiography
Wednesday, September 26--Progressive Era

Monday, October 1--Progressive Era Historiography

Wednesday, October 3--World War One

Monday, October 8--MIDTERM EXAM
Wednesday, October 10--The 1920s