HIS 315L: United States Since 1865 Fall 2011

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1 HIS 315L: United States Since 1865 Fall 2011 Dr. Karl Hagstrom Miller Office: Garrison Office Hours: W 2-4 pm or by appointment Unique #: MWF, 12:00 to 1:00, WEL Unique #: MWF, 2:00 to 3:00, WEL Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) --Walt Whitman This course examines the history of the United States as a story of migration, contact, and conflict. Beginning with a review of the nation s experiences during the Civil War, the course charts the social, cultural, and political history of the United States from the Reconstruction era through the end of the twentieth century. Major themes include the industrial revolution, rise of a consumer culture, United States foreign policy and transnational corporate expansion, and the long struggle for civil and political rights. The course strives to understand these conflicts as national crises informed by--and enacted through--people's everyday experiences and concerns. Throughout emphasis is given to cultural and social developments and the relationship between the United States and the wider world. This course also offers an introduction to the discipline of history. What does it mean to study history? How does one "think historically" both during class and in everyday conversations? What can a historical perspective on our lives, our cultures, and our nation teach us about our present situations, our future, and ourselves? Poet Walt Whitman s declaration provides an apt starting point for this course. The United States does contain multitudes of contradictory opinions, experiences and identities. Often these contradictory voices collide and combine within the same individual as a person tries to make sense of his or her multiple histories, struggles, and associations. Studying history involves engaging these contradiction, determining how they came to be and how they continue to shape the politics and culture of the nation and the world outside its borders. Studying history demands the embrace of complexity. How do new, often contradictory, voices, approaches, and facts change the fundamental stories of U.S. history? Things are rarely as simple as they first appear. Embracing America s contradictions can be messy, even dangerous. Ignoring them is more perilous still for we are large. We contain multitudes. REQUIRED BOOKS: Available at the Co-op Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Businessmen s Crusade Against the New Deal We will be reading a general narrative of US history from the website Additional Required Reading: 1

2 Listed under each week in the schedule below. Readings are available on the Web or on the course Blackboard site. You can access Blackboard here: ATTENDANCE Attendance is mandatory. Weekly reading assignments should be completed before class on Monday. Lectures are designed to contextualize and compliment the readings, not to repeat them. Therefore, a great deal of necessary information will be found only in class. Come prepared. ASSIGNMENTS Your final grade will be based on an essay exam on September 30 (30%), a 5-page (1250 word) paper on an assigned topic due October 26 (30%), and a final essay exam (40%). I do not tolerate late papers without a very good reason. Papers are docked one full grade every day they are late. Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations fro the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, , WEEKLY SCHEDULE August 24-26: Overview What Does it Mean to Study History? Outline of Course Expectations The Experience of Freedom/Reconstruction August 29-September 2: Reconstruction and the New South Reconstruction and Redemption The Romance of Reunion Industrialization at the End of the Century Ushistory.org, Chapter 35: Reconstruction W. E. B. Du Bois, The Propaganda of History, from Black Reconstruction (1935). September 5-9: The New Industrial Order Industrialization The Immigrant Experience 2

3 Ushistory.org, Chapters Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889) Henry George, The Crime of Poverty (1885) Theodore Roosevelt, The College Graduate and Public Life, Atlantic, August Lynn D. Gordon, The Gibson Girl Goes to College: Popular Culture and Women s Higher Education in the Progressive Era, , American Quarterly 39:2 (Summer, 1987), pp On Blackboard. September 12-16: The Rise of the Urban Order and The Political System Under Strain at Home and Abroad Urban working-class Life Jim Crow Segregation American Empire Ushistory.org, Chapters Cohen, Making a New Deal, Introduction, Chapter 1. September 19-23: The Progressive Era Progressive Reform The Campaign for Women s Suffrage Ushistory.org, Chapters Cohen, Making a New Deal, Chapter 2-3. September 26-30: The Collapse of the Old World Order World War I at Home and Abroad Ushistory.org, Chapters Cohen, Making a New Deal, Chapter 4. EXAM: September 30. October 3-7: The Business of America is Business Changing the Way Americans Work and Play The New Woman and the New Negro 3

4 Ushistory.org, Chapters Cohen, Making a New Deal, pp. Chapter 5. October 10-14: The Great Depression and the New Deal The Great Depression The New Deal Ushistory.org, Chapters Cohen, Making a New Deal, Chapter 6-Conclusion. October 17-21: America s Rise to Globalism The Second World War The Home Front Ushistory.org, Chapters Life Magazine, ues_r&cad=1&atm_aiy=1940#all_issues_anchor Read ONE issue of Life Magazine issued during The Second World War. This reading will provide the basis for a five-page paper. October 24-28: Cold War America DUE October 26 in class: Paper on Life Magazine The Cold War at Home and Abroad Ushistory.org, Chapter 52. George F. Kennan, The Sources of Soviet Conduct, Foreign Affairs, July October 31-November 4: The Suburban Era Economic and Social Transformations of the 1950s Rock n Roll and the Rise of Youth Culture Ushistory.org, Chapter 53 Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands, Introduction, Chapters1-2 November 7-11: Civil Rights and Uncivil Liberties The Long Civil Rights Struggle The Texas Roots of the New Left Ushistory.org, Chapters 54, 56 4

5 Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands, Chapters 3-5 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963) ter_from_birmingham/ For the historical context of the letter see: _birmingham_jail_1963/ Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement (1962) November 14-18: The Roads to Vietnam Cold War and Colonialism Vietnam at Home and Abroad Freedom Movements: From Civil Rights to Liberation Ushistory.org, Chapter 55 Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands, Chapters 6-7 The Women s Movement and Women in SDS: Cathy Wilkerson Recalls the Tensions Selections from The Rag, Austin newspaper, 1969 and On Blackboard. November 21-25: Conservatism and Globalization A New Conservative Coalition Culture in the Age of Globalization UShistory.org, Chapters Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands, 8-Epilogue November 24: THANKSGIVING November 28-December 2: Catch Up and Test Review THE FINAL EXAM WILL BE SCHEDULED BY THE UNIVERSITY. 5

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