HISTORY 102 - UNITED STATES HISTORY FROM 1877 TO THE PRESENT
SYLLABUS - Spring 2014 - Tuesdays and Thursdays
Dr. Brad Reynolds
Welcome to your class called History 102 - United States History from 1877 to the Present with Dr. Brad Reynolds. (Please note that if you are viewing this online and prior to the first day of class then this syllabus is subject to change and it is not "official" until the class begins. If you are viewing this as a hard copy then please note somewhere that your syllabus is available 24/7 at bradleyreynolds.weebly.com.)
Below is a description of this course. When you go to "Instructor" you will get information on how to contact him. Below that you will find out about course texts, goals, assignments, important course dates, policies, grading, and readings, and you will find a list of the essay exam questions. If you ever have a question about your grade or the course, please contact Dr. Reynolds, preferably via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please remember to include your class name, class section number, and your full name in the subject area of your email. (If that email address does not work you can try email@example.com but please do NOT send the same email to both addresses at the same time!) If you do not have email you can call Dr. Reynolds anytime at 818-677-3565. If Dr. Reynolds does not answer then please leave a message, and don't forget to leave your class name, your section number, your name, and your phone number!
This course is a chronological survey of American history from 1877 to the present, focusing on American social, intellectual, political, economic, and diplomatic institutions. Major topics include culture, ethnic and racial diversity and the role of the United States within the context of world history.
1. Describe and assess the process by which the United States was economically transformed and modernized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
2. Evaluate major American political, religious, and cultural values for the 1877 to 1914 period.
3. Compare and contrast the changing demography of America from 1877 to 1914 and from 1945 to the present.
4. Determine the processes of assimilation and acculturation expected of immigrants to the United States from 1900 to the present.
5. Discuss and evaluate the interaction of majority and minority groups during the 20th century.
6. Identify and analyze the causation, sequence of events, concepts, development, and impact of various American political reform movements, such as Populism, Progressivism, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, Civil Rights, and the Great Society.
7. Conceptualize and discuss the meaning of conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism in American history from the post World War II era to the present.
8. Discuss the evolution of gender roles and evaluate the efforts and impact of feminists in the United States from 1877 through the contemporary period.
9. Summarize and analyze the development of American foreign policy since 1890, including imperial expansion and the rise of the United States as a world power and leader among a large community of nations.
10. Trace and evaluate United States diplomacy and armed conflict through isolationism, imperialism, and collective security policies of the 20th century.
11. Compare and contrast the core political and philosophical ideas and modes of expression in American culture in the 20th century.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to develop and persuasively argue a historical thesis in a written assignment that identifies and explains major social, economic, political and/or cultural historical themes or patterns in United States history from 1877 to the present and apply appropriate historical methods to analyze and use primary and/or secondary sources as evidence to support the thesis.
El Camino College is committed to providing educational accommodations for students with disabilities upon the timely request by the student to the instructor. A student with a disability, who would like to request an academic accommodation, is responsible for identifying herself/himself to the instructor and to the Special Resources Center. To make arrangements for academic accommodations, contact the Special Resources Center.
PROFESSOR CONTACT INFORMATION
The contact information below is good 24/7. When you leave a message (preferably by email) you will get a response as soon as possible (and always within 48 hours). If you do not get a response back within 48 hours, then please resend your message on the third day, preferably by email, and please remember to always include your name and the name of your class in the subject area of your email. Please also leave a detailed message so we resolve your question(s) quickly.
Dr. Bradley Reynolds
Dr. Reynolds holds history degrees from UCLA and USC. He has taught American history for nearly forty years at three universities (California State University - Northridge, University of Southern California, and University of Vienna) and two community colleges (El Camino and College of the Canyons). He enjoys teaching and looks forward to discussing history with you!
The best time to talk to Dr. Reynolds is at the end of class. If that does not work for you then you can contact him via one of the methods listed below, but preferably email. If you leave a message and do not get a response within 48 hours then please resend it on the third day.
You have two texts for this course: American History, An Overview Since 1865, Eighth Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012) by Bradley Reynolds (ISBN 0078119499), and A Patriot's History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen (New York: Sentinel, 2007). The ISBN is 9781595230324. Both books should be available in the ECC Book Store.
The American History book was written specifically for your class, so if you can only afford one book at the start of the semester then this is the book you should get. It includes outlines of the material you will need to learn, a chronology of major events, and sample multiple choice questions that you are likely to find on your exams (which are discussed below). Because the American History text proceeds chronologically, you may find it particularly helpful if you have difficulty with a topical approach, or if you have difficulty understanding the organization or continuity of the course material. It will also help you with lecture material you miss (but remember, you are expected to always be in class)!
A Patriot's History is a general survey of U.S. history. It will provide background to the material you are studying in this class and it will give you more detail on the information you will hear in lecture. It is therefore strongly recommended that you read both books.
The primary goals of this class are that you will complete the class readings and assignments to gain an understanding of the importance of knowing United States history so you can better comprehend the present and help to better shape the future.
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND WHAT TO READ FOR EACH EXAM
You have three on-going course assignments in this class.
The first is to keep current with the readings. You will be reading about a third of your texts for each exam. So for Test One you should read in the American History text Chapters 1-9, for Test Two Chapters 10-17, and for Test Three Chapters 18-28. In A Patriot's History you should read Chapters 9-14 for Test One, Chapters 15-18 for Test Two, and Chapters 19-22 for Test Three. For a list of the major topics you will read and learn about in this class, please consult the Table of Contents in your texts. Note that the readings for test one cover the years 1865-1914, for test two the years are 1914 to 1953, and for test three it's 1953 to the present.
Another continuing assignment is to read a daily newspaper, news Web site, or weekly news magazine so you can complete your ten history articles assignment which is discussed in more detail below under "History News Articles." If you do not already subscribe to a newspaper, you can find several newspapers and magazines for your review in the library, or check the Web for newspaper articles or current periodicals related to U.S. history. You may be surprised at how much we cover in class has a direct relationship to events today! So stay current with the news! You will enjoy the class more and you will be working on one of your outside of class assignments which is to find and submit a review of ten news articles related to the primary material of your class.
Your remaining class assignment is to complete the ten history projects. The purpose of this assignment is to show you that there are many ways to learn and appreciate history. These projects are also discussed below in more detail under "History Projects."
The grades in this class break down as follows:
10 quizzes worth 10 percent your class grade (You are expected to attend all classes so you can take the quizzes which can occur during any class. Please see below under "Quizzes" for more on this.)
3 multiple choice tests worth 10 percent each or 30 percent of your class grade (The exam dates are listed below under the "Calendar..." section, and these exams are discussed in more detail below under "More on the Multiple Choice Exams.")
2 essay tests worth 20 percent each or 40 percent of your class grade (The exam dates are listed below in the "Calendar..." section, and the exams are discussed in more detail below under "More on the Essay Exams.")
10 news articles worth 10 percent of your class grade (These are due by the start of the final essay exam. You can get more information on how to do this assignment below under "History News Articles.")
10 history projects worth 10 percent of your class grade (These are due by the start of the last essay exam. You can get more information on how to do this assignment below under "History Projects.")
CALENDAR OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CLASS DATES
January 21: On this first day of class we will review the class syllabus. Be sure to ask any questions you have about the class.
January 28: By today, the start of your second week of class, you should have read the course syllabus and started your assigned reading for the class. If there is anything you do not understand about the class, then please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 4: By the start of this third week of class you should be well into your reading. You should have also started working on your out of class assignments and started working on your first essay exam questions if you are planning to take the first essay exam. You should also be studying the multiple choice questions in your American History book in preparation for your first multiple choice exam in a couple of weeks. Again, if anything is not clear about the class then please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Reynolds!
February 25: Today is the first essay exam. It is optional, as discussed below under Essay Exams. If you decide to take this first essay then come to class with a small examination book and a blue or black pen. If you are not taking the first optional essay then you do not need to come to class today.
February 27: Today everyone must take the first multiple choice exam. Make sure you come to class with a Scan-tron 882 and a number 2 pencil for all of your multiple choice exams. March 17 and 19: No Class! Enjoy your Spring Break!
April 1: Today is the second essay exam. It is mandatory if you did not take the first essay exam, or optional if you did.
April 3: Today everyone should take the second multiple choice exam.
May 8: Today everyone should take the final essay exam, and all articles and projects are due by the start of class.
May 13: Today everyone should take third multiple choice test.
Congratulations! You have finished the class!
MORE ON THE MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAMS
There will be three multiple choice exams. They will likely occur on the dates listed above. The questions for these tests will be taken primarily from the class lectures and the multiple questions listed at the end of each chapter in your American History book, so review those questions and you should not have too many surprises when you take your multiple choice exams. Note that for Test One you should particularly study the multiples in Chapters 1-9, for Test Two you should study Chapters 10-17, and for Test Three study Chapters 18-28 in the American History book.
MORE ON THE ESSAY EXAMS
In addition to the multiple choice exams, you will do at least two essay tests. Everyone will take the final essay. For the other essay grade you will decide if you want to do an essay as part of Test One or Test Two. If you opt to do both essay Exam One and Exam Two, your highest essay score will count as your first essay grade (which is 20 percent of your class grade). Therefore, you should consider doing an Essay Exam One so you can improve your written exam score if needed on Essay Test Two. For the final exam everyone will do both a 100 question multiple choice test and an essay test.
Your essay exams will be based on the questions listed below. You will receive specific instructions on how to prepare for each essay about a week before each exam and there will be a review of all the essay questions. For now suffice it to say that you will receive at least three of the five essays listed for each test and you will select one to answer. (So if you study at least three of the questions listed for each test you are guaranteed to get at least one of the questions you studied on your exam.)
Please note that when you take your essay tests you will need to write your essays in full sentences and paragraphs and that spelling, punctuation, grammar, and organization will count when determining your essay grade. So if you have a writing problem, contact Dr. Reynolds for ways you might improve your writing. You should also take a look at the "Tips for Writing Essays" located at bradleyreynolds.weebly.com. Generally speaking, an essay that answers the question asked but in a broad general way emphasizing only lecture material and perhaps needing better writing and organization will probably earn a "C." A "B" essay is a very good essay but one that could perhaps use more specifics from the texts or lectures and/or more analysis and/or tighter writing and organization. An "A" essay is one that is well written and organized, answers the question in full, and uses specific examples from the lectures and texts. You will get a "D" if your essay has inaccurate information, and/or is poorly written and organized, and/or if it omits parts of the question, or if it answers more than one question. You will get an "F" if you fail to answer the question asked or if your writing is extremely poor or if you write very little. And you will get a "zero" if you fail to take the exam or if you are caught cheating, which would be like you didn't take the exam. A zero means an F for the test plus one lower class grade!
Students sometimes wonder how much they should write to get an "A." While you will be graded more on content then on length, generally speaking an "A" exam tends to fill most of a small examination book, both sides of the page. In other words, don't expect to get a very good grade if you write only a few pages. In short, an "A" means outstanding, a "B" means very good, a "C" means satisfactory, a "D" means unsatisfactory, and an "F" means you failed to satisfactorily answer the question. To calculate your class grade, assign the following points for each 10 percent of your class grade: four points to an "A", three points to a "B", two points to a "C" and one point to a "D." (So an essay test for which you received a "B" would be worth six points if each essay is 20 percent of your class grade.) At the end of the term add your total points and your grade will be as follows: 40-38 points A, 37-35 points A-, 34-32 B+, 31-29 B, 28-26 B-, 25-23 C+, 22-20 C, 19-17 C-, 16-14 D+, 13-11 D, 10-8 D-, and below 8 Fail.
Exam One Essay Questions
1. Discuss the different plans to reconstruct the Union after the Civil War and why each worked or failed. Then discuss the attempts to extend civil rights from 1865 to 1877 and why the movement and era called Reconstruction came to an end.
2. Discuss the reasons for the rapid settlement of the West from 1865-1895 and the impact of that settlement on the U.S. economy and on the people of the West, especially native Americans.
3. Discuss the causes of the Industrial Revolution from 1865-1895. Be specific in explaining how each point you make affected the economy.
4. Discuss the problems associated with the Industrial Revolution and how different groups of people reacted. Include in your discussion the Populists and the Progressives.
5. Discuss the reasons for America's rise as a world power from 1865-1895 and the events that led to the Spanish War of 1898. Then discuss the course of the war and its impact on United States foreign policy.
Exam Two Essay Questions
1. Discuss the causes of the First World War, why and how the U.S. got into the war, the general course of the war, and the war's impact on the U.S. at home and on U.S. foreign policy.
2. Discuss the causes of the Second World War, why and how the U.S. got into the war, the general course of the war, and the war's impact on the U.S. at home and on U.S. foreign policy.
3. Discuss the reasons for the economic prosperity of the 1920s and the causes of the Great Depression. Why was this depression so great?
4. Discuss how Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt reacted to the Great Depression and how their policies still affect America.
5. Discuss the origins of the Cold War, discuss the foreign and domestic problems President Truman faced as a result of the Cold War, and discuss how President Truman dealt with those problems.
Exam Three Essay Questions
1. Discuss when, why and how the Cold War began. Then cite at least one factor that perpetuated the Cold War in each decade from the 1950s-1980s and how each example affected America at home. Last, discuss when and why the Cold War ended and why some say it hasn't.
2. Discuss the origins of the Vietnam War, the course of the war, and its impact on the United States, both at home and in terms of foreign policy.
3. Write an essay on the civil rights movement from the 1950s through the 1990s in which you discuss the major factors that have contributed to its success and its major gains. Be sure to discuss more than one group and to cite examples from each decade of the 1950s through the 1990s.
4. Discuss the reasons for America's economic growth and decline from the 1950s through the 1990s. Then explain how each president has dealt with economic problems.
5. Write an essay about the impact of television on the history of the United States over the past fifty years in which you describe in detail at least one historical event of national importance from each decade of the 1950s - 1990s that was affected by TV.
For your test instruments you must bring for each essay test at least one small examination book and a blue or black pen, and for each multiple test a scan-tron 882 and a number 2 pencil. Your failure to use the proper test instruments will result in one lower test grade.
You will have to opportunity to make-up an exam you cannot take with the class, with the exception of the final which cannot be made up after the class ends. Make-up exams will occur at a time and place determined by Dr. Reynolds, but will probably be during a scheduled class time. If you take a make-up exam before the scheduled class test time, you will not be penalized. If you take a make-up test after the class exam was given, you will be penalized one grade on that test for each week or portion thereof that you wait to do the make-up. Please note that you cannot make-up the first essay test. Instead you will simply take the second essay test. Nor will you be permitted to take the second essay outside of its scheduled time if you took the first essay. You must take all make-up exams by the last lecture class. Your failure to make-up a missed exam will result in a failing grade for the test plus one lower class grade, so contact Dr. Reynolds to arrange a make-up exam as soon as possible if you must miss a test.
CHEATING. COPYING, AND PLAGIARISM
Unfortunately, a note needs to be made here about cheating, copying, and plagiarism. If you are caught cheating on an examination or any class assignment, or if you copy the work of someone else, or if you plagiarize, you will receive a failing grade for that test or set of assignments plus one lower class grade and you may be subject to further disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion. So make sure you obey the rules. If you have any questions about any of this make sure you ask Dr. Reynolds.
There will be ten quizzes in this class. They can occur during any class. The quiz questions will come from the previous lecture. So make sure you do not miss class and that you to not arrive late to class. The quizzes cannot be made up.
HISTORY NEWS ARTICLES ASSIGNMENT
Besides your exam grades, 10 percent of your class grade will come from the ten history news article assignment. The point here is to realize that there are things in the news all the time that directly relate to the material of your class. So when you look for articles remember that they must reference some aspect of the primary history of your class between 1865 and 2000 and they must come from a current newspaper, Web site, or news magazine published within the semester dates of your class (and do not use history magazines or history Web sites, or "This Day in History" blurbs, or newspaper blogs, or magazine blogs since this defeats the purpose of your assignment which is to see that there are articles all the time in regular news sources that relate to the primary history of your class).
Keep in mind that if you are looking for articles in a standard newspaper (like the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Times, Daily Breeze, Wall Street Journal, or Daily News) you are most likely to find them in section A, but also check other sections. You are also welcome to look for articles online. When you find a good article on some historical topic related specifically to the primary material of your class between 1865 and 2000, clip it and attach it securely (by staple or tape) to an 8 X 11 sheet of paper, or, if you find your article online, cut and paste it into an email with a link to it, and please send all articles in separate emails - yes, it's a bit more work, but it will make tracking your work a lot easier. Also please put your name, the date of your article, the publication, and the page from which you got the article if you are submitting a hard copy. Then write a paragraph explaining what the article says and another paragraph explaining what parts of the article relate to the primary content of your class and/or requires some knowledge of the primary class content to fully understand. Remember, you are expected to turn in ten articles, so get started sooner than later even though the articles are not due until the start of the last essay exam. The idea here is to learn the history behind the stories in the news today to enhance your appreciation of the fact that knowing the past is relevant for understanding the present and acting upon the future. So keep your eyes open for historical items and write about them to get your class credit!
If you complete the required assignment by its due date you will receive an "A" for this part of your class grade. Eight articles will earn you a "B," seven a "C" and six a "D." If you turn in less than six articles, or if you turn in your articles late, you will get an F for this assignment, but that's better than a zero which will result in an F plus one lower class grade! So make sure you turn in something before the due date! You can turn in your articles, either individually or in total, anytime you like during the semester, but you should try and do so sooner than later, and preferably at least two classes prior to their due date, in case an article is lost or rejected and you need to do another. And make sure you keep copies of what you submit until you are told by Dr. Reynolds that your article was graded and recorded! Then keep that record until you get your final class grade!
HISTORY PROJECTS ASSIGNMENT
Your other out of class assignment involves you doing ten history projects. The idea here is for you to realize that there are many ways to learn about and appreciate history. For worksheets of the history projects you can do, please go to bradleyreynolds.weebly.com and click on "Projects." Remember, you are looking for things that relate to the primary content of your class (U.S. history) between 1877 and 2000. Things you can do include attending a lecture on something related to the content of this class, writing a book review on a book related to the content of this class, visiting a museum or library to see an exhibit related the content of this class, critiquing a historical cartoon or poster or photograph of something related to this class, interviewing someone who knows about information related to this class, or even analyzing a song about some aspect of U.S. history related to this class or reviewing a video game related to the class content. Whatever you decide to do remember that you should do ten projects, you must follow the directions for each project as printed on the project worksheets (although projects can be from 1-3 pages and do not need to be 2 pages), and you may not do more than two of the same projects (so, for example, you cannot do three movie reviews). Also remember that the work you do for a project needs to be done within the term of your class if applicable. So, for example, if you go to a lecture or see a movie, it should be something you have done within the term dates of your course! If any of this is unclear, be sure to contact Dr. Reynolds for a further explanation.
If you complete all ten history projects by their due date you will get an "A" for this part of your class grade. Eight completed projects will earn you a "B," seven projects will earn you a "C," six projects a "D," and anything less than six will earn an "F." If you turn in less than six projects, or if you turn in your projects late, you will get an F for this assignment, but that's better than a zero which means an F plus one lower class grade! So make sure you turn in something before the last day of class! As with the news articles, you can turn in your ten history projects anytime during the semester, either individually or in total, but you should try to turn them in sooner than later and preferably at least two classes prior to their due date so if one is rejected you will have time to redo it. And make sure you keep a copy of each project until you know it has been accepted and recorded! Then keep that record until you get your final class grade!
IF YOU DECIDE TO DROP THIS CLASS
If you decide to drop this class it is your responsibility to file the class drop form before the drop date. If you remain in the class you should plan to attend all sessions, do the readings on time, and participate in class discussions. You are responsible for any material, assignments, or announcements that occur in class! WELCOME TO THE CLASS!