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HIST 152 002: 1American History since Reconstruction

Spring 2015
Dr. Sarah Mulhall Adelman
Class Meetings:
Tuesdays 10:30-10:20;
Fridays 8:30-10:20
Location: May 317

Office hours:
Drop in: Tues,12:30-1:30
Friday, 10:30-12:30
By appointment: Thursdays

Contact Info:
Office: May 308
Phone: 508-626-4821

Course Description:
A survey of the political, economic, social, and cultural developments from Reconstruction to the
present. The course examines the development of the United States within a global context and
covers the growth of American industry, the nations growing international role, the Great
Depression and the New Deal, the Cold War, and political changes of the late 20th century. Note:
This is a writing intensive course. Prior completion of ENGL 110 Expository Writing is
recommended. This course fulfills the State law requiring study of the United States and
Massachusetts constitutions.
Some of the major themes we will explore this semester include: dramatic economic growth and
its ripples in work and consumption patterns; contestations over the proper role of the federal
government; Americas growing power on the international stage; and efforts to deal with
inequalities along lines of race, class, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Through close
readings of a wide variety of primary and secondary source texts, group discussions, and
individual writing assignments we will explore the diversity of experiences and worldviews of
Americans in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Course Objectives:
Gain an understanding of the major themes and events in American history since 1877.
Integrate social and cultural developments into a broader historical narrative.
Achieve a familiarity with multiple types of historical evidence and the ways to approach
and analyze each.
Develop the ability to read scholarly sources critically, with attention to argument,
evidence, and historiographic debates.
Enhance skills in communicating historical knowledge and reasoning through writing.
Study the changes made to the U.S. and Massachusetts constitutions in the period since
1877, through both constitutional amendments and important judicial decisions, gaining
an understanding of the historical context that led to these changes as well as their
Course Requirements:
Class participation and Attendance (15%): Participation is a vital component of this course.
Dynamic engagement with course materials and your classmates is central to the learning
experience. You are expected to attend all classes prepared and to participate actively in
class discussions. More than 2 absences or late arrivals will negatively impact your grade,
with the exception of extended absences for religious observances, serious illness, school
events, and family emergencies, with documentation. Visits to office hours and SI sessions
will improve your participation grade.

Reading Quizzes (5%): There will be unannounced (pop) quizzes on the assigned readings
sporadically over the course of the semester. These will be conducted at the beginning of
class and no makeup quizzes will be offered for students who are absent or late; however, you
may drop one quiz grade.
Homework (5%): You will have homework due each Friday (except for weeks when there is a
major assignment/exam). These assignments will be distributed one week in advance and
provide you with the opportunity to practice the skills necessary to the successful practice of
history. Missed assignments cannot be made up, but I will drop the lowest assignment grade.
I encourage you to attend SI or consult with me at office hours on these assignments.
Historical Essay (20%): Due March 3rd. For this assignment you will write a 4-5 page paper
that constructs and proves an argument based on course materials and readings. More detailed
instructions will be distributed two weeks before the paper is due. Late papers will be docked
5% for each day they are late, beginning 5 minutes after class begins. No late papers will be
accepted more than 5 days after the due date and any missing papers will receive a 0 on that
date. You will have the opportunity to rewrite the paper based on my comments, if you
choose. Your grade on the paper will be the average of your initial grade and the grade on
your rewrite.
Framingham State Project (7%). Each group will use the FSU archives to research how
Framingham State students experienced a period of American history we studied in class.
Based on this research, each group will create and deliver a 10-15 minute presentation.
Grades will be determined based on the oral presentation (April 14th), submitted research
notes, and a written evaluation by all members of each group members contributions.
Oral History Project (13%): Due May 1st. For this project you will conduct an interview with
someone who was born before 1960 and use the information from this interview along with at
least 2 newspaper articles to write a 3-page paper addressing important events or trends of the
1930s-1970s. Late papers will be docked 5% for each day they are late, beginning 5 minutes
after class begins. No late papers will be accepted after the final exam and any missing papers
will receive a 0 on that date.
Midterm (10%): March 10th. The midterm exam will consist of a combination of
identifications, short answers, and a source analysis question. A review sheet will be
distributed two weeks before the exam. No makeup exams will be offered except under
extenuating circumstances, with documentation.
Final exam (25%): May 7th. The final exam is cumulative. It will contain identifications, short
answers, a source analysis question, and an essay addressing broad themes of the course. A
review sheet will be distributed two weeks before the exam. No makeup exams will be
offered except under extenuating circumstances, with documentation.
Grading Scale:
The grading scale for this course is as follows:
A- (90-92)
A (93-100)
B- (80-82)
B (83-86)
B+ (87-89)
C- (70-72)
C (73-76)
C+ (77-79)
D- (60-62)
D (63-66)
D+ (67-69)
F (59 and lower)

Supplemental Instruction (SI):

This semester, you will have the additional academic support of Supplemental Instruction (SI).
Christina Marshall, a junior history major at FSU, will be the Supplemental Instructor for this
course. She will offer weekly SI sessions to provide opportunities for you to master the elements
necessary for success in this course and assist you with the weekly homework assignments. She
is also available during office hours to answer questions and work with you individually.
Christinas Office Hours:
SI Session:
Regular attendance at SI sessions and office hours will help you master the key foundational
skills that contribute to success in this course as well as any history courses you may take in the
future. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Attendance at SI sessions
or Christinas office hours will raise your participation grade.
Skills Workshops:
The history department has created 2 workshops designed to introduce students to the skills
necessary to be successful in a college-level history class. These are mandatory for all students
taking a 100-level history course. Attendance will be taken and will count towards your
attendance/participation grade. Each workshop will be offered on 4 different days/times, to
accommodate student schedules. You must choose 1 of each workshop to attend, for a total of 2.
The options are as follows:
1st workshop:
Wednesday, January 28th 1:30pm-2:20pm
Forum (2nd Floor MC)
Thursday, January 29
Forum (2nd Floor MC)
Friday, January 30th
Forum (2nd Floor MC)
Monday, February 2
Forum (2nd Floor MC)
2nd workshop:
Monday, February 9th
Wednesday, February 11th
Thursday, February 12th
Friday, February 13th


Forum (2nd Floor MC)

Forum (2nd Floor MC)
Forum (2nd Floor MC)
Forum (2nd Floor MC)

Extra Credit:
Any student who attends an approved talk or event on material relevant to this course and writes
a 2-page summary of what was discussed and how it relates to class materials will earn 2 extra
credit points towards their final participation grade. A student can receive a maximum of 4 extra
credit points over the semester. The dates for pre-approved talks/events are as follows:
1. February 5 (7pm): I Want You: World War I Posters, Dr. Erika Schneider, Framingham
Public Library (Costin Room)
2. April 14 (4:30): Black Lives Still Matter: From Emmett Till to Michael Brown, Nell
Braxton Gibson, The Forum
3. The Dennison Mfg. Company: 1844-1990 exhibit on view at Edgell Memorial Library
(across Rte 9 on Framingham town green) Wednesdays thru Saturdays 1:00 4:00

If you learn of another talk or event you are interested in attending, please see me in advance for
approval of extra credit points.
Plagiarism applies to all use of anothers work without a proper citation. This includes quoting
someone directly, paraphrasing, using examples or information from a text or website without
citation, and/or working with a classmate on independent assignments or exams. Any cases of
plagiarism will automatically result in a 0 on the assignment in question, and will be brought to
the attention of the administration, which may result in further disciplinary action, including but
not limited to failure of the course or dismissal from the university. A full discussion of
academic dishonesty can be found in the University catalog. All lectures and course materials
are copyrighted to the instructor and cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission.
You may not record lectures without special permission.
Assessment: The following description of assessment at FSU comes from the Office of
Assessment: Framingham State University (FSU) is committed to the assessment of student
achievement regarding academic outcomes. This process addresses the issues of what you need
to learn in your program of study and if you are learning what you need to learn. The assessment
program at FSU has four specific and interrelated purposes: (1) to improve student academic
achievements; (2) to improve teaching strategies; (3) to document successes and identify
opportunities for program improvement; and (4) to provide evidence of institutional
effectiveness. Students enrolled in this course may participate in the FSU assessment effort. This
might involve your class instructor submitting copies of your assignments for review,
responding to surveys, or participating in other measurements designed to assess the FSU student
learning outcomes. No identifying information will be reported and only aggregated data will be
used. If you do not wish to participate in any assessments, please notify your instructor.
Texting, receiving phone calls, sleeping, surfing the internet, and other disrespectful behaviors
diminish not only your own classroom experience, but the educational environment of those
around you. If distracting behaviors are observed, the instructor reserves the right to consider
offending students as absent from the class period in question. Phones are to be off (except for
breaks or with instructor permission in cases of demonstrated need) and laptop computers, ipads,
and similar devices are not allowed in the classroom except with explicit permission of instructor
in cases of documented need.
Important announcements will be sent via email or Blackboard. It is your responsibility to check
your FSU email account regularly.
Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate students with disabilities or extenuating
circumstances. It is the students responsibility to discuss the situation with the instructor in
advance and present supporting documentation.
Required Texts:
James A. Henretta, Eric Hinderaker, Rebecca Edwards, and Robert O. Self, America: A Concise
History, vol 2 since 1865, 6th ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2015) (ISBN: 978-1-45764864-9) (Henretta in syllabus)

Michael P. Johnson, Reading the American Past: Selected Historical Documents, 5th ed., Vol. 2:
since 1865 (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012). (RAP in syllabus) (ISBN: 978-0-31256377-6)
Schedule of Classes:
All readings should be completed before the class for which they are listed and all except
Henretta should be brought to class. Those not in the required texts can be found on
Blackboard. In the event that a class meeting must be cancelled, you will be notified via email
and a revised syllabus will be posted on Blackboard. A make-up assignment may be required, at
the discretion of the instructor.
Week 1 (Jan 20, 23): The American West
Tues: Introduction to Course and American Government
No Reading
Fri: Settling the West: Homesteaders, Immigrants, and Native Americans
Reading: Henretta, pgs 467-492, 508-514; L.G. Moses, The Father Tells Me So!:
Wovoka: The Ghost Dance Prophet, American Indian Quarterly 9 (Summer 1985),
pgs 335-351; Last of the Bisons, St. Paul Daily Globe, Feb 9, 1896
Week 2 (Jan 27, 30): Capitalism, Industry, and the Working Class
Tues: Snow Day
Fri: Capitalism, Industry, and the Working Class
Reading: Henretta, pgs 498-507, 514-522, 552-568; Henry Demarest Lloyd, Wealth against
Commonwealth, in RAP, pgs 48-52; Andrew Carnegie, Wealth, in RAP, pgs 5255; Pinkerton Guard Testimony, in RAP, pgs 87-90.
Week 3 (Feb 3, 6): Late Nineteenth-Century America
Tues: A Changing World: Advances and Insecurities
Reading: Henretta, ch 18, pgs 528-533, 541-550; Richard Harmond, Progress and Flight:
An Interpretation of the American Cycle Craze of the 1890s, Journal of Social
History, vol 5 (Winter 1971-1972), pgs 235-257; Jacob Riis, Waifs of New York
Citys Slums, in RAP, pgs 67-70.
Fri: Jim Crow and Populism
Reading: Henretta, pgs 524-528, 579-593; North Carolina suffrage Amendment
(; Gunner Jesse Blake,
Narrative of the Wilmington Rebellion of 1898, in RAP, pgs 83-88; Henry M.
Littlefield, The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism, American Quarterly, vol 16
(Spring 1964), pgs 47-58.
Week 4 (Feb 10, 13): Race and Empire
Tues: Diplomacy and Expansion
Reading: Henretta, pgs 612-623.
Fri: Gender and Race in the Spanish-American War
Reading: Kristin Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics
Provoked the Spanish-American and Phillipine-American Wars, ch 2 (Cuba and the
Restoration of American Chivalry), pgs 43-67.

Week 5 (Feb 17, 20): The Progressive Era and War

Tues: Progressive Reform
Reading: Henretta, pgs 569-577, 593-606; Royal Melendy, Ethical Substitutes for the
Saloon, in RAP, pgs 105-108; Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch 5, pgs
Fri: World War I
Reading: Henretta, pgs 624-637; Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points
(; Woodrow Wilson, Joint
Address to Congress (
Week 6 (Feb 24, 27): The Inter-war Years
Tues: Immigration and the Red Scare
Reading: Henretta, pgs 639-643; Robin F. Bachin, At the Nexus of Labor and Leisure:
Baseball, Nativism, and the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, Journal of Social History 36
(2003), pgs 941-962; A. Mitchell Palmer, The Case against the Reds, in RAP, pgs
133-137; Hirman W. Evans, The Klans Fight for Americanism, in RAP, pgs 152155.
Fri: Race and Gender
Reading: Henretta, pgs 643-656; 16th-19th Amendments (Henretta); Margaret Sanger,
Motherhood in Bondage, in RAP, pgs 156-159; Stanley B. Norvell to Victor F.
Lawson, in RAP, pgs 137-142; Langston Hughes, Harlem and The Cat and the
Saxophone (2 a.m.)
In class: Birth of a Nation (1915)
Week 7 (Mar 3, 6):
Tues: The Great Depression
Reading: Henretta, pgs 257-670.
In class: The Dust Bowl (2012)
Historical Paper Due
Fri: The New Deal
Readings: Henretta, pgs 670-692; Martha Gellhorn to Harry Hopkins, in RAP, pgs 165-168;
Huey Long, Speech to Members of the Share Our Wealth Society, in RAP, pgs 174177; Minnie Hardin to Eleanor Roosevelt, in RAP, pgs 183-185; 21st Amendment
(Henretta); working peoples letters, in RAP, pgs 169-173
In class: Franklin Roosevelt, The Banking Crisis (first fireside chat), March 12, 1933
Week 8 (Mar 10, 13): The 1940s
Tues: Midterm Exam
No Readings.
Fri: Race, Class, and Gender on the Homefront
In class: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980)
No Readings.

Week 9: Spring Break: No Classes

Week 10 (Mar 24, 27): World War II
Tues: Fighting a War Abroad
Reading: Henretta, pgs 694-710, 715-724; 22nd Amendment (Henretta); letters from soldiers,
in RAP, pgs 197-204.
In class: Franklin Roosevelt, Speech to Congress, December 8, 1941; Oral histories of
American liberators of Ohrdruf concentration camp (2003)
Fri: The Homefront
Reading: Henretta, pgs 710-715; James J. Kimble and Lester C. Olson, Visual Rhetoric
Representing Rosie the Riveter: Myth and Misconception in J. Howard Millers We
Can Do It! Poster, Rhetoric & Public Affairs 9 (Winter 2006), pgs 533-569; Online
exhibit on Japanese-American internment (
Week 11 (Mar 31, Apr 3): Framingham State Project
Tues: Introducing Framingham State Project: Meet in Archives
Reading: Chapters from Pioneers in Education
Fri: Research Day (Meet in Archives)
Reading: Additional sources in RAP for your assigned period
Optional: Rewrite Due
Week 12 (Apr 7, 10): The Cold War
Tues: Diplomacy and Politics in the Cold War
Reading: Henretta, pgs 730-751; George Kennan, The Long Telegram (1946), in RAP, pgs
213-217; NSC-68, in RAP, pgs 217-221.
Fri: Conformity: Suburbs and McCarthy; Doing Oral History
Reading: Henretta, pgs 760-786; How You Will Survive, 1960, in RAP, pgs 242-246;
Womens Magainzes, 1940-1960, pgs 166-70, 182-8.
In class: Duck and Cover (1951); The House in the Middle (1954)
Week 13 (Apr 14, 17): The Civil Rights Movement
Tues: Framingham State Presentations
Fri: Civil Rights Movement
Reading: Henretta, pgs 788-810; 23rd-24th Amendments (Henretta) ; George E. McMillan,
Sit-Downs: The Souths New Time Bomb, in RAP, pgs 238-242; Martin Luther
King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham City Jail, in RAP, pgs 254-259; Melba Pattillo
Beals, Warriors Dont Cry, pgs 108-115, 146-154, 246.
In class: American Experience: Freedom Riders (2012)
Week 14 (Apr 21, 24): Idealism and Cynicism
Tues: Vietnam, Activism, and the Great Society
Reading: Henretta, pgs 751-758, 819-824, 826-838; 25th-26th Amendments (Henretta);
Arthur E. Woodley, Oral History of a Special Forces Ranger, in RAP, pgs 284-289;
John Kerry, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in RAP,
pgs 289-292.
Fri: Watergate and Womens Rights

Reading: Henretta, pgs 824-826, 838-847, 859-874; Watergate tapes, in RAP, pgs 294-301;
Roe v. Wade, in RAP, pgs 302-305.
In class: Nixons resignation
Week 15 (April 28, May 1): Shifting Global Concerns
Tues: The Cold War Thaws and Conservatism Rises
Reading: Henretta, pgs 874-875, 882-906; Ronald Reagan, Address to the National
Association of American Evangelicals, in RAP, pgs 310-314; Robert D. McFadden,
The Berlin Wall: A Monument to the Cold War, Triumphs and Tragedies, The New
York Times, Nov 10, 1989.
Fri: The United States and The Middle East
Reading: Henretta, pgs 906-909, 911-912, 930-940.
Oral History Project Due
FINAL EXAM: Friday, May 8th 8:00-11:00

Tips for Reading

Tips for Reading a Primary Source (documents in RAP)
Before You Begin Reading:
1. Who? Who is the author? What do you know about him/her?
2. What? Is the source a letter, a political treatise, an advertisement, a novel, a speech,
etc? Why does genre matter?
3. When? When was it written? What else was going on at that time?
4. Where? Where was it written? What else was going on in that place?
5. Why? Why did the author write this document? What was he/she hoping to
As You Read/After You Read:
6. Historical significance
a. What does this source tell us about the period or event?
b. How does this source reflect or illuminate the ways contemporaries understood
their world? What assumptions and references does the author make?
c. Why is this source important? What does it offer the historian that other types
of souces cannot?
Tips for Reading a Scholarly Article/Book Chaper
1. Identify the argument.
1. What is the author trying to prove about the topic in question?
2. How does this argument reflect or diverge from the way the topic is covered in
3. Why is this argument important? How does looking at the topic from this angle
change our understanding?
2. Evaluate the argument.
1. What evidence does the author use?
2. Are you convinced by this argument? Why or why not?