HIST 2301.102

U.S. History Since 1877

Summer I 2011 — 12:00–1:50 — HH126


Prof. Mark Stoll

135 Holden Hall

Telephone: 742-3744 E-mail: mark.stoll@ttu.edu

Office hours: Monday 2:00–3:00, Tuesday 11:00–11:50, and by appointment

Course Website: http://courses.ttu.edu/mstoll


This course surveys the history of the United States from Reconstruction to the present. It focuses on the major social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious trends and events that shaped the American nation.


Reading: The required books for the course are:

·         Philip Jenkins, A History of the United States, 3rd ed.

·         Karen Abbott, Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul

·         Adam Cohen, Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America
Click here for study questions

·         Glenn C Altschuler, All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America
Click here for study questions

·         Jim Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War
Click here for study questions


Exams: There will be four reading quizzes, three in-class midterm exams, and a cumulative final. The quizzes will test understanding of the assigned readings. The midterms and final will consist of short-answer, objective, and essay questions that will require a firm and accurate knowledge of the facts and the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. Exam questions will be drawn from assigned reading, lectures, and other class materials. The final will have an additional, cumulative essay.



·         Students must bring bluebooks on exam days.

·         All make-up exams and quizzes will be given on the last Monday of classes only.

·         There will be a quiz in the discussion groups over each book to be discussed.

·         In the calculation of students’ final grades, the quizzes together count 20%; the three midterm exams count 18% each; and the final counts 26% of the final grade


Attendance and make-up policy: Class attendance is required. Roll will be taken each class. Students with perfect attendance will receive a bonus of 3 points on their final grades. Students who miss more than two classes will lose 2 points off their final grades for each absence over two. Absences may be excused with written evidence of dire need, that is, death in the family, hospitalization, illness, etc.


Map quiz: As Peter Heylyn noted in 1652, “Historie without Geographie like a dead carkasse hath neither life nor motion at all.” Nineteenth-century historian Jules Michelet agreed: “Without a geographical basis, the people, the makers of history, seem to be walking on air, as in those Chinese pictures where the ground is wanting.” Because geography shapes and influences history, students must know the basic facts of U.S. geography.  All students will be required to pass a map quiz.  This test will require students to locate, on an outline map of the U.S., 20 of the features named on the following list.  A passing score is 80%.  The test will be taken on an outline map on Monday, June 6. Students will have opportunities to retake the map quiz if they fail, but must pass by June 17. Students must be able to locate the following on an outline map:

All 50 states by name

Appalachian Mountains

Washington, D.C.


Rocky Mountains

New York City


Sierra Nevada


Pacific Ocean

Cascade Range


Gulf of Mexico

All 5 Great Lakes by name


Atlantic Ocean

Great Salt Lake


St. Lawrence River

Puget Sound

New Orleans

Hudson River

Great Basin

St. Louis

Ohio River

Great Plains


Mississippi River

Chesapeake Bay

Santa Fe

Missouri River

Florida Keys

Salt Lake City

Columbia River

Cape Cod

Los Angeles

Colorado River (AZ, etc.)

Cape Canaveral

San Francisco

Rio Grande

Long Island


For purposes of study and convenience, a blank map like the one used for the test is attached to the syllabus and is also available online if you wish to print out more copies.

Note: These geographical features can be found in most encyclopedias and atlases. You might also try your luck on Wikipedia or Google Maps. Attached to this syllabus is a blank map for you to practice with.

Required Bureaucratic Educational Jargon Section:

Core Competency Statement: Students completing this course should be able to:  demonstrate the ability to assess critically claims about social issues, human behavior, and diversity in human experiences.

Expected Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to (1) identify and critique alternative explanations for claims about social issues in history; (2) demonstrate knowledge of the origins and evolution of U.S. political systems; (3) demonstrate the ability to assess critically claims about social issues, human behavior, and diversity in human experiences; (4) identify major geographic features of the United States; (5) describe major events and themes in American history since 1877; (6) explain the development of American institutions and policies; and (7) identify major historical events, people, and institutions that shape contemporary society and major issues.

Assessment of Expected Learning Outcomes: Student learning will be assessed through a map test for “outcome” 4 and for “outcomes” 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 through objective and essay exam questions, graded according to the criteria listed on the professor’s Website and weighted as described in the syllabus. Naturally.


Note: Students who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from the Disabled Students Services in the Dean of Students Office.


The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted the class Webpages.


Course Schedule


Reading: By the first exam, read Jenkins, pp. 147–188.

6/1       Introduction; 1876: State of the Union

6/2       1876: Pride and uncertainty; Settlement of the West

6/3       Plight of the farmer; Rise of industrial corporations

6/6       Map Quiz!
The challenge of the working class; American becomes an urban nation

6/7       Immigrants arrive in huge numbers; Victorian America

6/8       Book Quiz & Discussion: Abbott

Reading: By the second exam, read Jenkins, pp. 188–223.

6/9       The Election of 1896; War and empire

6/10     The Progressives: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson

6/13     The Great War;

6/14     Red Scare and the Politics of “Normalcy”; The “Roaring Twenties”

6/15     Herbert Hoover and the Crash; Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal;

6/16     Book Quiz & Discussion: Cohen
Click here for study questions

Reading: By the third exam, read Jenkins, pp. 223–277.

6/17     The “Second New Deal”; Depression-era America

6/20     Road to War

6/21     World War II; Postwar America

6/22     The Cold War and the Red Scare; 1950s America

6/23     Kennedy’s New Frontier

6/24     Book Quiz & Discussion: Altschuler
Click here for study questions


Reading: By the final exam, read Jenkins, 277–321.

6/27     Kennedy Administration; Johnson’s Great Society

6/28     Vietnam and the Violent Sixties; Dreams of a Better World

6/29     Richard Nixon; The 1970s

6/30     Carter; The “Reagan Revolution”

7/1       Book Quiz & Discussion: Mann
Click here for study questions

Friday, 11:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. FINAL EXAM

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