American History II

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HIST 2020
American History II
Spring 2014
Instructor Information



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Course Description
HIST 2020 is a study of the development of cultural, economic, and political institutions in America from 1877 to the present.
Course Purpose/Rationale
HIST 2020 is part of the General Education Core.  The History component of the Core consists of six semester hours and is normally completed by taking HIST 2010 and HIST 2020.  These courses provide an overview of American history and promote the development of historical perspectives. The courses are built upon two main texts that encourage a comparative analytical approach to the past. Although HIST 2010 and HIST 2020 may provide a foundation for further studies in history, they are primarily designed to build on and connect with other General Education courses.
This course is WRITE designated which means that enrolled students have access to additional resources to support their writing and work including use of the WRITE Studio located in 220 Jackson Hall Industrial Arts Building, which is open 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F. ( The Studio is equipped with computers, printers, wifi, style guides, etc. The Studio is also staffed with trained WRITE Associates to assist the students with strengthening their writing skills. A student can use the Studio any time during regular hours, but it is best to make an appointment to work with a WRITE Associate: Call 963-2131 or e-mail To use the Studio, students must have their current student I. D. cards and adhere to basic Studio rules of conduct. See the WRITE Supplement below for additional resources.
Course Audience
HIST 2020 is a sophomore-level course and should normally be taken during the second semester of a student's second year. Students attempting the course must have completed ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020 with a grade of "C" or better. The course is open to undergraduate students in all major programs. No prior courses in history are required.
Course Goals
The general goals and objectives of HIST 2020 are:


to work together with other General Education courses in realizing the University's Philosophy of General Education;


to foster a historical perspective, including chronology, continuity and change over time, and an understanding of the present in its relationship to the past;


to provide historical context for important topics and issues, including the other disciplines represented in the General Education Core;


to promote citizenship through an understanding of U.S. political institutions and their history;


to promote global responsibility through an understanding of American history in an international context;


to foster an understanding of history as interpretation; and


to equip students to evaluate claims about the past critically.

Learning Resources


Textbook: Gary Nash and Clayborne Carson, et. al., The American People and The Struggle for Freedom: Vol. I1 (Pearson Custom Publishing, second custom edition, 2011).

The textbook is available at the bookstores on both university campuses. There is additionally an e-text option for courses utilizing eLearn technology. The online resources provide a number of helpful study aids, including flash cards and test exercises that accompany each chapter.

Individual instructors may order and recommend additional books.
Learning Outcomes
Students completing HIST 2020 should be able to:


recognize and correctly identify persons, institutions, and events of importance in American history from 1877 to the present;


discuss major themes in the development of American politics, society, and culture during this period;


demonstrate an understanding of the global context of American history;


apply historical perspective to contemporary issues;


recognize and critically evaluate historical interpretations;


analyze documents in their historical context; and


construct well-written essays using basic academic writing conventions.

Instructional Methodology
(1) Guided Reading: The regular reading of the textbooks according to the course schedule (see below) is essential to learning in HIST 2020. The textbooks provide foundational knowledge for lectures and class discussion, and familiarity with the information in the textbooks is tested on examinations. Students are responsible for preparing for class by reading the textbooks thoroughly and attentively.
(2) Lectures: Lectures in HIST 2020 build on the content of the textbooks by exploring issues of significance and interpretation. History is not merely information about the past but rather a way of thinking about what is important and how it should be understood. Lectures address this aspect of history by asking interpretive questions and presenting the alternative perspectives of historians.
(3) Class Discussion: Class discussion is a vital part of learning in HIST 2020. Students are encouraged to participate actively in class, introducing their own questions, expressing their own viewpoints, and interacting constructively with other students.
(4) Document Analysis: HIST 2020 provides a basic introduction to the analysis of historical documents (i.e., primary sources) as selected by individual instructors. By reading and analyzing these sources, students learn some of the basic methods used by historians in considering evidence.
(5) Essay Writing: Students in HIST 2020 develop writing skills through essay writing both in and outside of class. Instruction in grammar, organization, clarity, and effectiveness is provided by written feedback on these essays and, if requested, conferences outside of class. Instructors may choose to review and correct preliminary drafts of essays at their discretion.
Evaluation Procedures
The mastery of learning outcomes in HIST 2020 is evaluated on the basis of: (1) midterm and final examinations common for all sections of the course, and (2) writing assignments constructed by instructors for specific sections of the course. Individual instructors may also use additional assessment procedures including the evaluation of oral presentations, regular homework, and quizzes.

(1) Examinations: The midterm and final examinations in HIST 2020 comprise twenty-five multiple-choice questions (50%) and two essay questions (50%). In responding correctly to multiple-choice questions students demonstrate familiarity with historical persons, institutions, and events (learning outcome #1). Essay questions assess learning outcomes #2-7 in the context of specific topics. Responses to essay questions are graded on the basis of factual accuracy, relevance to the topic, clarity, presentation, and organization.

(2) Writing Assignments: Writing assignments, based on texts chosen by the instructor, assess students' proficiency in using historical documents (learning outcome #6) and constructing well-written essays (learning outcome #7). The number of out-of-class essays assigned varies among individual sections of the course but includes, in all cases, a total of at least ten typed, double-spaced pages (approximately 3,000 words). These writing assignments assess the ability of students to think and reason clearly, to organize an essay according to accepted academic conventions, and to communicate their ideas effectively in their own words.
Course Schedule


Midterm Exam Topics & Readings

Wk 1:

Jan. 16-24

Topic: The “New South” & the “West”

Readings: Realities of Rural America (Nash 15)

The Post-Reconstruction Era (Carson 12)

20th: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday—No Class

Wk 2:

Jan. 27-31

Topic: The Industrial Age

Readings: The Rise of Smokestack America (Nash 16)

Wk 3:

Feb. 3-7

Topic: Urbanization

Readings: The New Metropolis (Nash 17)

The Post-Reconstruction Era (Carson 12)

Wk 4:

Feb. 10-14

Topic: Imperialism

Readings: Becoming a World Power (Nash 18)

First Writing Assignment Due

Wk 5:

Feb. 17-21

Topic: Progressivism & World War I

Readings: The Progressives Confront Industrial Capitalism (Nash 19)

The Great War (Nash 20)

“Colored” Becomes “Negro” in the Progressive Era (Carson 13)

Wk 6:

Feb. 24-28

Topic: The Roaring Twenties & Prosperity

Readings: Affluence and Anxiety (Nash 21)

“The Making of a “New Negro” (Carson 14)

Wk 7:

Mar. 3-7

Topic: The Great Depression & the New Deal

Readings: The Great Depression and the New Deal (Nash 22)

The New Politics of the Great Depression (Carson 15)

Wk 8:

Mar. 10-14

Spring Break


Final Exam Topics & Readings

Wk 9:

Mar. 17-21

Review for Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam: 19th-21st

Wk 10:

Mar. 24-28

Topic: The Second World War

Readings: World War II (Nash 23)

Fighting Fascism Abroad and Racism at Home (Carson 16)

Wk 11:

Mar. 31-Apr. 4

Topic: The Postwar Period Abroad

Readings: Chills and Fever During The Cold War, 1945-1960 (Nash 24)

Fighting Fascism Abroad and Racism at Home (Carson 16)

Wk 12:

Apr. 7-11

Topic: The Postwar Period at Home

Readings: Postwar America at Home, 1945-1960 (Nash 25)

Fighting Fascism Abroad and Racism at Home (Carson 16)

11th– Last day to withdraw from the course

Second Writing Assignment Due

Wk 13:

Apr. 14-18

Topic: The 1960s: Kennedy, Johnson, & Turmoil at Home

Reform and Rebellion in the Turbulent Sixties (Nash 26)

Wk 14:

Apr. 21-24

Topic: The Civil Rights Revolution

Readings: Emergence of a Mass Movement against Jim Crow (Carson 17)

Marching Toward Freedom, 1961-1966 (Carson 18)

Wk 15:

Apr. 28-May 1

Topic: Continuing Upheaval: Vietnam & Watergate

Readings: Disorder and Discontent, 1969-1980 (Nash 27)

Resistance, Repression, and Retrenchment, 1967-1978 (Carson 19)

May. 2-9

Final Exams Period (Examination schedule is published on TSU website)

The final examination will be administered at the date and time indicated on the official examination schedule of the University. This schedule is printed in the class schedule book each semester and is also available on the University's web site.

Attendance Policy
The attendance policy for HIST 2020 is based on the policy stated in the University's Undergraduate Catalog. Students are expected to attend class punctually and regularly, and those arriving after the beginning of class may, at the instructor's discretion, be counted absent and/or asked to remain outside the classroom until the end of the lecture.
In accordance with the attendance policy for all courses at the University, students who incur four absences in a section meeting three times per week, three absences in a class meeting twice per week, or two absences in a class meeting once per week must withdraw from the course or receive a mandatory grade of F.
In the event of an illness or emergency requiring absence from class, students should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in order to obtain the documentation necessary to have the absence excused.  Instructors may require such documentation as a condition for allowing the completion of missed work.
Academic Conduct
Except in cases of group projects so designated by the instructor, all assignments submitted in the course must be the original work of the student. In cases of plagiarism or cheating, the instructor may assign an F on the assignment or an F in the course and is also advised to report such cases immediately to both the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Students in HIST 2020 are warned particularly against the following forms of academic dishonesty:


copying the work of other students on tests or assignments;


any copying without quotation marks and appropriate citation from books, newspapers, journals, internet sources, etc.;


any use of facts or ideas paraphrased from another author without appropriate citation;


consultation of notes or books during in-class examinations;


attempting to discover unpublished examination questions in advance.

Classroom Conduct
Use of electronic devices such as cell phones, pagers, and laptop computers during class meetings is prohibited.  Students using these devices may be removed from the class.  Exceptions for extenuating circumstances require prior authorization in writing by the instructor.
Accommodation for Disabilities
The Department of History, Geography, and Political Science, in conjunction with the Office of Disabled Student Services, makes reasonable accommodation for qualified students with medically documented disabilities.  If you need an accommodation, please contact Dan Steely of TSU's Disabled Student Services Office at 963-7400 (phone) or 963-5051 (fax).
Make-Up Examinations
Students who are officially excused from absence (see above) on the date of the midterm examination may complete a make-up midterm examination on a date scheduled by the Department of History, Geography, and Political Science. The date for make-up examinations -- normally immediately prior to the final examination period -- is published on the course web site ( each semester.

Grading Policy
Grades will be determined by the instructor's evaluation of the learning outcomes for the course as reflected on examinations, writing assignments, and other course work (if required). The correspondence between numerical and letter grades is as follows: 90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D; 0-59 = F.
The final grade for the course is determined according to the following percentages:

Writing Assignments


Midterm Examination


Final Examination


Individual instructors may include additional criteria and adjust percentages accordingly. Minimum percentages in such cases are: Writing Assignments (30%), Midterm Examination (25%), and Final Examination (25%).

Reference Materials
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Dictionary of American Biography, E 176 .D56

Dictionary of American History, E 174 .D52

Encyclopedia of American History, E 174.5 .E52

The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, F 436 .T525
Online Databases (available on the University Library web site)
America: History and Life (citations and abstracts only)

EBSCO Host Academic Search Premier (some full text)

Infotrac Expanded Academic ASAP (some full text)

JSTOR (full text for a more limited number of journals)
Historical Journals
American Historical Review, E 171 .A57 (articles on various fields of history)

Journal of American History, E 171 .J87 (articles on American history)

Journal of Southern History, F 206 .J68 (articles on the history of the South)

Tennessee Historical Quarterly, F431 .T285 (articles on the Tennessee history)
Writing Resources
Hult, Christine A., and Thomas N. Huckin. The New Century Handbook. New York: Longman, 2001. (This is the writing guide used for freshman-level English composition courses at Tennessee State University.)

Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan, 1999.

Short Guide to WRITE Courses for Sophomore History Students
HIST 2010 (American History I), HIST 2020 (American History II), and HIST 2030 (Tennessee History) are WRITE courses at Tennessee State University.
The goal of WRITE – which stands for Write » Reflect » Integrate » Transfer » Excel – is for students to become excellent writers by continuously building on abilities developed in ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020 throughout their college experience.
Following on ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020, the two-semester sophomore history survey is the second stage of WRITE. In addition to providing an introduction to U.S. or Tennessee history, these courses support students in improving their writing skills and preparing for the challenges of writing at an even more advanced level in their junior and senior-level courses.
The visible evidence of this process is the WRITE E-portfolio. In addition to their credits and grades, students successfully completing the sophomore history survey will have begun a digital portfolio including at least one artifact from each semester of the history survey showing the progress of their writing during their sophomore year.
Resources and Support

  • Preparation in the First-Year Writing Program

    Course prerequisites for HIST 2010, 2020, and 2030 ensure that all students enter these courses having successfully completed TSU's First-Year Writing Program (ENGL 1010 and 1020) or its equivalent at another institution. Students in the sophomore history survey have therefore already demonstrated college-level writing ability.

  • Limited Class Sizes

    WRITE limits enrollment in the sophomore history survey to 25 students per section in order to provide for individual attention to the development of students as writers.

  • Course Web Enhancement

    All sections of the sophomore history survey are web-enhanced through eLearn (, allowing students to submit writing assignments online, use "Turnitin" to avoid plagiarism, and to receive feedback from their instructors using WRITE's online assessment rubrics.

  • Course-Embedded Writing Support

    In preparing writing assignments, students in the sophomore history survey are supported by the faculty and staff of the University Writing Center ( and the WRITE Studio ( Together these centers provide supplemental in-class instruction, out-of-class mentoring and tutoring, writing facilities on campus, and online resources.

E-portfolio Artifacts and Learning Outcomes
As WRITE courses, HIST 2010, HIST 2020, and HIST 2030 provide significant opportunities for students to develop as writers. The syllabi for these courses require at least ten pages of out-of-class writing to achieve and demonstrate academic writing competency at the sophomore level.
As indicated above, at least one writing assignment, determined by the instructor in each section of the course, will become an artifact in the student's WRITE E-portfolio. This artifact should comprise at least five pages in length and demonstrate the following WRITE learning outcomes:

  • Statement of Purpose
    The student is able to distill a primary purpose into a single, compelling statement.

  • Organization
    The student is able to order major points in a reasonable and convincing manner based on that purpose.

  • Analysis and Argument
    The student is able to develop ideas using appropriate rhetorical patterns (e.g., narration, example, comparison/contrast, classification, cause/effect, and definition) in response a specific rhetorical situation.

  • Grammar and Mechanics
    The students is able to employ standard diction, syntax, usage, grammar, and mechanics.

  • Use of Sources

The student is able to manage and coordinate basic information gathered from multiple sources.
A detailed description of each level of achievement (A, B, C, D, F) of these learning outcomes is provided in the WRITE Sophomore History Rubric available on eLearn.

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