Pasadena city college

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Semester: Spring 2013

Instructor: Ms. Susie Ling

Class Meetings: (#4242) TTh 8:50-10:25 in C364

Office Hours: MW 11-12, TTh 1:00-2:30, F 12-1 in C431

Contact: (626) 585-7335 with Voice Mail


Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom. - Clifford Stoll

"History is our power; history is our guide." - Malcolm X
"Knowledge of history is the precondition of political intelligence. Without history, a society shares no common memory of where it has been, of what its core values are, or of what decisions of the past account for present circumstances. Without history, one cannot undertake any sensible inquiry into the political, social, or moral issues in society. And without historical knowledge and the inquiry it supports, one cannot move to the informed, discriminating citizenship essential to effective participation in the democratic processes of governance and the fulfillment for all our citizens of the nation's democratic ideals."

-National Center for History in the Schools

Seneca Falls Convention, 1848

This introductory course to United States history covers the period between the first centennial of the republic to this new millennium. In this period, the nation has grown from 40 million to 307 million people but still guided by our original Constitution. Americans have transformed their economy from an agricultural foundation, to an industrialized giant, to a "high tech" service economy, now moving quickly into globalization. The nation has suffered several recessions and depressions and bounced back to periods of relative economic prosperity. Since the Civil War, Americans have survived the Spanish-American War, Great War, World War II, Cold War, Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam "conflict," the Persian Gulf Wars, Iraq War, and war on "terrorism" but not without ramifications. Social reform movements such as that of the mid-1800s, Progressive Era, and 1960s have strengthened our democratic and multicultural legacy.
Historian Carlos Cortes of UC Riverside said, "[Historians] reconsider, rediscover, reread, rethink, rechart, rewrite, reteach and recommemorate the past; we continuously rearrange the foundations upon which we currently operate and alter the dynamics that drive us backing into the future." This course will review each period of our American heritage since 1876 in hopes that by understanding our past, we will together build a better citizenry for tomorrow.
Students with learning or other disabilities are invited to speak to the instructor.
Students are responsible for all material presented in lectures, readings, and presentations. Attendance and in-class oral participation are highly encouraged. Roll will be taken at each session and students who come late, leave early, or take a break, will be marked tardy.
The text for the course is the Seagull Third Edition of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! Volume Two (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2012, ISBN 978-0-393-91191-6) available at the PCC Bookstore. Copies of the text are also available at Shatford Library’s Reserve Desk. The ebook is available at
Students are expected to complete reading assignments prior to lectures. The Foner book is accompanied by an extensive “Study Space” website <> which includes podcasts, chapter outlines, quiz questions, and primary documents. The website is fun and helpful, but not required. The teacher’s own sample test and study sheets are on Ling’s PCC website. There are also History tutors and computers in the Social Sciences Lab in C315.
Students are also expected to keep up with front page news throughout the semester. The instructor recommends the L.A. Times and KPCC radio's 89.3 FM "All Things Considered."
The following assignments will be required for the course:
Possible Points Your Score
Map Exam 5 %
Mini Quizzes 9
Exam #1 20
Book Report Test 10
Exam #2 20
Current Events Test 10

Final Exam 26

Mini Quizzes (9%)

These one-point assignments are usually at the beginning of class and on reading assignments. They are intended to encourage attendance. There are no make-ups.

Exams 1, 2, and Final

These exams will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions. The multiple choice questions are designed to test the students' command of factual information from Foner and lectures. The multiple choice section will also have one current events question taken from front page headlines. The two- to three-page essays encourage students to demonstrate knowledge of factual material, critical analysis, and original college writing abilities. The cumulative final exam will include all course materials and a four- to seven-page essay.

Book Report Test (10%):

Select any library book that is a biography/autobiography of a post-1877 American (eg Dewey 973 and LC E840-908). Browse through the whole book and carefully select the best continuous 100+ pages to read. You might want to check Wikipedia to get the general biography of your person. Bring your book to class – with Post-It notes - and be prepared for an in-class 30-minute quiz. You will analyze your readings to an unknown question. Sample questions are (1) Select a passage that surprised you, (2) Critique your American’s relations with women, or (3) Did your author respect your American? (Note: It is best if you select a well-written book that goes beyond Wikipedia-like information. The fat books suggest good knowledge of their subject. No ebooks for this assignment.)

Current Events Test (10%)

Students will be given 30 minutes in class to describe and analyze an assigned current events debate. Grading will be based on students’ independent Internet research and analysis. A bibliography of at least four diverse sources in MLA format is expected. Sources like LA Times, NY Times are more respected than unknown websites. Be careful you do not plagiarize.

Each student is encouraged to do his/her personal best. The History Rubrics is on my website. Grading for this course is based on the following scale:
A = 100-86% (excellent; original analysis w/ factual support)

B = 85-66 (good; understanding of main ideas)

C = 65-46 (adequate; incomplete understanding of material)

D = 45-31 (substandard effort)

F = 30-0
Unexcused late assignments will be penalized at least 20% per class session, if accepted by the teacher. Call as soon as possible if you have an excuse to miss an exam and need to schedule a makeup.
This instructor expects a very high standard of integrity. Cheating, plagiarism (literary theft), and other forms of dishonest student behavior will not be tolerated. Internet research is highly desirable, but you must integrate the information with your own original ideas and words to avoid plagiarism. Memorizing parts of an essay found on the Internet is plagiarism.
For any form of dishonest behavior, students will receive an “F” and be reported to the PCC administration for further disciplinary action. Please be familiar with other PCC regulations as described in the Student Handbook and Schedule of Classes. This instructor discourages the Pass/No pass option.
Date: Lecture Topic: Assignments:

8 Jan Introduction to course

  1. 1865-1900 Gilded Era: - Don Benito, Truth, Sinclair, Carnegie

10 Jan - Politics and the Industrial Revolution Map, Foner Chapter 16
15 Jan - Developing American Classes pp. 641-71 (Chap 17)

17 Jan - Imperialism and America

22 Jan - Indians in the Interior, Latinos in the Southwest, and Asians in the West

24 Jan Map Quiz (5%)

29 Jan II. Progressive Era, 1900-1914 Chapter 18

31 Jan Herstory: Suffrage and Feminism

5 Feb III. 1914-1919 Great War Chapter 19

7 Feb Exam 1 on Ch 16 - 18 (20%)

12 Feb IV. Roaring Twenties Chapter 20

14 Feb Book Report Test (10%)

19 Feb V. 1929-1939 Depression & New Deals Chapter 21

21 Feb VI. 1939-1945 World War II: International Front Chapter 22

26 Feb WW2 Home Front

28 Feb VII. Cold War: Europe, Asia, S America Chapter 23

12 Mar Golden Era vs. McCarthyism Chapter 24

14 Mar Exam 2 on Ch 19-23 (20%)

19 Mar Vietnam War

21 Mar “Hearts and Minds”

26 Mar End of Cold War

28 Mar Current Events Test (10%)

2 Apr VIII. 1960-70s Civil Rights Era Chapter 25

4 Apr “Chicano Movimiento”

9 Apr IX. American Presidencies: JFK to Nixon Chapter 26

11 Apr - Carter to Obama Chapter 27, 28

16 Apr X. Foreign Policy: Middle East Today

18 Apr “Somebody Else’s War”

23 Apr - Globalization in the 21st Century

25 Apr Summary Remarks

30 Apr Tues, 8-10 Final Examination (26%)

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