Syllabus hist 3348. 791: The United States Since 1945 Fall 2011 Second bac

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HIST 3348.791: The United States Since 1945
Fall 2011 Second BAC


Dr. J. Tillapaugh

Professor of History
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

History 3348.791 U. S. Since 1945

Internet Distance Learning Instruction


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By Virtual Appointment


The University of Texas of the Permian Basin



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page 2


Welcome! This course explores the U.S. during the geopolitical era since World War II. It covers the last half of the twentieth century and enters into the new century since 2000.

Each of the four units is divided into five major subtopics: leaders, elections, foreign relations, economics, and social developments. Each unit essentially covers a time segment in the post-World War II period through the remaining last half of the twentieth century and toward the present since 2000. The text book develops themes that go beyond political history and emphasize the intersection of race, class, and gender as important components of recent American History. The Internet readings fill gaps in the coverage and expand attention to unusually important events that often provided turning points, so that change becomes marked in history between what came before and what will be following for the Americans caught up in the events. The text book’s first edition title, American Dreams, is appropriate for characterizing recent U. S. History. The dreams continue as we travel on a path that keeps unfolding before us.

History 3348 fulfills requirements as follow:

The History major and minor in Category 2, 20th Century American History

The BAC major in Humanities as an upper-level History course

The Humanities major where History courses are included

The Child and Family studies major as an upper-level History course

Other majors with prior approval, such as Political Science

History 1301 and 1302 general education courses are ordinarily prerequisites.

History 3348 is not structured for research based importantly on primary or original sources and, therefore, may not be used to satisfy the seminar requirement for History majors. This 3000-level course may not be included in a graduate program.

Students from all program fields are welcome in History 3348 for an elective course.

Communication Policy

A graduate assistant will provide instructional support, with information to follow later.

Students who enroll must contact the instructor via the private electronic mail inside of the course, where their names will be familiar. Students should not use the instructor's general e–mail address, which must be reserved for other electronic business.


Because this course is importantly based on the World Wide Web (www), there is no first class or any other such face-to-face meeting scheduled or required.

Course Objectives

Critical thinking will be necessary to achieve learning objectives about Recent America. Generally speaking, students will be involved with readings and discussions that will result in the writing of four essays, one for each of the four units. The essays should demonstrate the abilities to distinguish between fact and opinion, primary and secondary sources, evaluation of point of view, historical accuracy, and timeliness.

Each unit includes specific learning objectives that will help to:

  • Focus attention on the most important developments and turning points.

  • Guide discussions to understand issues raised in the materials.

  • Clarify obstacles to understanding in polemical and persuasive sources.

Focused attention, guided discussions, and clarified obstacles will assist students in learning the course content objectives. They will also provide a foundation for framing specific topics for development in the four written essays, which are discussed in the "Assignments" section.

Text Book and Course Materials

There is one required textbook, with chapters appropriately assigned to the four units:

H.W. Brands, America Since 1945: Penquin Academics Edition (New York: Pearson, 2012).

The original Penguin Press 2010 edition by H.W. Brands was entitled American Dreams.

This is an outstanding, new study from a widely recognized historian who provides continuity and detail through the many events of America's History from World War II to the Present. American Dreams covers the leadership, political, foreign affairs, economic, and political developments for this period. Please follow the assigned order for the chapters to avoid confusion in the materials.

In addition, each of the units is developed through subtopics with Internet readings and videos. The Internet materials will certainly provide help for examining the topics and often will furnish satisfactory content for an understanding of them. These sources are not an exclusive list, however, and other sites and resources may be consulted.

All required and additional materials should be reported and cited, when direct quotations and paraphrasing are present, in standard forms for footnote/endnote and bibliography. Take care for exact recording of web addresses and of a print source's author, title, publication information, and pages cited.

The Turabian style is usually used in History, and a quick reference guide is provided. Majors in other disciplines may use the format of systems generally preferred in their fields of study.


Each of the four units concludes with a written assignment, with a preferred length of five double-spaced pages. The essay may develop some specific aspect of the unit coverage, or it may be a more general overview of several of the subtopics presented there.

Students choose, define, and develop their own essay subjects.

Unit learning objectives, discussions, and obstacles ("watch out for") will help in this selection of specific topics or more general overviews.

All written assignments should follow standard essay format:

  • Title page with student name, title of paper, and other identification information.

  • Introductory thematic paragraph(s) to overall topic and specific thesis statement.

  • Paragraph format with thematic topic and concluding sentences of significance.

  • Paragraph development of historical events, people, and detailed facts.

  • Content narrative development of importance/relevance to the topic and thesis.

  • Balance in coverage to present the topic through its content from start to finish.

  • Concluding thematic paragraph(s) to specific topic and essay thesis.

  • Recognized format of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography as appropriate for quoting and paraphrasing sources.

All of these essay elements will be used in evaluating each of the essay assignments.

Topics for Discussion are listed in the introduction and integrated with the readings in each unit. They too will be helpful in realizing learning objectives and in defining essay topics. Other discussion items may be posted by students and instructors along the way.

Each of the four essays will be turned in through the course "Assignment Drop Box" by the due date as listed below and in each unit. Two weeks of study are allotted to each unit's contents and assignments. It is important to meet these two–week deadlines to make satisfactory progress and to complete the course.

The "Drop Box" deadline will be every 2 weeks at 8 p.m. usually a Monday for each unit.

Students have experienced "stacking up" with transmission failures when waiting until the last minute. Clearly essays should be submitted before the final deadlines. Late papers must be transmitted by the course e–mail system that creates complexities in tracking student work and in posting of grades. Please plan and prepare in advance.

Please Note the Posted Last Day to Drop or Withdraw!

Last day to drop or withdraw with a "W" grade – Friday, November 11, 2011

Unit One must be finished and submitted by the last drop date to continue in the course. Web courses are not suited for access after the semester, and incompletes cannot be expected by those who fail to make regular progress and to finish.

Due Dates for Discussions and Essay Assignments

Unit 1.  To 1950s

Discussions & Essay due by 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 1

Unit 2.  To 1970s

Discussions & Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, November 14

Unit 3.  To 1970s

Discussions & Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, November 28

Unit 4.  To Today

Discussions & Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, December 12

Specific due dates are posted on the assignment descriptions for each unit.


Discussion Board Grading Rubric


Maximum Score

Good to Satisfactory
Passing Score


Participation &Professionalism

Contributes and facilitates substantive interactions, with professional expression and e-etiquette courtesies.

Responds to assignments and other members professionally but with limited contributions.

None or little involvement with minimal substance.

Quality Understanding and Information

Strong understanding of concepts and uses of course materials and information.

Some understanding of concepts but limited use of course materials.

None or little undertanding of materials.

Critical Thinking

Strong reflective thought with premise examination and theoretical rationale.

Some reflective thought from personal perspective about course information.

None or little about issues and concepts.


The author is contradictory on pg. 22 in condemning racism while praising court rulings such as Plessy vs. Ferguson.

I believe that the courts were wrong in passing segregationist laws.

You can't make folks acts equal.


Each of the four essays will be graded on a 100–point scale, weighted equally. A minimum score of 70 must be achieved in order to complete the unit, and essays may require revisions to achieve this standard of mastery education. In essence that gives all students a risk–free reading and help not to fail.

Substantive discussion participation will be scored with 25 points for each unit and for a total of 100 points for the four units..

The final course grade will be the average of the graded essay scores and of the discussion credits, with a maximum of 500 points for the course. 

Each unit score for the essay will be timely posted within one week where only the individual student can monitor the results of the progress through the semester.

Many, many students have succeeded very nicely in studying and in meeting requirements for this course over decades, and we hope that you will join them as well in your good experience with History 3348, The United States Since 1945.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an extremely serious matter, with serious consequences. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. Any suspicion of academic dishonesty will be reported and investigated. A student who engages in scholastic dishonesty that includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and collusion will receive an "F" for the course. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. For complete information on UTPB student conduct and discipline procedures consult the university's handbook at:

When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or Internet applications, consult Dr. Tillapaugh. Assignments generated by downloading or printing from the Internet are considered under the auspices of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities who are admitted to The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may request reasonable accommodations and classroom modifications as addressed under Section 504/ADA regulations. Students needing assistance because of a disability must contact Dr. Efren D. Castro, Director, Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS) Office, 432-552–2630, no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester.

The definition of a disability for purposes of ADA is that she or he (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantively limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment or, (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

Students who have provided all documentation and are eligible for services will be advised of their rights regarding academic accommodations and responsibilities. The University is not obligated to pay for diagnosis or evaluations nor is it obligated to pay for personal services or auxiliary aids.

Student Support Services

ADA Accommodation/Support                           

Dr. Efren D. Castro,

Director, Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS)

Admissions & Registration & Transcripts       


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1-866-321-2988 (toll-free)





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UTPB Library                                                     

Charlene Shults, Director

(432) 552-2370

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