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HISTORY 122: American History since 1877 Dr. Michaela Reaves

California Lutheran University Hum 221 493-3381

email: Nygreen 1 9:15-10:20 MWF


Office Hours by Appointment. Sign-up Sheet at my office.

Class Website is available at:

To make an appointment to see me, please stop by my office and sign up for one.
DESCRIPTION: This course will expose the student to the geography of the United States and events in American history including Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, American imperialism, Populism and Progressivism. World War I, The Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Great Society, Vietnam, and into the 21st century using the texts, current historiography, class lectures, DVD’s and class participation.


  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding and familiarity with American history from

Reconstruction to the present.

  1. Students will evaluate and understand current issues in the light of the history preceding them through historiography and analysis.

  1. Student will issues of gender and ethnicity in American history.

  1. Students will achieve better awareness of twentieth century geography.

  2. Students will experience using the internet for assignments/research.

  3. Students will learn to analyze, evaluate, and interpret historical evidence/primary sources.

  4. Students will develop speaking/ppt skills by presenting their topic to the class.

  5. Students will improve their writing skills in peer reviewed assignments.

The following CLU Educational Objectives are addressed in this course:

  • Development of Critical thinking skills in Objectives 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

  • Information literacy in Objective 6

  • Written communication skills as reflected in the two analysis papers

  • Historical, cultural and global perspectives on diversity

As outlined in the CLU History Departmental Goals, students who successfully complete this course will:

  • Analyze and comprehend primary source texts

  • Use periodization and chronology as organizing principles

  • Demonstrate knowledge of major historical events and their significance


The History Department uses a 12 point grading scale on written assignments: 12=A, 11=A-, 10=B+, 9=B, 8=B-, 7=C+, 6=C, 5=C-, 4=D+, 3=D, 2=D-, 1=F, No paper or plagiarism = 0
Objective tests will be graded on a percentage basis and converted to the 12 point scale by letter grade. A=94-100%, A-=90-93%, B+=87-89%, B= 84-86%, B-=80-83%, C+=77-79%, C=74-76%, C-=70-73%, D+=67-69%, D=64-66%, D-=60-63%. 59% and below fails the test. Do not plan on “curved” grades!





1. Midterm Exam March 9 and 11

20% scantron/essay

SLO’s 1, 2, 3

12 point scale

2. Final Exam May 11 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

20% scantron/essay

SLO’s 1, 2, 3

12 point scale

3. Quiz I to 1914 Feb. 19
4. Quiz II 1930-1963 Apr. 10

Please note: ALL test days are as stated. Any make-ups are strictly at my discretion and will utilize a different test instrument. I strongly suggest you come for the tests!!!

10% Multiple modalities
10% Multiple modalities
SLO’s 1, 3, 4

Percentage grading
Percentage grading

5. Newspaper Essay

Peer review February 26

DUE March 4
6. Oral Presentation

Due: varies by sign-up
7. Paper on presentation topic

DUE April 29
Due at 9:15 when I collect them. After that, they are late and the grade drops one grade a day.

10% attached to syllabus

10% attached to syllabus

10% attached to syllabus
SLO’s 2, 5, 6,7, 8

12 point scale

12 point scale

12 point scale

  1. Attendance and Participation SLO 7

Required Speaker on March 3

10% On the third missed class the grade drops to a "B", 4th=C, 6th= D, 8th=F

Participation includes courtesy and group work. ANY electronic devices (except laptop computers) will impact this grade negatively. I do not want to see any cells phones, ipods, etc., used in class. On the third absence your participation grade drops an entire grade, e.g. from and A to a B, six absences equals a C, etc.

NOTE: As always, an "A" requires the student go "above and beyond" the assignments in terms of research and sources.


mc900292594[1] THERE ARE SEVERAL STUDY GUIDES ON MY ERES. Please use them!

In addition, students will receive two extra points on their quizzes for attending one of the campus events listed below and handing in a two page synopsis and response. The two-page synopsis must be handed in BEFORE the quiz on the quiz dates. The options are listed with appropriate information in the weeks in which they will be held.


1) Attendance and participation (no cell phones, etc, in class) ( 10% of grade).

2) Do the assignments. These include readings (see list below), and two

papers. There are NO extensions.

  1. Primary source paper based on class assigned topic. Prompts at end of paper. Due for peer review February 27. Final draft due March 4

*PAPER TWO: On oral report topic. Further information at the end of the syllabus-- 7 pages. DUE April 29 (10% of grade)

RUBRIC: All papers are strictly graded on several criteria.

  1. English grammar, usage, and spelling

  2. Research and documentation (Chicago style with footnotes or endnotes)

  3. Reasoning and presentation of argument

To earn an “A” a paper must have few, if any, errors in category one. In addition, each paper must have a minimum of five reputable sources (not the web/internet!). Finally, the clarity, assumptions, and critical thinking displayed in the paper are the final level of the grade. In other words, a flawless paper that does not fulfill the assignment or present a thorough and competent argument will not earn an “A”.

Each assignment must be submitted on Turnitin. Our class number is 11361216 password is reaves2016. Please submit BEFORE it is due. If the “originality” percentage is over 22% I will not grade it and the paper will receive a zero. So, PLEASE, be honest and fix it before you submit it!
California Lutheran University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations in compliance with ADA of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to students with documented disabilities.  If you are a student requesting accommodations for this course, please contact your professor at the beginning of the semester and register with the Accessibility Resource Coordinator for the facilitation and verification of need.  The Accessibility Resource Coordinator is located in the Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources (CAAR) Office in Peterson Administration Building, and can be contacted by calling 805.493.3878 or emailing
4. TEXTS: The American Journey, David Goldfield (can be rented)

Class Reader: On Blackboard

The educational programs of California Lutheran University are designed and dedicated to achieve academic excellence, honesty and integrity at every level of student life. Part of CLU’s dedication to academic excellence is our commitment to academic honesty. Students, faculty, staff and administration share the responsibility for maintaining high levels of scholarship on campus. Any behavior or act which might be defined as “deceitful” or “dishonest” will meet with appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including dismissal from the University, suspension, grade F in a course or various forms of academic probation. Policies and procedures regarding academic honesty are contained in the faculty and student handbooks.
Plagiarism, cheating, unethical computer use and facilitation of academic dishonest are examples of behavior which will result in disciplinary sanctions. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • word for word copying without using quotation marks or presenting the work as yours

  • using the ideas or work of others without acknowledgement

  • not citing quoted material. Students must cite sources for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. 

For assistance with Blackboard, email, or Web Advisor, please contact the help desk at (805) 493-3698 or For Blackboard tutorials, please go to the following link: For personal assistance with Blackboard only, please contact Eileen Leese at (805) 493-3927 or

7. TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS: All directed learning is accompanied by in-class power

point presentations. The assignments are DUE on the date below.

There are NO extensions!
WEEK 1 Introduction and Reconstruction
Jan. 20 Intro and Pre-Test

Jan. 22 American Journey, chap. 16

To Think About:

  1. To think about: Explain the three major plans for reconstruction: Lincoln’s “10 percent plan,” Congressional Reconstruction, and Andrew Johnson’s plan. Compare the political, social, and economic goals of presidential Reconstruction with those of congressional Reconstruction. Compare the methods and accomplishments of both.

  1. Who were the Radical Republicans and what were their goals? What actions did they take to try to achieve their goals? Were they successful? Could they have been more “radical?” In what way?

  1. Discuss family, jobs, educations, politics, and religious and social institutions. What was the impact of emancipation on the freedman (and woman)? Did emancipation affect all freedmen in the same way? How did black females fare as free citizens?

WEEK 2 The Gilded Age

Jan. 25 American Journey, chap. 17 .

Jan. 27 Changing America (film)

Jan. 29 Industrialization

To Think About:

  1. How did the growth in the size and diversity of late nineteenth century cities

cause alarm over the loss of traditional values regarding community life and

social stability? How did middle class reformers respond to these changes

in urban life?

  1. Describe America’s immigrant patterns in the late 19th century? Why did immigrants leave their homeland, and what did they find when they came to America? How did the customs and values if immigrants clash with native-born Americans?

  1. Discuss the effects of industrialization and the growth of big corporations on the quality of American work life, the American standard of living, class structure and class distinctions from 1860-1900.

WEEK 3 Populists to Progressives
Feb. 1 American Journey, chap. 18.

February 2 Last Day to Drop or Add

Feb. 3 Populists



Catherine Crier: The Supreme Court and You

Artists and Speakers Series

Date & Time: Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Location: Samuelson Chapel

To Think About:

  1. What difficulties did the American farmer confront in the late 19th century? How did the farmers react to these difficulties? What organizations did they form? What were their goals and demands? How successful were they in achieving them? Be very specific.

  1. What were the major social problems facing the United States in the late 19th century? How did society and the American government attempt to rectify these ills? What were the solutions of the Progressives? How did they reflect Populist goals?

  1. In the late 19th century the American money supply was a very tangled web. Try to untangle it. What was the purpose of contrasting or expanding the supply? What difference did gold, silver or greenbacks really make? Who supported each? Why was the “money question” both a political and economic complication?

WEEK 4 Building an Empire

Feb. 8 Imperialism (film) American Journey, chap. 19.

Feb. 10 Building an Empire


Reading and Conversation with Parnaz Foroutan

Guest Writer Series

The Girl from the Garden.”

Date & Time: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Location:William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art
Feb. 12 Conflict

The Last Emperor' (China)

International Film Festival

Date & Time:Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Location: Carmike Cinema Thousand Oaks 14

Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Some Chinese with English subtitles. Carmike Thousand Oaks 14 is located at 166 W. Hillcrest Drive. 


Nordic Spirit Symposium 

Kings, Nobles and Bishops: Reform in Denmark, Norway and IcelandFriday, Feb. 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at 9:00 am
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Scandinavian Center, Samuelson Chapel, Lundring Events Center

To Think About:

  1. America took its place on the world stage in the latter half of the 19th century.

Describe this growth. What were the underlying motives and objectives?

  1. What were the causes of the causes of the Spanish-American War? What

were the main events of the war? What were the consequences? Who

opposed American involvement in the war? Why?

  1. Who is Alfred Thayer Mahan and what role did he play in American Foreign policy? What did he argue and what is the significance of that argument? What was his large scale impact?

WEEK 5 Uneasy Alignments

Feb. 15 Presidents’ Day, HOLIDAY American Journey, chap. 20


Harold Stoner Clark Lectures 
Corporate Realities and Democratic Ideals,

Philip Pettit

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Samuelson Chapel
Feb. 17 World War I and EDUCUE,

A Century Ago, 1910-1920

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

“Radical Reds: Looking Backward” by historian Michaela Reaves

Grant R. Brimhall Library, Community Room
Feb. 20 QUIZ to 1865-1914
To Think About:

  1. If Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy was a “balance of power chess game,” William Howard Taft’s a “concentration on business opportunities”, and Woodrow Wilson’s a policy of “moralism,” discuss how these world views

impacted their relationships with Japan, China, Latin America and the Caribbean.

  1. What were the experiences of American soldiers during World War I? How did army life and raining change the outlook of hundreds of thousands of Americans? Why were these experiences important?

  1. Explain how the U.S. government exercised unprecedented control over the American economy during World War I. Give examples. Why were these controls accepted and what precedent did they establish?

WEEK 6 World War I and the League of Nations
Feb. 22 Making the World Safe for Democracy. American Journey, chap. 21

Feb. 24 Roaring Twenties

Feb. 28 Newspaper peer review , mandatory
To Think About:

  1. World War One was ostensibly fought as the “war to end all wars”. What

were the objectives and results of the war? How can it be said that the

seeds of the next war lay in the peace of this one?

  1. Why did Woodrow Wilson view the League of Nations as the cornerstone of the new liberal world order? What actions did he take to get it approved? Why was it rejected? Who was to blame? What was the significance of the “Lodge Reservations”, Wilson’s battle for approval and the fate of the world in the 1920’s?

  1. How did the war further the goals of progressivism and yet also undermine its best side? Account for the race riots and the Red Scare that followed the war.

WEEK 7 Roaring into Depression
Feb. 29 Depression, American Journey, chap. 22

March 2 A New Deal.


An Evening with the Author: Katrina Karkazis

“Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority and Lived Experience.”

Date & Time:Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Lundring Events Center


'Why Ordinary People Lynched,'

William D. Carrigan, Ph.D. 

Artists and Speakers Series

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Ullman Commons 100/101

March 4 Newspaper final paper DUE

To Think About:

  1. What accounts for the economic growth and prosperity of the 1920’s? Who benefited most from the prosperity? Who did not share in it and why?

  1. How was the conservative tenor of the 1920’s expressed in the resurgence of the KKK, the Scopes Trial, and the rebirth of fundamentalism, the Sacco-Vanzetti Case, and prohibition? How did liberals react to the conservative mood of the time?

  1. What was the predominant attitude in the 1920’s toward business? How did Henry Ford epitomize the business spirit of the era? Discuss the more critical attitudes of intellectuals who did not share these business values.

WEEK 8 A New World Order

March 7 Review and EDUCUE, American Journey, chap 23


March 10 MIDTERM 1865-1940

March 11 MIDTERM 1865-1940

To Think About:

  1. What were the underlying causes of the Depression and what steps were

taken by the American government to respond? Be very specific and


  1. Who were the New Deal’s opponents? Why did they object to New Deal programs, and what alternatives did they offer? How much popular support did these opponents have?

  1. How did the New Deal change attitudes about the role of government in the economy, and the government’s responsibility for the social welfare of ordinary Americans? What economic and social-welfare programs today trace their origins to New Deal legislation?

WEEK 9 Globalism

March 14 World War Two begins, American Journey, chap. 24

March 16 Truman to Ike


Film Screening: 'Wretches & Jabberers'

Part of Spectrum of Opportunity: Autism, Inclusion, and Communication Conference

Date & Time:Thursday, Mar. 17, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Location:Preus-Brandt Forum
March 18 Cold War beginnings , Cooperative learning assignment

To Think About:

  1. Historians have asserted that the Cold War began in the conferences

and activities of the Big Three during World War II. What is this

assertion based on? Outline the major battles of the Cold War up to


  1. What economic interests did the United States have in Latin America and China? What was Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy? What was the Open Door policy, and how did the United States react/or not react to Japanese aggression in China?

  1. Chart the gradual movement of the United States to war from the late 1930’s to late 1941. How did public opinion impact this movement? When and why was non-intervention abandoned?

WEEK 10 SPRING BREAK From Monday March 21 to March 28 Read, chap. 25

WEEK 11 Cold War Heats Up

March 28 No Class until after 4 pm

March 30 Ike, American Journey, chap 26


Cultivating the Sky: How the Ethics of Food Matters to the Politics of Climate Change 
Willis Jenkins

Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Lundring Events Center
April 1 Cold War
To Think About:

  1. What was the “containment policy”? How did the Truman administration implement it in Europe and Asia? How did the Eisenhower administration implement it? Kennedy’s administration?

  1. What were the causes of the Korean War? How did it effect American foreign policy? What precedents did it set? What was the significance of the conflict between President Truman and General MacArthur?

  1. Describe the United States’ involvement in Vietnam and the Middle East in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

WEEK 12 Conflict: At home and abroad

April 4 A New Frontier

April 6 Vietnam

April 8 Sixties, Educue , chap. 27


A Century Ago

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Poetry of the World War One Era

Grant R. Brimhall Library, Community Room
April 10 QUIZ 1930-1963
To Think About:

  1. How did McCarthyism reflect the conservative tenor of the 1950’s? Did the Warren Court re-enforce or counter this conservatism? Specifically how?

  1. Boyer comments that a “Sense of new beginnings prevailed in the early sixties.” What were the major accomplishments of that period?

  1. Discuss the Civil Rights Movement after the Second World War. In what ways was the “double V” campaign a success? In what ways was it a failure?

April 11 American Journey, chap. 28

April 13 Great Society

April 15 Nixon and Watergate
To Think About:

  1. In what ways did LBJ’s Great Society hark back to the New Deal? Organize an argument drawing several specific correlations.

  1. 1968 has been called the “year it all came apart.” What does this statement mean? What, in particular, was the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy

  1. What were the accomplishments of the Nixon administration in foreign policy? How did Watergate overshadow those accomplishments?

WEEK 14 America Turns Right

April 18 American Journey, chap. 29

April 20 Ford and Carter

April 22 Carter to Reagan,

To Think About:

  1. In the late 1960’s a new electoral majority began to evolve. What were the components of this majority and how did it differ from the New Deal coalition? How did it demonstrate its impact in the elections from 1968 to 1980?

  1. How and why did a more conservative mood evolve in the nation in the late 60’s and early 70’s? What happened to the New Left and where did the Moral Majority come from?

  1. What economic problems confronted the United States during the late 1970’s to the late 1980’s? Discuss specifically the impact of oil on the economy? How did Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan deal with these problems and with what success?

WEEK 15 America’s Hard Drive

April 25 American Journey, chap 30

April 27 Nineties

April 29 EDUCUE FINAL PAPER DUE, No extensions!

To Think About:

  1. What were the “Reagan Revolution’s” social, ideological and political foundations? What was the basis of Reagan’s personal popularity?

  1. What policies did the Reagan administration follow regarding the Soviet Union, the Caribbean and Central America, and the Middle East? Analyze the results of these efforts.

  1. Analyze the Civil Rights movements of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. What role did African-Americans, Native Americans, gays and Hispanics play?

WEEK 16 Into the Millennium

May 2 1990’s, film, American Journey, chap. 31.

May 4 Into the new millennium, Bush 43 and Obama

May 6 Review, EDUCUE

To Think About:

  1. Name and develop five very specific ways that globalism impacted the world of the last decade of the 20th century. In what ways was the economic interchange good? Bad? Why?

  1. Despite the “victory” in the Cold War, the US did not ride a wave of economic gain. What specific acts, events and policies impacted the economy between 1980 and 2012?

  1. Terrorism as a modern technique began in the 1970’s at the Munich Olympics. The statement is often made that “One man’s terrorist, is another man’s revolutionary.” Do you think this is true? What impact did terrorism ultimately have on the domestic policies of Clinton,George W. Bush, and Obama?

WEEK 17 EXAM WEEK Wednesday, May 11, 8:00 am-10:00 pm
The essay questions will be taken from the “To think about questions”

on the syllabus. If there are conflicts with the scheduled final exam

time, contact the Office of the Provost.
Each student is responsible for presenting one of the topics in the reader that is linked into Blackboard to the class in a presentation. The presenters will be grouped in pairs depending on class numbers. This can be a power point (to be posted on Blackboard), and a skit, a debate, or other creative methods that thoroughly present the main ideas to the class and enhance the learning of other students. Each presentation will be 15 “ long with 5” for questions. The presentations must be so good that your fellow students do NOT have to reread the lesson.

  1. Race Relations Due Week 2 1-29-16

  2. Westward Expansion Due Week 3 2-1-16

  3. Opportunity and the Industrial City Due Week 3 2-5-16

  4. Immigration: Putting Down Roots Due Week 4 2-8-16

  5. The Age of Violence Due Week 4 2-12-16

  6. Farmer Discontent Due Week 5 2-17-16

  7. Annexing the Philippines Due Week 6 2-22-16

  8. Clash of Cultures Due Week 6 2-26-16

  9. The First Sexual Revolution Due Week 7 2-29-16

  10. The Great Depression Due Week 7 3-2-16

  11. Mobilizing Women for War Due Week 8 3-7-16

  12. The CIA in the 1950’s Due Week 9 3-16-16

  13. American Life in the Fifties Due Week 9 3-18-16

  14. The Civil Rights Movement Due Week 11 4-1-16

  15. The Kennedy Crises Due Week 12 4-4-16

  16. Dissent in the 1960’s Due Week 12 4-8-16

  17. Television as a Social Force Due Week 13 4-11-16

  18. Reagan’s Policies Due Week 14 4-18-16

  19. The Environmental Movement Due Week 14 4-22-16

  20. Middle Class Nation? Due Week 15 4-25-16

  21. Clinton’s Hard Drive Due Week 15 4-27-16

  22. Deindustrialization Due Week 16 5-2-16

PAPER 1: This paper will be exclusively primary source based using the newspaper archives in the library with the support of the History Librarian, Lala Badal:
These sources are the key: Early American Newspapers, Series 2 (1758-1900)
In the First Person and Los Angeles Times: Historical Issues (ProQuest) and Wall Street Journal (ProQuest) 
Available here: and

For example: Obviously, Columbus has no contemporary newspaper but there are early celebrations in the old newspapers. You need to use the newspaper archives to find sources to frame an argumentative paper, e.g. Columbus Day engendered significant excitement in early America as shown in ….. Then the first paper would help provide sources for the second paper, which would be a bit broader, e.g. Columbus is unfairly portrayed as a villain...
PAPER 2: The paper due on April 29 must deal with your assigned chapter also. It must build on the first essay, which was all primary source based. This one will be an argumentative essay with an additional five SECONDARY sources that are post-1950 historians’ views of the same topic. You will be saying “in XXX the newspapers viewed it this way, but historians in the late 20th century argu it is Xm y, and Z”, citing sources in Chicago style and including a bibliography!
Standards of Student Conduct Statements:
The following are excerpts from the CLU’s student handbook, which can be found on the following link:

University Harassment Policy:

For information on the University’s student harassment policy and rights, please go to the following link:

Pearson Library:

Pearson Library provides access to scholarly books, journals, ebooks, and databases of full text articles from scholarly journals.  To begin using these materials, visit the library web page .  Librarians are available to assist you at the Thousand Oaks campus or via Meebo chat on the Library’s home page or emailing  You may contact the library at (805) 493-3250.  If you attend classes at one of CLU’s satellite locations, see  for the full range of services provided.

CLU Writing Center:

All enrolled CLU students are invited to make use of our services. For additional information, please visit , call 805-493-3257, book online at GenBook, or stop by the Writing Center (The Darling Collaboration Suite in the library) to schedule an appointment.





4 unit course, 11 week semester








Readings of

required texts



Over fifteen weeks, uneven distribution

Weekly Classes



Includes exams

Preparing oral presentation and powerpoint



Average, varies by student

Primary source




Minimum, varies by student

Writing two




Minimum, varies by student over fifteen weeks

Midterm Exam



Average, varies by student

Final Exam



Average, varies by student




What is a Carnegie Hour?

  • Strictly time-based reference for measuring educational attainment used by American universities and colleges.

  • Credit hour in this context is defined as an academic hour or 50 min.

  • Credit unit equals one hour of instructor-led activities and two hours of independent work per week over 15 weeks.

The Calculation: 1 unit = 1 instructor-led hour + 2 independent work hours per week based on 15 week semester so…

4 units= 4 instructor-led hours + 8 independent work hours per week on 15 week semester = 60 instructor-led hours + 120 independent work hours per semester

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