HIST 2112/17 – America Since 1890

#11048 – Spring 2008

Instructor:  Dr. Thomas A. Scott

TT 3:30 – 4:45 P.M. – SO 3029


Office:              SO 4100


Office Hours:    TT 2-3:30, 5:30-6:30, or by appointment.  I will be in my office most of the day everyday.  Drop in anytime you see the door open or call ahead to make an appointment.


Office Phone:    770-423-6254

Cell Phone:       404-421-8319

FAX:                770-423-6432

e-mail:              tscott@kennesaw.edu

Website:           http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~tscott/





Please obtain copies of the following:


Polenberg, Richard.  The Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1945:  A Brief History with Documents.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.


Gaddis, John Lewis.  The Cold War:  A New History.  New York:  Penguin Books, 2005.


Story, Ronald, and Bruce Laurie.  The Rise of Conservatism in America, 1945-2000:  A Brief History with Documents.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008.


Friedman, Thomas L.  The World Is Flat:  A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.  Further Updated and Expanded.  New York:  Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.


University Policy on Academic Misconduct:


Academic Honesty: Please refer to policy stated in the current KSU Undergraduate Catalog.  See Student Code of Conduct regarding section II Academic Honesty (plagiarism and cheating).  It reads as follows:  No student shall receive, attempt to receive, knowingly give or attempt to give unauthorized assistance in the preparation of any work required to be submitted for credit as part of a course (including examinations, laboratory reports, essays, themes, term papers, etc.)  When direct quotations are used, they should be indicated, and when the ideas, theories, data, figures, graphs, programs, electronic based information or illustrations of someone other than the student are incorporated into a paper or used in a project, they should be duly acknowledged.


Testing and Grading:


The grading scale is A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69, and F = 0-59.  The final grade will be determined in the following manner:


            Quizzes (weekly) --          20 percent

            Test 1                   --        20 percent

                        Paper 1                 --        10 percent

                        Test 2                   --        20 percent

                        Paper 2                 --        10 percent

                        Final exam           --          20 percent


                        Total                             100 percent


Each Thursday we will have a short quiz over the reading assignments for the week (Tuesday and Thursday) and the lectures from the last two classes.  You may drop your lowest quiz grade.  As a general rule there will be NO makeup quizzes, but I will excuse an occasional absence on an individual basis if an emergency or exceptional circumstance causes you to miss.  If you have to miss a number of classes for a justifiable reason, we will work out a manner for you to make up the work.  Please notify me as quickly as possible if you are going to be absent.  Remember that it is up to you to contact me if you would like to be excused from a quiz.  Otherwise, an absence will count as a zero.


If the university has an emergency closing on any day when a quiz is scheduled, we will have the quiz the following Tuesday.  Check Vista for any change in schedule made necessary by classes being cancelled.


The two tests and the final exam will consist of a series of essay questions that you can answer in about a page each.  The questions will cover both the readings and the lectures.  If you should miss one of these tests, you may take a make-up exam, but please contact me as soon as possible.


You will write two short papers (800-1000 words each), the first using the New York Times Proquest Historical Newspapers, which can be accessed online through the KSU Sturgis Library and Galileo; and the second involving an oral history that you will conduct with someone of your choosing who was directly involved in some of the historic events that we will be covering in this course.  More details on the papers will be given below.




Facts and dates are the raw materials of history, but they aren’t history by themselves.  History is what historians do to interpret and make sense of the facts and dates.  When students select and organize facts in meaningful patterns and try to explain what they mean, then they are creating history.  History starts with a series of questions about what happened, why it happened, and how it is relevant to us today. 


To tell their stories, historians rely on primary sources, which are the original documents that have survived from the time of the events about which they write.  They also rely on secondary sources to find out how previous writers have interpreted past events and to place the primary sources in context.  Secondary sources are books written by historians who usually have not witnessed the events they describe, but have studied all the primary sources they can find to reach their conclusions.  We will use both types of sources in this class.


Hopefully, secondary sources, like Gaddis’ The Cold War, will give you plenty to think about, challenge, and discuss.  And primary sources, like those in the Bedford/St. Martin’s readers, will allow you to form your own opinion about what happened, based not on what a historian tells you, but on what the first-hand accounts tell you.  In class discussions, I will do my best to help you interpret the material, but ultimately the course will have value to the extent that you think things through and reach your own conclusions.  When you do that, you will be acting like an historian.


Daily Class Schedule:


Tues., Jan. 8 – Introduction.  Lecture on American industry, urbanization, and immigration at the start of the last century.


Thur., Jan. 10 – Read Russell Conwell, Acres of Diamonds (read at least through page 15) at Acres of Diamonds.pdf  and Theodore Roosevelt, “The New Nationalism” at http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=501 .  Lecture on the Progressive movement.    


Tues., Jan 15 – Read Woodrow Wilson’s “War Message,” 2 April 1917, at http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=177 and Senator George Norris’s speech in Congress in opposition, 4 April 1917, at http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/1917/norris.html.  Lecture on the causes of World War I and on the abandonment of American neutrality.


Thur., Jan. 17 – Read Wilson’s “Fourteen Points,” 8 January 1918, at http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=164 and Henry Cabot Lodge, “Reservations with Regard to the Treaty,” 28 June 1919, at http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=697.  Quiz # 1, followed by lecture on the failure of Wilson’s plans for the postwar world.


Tues., Jan. 22 – Read about Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald schools at http://www.rosenwaldschools.com/history.html.  Also read the following chapter from Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier:  The Suburbanization of the United States (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1985), 172-89:  Jackson Crabgrass Frontier 10.pdf. Lecture on the 1920s and the stock market crash of 1929.


Thur., Jan. 24 – Read Polenberg, Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Part I, pp. 1-8 (“FDR:  The Paradox” and “Hyde Park to Washington),” and Part II, “FDR as President,” First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933; First Press Conference, March 8, 1933.  Quiz # 2, followed by lecture on the First 100 Days of FDR’s New Deal.


Tues., Jan. 29 – Read Polenberg, Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Part I, pp. 8-16 (“The New Deal, 1933-1936,” and Part II, Annual Message to the Congress, January 4, 1935, Frances Perkins, The Social Security Act; and Harry Hopkins, Federal Relief.   Lecture on the New Deal and programs for industrial workers and farmers.


Thur,. Jan. 31 – Read Polenberg, Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Part I, “The Waning of Reform, 1937-1940,” pp. 16-24; and Part II, chap. 3, “Eleanor Roosevelt and American Women,” all three documents, pp. 93-107.  Quiz # 3, followed by lecture on the New Deal and social change for minorities and women.


Tues., Feb. 5 – Read Polenberg, Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Part I, “Liberals at War, 1941-1945,” pp. 24-33; and Part II, chap. 9, “The ‘Good War’?,” Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry, April 30, 1942; and Korematsu v. United States, December 18, 1944, pp. 191-94 and 197-204.  Lecture on American involvement in World War II.


Thur., Feb. 7 – Read Polenberg, Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Part I, “FDR:  The Legacy,” pp. 33-35; and Part II, chap. 9, “The ‘Good War’?,” Report of the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews, January 13, 1944 (pp. 219-20); Race, Religion, and Prejudice, May 11, 1942 (pp. 224-25); and An Economic Bill of Rights, January 11, 1944 (pp. 226-27.  Also read Father John A. Siemes, “Hiroshima—August 6th, 1945,” at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp25.htm.  Quiz # 4, followed by lecture on bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the legacy of World War II.


Tues., Feb. 12 – Test 1


Thur., Feb. 14 – Read John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War, Prologue, pp. 1-3; and Chapter One, “The Return of Fear,” pp. 5-47.  Lecture on the Truman administration and the establishment of a containment policy.


Tues., Feb. 19 – Read Ronald Story and Bruce Laurie, The Rise of Conservatism, David Lawrence, America Turns the Corner, July 11, 1947 (pp. 35-37); Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind, 1953 (pp. 46-48); and William F. Buckley, Jr., Statement on Founding National Review, November 19, 1955 (pp. 49-51).  Lecture on the Eisenhower domestic record and the origins of the modern conservative movement in the 1940s and 1950s.


Thur., Feb. 21 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Two, “Deathboats and Lifeboats,” pp. 48-68.  Also read George Kennan, interview by David Gergen, 1996, at www.pbs.org/newshour/gergen/kennan.html  Quiz # 5, followed by lecture on the foreign policy of the Eisenhower administration.


Tues., Feb. 26 – Read Story and Laurie, The Rise of Conservatism, Platform of the States’ Rights Democratic Party, 1948 (pp. 38-40). Also read “Statement of Birmingham (white) clergy, 1963,” statement by birmingham clergy 1963-copy2.htm  and Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail. Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Jail.htm [Or see PDF Folder on Home Page for the last two documents.]  Lecture on the start of the modern Civil Rights movement and the philosophy of nonviolence.


Thur., Feb. 28 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Two, “Deathboats and Lifeboats,” pp. 68-82.  Also read correspondence, Khrushchev-Kennedy, at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/forrel/cuba/cuba084.htm;  www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/forrel/cuba/cuba095.htm; and www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/forrel/cuba/cuba102.htm.  Quiz # 6, followed by lecture on the fiasco at the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis during the Kennedy administration.


Week of March 1-7 – Spring Break, no classes




Monday, March 10 – Last day to withdraw without academic penalty. 


First paper due by 11:59 P.M., Monday, March 10 (can be submitted electronically):  Go to the New York Times in the microfilm room or use the online version by going to Galileo through the KSU Sturgis Library and finding the database New York Times (Proquest Historical Newspapers).  Look up the papers that came out on your birthday for the years 1918, 1928, 1938, 1948, and 1958.  Find out what happened on those days.  Write an analytical paper of 800-1000 words discussing the concerns of those years and how America (as seen by the New York Times) had changed over that 40 year period.   


Tues., March 11 – Read Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1964 http://nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/MLK-nobel.html; and Story and Laurie, The Rise of Conservatism, Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative, 1960 (pp. 59-63) and Ronald Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny, October 24, 1964, (pp. 69-72).  Lecture on the Goldwater movement, the election of 1964, and LBJ’s “Great Society.”


Thur., March 13 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Three, “Command Versus Spontaneity,” pp. 83-118. Quiz # 7, followed by lecture on the war in Vietnam.


Tues., March 18 – Read “History of National Organization for Women,” at http://www.now.org/history/the_founding.html and www.now.org/history/history.html#Abortion-Rights; and Phyllis Schlafly, “A Short History of ERA,” at www.eagleforum.org/psr/1986/sept86/psrsep86.html.  Also read Richard M. Nixon, First Inaugural Address, 1969, at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/nixon1.htm.  Lecture on the debate over women’s rights and other protest movements of the late 1960s and 1970s.


Thur., March 20 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Four, “The Emergence of Autonomy,” pp. 119-55.  Quiz # 8, followed by lecture on the Nixon administration and Watergate.


Tues., March 25 – Test 2 


Thur., March 27 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Five, “The Recovery of Equity,” pp. 156-94.  Lecture on the Ford and Carter administrations.


Tues., April 1 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Six, “Actors,” pp. 195-236.  Lecture on the foreign policy of the Reagan administration.


Thur., April 3 – Read Story and Laurie, The Rise of Conservatism, Ronald Reagan, Nomination Acceptance Speech, 1980 (pp. 118-21), and Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, March 1983 (pp. 126-29).  Also read Reagan’s first inaugural address at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/reagan1.htm.  Quiz # 9, followed by lecture on the Reagan revolution, domestically.


Tues., April 8 – Read Gaddis, The Cold War, Chapter Seven, “The Triumph of Hope,” and Epilogue, “The View Back,” pp. 237-66.  Lecture of the first Bush administration, the end of the Cold War, and the first Gulf War.


Thur. April 10 – Read Story and Laurie, The Rise of Conservatism, Nathan Glazer, Affirmative Discrimination, 1975 (pp. 97-100); Paul Weyrich, Building the Moral Majority; August 1979 (pp. 114-17) and Southern Baptist Convention, Resolution on Abortion, June 1984 (pp. 132-34).  Quiz # 10, followed by lecture on the culture wars of the late 20th century.


Tues., April 15 – Friedman, The World Is Flat, “How the World Became Flat,” pp. 1-126.  Lecture on changes in the American economy in the late 20th century.


Thur., April 17 – Friedman, The World Is Flat, “How the World Became Flat,” pp. 126-259  Quiz # 11, followed by lecture on the Clinton administration and the good times, economically, in the 1990s.


Second paper due by 11:59 P.M., Sunday. April 20 (can be submitted electronically):  Conduct an interview with a person of your own choosing who fought in Korea or Vietnam, or was married to someone who did; or who participated in at least one civil rights march or 1960s antiwar or pro-war demonstration, or who was a member in the 1960s or 1970s of Young Americans for Freedom, Students for a Democratic Society, National Organization for Women, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Young Republicans, Young Democrats, or a similar political action group.  Write an analytical paper of 800-1000 words discussing what your interviewee told you about his/her experiences and his/her attitudes toward the events of that era.  Critique the interview in light of other things you have learned in this course about that era of American history.


Tues., April 22 – Friedman, The World Is Flat America and the Flat World,” pp. 261-400.  Lecture on the election of 2000, 09/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Thur., April 24 – Friedman, The World Is Flat, “Conclusion:  Imagination,” pp. 605-35.  Quiz # 12, followed by discussion of final exam.


Tues., April 29 – Final exam:  3:30-5:30.