History 12-Political and Social History of the United States

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History 12-Political and Social History of the United States

Spring, 2011, Section #0727, 8-9:30 a.m. TTh-NEA-113

Dr. Ellen Joiner, NEA-181, Office Phone: 310-233-4582

e-mail: joinere@lahc.edu

Office hours: 9:30-11 TTh or by appointment

Etudes site- www.myetudes.org

User ID: first 2 letters of first name+first 2 letters of last name+last 5 numbers of student ID number John Lennon’s User ID would be jole34567

Password: month and day of birth For John Lennon, it would be 1009-he was born on October 9th.

Do You Have an Education Plan? An education plan is essential to completing your education and to insuring that every class you take counts toward your college graduation and toward getting a job. If you have not worked out an education plan with a Harbor College counselor contact the counseling office at http://www.lahc.edu/studentservices/matriculation/counseling.html and schedule an appointment.
Course Summary: This class will survey the history of the United States from Reconstruction (1865-1877) to the present. The lectures, class discussions, and written assignments will study America’s political, economic, and social development. The class also includes the organization and critical analysis of historical sources.
History 12 Student Learning Objectives (SLOs):

  1. Formulate a basic chronology of the political, economic and social developments of the United States from 1877 to the present.

  2. Compare and contrast the role of major ethnic and racial groups (African, European, Asian, Latin American, and Native American) in the American labor force, politics, and society.

  3. Evaluate the influence of industrialization, immigration, and urbanization on American society as well as the corresponding conservative and liberal responses.

  4. Critically analyze historical data that is pertinent to regional, urban/rural, gender, and status groups.

  5. Locate and identify geographical sites within the United States and the world and assess their importance for U.S. domestic growth and America’s strategic foreign involvements.

  6. Identify, evaluate, and summarize in essay form the significance of key events in the United States and the role of historical interpretation in their portrayal and understanding.

  7. Locate primary and secondary sources in the Library and on the Internet and examine, assess, and organize sources into a logical argument.

Required Books:

Paul Boyer, et.al. The Enduring Vision A History of the American People, concise 6th ed., vol. 2 from 1865, New York: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010.

Robert D. Marcus, America Firsthand, 8th ed., vol.2-Readings from Reconstruction to the Present, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

The textbooks are available in the Harbor College Bookstore. Copies are also on reserve in the Harbor College Library. Students should also purchase a package of quiz strips (#882) for quizzes.


  1. Attendance: Regular and prompt attendance in class is required. Students not in class when the roll is taken will be counted absent. More than two unexcused absences could result in a lowering the grade or a student’s being dropped from the class. It is important to eliminate as many distractions as possible and to create a class environment in which every student can learn. Please bring your textbooks to class each day. Set cells phone on mute and do not text during class.

  2. Etudes Textbook Tools: In the first week of the class you should purchase the textbook. If you need help paying for books and other college expenses, call the Financial Aid Office at 310-233-4320 in the Student Services/ Administration Building-AD125or contact http:www.lahc.edu/finaid After looking through the book take the Textbook Tools quiz which insures that you are familiar with the organization of the text and know how to use it effectively in the course. This quiz is untimed so you may take it several times to insure that you receive full credit. If you are unable to purchase the text during the first week please let me know. The book is on reserve in the Library or I have copies that can be used to take the test.

  3. Confer with Professor: At least once during the semester you are required to come to my office (NEA-181) for a ten-minute discussion of your progress in the course. My office hours are 9:30 to 11 on Tuesday and Thursday or by appointment. (10 pts.)

  4. Etudes Modules: Each chapter of the Enduring Vision has an accompanying Module that lists important identifications and terms for the chapter. The Modules work as a study guide to help you read through the text and to help you prepare for the exams. No written work is required for the Modules.

  5. Etudes Practice Tests: Each chapter of the Enduring Vision has an accompanying practice test at the Etudes site. This is an untimed test that allows you to “test” your understanding after you have read the text and participated in class. These tests are required and the points that you receive on the practice tests will be calculated into your grade. (12 pts./test)

  6. Etudes Discussion Board: Each week I will post a discussion topic on the Etudes discussion board that relates to a topic covered in class. You are required to participate in at least 8 discussions throughout the semester. Your first discussion posting will be your introduction to the class. After the first posting, participation means posting your own response plus interacting with the responses of at least two other students. Discussion postings must be completed by the end of each week (Sunday night 11 p.m.). You will not receive credit for postings that are entered after a specific week so do not go back and post on earlier discussions. (10 pts./discussion)

  7. Examinations: Exams will be administered in class. The exams will be based on text reading, class discussion, vocabulary, and chronology. The four exams and the final will be a combination of term matching, true/false, multiple choice, and chronology. There are no make-ups on the exams. (50 pts/quiz)

  8. Essays: Three 4-page analyses of primary sources are also required for the class. Each essay submission must include an outline, thesis statement, the essay, and a works cited page (Chicago Style). Essay assignments must be handed in on the due date. Late essays will automatically lose five points. Assignments that are more than one week late will not be accepted. You must submit all three essays in order to pass the course. (30 pts./essay)

  9. If you have a learning disability please let me know immediately so that we can help you succeed in the course.

Your grade in History 12 will be based on the points earned from the practice tests, discussions, examinations, and essays. The total points will be calculated on a percentage basis of the total number of possible points. 90% of total points will be an A, 80%=B, 70%=C, 60%=D.

Class Schedule: EV=Enduring Vision, vol. 2, AF=America Firsthand, vol. 2.
Week 1 Feb. 8 Nuts and Bolts of History 12

Feb. 10 Reconstructing the Union c. 16-EV

“Introduction: Using Sources p. ix-xiv-AF

To Study the Past”

Week 2 Feb. 15 America Expands West c. 17-EV

Feb. 17 Industrialization in the Gilded Age c. 18-EV

“Losing Out to Standard Oil” p. 75-81-AF
Week 3 Feb. 22 Urban America c. 19-EV- Essay 1 due

Feb. 24 Exam 1 (c. 16-19)

Week 4 March 1 Industrial Politics p. 451-468-EV

Essay 1: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (1911) p. 104-115-AF

March 3 Rise of Progressivism c. 21-EV

“Urban Industrial America” 139-146-AF
Week 5 March 8 American Imperialism p. 469-475, c. 20 EV

March 10 The U.S. and World War I c. 22-EV

Week 6 March 15 The “Roaring” Twenties c. 23-EV- Essay 2 due

“The Scopes Trial-In Defense p.148-155-AF

of the Bible”

March 17 Exam 2 (c. 20-23)

Week 7 March 22 The Great Depression c. 24-EV

Essay 2: Memories of the Internment Camp p. 215-221-AF

March 24 Origins of World War II p. 587-599-EV

Week 8 March 29 Battle Lines at Home and Abroad c. 25-EV

“The Bataan Death March” p. 222-227-AF

March 31 Cesar Chavez Day-no class

Week 9 April 5 The Cold War Abroad p.616-629-EV

April 7 Politics of Anti-Communism c. 26-EV-Essay 3 due
Week 10 April 12 Exam 3 (c. 24-26)

April 14 “Consensus” America p. 638- 654-EV

“The Blacklist” p. 228-236-AF

April 19 Spring Holiday- no class

April 21 Spring Holiday- no class

Week 11 April 26 The Other America c. 27-EV

April 28 Civil Rights in the 1950s and 60s p. 662-673-EV

Week 12 May 3 Liberalism Ascendant c. 28-EV

Essay 3: The My Lai Massacre p. 244-260-AF

May 5 Challenging the Status Quo p. 685-696-EV

Week 13 May 10 Vietnam & Global Politics c. 29-EV

May 12 Exam 4 (c. 27-29)

Week 14 May 17 The 1970s and 80s c. 30-EV-Essay 4 due

May 19 Beyond the Cold War c.31-EV

Week 15 May 24 Entering the 21st Century p. 759-769-EV

“Security v. Freedom after 9/11” 311-329-AF
May 26 Contemporary America c. 32-EV
Week 16 May 31 Final Exam 8-10 a.m.
Essay Assignments-General Explanation

1) Context -In addition to reading and discussing primary readings for class there are three four-page writing assignments that require you to examine and evaluate primary sources. You will remember from the class discussion on the first day that a primary source is one that originates at the time an event is happening, and a secondary account is a historian's interpretation and understanding of the event. In order to analyze and evaluate a primary source you will first need to do some background reading.  Each primary source and essay assignment will give you a description or context to acquaint you with the topic and to give you some more information to write about.  When you are doing this background reading please pay close attention to the description of the event as well as to the important names, places, and terms.

2) Carefully read and analyze the primary source- After you have completed reading the context, you will evaluate or analyze the primary source based upon several questions that I will give you.  Read my questions first, then read the primary source carefully looking for answers to the questions that I have assigned.

3) Write the thesis-After reading through and examining your assigned source, write a one sentence statement that lays out the main point or thesis of your paper. A thesis statement is not a restatement of your topic or a summary of the reading; it is a specific point that you will develop in your essay and that is supported by the evidence. Your essay should be like a lawyer going before a jury. You will present the main idea (the thesis) followed by the evidence that supports your main idea and try to convince the jury (or the readers) that your thesis is correct.  The questions that I give you about the source will direct you to the main points that should be addressed by the thesis and the essay as a whole. The thesis statement should be on the top of the first page of your essay followed by the outline which the next step.

 4) Organize an outline-After formulating a thesis re-read the questions to be answered in the essay and organize a short topical outline that uses the questions as the main topics. The outline should use correct outline format with Roman numerals for the main topics and capitalized letters for the subtopics.  Do not write paragraphs for the outline, save the writing to "flesh out" the topics in your actual essay. The thesis statement and the outline provide the framework for your essay and should be submitted on the first page of your essay so that I can see how you have organized your work.

5) Write the essay- After completing your thesis statement and outline, begin your essay with an introductory paragraph that introduces the topic and also includes the thesis statement (that will give the reader a clear idea of the main focus of the essay).  The introductory paragraph will be followed by at least five body paragraphs that follow your outline and "flesh out" or answer the questions that have been incorporated into the outline. The body of the paper will be followed by a conclusion that summarizes your essay and reinforces the thesis.

6) Make transitions-The body paragraphs of the essays must be connected with appropriate transitions.  Do not simply answer the first question with paragraph one followed by question two in the second paragraph.  Make transitions that lead the reader from one paragraph to the next. "Connect" the two paragraphs together into a unified essay that centers around and supports the thesis.  Use the introduction and conclusion to do the same-fit the essay together and support the thesis.

7) End the essay- End the essay with a conclusion that summarizes the main points of your paper.  Be sure to keep the paper focused on the thesis and to write, simply and clearly, your interpretation of this source.

8) Citing Sources-Each of the sources that you read for your essay (including the textbook) must be cited.  That means you have to tell the reader the source of your information.  On the last page of your paper list both the primary and secondary sources that you used.  The sources should be listed using the Chicago Style format.  If you have questions about how to do this see the Harbor College Library website-Writing and Research Guides for further help. http://www.lahc.edu/library/research.html. Another helpful site is Citation Machine at http://citationmachine.net

9) Plagiarism- Essays must in your own words.  Use the secondary readings for background only.  Do not directly quote from the secondary sources, paraphrase if necessary.  It is permissable to quote from the primary source but keep the quotes short and to the point. (no more than a sentence long) Your essay should be at least three pages (size 12 font, double-spaced) long.  The outline and thesis will be another page. At least 99% of those pages should be your words. Run the essay through Turnitin.com before submitting.

10) Submitting the Essay-The thesis, outline, essay, and works cited page must be submitted together. I will not grade an essay if any of the four parts are missing.

Essay 1- The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (pp.103-114- AF) & context at


  1. What were the main abuses at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory as reported by the survivors and reporters of the event?

  2. In what ways did the fire challenge the prevailing attitudes toward laissez-faire capitalism in the U.S.?

  3. What did the authors of these accounts see as the way to end such abuses?

Essay 2-Memories of the Internment Camp (pp.215-221-AF) & context at


  1. What were the primary reasons that Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II?

  2. What were the main fears aroused among Japanese-Americans by the internment?

  3. What were the social, economic, political, and psychological ramifications of internment for Japanese-Americans?

Essay 3- The My Lai Massacre and Its Aftermath (pp.243-260-AF) & context at


  1. What were the factors in the Viet Nam War that made My Lai possible?

  2. Why did some military personnel present the need for an investigation while others pursued a cover-up?

  3. Did the military and government pursue a just course when it came to assigning responsibility or blame for My Lai?

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