Syllabus for History 102

This course is a survey of the political, economic, social and cultural history of the United States since 1865.  The lectures, readings, and discussions are of equal importance in developing your understanding of the subject matter.  To neglect any of these would be ill-advised. 

Book for the course, available at UW-Sheboygan Bookstore:  Mary Beth Norton, A People and a Nation, Volume 2. Pub: Houghton Mifflin College

The grade in the course is based upon the following:
First mid-term exam................................. 25%  
Second mid-term exam............................. 25%  
Final exam................................................ 25%  
Attendance, written assignments,
class participation..................................... 25%

There will be two, two-page essays assigned during the semester. Consult the Schedule of Lectures and Readings for assignment and due dates. Examinations will be essays. I will give you four questions the week before the exam. Two of those exact questions will appear on the exam. You will be required to answer one question for each midterm exam. You may substitute a five-page research paper (topic and format to be discussed with me beforehand) for the second mid-term examination. The paper will be due the day of the mid-term. For the final, I will give you eight questions--four cumulative and four dealing with material studied after the second midterm. Two questions from each group will appear on the final. You will be required to answer one question from each group. There will be no make-up examinations unless you notify me before an exam that you are unable to attend. Your circumstances must be exceptionally dire before I will agree to a make-up.

If, because of a disability, you have any special requirements for taking notes or writing exams, please let me know as soon as possible.

Course goals

  • Increased proficiency in reading comprehension.
  • Increased proficiency in writing well-structured essays.
  • Increased ability to analyze historical material and draw conclusions from it.
  • Increased ability to write clearly about cause and effect in history.
  • An understanding of the economic, political, social, intellectual, and cultural background that made America what it is today.

Schedule of Lectures and Readings

You will need to have access to a computer with a web browser, in order to find the many primary documents we will be using during the semester. I will give you the URLs (addresses on the WWW) as you need them.

Week 1

The End of the Civil War Norton, Chapter 16

Week 2

Emancipation and Reconstruction Norton, Chapter 17

Week 3

Two Different Worlds: Industry and the Frontier
Norton, Chapter 18

Week 4

Immigrants and Urban Life Norton, Chapter 19

Week 5

Politics and Progressivism Norton, Chapters 20,21


Week 6

Imperialism and War Norton, Chapters 22,23

Week 7

The 1920s Norton, Chapter 24

Week 8

Depression and New Deal Norton, Chapter 25

Week 9

No Classes

Week 10

The Coming of WWII
second midterm questions to be handed out
Norton, Chapter 26


Week 11

WWII Norton, Chapter 27

Week 12

The Cold War Norton, Chapters 28

Week 13

Postwar Society (Guest Lecturer) Norton, Chapter 29

Week 14

The Vietnam Era
second essay to be assigned
Norton, Chapter 30

Week 15

The Vietnam Era cont'd
second essay due
Norton, Chapter 31,32

Week 16

The 1980s and 1990s Norton, Chapter 33