Published Date

January 1, 2014

Resource Type

For Departments, For the Classroom, Program of Study


Teaching Methods

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education


United States

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Tuning project.

By Laura Dull

Institution: Delta College
Location: University Center, MI
Year: 2014


Course Title: HIS 222: Recent American History

Instructor: A. French, PhD
Office: G-103
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00-11:45, Wednesdays 12:00-1:30, and by appointment
Required Texts: Visions of America, volume 2, by Keene et al. (Pearson Publishing).

Course Description: 

This course will introduce you to the history of the United States from 1877 or present with special emphasis on the formation of American character traits. It will cover basic facts, concepts, and themes, concentrating on diversity, labor, and individual freedom as special features of the modern American experience. Students are expected to compose a basic historical narrative of the United States, heighten their ability to evaluate ideas and arguments critically, analyze historical sources both primary and secondary, think critically about the ways in which the history of the United States informs global issues, write regularly about historical studies, and participate actively.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

  1. Trace the basic US historical narrative from 1877–present and identify key historical events/themes.
  2. Compose an effective narrative that describes and analyzes the history of the United States in response to an analytical question.
  3. Heightened ability to evaluate ideas and arguments critically, to weigh historical evidence, and to draw conclusions.
  4. Describe and analyze various types of historical sources appropriate to the study of the United States.
  5. Describe, analyze, and evaluate conflicting historical interpretations within the context of the United States.
  6. Analyze and evaluate the ways in which the history of the United States informs the current political, cultural, and social issues of the United States and its relationship to global culture.
  7. Participate actively. Engage instructor and each other in discussions and write regularly about historical studies.

Course Outline (Subject to change):

Week One: Introduction
Week Two: Development of the West/Wonder and Woe
Week Three: Gilded Age
Week Four: Progressivism
Week Five: Imperialism
Week Six: The Great War
Week Seven: 1920s
Week Eight: Great Depression/New Deal
Week Nine: World War II
Week Ten: Early Cold War
Week Eleven: In a Land of Plenty
Week Twelve: 1960s
Week Thirteen: Vietnam
Week Fourteen: 1970s/1980s
Week Fifteen: Wikipedia Presentations