Published Date

January 1, 2000

This resource is part of The United States since the Civil War project.

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