Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

HIST 122: American History Since 1877

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  Course Description

A survey of institutions, politics, culture, and society in America from reconstruction to the present.

Proctored Exams: Final



  • Foner, Eric. (2017). Give Me Liberty (Volume 2) and Voices of Freedom (Volume 2) (5th ed. Custom Bundle). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
    • [ISBN-978-0-393-64969-7]
  • Rampolla, Mary Lynn. (2016). A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (8th ed). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.
    • [ISBN-978-1-4576-9088-4]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

The study of recent American history is the study of the national past. In the deepest and broadest sense it is the study of the ways in which present ways of living and thinking have developed from historical circumstances and situations. It seeks to describe and to analyze politics, culture, and society to the degree that the record of evidence will allow. It considers the vital facts of historical matters which make citizens both wiser in public choices and more conscious of their private lives. It accentuates the power of human motivation, of those institutions constituted to advance civilization, and of those patterns of habit and thought that resonate with the American experience.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and interpret primary sources about America from reconstruction to the present and use them as evidence to support historical arguments.
  2. Identify and describe the context and significance of major figures, institutions, and events in America from reconstruction to the present.
  3. Construct a historical essay based on documents.
  4. Analyze the concept of citizenship in America from reconstruction to the present.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (25) 200 20%
Quizzes (4) 200 20%
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment (1) 50 5%
Term Paper Topic Submission (1) 50 5%
Term Paper Outline (1) 50 5%
Term Paper (1) 150 15%
Final Exam (1) 300 30%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 2 8
Discussion 3 8
Introductions (Discussion) 0 Sunday
Quiz 1 50

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 5 8
Discussion 6 8
Quiz 2 50 Sunday
Term Paper: Topic Submission 50
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 8 8
Discussion 9 8
Discussion 10 8
Quiz 3 50 Sunday
Term Paper Outline 50

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 12 8
Discussion 13 8
Quiz 4 50 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 14 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 15 8
Discussion 16 8
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment 50 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 17 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 18 8
Discussion 19 8

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 20 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 21 8
Discussion 22 8
Term Paper 150 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 23 8 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 24 8
Discussion 25 8
Final Exam 300 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week will have 3-4 discussion topics/questions to answer. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday, with your initial post on each of the 3-4 topics due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) on Thursday and two responses to classmates on each of the 3-4 topics due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses on each of the 3-4 topics are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday. Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates. All posts and thoughts must be your own. If you are writing about a reading from our text, be sure to include the author and title in the first sentence or two so others know what piece you are referencing. Your responses to others’ posts should also be well developed, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts. Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas. Discussions will be graded on three levels: argument presented in response to the discussion prompt (due Thursday); answering follow-up questions posed by the instructor; and the quality of interaction with classmates (due Sunday except in Week 8).

Term Paper

Term Paper Topic (Week 2)

The Term Paper Topic will be chosen from an available list of acceptable topics provided in the Content area.  You must devise 3-4 sentences that include the following details:

  • The chosen topic
  • A specific focus (i.e., voting rights for women or voting rights for African Americans)
  • A thesis statement that includes a historical argument (information on thesis statements is covered in Rampolla)
  • A description of how your research will be relevant to the topic you've chosen as it appears in the course (i.e., immigration during the time period of 1877-now, not prior to that)

Once chosen, submit it to the appropriate dropbox for instructor feedback by 11:59 pm CT Sunday. The Term Paper Topic Submission is worth 50 points.

Term Paper Outline (Week 3)

The Term Paper Outline should be composed of three fully explained main topics, with two specific supporting ideas for each main idea.  You must also explain how the outline reinforces the thesis statement that was submitted in the Paper Topic submission.  Once you complete your Term Paper Outline, you will submit it to the appropriate dropbox for instructor feedback by 11:59 pm CT Sunday. The Term Paper Outline is worth 50 points.

Term Paper (Week 7)

You will develop a Term Paper based on the topic you have chosen in Week 2, and built from the outline you developed in Week 3. It should identify at least four related primary sources from the Voices of Freedom readings or other primary source documents. It should utilize two secondary sources that help develop and support a thesis.

The format of the Term Paper should include an introduction, body, and conclusion and be organized into paragraphs with approximately eight sentences developing a single topic. Proper grammar, punctuation, correct spelling, and other aspects of correct composition should be maintained. It should be at least six pages of fully-typed text. Each page should be double-spaced, including at least 250 words and 25-27 lines using 12-point font. It should include a title page, end notes pages, and a bibliography page. It should be formatted using the Chicago Manual of Style, referenced in the Rampolla text. Visual images and infographics do not count toward the final page count. All papers must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format.

All assignments must be your own original work, and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). All papers are due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the Week 7 to the appropriate dropbox. The Term Paper is worth 150 points.

Chicago Manual of Style Assignment

Based on the information covered in Rampolla in the assigned reading you will submit a one-page paper that shows the correct way to format footnotes, including electronic sources, the proper way to cite quotes, examples of primary and secondary sources, and the correct method of listing bibliographic references. The material used in this assignment will link directly to the guidelines and requirements for the Term Paper, due in Week 7. Work from previously classes or institutions can not be used. The Chicago Manual of Style Assignment will be due to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 5. It is worth 50 points.


There will be Quizzes in Weeks 1-4 worth 50 points each. Quizzes will be available beginning at 12:01 am CT Tuesday and will be due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of the same week. They will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions, worth 2 points each. Quizzes are open book and students will have 1 attempt to complete the quiz. A strict time limit of 50 minutes per quiz will be enforced (with a 5 minute grace period).


There will be a proctored (closed book) Final Exam in Week 8. It will be available beginning at 12:01 am CT Monday and will be due at 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8. The Final Exam will be comprised of a combination of multiple-choice and short essay questions that cover Chapters 23-28. There will be a strict time limit of 2 hours (120 minutes) for the exam and you will have 1 attempt to complete it. The Final Exam will be worth 300 points.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • Foner, Chapters 16 and 17
  • Rampolla, Chapter 6
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 1
A number of factors contributed to the development of a mature industrial society in the US from 1865-1900. Identify these factors and whether or not they had a positive or negative effect on the country. Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 2
From the assigned Voices of Freedom readings (Chapters 16 and 17), identify unique traits and distinguish the differing viewpoints of Chief Joseph, Saum Song Bo, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B Du Bois on what constitutes freedom. Whose viewpoint do you most identify with?
Discussion 3
View the StudySpace author videos in the Instructional Materials and summarize the main points in each. Provide your perspective on which ones you find of most importance.
Introductions (Discussion)
Introduce yourself to me and to your classmates. Include information about your hobbies, family, educational goals, favorite books, etc.
Quiz 1
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 1.
  • Foner, Chapters 18 and 19
  • Rampolla, Chapters 2 and 3
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 4

How did ideas surrounding women's roles in society lead to an expansion of activism for rights for women in the Progressive Era? 

Discussion 5
From the assigned Voices of Freedom readings (specifically Chapter 19), Wilson’s war message to Congress: What does Wilson think is the greatest threat to freedom in the world? Does anything in his speech offer a harbinger of the extreme repression of free speech that occurred during World War I?
Discussion 6

Identify the main contributing groups and philosophical ideas that drove the Progressive movement.  Why did Progressives see the expansion of government powers in wartime an opportunity to reform American society?

Quiz 2
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 2.
Term Paper: Topic Submission
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
  • Foner, Chapters 20 and 21
  • Rampolla, Chapters 4 and 5
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 7

Although the 1920's seemed to be a period of apparent growth and prosperity, what underlying factors combined to lead to the collapse of the American economy beginning in 1929?

Discussion 8
Read the Parrish speech on immigration, and the Meyer v. Nebraska Supreme Court decision in Voices of Freedom (chapter 20). How do these two excerpts reflect deep divisions over the nature of American society during the 1920s?
Discussion 9
How did the New Deal recast the meaning of American freedom? Support your reasoning.
Discussion 10

View the StudySpace author videos in the Instructional Materials related to Chapters 20 and 21.  What are the main themes and which do you find to be the most important?

Quiz 3
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 3.
Term Paper Outline
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
  • Foner, Chapter 22
  • Rampolla, Chapter 7
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 11
How did the United States mobilize economic resources and promote popular support for the war effort? How were these efforts received by the American people?
Discussion 12
From the Voices of Freedom documents of Latin American Citizens and Charles H. Wesley: what differences and commonalities exist between the two claims for greater rights in American society?
Discussion 13
Describe how the decisions made at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 created the framework for postwar US economic and foreign policy.
Quiz 4
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 4.
  • Foner, Chapters 23 and 24
  • Rampolla, Chapters 2-5, 7
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 14
Explain what series of events and ideological conflicts prompted the Cold War; incorporate in your answer the ideas behind the concept of containment and the meaning of the Truman Doctrine.
Discussion 15
From the Voices of Freedom readings, Chapter 24, Martin Luther King’s speech at Montgomery, Alabama, and The Southern Manifesto: How do these documents illustrate contrasting understandings of freedom in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement?
Discussion 16
View the StudySpace author videos for Chapters 23 and 24 in the Instructional Materials. Identify the central themes present and explain which ones you feel are most significant and why.
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
  • Foner, Chapter 25
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 17

What were the goals of the women's liberation movement in the 1960's?

Discussion 18
From the Voices of Freedom readings, compare and contrast the message of the Goldwater speech and NOW’s statement of purpose. How do the two documents differ in assessing the dangers to American freedom?
Discussion 19
In what ways was 1968 a climactic year for the United States? Identify major events and changes to support your argument.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • Foner, Chapter 26
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 20
How did the war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal impact the feeling of Americans related to trust in their government? Do you believe those feelings are still valid today?
Discussion 21
From Voices of Freedom readings, specifically the Commoner and Blakemore readings, how do the two writers differ in their visions of the future of American society? Do you feel their visions have come to truth? Who do you identify with more and why?
Discussion 22
Identify the groups and their agendas that combined to create the new conservative movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s. In what areas do you feel the movement was successful in achieving its goals?
Term Paper
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7.
  • Foner, Chapters 27 and 28
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 23
Define globalization and explain its impact on the US. In what ways could the impact be seen as positive, as well as negative?
Discussion 24
From the Voices of Freedom readings for chapter 28, read the Supreme Court decision and the eulogy given by President Obama. Explain what you feel the documents suggest about how much has changed in American life over the last 50 years and how much has not. Do you agree?
Discussion 25
View the StudySpace author videos in the Instructional Materials and identify the main themes. Which of the themes do you agree with and which ones do you disagree with and why?
Final Exam
Complete the Final Exam (proctored) by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late work will be accepted unless there is a documented reason that meets the criteria of an excused absence according to the new policy on Non Attendance Administrative Withdrawal.

Students must make every effort to contact the instructor prior to the due date of an assignment to discuss reasons for that assignment not being submitted on time as well as be prepared to supply documentation.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.