Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

HIST 321: History Of The Modern U.S.

Back to Top

  Course Description

Analysis of the reformation of the United States during the era of Franklin Roosevelt. The course explores the story of how Americans endured the Great Depression and eventually prevailed in their struggle against totalitarianism. In particular, it highlights the anxieties of the new era, the stock market crash of 1929, the New deal policies of FDR, and the military campaigns of WW II. Significant themes of gender, class, power, and warfare are traced from the twilight of the roaring twenties to the dawn of the atomic age.

Prerequisite: HIST 122

Proctored Exams: Final



  Textbooks

Required

  • Nathan Miller. (2004). New World Coming The 1920s and the Making of Modern America (1st ed.). Da Capo Press.
    • [ISBN-978-0-306-81379-5]
  • Colin Gordon. (2011). Major Problems in American History, 1920-1945. (2nd ed.). Houghton Mifflin.
    • [ISBN-978-0-547-149059]
  • David M. Kennedy. (2001). Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1st ed.). Oxford University Press.
    • [ISBN-978-0-19-514403-1]
  • Mary Lynn Rampolla. (2016). A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (8th ed.). 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

Welcome to the History of the Modern United States! The course covers an incredible time of change, and you’ll study those changes beginning after the country emerges from The War to End All Wars. The effects of that war will touch the nation beginning with the devil-may-care years during the Roaring 20s, and will continue through the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War II. You will witness the transformation of the United States from a reluctant participant in the world to that of global power. Emerging from the end of World War I, the United States will undergo major changes that alter the status of women, create conflict between the defenders of tradition and the advocates of modernization, redefine the relationship between citizens and their government, and stand on end the time honored traditions of neutrality and isolationism in world affairs.

  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 the political and economic trends of the Republican ascendancy, 1920-1932
  2. Analyze the causes of the Great depression and the New Deal Response
  3. Analyze with LBGT issues in American society, 1920-1941
  4. Analyze the world War two home front
  5. Analyze race and class and Gender in America from 1920 to 1945

  Grading

Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 630-700 90-100%
B 560-629 80-89%
C 490-559 70-79%
D 420-489 60-69%
F 0-419 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 200 29%
Book Review 100 14%
Research Paper 200 29%
Exam 200 29%
Total 700 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday
Research Paper 0
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday
Book Review 100

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Sunday
Research Paper 200

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussions 25 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 700

  Assignment Overview

Discussions

There are three to four discussion questions each week. You are expected to participate in each weekly discussion and answer all posed questions in your response. You must also reply to a classmate’s posting in each discussion to receive full credit. Participation in discussions will improve performance on exams and will be considered holistically by the instructor. All discussion postings and response postings are due by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time, expect during Week 8 when postings and responses are due by Saturday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Media Questions (Discussions)

Each week you will complete one Media Question within the Discussions area of the course. In order to answer these questions appropriately, you should use your favorite search engine such as Google, Yahoo, etc. and research the topics and questions for the week. Do not use Wikipedia as a source for these questions. Media Questions will be graded using the same grading criteria as other discussion questions for the week.

Book Review

The book review is a critical analysis of historical study. You are required to submit a review of the Nathan Miller text. You are cautioned to make the review your own work. The instructor will use the course integrated Turnitin to check for original work. A grading rubric for the review is in the Content area. Additional information on what constitutes a book review is located in the Content area. Your Rampolla textbook also offers guidance on pages 36-37. Prior to submitting your book review, you will be required to take the Plagiarism tutorial and quiz, please see Content area for more on the tutorial. Papers submitted to prior courses, including this course will not be accepted.

Research Paper

You are required to write one, 8-10 page paper on a topic of your choice relevant to the timeframe of the course. The topic must be submitted and approved by me before you complete the paper. Topic suggestions should be submitted to the appropriate discussion thread and feedback will be left indicating approval or denial. Remember, I don’t accept duplicate topics, so submit early! Topics are due by Sunday of Week 2. This assignment requires you to first to critically analyze primary resources and then to research related secondary sources as you develop the paper. It provides you with the opportunity to develop research and writing skills as well as synthesize knowledge about an important subject. Moreover, scholars of history not only discuss matters of fact but also tell their stories with skill. The writing style presented in the Rampolla text is the format required for your research paper. In order to earn full credit, you must:

• Identify at least six examples of primary sources (letters, diaries, publications, etc.) related to the issue. NOTE: Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable primary or secondary source
• Consider an issue relevant to the course timeline
• Construct a thesis statement and outline of the paper, submitted by deadline.
• Consult a number of additional secondary sources that help develop the thesis.
• Incorporate an introduction, body, and conclusion
• Organize paragraphs with approximately eight sentences developing a single topic.
• Elaborate major points with a degree of specificity
• Clarify premises using coherent diction
• Avoid spelling errors, improper grammar, flawed punctuation, and awkward language.
• Include at least 8-10 pages of fully typed original narrative, using one inch margins, double spaced, 12 point font, approximately 250 words per page
Use the Chicago Manual of Style (sometimes known as Turabian) consistently and correctly. As stated earlier, one of your class texts is Rampolla’s A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, which you should consult extensively
• Include a separate bibliography

Papers must be submitted using the Dropbox. The paper will also be submitted through the course integrated Turnitin to determine originality. A grading rubric for this assignment is located in the Content area. Papers submitted in part or whole for prior assignments in any course will not be accepted, and will receive zero credit.

Final Exam (Proctored)

The Final Exam will consist of several identification and essay questions taken from the material covered in course, including readings, discussions and media searches. You must submit your proctor’s information to me via the Proctor Information dropbox by Sunday of Week 2.

  Course Outline

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

Readings

Rampolla: Chapters 1-3; while there are no graded assignments for these readings, experience has shown that the knowledge gained from this textbook is essential for writing and formatting your research paper.

Miller: Introduction through Chapter 2; examine the dissension that played out during the Treaty debate, as well as the tension felt by many Americans regarding the perceived radical elements surfacing in the country.

Kennedy: Prologue; examine the personalities presented by Kennedy.

Gordon:
Chapter 1 Articles
"The Modern Temper" by Lynn Dumenil
Chapter 2 Documents
Attorney General Palmer's Case Against the "Reds," Cartoon "We Can't Digest the Scum," "Herbert Hoover on American Individualism"
Chapter 6 Documents
"W.E.B. Du Bois on the Meaning of the War for African-Americans"
Chapter 8 Documents
"President Woodrow Wilson Defends the League of Nations"

Discussions
Introduction: To get started, tell the class something about yourself and any special interests you have in the study of history. Additionally, utilizing your favorite search engine search for an historical event that happened on your birthdate, any year, and post that event along with your introduction.

Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why? Pay particular attention to section 3b-1 of your Rampolla text as she discusses writing historical summaries.

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus question, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Consider life in the United States between the end of WWI and the beginning of the Roaring 20s. After achieving a stunning success during WWI, what prompted the interim years of social tension? Remember to pull specific examples from your readings this week to support your argument.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine, type in the terms Palmer Raids and Soviet Ark. From your perspective, was the Red Scare a genuine concern for most Americans? Why or why not? Include the web addresses in your response.
Readings
Rampolla: Chapters 4 & 5

Miller: Pages 61-149; 199-271; examine the tension surrounding the clash of tradition and modernity, nativism and immigration, religion and the secular and the objectives of Prohibition and Suffrage

Gordon:
Chapter 6 Articles
"Nationalism and Immigration in the 1920s by Mai Ngai
Chapter 5 Documents
“F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Jazz Age, 1931”
Chapter 6 Documents
"The Governor of California on the Asian Problem"
"St. Louis Realtors and Homeowners Bar Negro Occupancy"
"Marcus Garvey Makes a Case for Black Nationalism"
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus prompt, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Appraise and contrast the conflict between tradition and modernity in the areas of race, religion, immigration and the status of women. From your perspective, was Normalcy achieved? Why or why not? Be sure to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine, type in the terms Jazz Age, Lost Generation, Harlem Renaissance and women in the 1920’s and in the Media posting discuss your perspective on the social and cultural development in the United States during the 1920’s. Include the web addresses in your response.
Research Paper
Your research topic and general outline must be submitted to the Dropbox area by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.
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.
Readings
Rampolla: Chapters 6 & 7

Kennedy: Chapters 1-3; examine the years leading up to the Great Depression and Hoover’s efforts to stem the tide.

Miller: Pages 149-197; 273-389; examine the dichotomy of a country with seemingly unlimited prosperity and possessing the best standards of living, consumer goods, business organization and reveling in the virtues of the “free market” as it plunges towards economic disaster.

Gordon:
Chapter 3 Documents
The Employer's Case for Welfare Capitalism"
"Labor's Case Against Welfare Capitalism"
Chapter 4 Articles
"The Politics of Consumption in the 1920s," by Lawrence Glickman
Chapter 4 Documents
"Radio--A Blessing or a Curse?"
"The Automobile Comes to Middletown"
“Bruce Barton Sees Jesus as an Advertising Man"
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus prompts, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Analyze the significance of the rise in automobile ownership and the impact it had on society. What role did the automobile play in changing the American economy and society? Also, examine and discuss the existing signs that the economy was in danger of collapse despite the apparent prosperity of the times. Consider the economic boom years, could this boom last? Be sure to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question:
Utilizing your favorite search engine, type in the terms Bonus Army and Hoovervilles and evaluate the impact the Bonus Army and Hoovervilles had on Hoover’s credibility and ability to be reelected. Include the web addresses in your response.
Readings
Kennedy: Chapters 4-7; assess the initial programs of the New Deal. Examine Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office. Review the successes, failures, and controversies of his first term.

Gordon:
Chapter 9 Articles

"A New Deal for Agriculture," by Paul Conkin
Chapter 9 Documents
"Conditions in Rural America"
"Tenant Farmers Recall the conditions of Sharecropping in the 1930s"
Chapter 10 Documents
"I Was a Burden"
"The Plight of the Unemployed in the 1930s"
Chapter 11 Articles
"What the New Deal Did" by David Kennedy
Chapter 11 Documents
"President Roosevelt Outlines Social Security for Congress"
Chapter 13 Documents
"Huey Long and the Share Our Wealth Society"
"What the Liberty League Believes"
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus prompts, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Evaluate the success of the First Hundred Days of the New Deal, who benefited from the early New Deal programs? How did they benefit from those programs? Be sure to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine, type in the terms WPA and Great Depression and the Arts. From your perspective, were the federal funds spent on the arts a valid use of those funds? Include the web addresses in your response.
Book Review
Submit your book review of the Miller text to the appropriate Dropbox by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.
Readings
Kennedy: Chapters 8-12; assess the developments in the latter half of the 1930s as Roosevelt continues the effort to bring relief, recovery and reform to the country.

Gordon:
Chapter 13 Articles
"Dissidents and Demagogues" by Alan Brinkley
"Business vs. the New Deal" by Colin Gordon
Chapter 9 Documents
"Depression and New Deal Both Hit Black Farmers"
"John Steinbeck on Migrant Labor in California"
Chapter 12 Documents
"A Recollection of the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936"
“A Congressional Committee Documents Violence Against Labor"
"The Negro—Friend or foe of Organized Labor?"
Chapter 13 Documents
"The Communist Party Argues for a "Popular Front"
"Southern Democrats Erode the New Deal Coalition"
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question:
Post your response to the following focus question, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Evaluate the major short and long term effects of the New Deal? From your perspective, discuss what you believe to be the most long-lasting effect on either the American people or the American government? What reaction do you have to the effort of FDR to 'pack' the Supreme Court? Be sure to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine, type in the terms: Huey Long, Charles Coughlin and Francis Townsend. From your perspective, did these men pose a serious threat to FDR and his New Deal efforts? Why or why not? Include the web addresses in your response.
Readings
Kennedy: Chapters 13-15; studies the growing international tension in the 1930s. Assess Roosevelt’s actions against the mood of the country regarding the situation in Europe and the Far East.

Gordon:
Chapter 8 Articles

"Foreign Policy and Cultural Expansion," by Frank Costigliola
"The Dilemmas of Interwar Foreign Policy" by Emily Rosenberg
Chapter 8 Documents
"A State Department Official on the Benefits of Disarmament"
"President Herbert Hoover on the World Depression"
"Former Secretary of State Frank Kellogg on Avoiding War"
Chapter 15 Documents
"Charles Lindbergh on the Perils of War”
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus question, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Evaluate the role of American neutrality and isolationism in the international events of the 1930s. From your perspective, was that a defensible policy for the American people and government? Be sure to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine type in the terms Lend Lease, isolation and neutrality. Explain the route taken from isolationism to Lend Lease, and evaluate Roosevelt’s role on that road. Include the web addresses in your response.
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.
Readings
Kennedy: Chapters 16-19; the United States is drawn into World War II, ending the Great Depression and bringing the country into full partnership with the countries fighting against Germany and its allies. Roosevelt has been elected to an unprecedented third term and is now thrust into the role of wartime leader, asking the American people for a new set of contributions and sacrifice.

Gordon:
Chapter 14 Articles

"Fighting for the Family," by Robert Westbrook
"Redefining Women's Work" by Ruth Milkman
Chapter 14 Documents
"President Franklin Roosevelt Identifies the "Four Freedoms" at Stake in the War"
"A Woman Worker Reflects on the “Good War” at Home during the 1940s”
"An African-American Soldier Notes the “Strange Paradox” of the War"
“A Japanese-American Questions the Four Freedoms”
Chapter 15 Document
“Dr. Seuss on the Perils of Neutrality, 1941”
Discussions
Document Question: Summarize the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus question, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Analyze the willingness of the American people to endure the hardship and sacrifice of war in the 1940s when they were adamantly isolationist in the 1930s. From your perspective, was the bombing of Pearl Harbor the only reason for participating in a World War? Remember to pull in specific examples from your readings to support your thoughts.

Media Question: Utilizing your favorite search engine type in the terms Pearl Harbor and Japanese Internment. Analyze the impact this event, and the subsequent decision to institute EO 9066, had on the American people. Include the web addresses in your response.
Research Paper
Submit your Research Paper to the appropriate Dropbox by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.
Readings
Kennedy: Chapters 20-22 and the Epilogue; Roosevelt is elected for a fourth term but dies before final victory over Germany is achieved. Finishing the war against Japan and completing the post war planning for Europe will fall to Harry Truman. The United States emerges from the war with new responsibilities internationally and a new relationship between its people and its government.

Gordon:
Chapter 15 Articles

"Mobilization and Militarization," by Michael Sherry
"A New Deal for the New World" by Elizabeth Borgwardt
Chapter 15
"The Atlantic Charter"
"Postwar Hopes for Full Employment"
"Vice President Henry Wallace on Postwar Prospects"
"War Bond Ad"
“I. F. Stone on Washington’s Anxieties About the Peace, 1945”
Discussions
Document Question: Interpret the main themes of each article and document in the document readings from Gordon. Make sure to provide adequate examples from each article in your summary. Which article[s] did you find most significant and why?

Focus Question: Post your response to the following focus question, and comment on at least one other student’s posting. Evaluate the experiences and/or policies of Americans during WWII. In what ways did the experiences and/or policies of the military leadership, common serviceman, government and those on the home-front contribute to the New World to come? From your perspective, was the saying “A rising tide lifts all boats” true for all Americans during WWII? Remember to pull specific examples from your reading.

Media Question: Go to the Google search tool on your course home page and type in the phrase Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From your perspective, how did this event impact the post war world? Include the web addresses in your response.
Final Exam
Complete the Proctoring Final Exam by Saturday at 11:59PM Central Time.  The exam is available in the Quizzes area.

  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.

Plagiarism

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.

Non-Discrimination

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.

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.