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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 122
Course Title: American History Since 1877
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

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

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Text 1 is a Columbia College Custom Edition (the two texts are combined into one customized textbook)
Additional monographs or readers may be assigned as appropriate.

Give Me Liberty and Voices of Freedom. Volume 2. Columbia College Custom Edition
By Foner, Eric (W.W. Norton)
A Pocket Guide to Writing in History
By Rampolla, Mary Lynn (Bedford/St. Martin's)
Course Objectives

  • To recognize significant facts, dates, names, places, events, and ideas in American history after 1877.
  • To engage in discussions promoting involved citizenship.
  • To study appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  • To develop skills for reading, writing, and speaking about American history after 1877.

    Measurable Learning

  • Demonstrate knowledge about the history of America from reconstruction to the present.
  • Describe the chronological development of institutions, politics, culture, and society in America from Reconstruction to the present.
  • Articulate a coherent narrative of American history with an awareness of diversity and cultural pluralism.
  • Summarize patterns of change and continuity in the experiences of Americans from different regions, ethnicities, classes, and genders.
  • Think critically about evidence from a variety of primary sources.
  • Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations provided by secondary sources.
  • Respond effectively to essential questions that consider the power of the individual, the influence of cultural values, and the role of chance in recent American history.
  • Demonstrate an ability to argue a thesis on controversial issues in recent America from a historical perspective.
  • Evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of the United States after 1877.

    Topical Outline:

    Because the course has been designated as one of the introductory studies for general education, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching foundational knowledge. It must explicitly include a significant writing and speaking component, thus embodying the ideal that these skills are an integral and indivisible part of academic and intellectual endeavors. In addition, it must embrace material from other disciplines, thereby transcending disciplinary limits and emphasizing the interconnectedness of knowledge in an academic community. Furthermore, it must foster a sense of the power of diversity and cultural pluralism. Finally, it must stress the meaning, use, and value of critical thinking. To fulfill the general education requirements, the course provides a chronological study of the following topics:

    • America's Gilded Age
    • Freedom's Boundaries, at Home and Abroad
    • The Progressive Era
    • The United States and World War I
    • From Business Culture to Great Depression
    • The New Deal
    • Fighting for the Four Freedoms
    • The United States and the Cold War
    • An Affluent Society
    • The Sixties
    • The Triumph of Conservatism
    • Globalization and Its Discontents
    • September 11 and the Next American Century
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Brad Lookingbill Date: April 2, 2014
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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