History 152: American History From 1877
Tuesday and Thursday 8:30-10:18 * Baker Systems Engineering Room 180
INSTRUCTER: Mindy Farmer
OFFICE: 220 Dulles Hall
OFFICE HOURS: after class until 11:45
History is messy. Everyday decisions are made and events take place that change the course of human
development. My goal is to equip you with the tools you need to make sense of the mess and the
knowledge to understand the present. In other words, I hope to give you an understanding of the past to
better interpret the future.
1. Acquire a perspective on history and an understanding of the factors that shape human activity. This
knowledge will furnish students insights into the origins and nature of contemporary issues and a
foundation for future comparative understanding of civilizations.
2. Develop critical thinking through the study of diverse interpretations of historical events.
3. Apply critical thinking through historical analysis of primary and secondary sources.
4. Communications skills in exams, papers, discussions.
REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS (available at SBX only):
James Roark et al. The American Promise: A History of the United States. Vol: II (New York:
Bedford’s/St. Martins, 2005).
Mindy Farmer, ed. Retrieving the American Past * there are many different editions of RTAP, make sure
you chose the one with my name *
In addition you are required to obtain a copy of one of the following movies: “Malcolm X,” “The Grapes
of Wrath,” “The Right Stuff,” “Iron Jawed Angels,” or “Inherit the Wind.”
Midterm (300 points) 30%
Final (300 points) 30%
Paper (300 points) 30%
Carmen Discussion (100 points) 10%
Since the University does not record D- grades, a student earning a course average below 62 will receive
an E in this course. In order to pass the course, you must pass the Final Exam with at least a 62. Also, I
reserve the right to consider improvement when determining final grades.
Here are the grade breakdowns:
A: 92.6 and above; A-: 89.6-92.5; B+: 87.6-89.5; B: 82.6-87.5; B-: 79.6-82.5; C+: 77.6-79.5; C: 72.6-
77.5; C-: 69.6-72.5; D+: 67.6-69.5; D: 62-67.5; E: below 62
There will be two exams in this course-- a midterm and a final. Both will consist of a take home essay
and an in-class portion worth 150 points each. I will give you the prompt for the take home essay one
week before the test. It will be 4-5 pages due the day of the test (no exceptions). The in-class test will
consist of multiple choice and fill-in the blank questions.
If you have to miss the in-class portion of an exam because of illness or a verifiable emergency, you must
contact me, before the exam. To make-up any exam, you will have to take it during one of the regularly
scheduled exam sessions offered by the Department of History. Only in extraordinary and verifiable cases
will I give an extension on the out-of-class essay assignments.
CARMEN DISCUSSION POSTS:
You are required to contribute TEN substantial posts (at least 100 words each) to the online discussion
page set up for this class on the Carmen website at http://carmen.osu.edu/. Use your OSU username and
password to log in and access the class’s page. You must post your contributions throughout the quarter.
A stapled print-out of all ten comments is due the last day of class.
Each class period I will provide questions for you to respond to online. These questions will come from
the weekly readings noted in the schedule. I will base your grade upon how well you engage the readings,
respond to others’ arguments, and maintain a tone that respects other people’s opinions. In order to make
sure that you spread out your responses, you are only allowed to count TWO responses per week.
You are required to post an introduction before our next class on Sept 27th. Please include the following:
your class rank, your hometown, and your major. Beyond that be creative– discuss your pet peeves,
favorite sports teams, hobbies, near death experiences ect. This will count as your first post and it will
help us work out the kinks.
Any student needing accommodation based on the impact of a disability should meet with me soon, and
should contact the Office for Disability Services (292-3307 or 292-0901, 150 Pomerene).
All students must be officially enrolled in the course by the end of the second full week of the quarter. No
requests to add the course will be approved by me or the department chair after that time. It is your
responsibility to ensure you are officially enrolled.
It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures
for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term academic misconduct
includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to,
cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all
instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional
information, see the Code of Student Conduct (http://studentaffairs.osu.edu/resource_csc.asp).
Here is a direct link for discussion of plagiarism:
Here is the direct link to the OSU Writing Center: http://cstw.osu.edu
SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND CLASSES
NOTE: This schedule is subject to change. It is your responsibility to keep up with any changes
announced in class.
SUMMARY OF KEY DATES:
Midterm: Thursday, October 20
Paper Due: Thursday, November 17
Carmen Comments Due: Thursday, December 3
Final: Tuesday, December 6 at 9:30-11:18
PART I: America Pre-World War II
WEEK 1: The Gilded Age, Industrialization, and Labor
Roark [the textbook], Chapter 17-19
Sep 27 (T) RTAP [Retrieving the American Past], p. 1-12 “The Gospel of Wealth, Civilizing
the Indian,” and “When the Buffalo Went Away”
Sep 29 (Th) Read through the documents on the Homestead Strike at
WEEK 2: Populism and Progressivism
Roark, Chapters 20 -21
Oct 4 [T] RTAP, “The Cross of Gold” p. 13-21 and Teddy Roosevelt, “The Duties of
Oct 6 ( Th) Watch “Iron Jawed Angels” and read RTAP, “The Grueling Battle for Woman
Suffrage” p. 31-66
WEEK 3: World War I, the Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression
Roark, Chapters 22-24
Oct 11 (T) RTAP, “The Zimmerman Telegram” RTAP, “Fourteen Points for Peace” and Good
Housekeeping Magazine, Feb. 1926 http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-
Oct 13 [Th] RTAP, “Americans Experience the Great Depression”
WEEK 4: World War II: At Home and Abroad
Roark, Chapter 25
Oct 18 (T) No reading
Oct 20 (Th) EXAM
MIDTERM EXAM: Thursday October 20
PART II: America Post World War II
WEEK 5: The Origins of the Cold War and the Fifties
Roark, Chapters 26 and 27
Oct 25 (T) RTAP, p. 109-121 “Kennan Warns of Russian Expansion,” “Stalin Suggests that
Conflict is Inevitable,” and “NSC-68 and the Enduring Cold War”
Oct 27 (Th) “Violent Death in Every Form Imaginable”: A Senate Committee Report Assesses
“Crime and Horror” Comic Books http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6542/ and “Can
52,600,000 TV Set Owners Be Wrong?” http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6250/
WEEK 6: The Movements of the Sixties
Roark, Chapter 28
Nov 1 (T) RTAP: “Nonviolence and the Civil Rights Movement”
Nov 3 (Th) “Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962” at
http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html and “(N.O.W.) Bill of
Rights, 1968” http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst203/documents/nowrights.html
WEEK 7: The Politics of the Sixties
Roark, Chapters 28-29
Nov 8 (T) RTAP: “The Sputnik and the Space Race”
Nov 10 (Th) “Goldwater's 1964 Acceptance Speech” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwaterspeech.htm Nixon’s “Silent Majority Speech”
WEEK 8: Vietnam, Watergate, and Voter Confidence
Roark, Chapters 29-30
Nov 15 (T) The Clyde M. Flack Collection: Letters Home from Vietnam
Nov 17(Th) MOVIE PAPER DUE
WEEK 9: The Reagan Revolution
Roark, Chapter 30
Nov 22 (T) Reagan’s Inaugural Address
http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/12081a.htm and Reagan’s
“Star Wars” Speech
Nov 24 (Th) Thanksgiving: No Class
WEEK 10: The End of the Cold War and Globalization
Roark, Chapter 31
Nov 29 (T) No Reading
Dec 1 (Th) CARMEN COMMENTS DUE
FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, December 6 at 9:30-11:18