Course Time/Place:

Office Hours:                         Monday 15.00-17.00; Tuesday 15.00-17.00; or by appointment

Turnitin ID/Password:          10902364 / adam

E-mail/Cell:                   / 069 36 44 904



Course Description


This course covers the political, social and economic history of the United States from 1850 to the present. In addition to the usual topics of U.S. history – industrialization, immigration, race relations, elections, foreign policy, etc. – we will also look at more abstract matters, such as the accuracy of the American myths of “exceptionalism”, “individualism”, unlimited social mobility (the “American Dream”) and the U.S. as “leader of the free world.”



Course Objectives


During this course, students should learn to be able to:

  • Describe and analyze various aspects and periods of modern U.S. history;
  • Critically evaluate divergent interpretations of historical events;
  • Question the validity of received assumptions about the historical development of the U.S.
  • Develop critical analytical abilities and utilize them in written and oral form.



Required Readings


The readings for the course are U.S. II: Course Reader Part 1 & Part 2. The readers are available at Rossi Kanceleri. Having the Course Reader (and bringing it to class) is a requirement for the course.



Course Requirements


Exams: There will be one Midterm Exam and one Final Exam, both consisting of essay questions. The exams will be take-home exams (due later that night) and answers must be based solely on the Course Readers and your Notebook [see below]. The Midterm will cover materials from the Course Reader Part 1 and the Final will cover (mostly) materials from the Course Reader Part 2. Exams must be submitted to Turnitin. To help students who do poorly on the Midterm but show great improvement on the Final, the Midterm Exam grade will be raised at the end of the semester to within 20 points of the Final Exam grade, if the point difference is more than 20 points.


Coursework: Students will be required to maintain a “Notebook” on the lectures and the readings. The Notebook consists of students’ class notes and notes on the readings. Ideally, they will be written both in an actual notebook and in the Reader itself (answering the weekly questions and underlining/highlighting).


I will grade the Notebook twice – the week before the Midterm and the week before the Final. The notebook must be presented in these weeks – it will not be accepted late.


Participation: Participation in class is required weekly and is based on the Course Reader materials for that week. The purpose of class participation is primarily is to show that you have done the readings.


Attendance:  Attendance in UNYT classes is mandatory. I will keep track of your attendance and punctuality every hour of class. Absences will not be excused, since students will be allowed to miss up to 3 hours per semester without it affecting the attendance grade (so you should save these absences for unforeseen events like illness or family emergencies). In addition, students should refrain from arriving late without prior approval from the professor (or the hour might be counted as an absence).


The grades for attendance are as follows (please note, they are for hours missed and not days):



Hours Missed Grade
0-3 100%
4  95%
5 90%
6 85%
7  80%
8 70%
9  60%
10 50%
11 40%
 12 30%
13 20%
14 10%


Assessment Criteria:

Attendance 5%
Participation 5%
Notebook 10%
Midterm Exam 35%
Final Exam 45%
Buy Readers













General Requirements


Conduct: Students are expected to behave with civility and appropriate etiquette toward professors and one another. Please set your cell phones on silent ring before class begins and refrain from using them until class is over.


Academic Dishonesty/Turnitin: UNYT does not tolerate academic dishonesty. You have all read and signed the UNYT Student Honor Code with a detailed description of plagiarism and cheating. Work submitted via Turnitin should not receive an overall plagiarism mark of more than about 8-10% or it will be marked down. Be aware that a 0% plagiarism result from Turnitin does not automatically mean that the work is acceptable. Having someone else write your essays and exams is also a form of plagiarism (if not actual cheating) and will result in an “F” for the course. Students who engage is such activities also risk more serious disciplinary action.


Extra Credit: There will be NO extra credit assignments given in this course. Course grades, once submitted to the Records Office, are final.


Email Communication: It is absolutely necessary for the professor to be able to communicate with the entire class via email. In addition to the Midterm and Final, I will periodically send the class important materials or updates. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that the professor has an up-to-date and full functioning email address. It is also up to the student to keep an eye out for such emails and read them and any attachments fully.


Support Services:  As a service to its students UNYT has created a series of support centers. For support related to study skills and time management, the Academic Support Center offers students tutoring and coaching. The Writing Center gives students feedback and help with papers and other writing assignments. If you feel that you have any exceptional learning difficulties or serious problems that interfere with your studies, you can stop by the UNYT Counseling Center. For information on any of these centers, please contact Dr. Cenko, Dr. Canollari, your academic advisor or me.


Grading Scale:


Letter % Generally Accepted Meaning
      A 96-100 Excellent
      A- 90-95
      B+ 87-89 Good
      B 83-86
      B- 80-82
      C+ 77-79 Acceptable
      C 73-76
      C- 70-72
      D+ 67-69 Not Acceptable
      D 63-66
      D- 60-62
      F 50-1 Failing Grade (partial credit)
0 Non-Submission







Course Schedule


Week Dates Topics and Readings
I October


 Introduction (U.S. I): America 1600-1848
II October


 Holiday No class
III October


 The End of Compromise & The Road to War
IV November


 Reconstruction (or Restoration)?
V November


 Industrialization & The Birth of Monopoly Capitalism
VI November


 Urbanization & Immigration
VII November


 Politics, Parties, Populists & Progressives
VIII November


 Holiday No class
IX December


 Midterm Exam
X December


 The Rise of Imperial America
XI December


 The Birth of Modern America (1917-1932)
XII January


 FDR and the “New Deal”
XIII January


 Postwar America: The Good Years (1945-1968)
XIV January


 The Rise & Fall of a Superpower
XV February


 Postwar America: The Difficult Years (1968-Present)
XVI February


 Final Exam

Prepared 10.10.15