Development of the United States, The End of Reconstruction (1877) to the War in the Middle East (2010)

Spring 2010

Paul G. E. Clemens, assisted by Steven McGrail, Matt Roth, Adam Zalma

Note: Professor Clemens' office is Van Dyck 217B. He can be reached by e-mail at

Spring Office Hours for Prof. Clemens:  Monday. 4:30-5:30 and Tuesday, 3:30-4:30.

This course covers American history from the end of "Reconstruction" of the South to the American War in the Middle East and the election of Barack Obama. The central themes are (1) the emergence of America as an international power; (2) the growth in the power of government and the creation of the "welfare state;" and (3) the struggle for individual rights, especially those of women and black Americans. Topics will include:  the making of an industrial economy (Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller), the immigrant experience - that brought the great grandparents of some students from Europe to America between 1880 and 1917; the birth of a consumer culture (the movies, baseball, Atlantic City, flappers); the United States rise to world power (the Philippine War, Spanish American War, World War I); The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the creation of the Modern Welfare State; World War II; the 1950s (from Elvis to Kinsey, rock to sex); the Civil Rights Movement; Vietnam; 1968 ("Coming Apart");  Nixon; women's and gay liberation; Watergate; Reagan, the Persian Gulf War; Clinton, Bush II, the War in the Middle East, the election of 2008.  The course includes discussion sections which take the place of regular lectures about every other week.

Each student will be required to:

1. Complete the weekly reading assignments according to the schedule below.  The textbook for the course is Liberty, Equality, Power, Enhanced Concise Fifth Edition, Volume II: Since 1863 (Cengage, ISBN 9780495903833).  You can substitute the 4th edition if you wish.   Your quizzes and exams will be based on the text.

2. Write two short papers (3-8 pages) on the assigned books (30% of grade): - Great Expectations and Warriors Don't Cry.

3. Take the mid-term (March 22nd) and the final examination (May 12th, 12-3pm)  (together 40% of grade). The mid-term will include an open-book question from Discovering the American Past, Vol. II (listed as DAP). 

4. Attend discussion sections on specified Mondays or Wednesdays (starting the week of Monday, February 8th) and in place of that week's Monday lecture. You must participate in the discussion of documents from Discovering the American Past (DAP), and other texts. For discussion sessions, your instructor may ask you to submit a short statement (1 page) on the reading.  Discussion is graded.  Participation in class discussion and the short responses to DAP count as 15% of the grade). 

5. Quizzes: you will have two types of quizzes.  You will have four quizzes on the textbook.  Each is listed on the syllabus below and you will be given a set of study questions before each quiz.  The quizzes will require you to write a one-page response to a question based on textbook chapters you have been reading before the date of the quiz.  These will count 15% of your grade. 
        You will also have multiple choice quizzes on the text (Liberty, Equality, Power) -- these will count only for extra credit and to check attendance.  

6.  Attend class. Beginning Monday, February 1st , yOn writing your paper:

1. Proofread.  You should write a draft, edit it, and rewrite the paper.  Do not wait until the night before to get started.  Using a “spell check” is not proofreading.

2. Use complete paragraphs: four or five sentences long with a strong topic sentence.

3. Pay attention to grammar: do not splice clauses together with commas (rather than conjunctions), use parallel construction, make sure subjects and verbs agree, etc.

4. Be careful with word choice – if you are not sure the word means exactly what you want it to mean, check the dictionary or ask someone else to read the sentence you used it in.

5. All quotes must be in quotation marks.  For quotes from May, you need only list the page number in parenthesizes immediately after the quote.  For quotes from the case, simply use quotation marks (as the case itself will be attached).  If you use any other web source, go to for a guide to internet citation.  It is NOT enough merely to cite the web address of the source.  If you use any other printed source, provide the full citation in a footnote.  Please note the statement on plagiarism that is linked to main course page..


ou are expected to sign-in before class and attend the entire class. More than three unexcused absences will lower your grade one letter grade. Six unexcused absences from lecture and discussion will result in failure. Excused absences (for medical, legal, family emergencies, or, intercollegiate athletic competition with written documentation; or religious observances) do not count in this total.  Three late arrivals will count as an absence.  Signing in and leaving early (without notifying your instructor) is a triple absence.  You will have frequent multiple choice quizzes at the end of lecture to check attendance; these quizzes will only count as extra credit and for attendance, and will be based on the current textbook chapter (Liberty, Equality, Power).  STUDENTS WHO ATTEND EVERY CLASS (except for excused absences) WILL GET A BONUS ON THEIR FINAL EXAM, enough to raise a B- to a B, for example, or a B+ to an A-.

The reading and paper assignments are drawn from the following five books, all of which can be purchased at the University Barnes & Noble Bookstore or New Jersey Books.  You are encouraged to buy books on-line if there are substantial savings involved.

Liberty, Equality, Power, Enhanced Concise Fifth Edition, Volume II: Since 1863 (Thompson/Wadsworth, ISBN: 9780495903833). New book and unlikely to be available less expensively on-line, but you can probably find less expensive copies of the Fourth Edition.. 

William Wheeler and Susan Becker, Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence, Sixth Edition, Vol. II: Since 1865
(Houghton-Mifflin, ISBN: 9780618522606).
   New book and unlikely to be available less expensively on-line.  Noted as DAP below.

Elaine Tyler May, Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America
(University of Chicago Press, 1980, 1983, ISBN: 0226511707). lists the 1980 edition at $13.15.  

Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don't Cry: Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
(Washington Square Press, ISBN: 9780671866396). price $10.80.   Note: there are many editions of this book for sale.  Be careful not to get the abridged secondary school edition.

Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War (Holt, ISBN: 080504695X) . price $10.88.

Students have the option of purchasing the lecture outlines and documents/maps for $3.00.  Lecture outlines can be downloaded from the class webpage for no cost, but if you purchase them, we will have them available on the day of the lecture.

Final Examination: Final Examination: - Wednesday, May 12th, 12-3pm   [Link to previous exam, example only)



Every other week we hold sections INSTEAD of the Monday lecture. These sections may be held on either Monday or Wednesday. Those with a Wednesday section attend both lecture and discussion on that Wednesday, but have no class on that Monday. You register for your section when you register for the class. These sections are:

Section Number
Building Room
Meeting Day
First Meeting
Section 8
Monday, 1:10-2:30 (4th)
Adam Zalma Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 9
Van Dyck 211
Monday, 2:50-4:10 (5th)
Paul Clemens
Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 10
CA - A3
Monday, 2:50-4:10 (5th)
Steven McGrail Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 11
Murray 204
Monday, 2:50-4:10 (5th)
Adam Zalma
Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 12
HH - A6
Monday, 2:50-4:10 (5th) Matt Roth Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 13
Scott 115
Monday, 4:30-5:50 (6th)
Matt Roth
Monday, Feb. 9th
Section 14
Scott 207
Wednesday, 1:10-2:30 (4th)
Steven McGrail
Wednesday, Feb. 11th


Schedule of Assignments, Discussions and Lectures (NOTE: Reading Assignments are listed immediately after the class by which they must be completed. Students are responsible on quizzes for any material listed on or before the date of the quiz.)   The Discovering the American Past  (DAP) assignments are for section and are summarized here.  The dates given are for Monday discussion sections (those of you in section 14 will have discussion on Wednesday, two days later).

February 8 (Monday): DAP, Ch. 2,  "The Road to True Freedom"
February 22 (Monday): DAP, Ch. 4, "Progressives and the Family"  
March 8 (Monday): DAP, Ch. 8, "Going to War with Japan"
March 29 (Monday), DAP, Ch. 9, "Separate but Equal"
April 12 (Monday), DAP, Ch. 10 "A Generation in War" 
April 26 (Monday), DAP, Ch. 11: "Nation of Immigrants"   

Note: other readings will be assigned for discussion (usually one of the three additional books you are reading for the course.)

1. January 20 (Wednesday): Introduction

            Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 17 (Reconstruction)

2. January 25  (Monday): The West
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 18 (Transformed Nation)

3. January 27: Immigration and the New Industrial Order
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 19 (Corporate America)
Great Expectations,
Introduction, Chapters 1-4.
4. February 1 ( Monday - attendance taken): Origins of American Imperialism
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 22 (Becoming a World Power)
Great Expectations,
Chapters 5-6.
5. February 3: Politics in the Gilded Age

Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter  20 (Industrial Society)
    QUIZ #1 - Chapters 18, 19 and 20 Liberty, Equality, Power  

6. February  8 (Monday): DISCUSSION:  Great Expectations and DAP, Ch. 2, "The Road to True Freedom" - one-page written assignment due.

            Great Expectations, Chapters 6-7, Epilogue

(Remember that those with Wednesday discussions also attend the Wednesday 5th Period lecture.)

7. February 10: Black Americans in a Racist Age

8. February 15: The Progressive Movement, 1900-1914

Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter  21 (Progressivism)

PAPER DUE: Great Expectations    See also: New Jersey Divorce Cases
9. February 17:  World War I and the Shaping of the Modern World   See also:  Woodrow Wilson's War Message        

        Liberty, Equality, Power,
Chapter 23 (War and Society)      

10. February 22:
(Monday): DISCUSSION: DAP , Ch. 4, "Progressives and the Family"   
Warriors Don't Cry, Introduction and Chapters 1-7
11. February 24: Popular Culture to Mass Culture

          Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 24 (1920s)

12. March 1: The 1920s- The Jazz Age

Warriors Don't Cry, Chapters 8-13
13. March 3:  New Deal for Whom?   
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 25 (Great Depression and New Deal)
14. March  8: (Monday): DISCUSSION: DAP, Ch. 8, "Going to War with Japan"

        Warriors Don't Cry, Chapters 14-21

15. March 10:  World War II    

Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapters 26 (America during the Second World War)

                                SPRING RECESS, March 13th - March

16. March 22 (Monday): Mid-term Examination (example only)

17. March 24:  1950s: Baby Boomers in the Age of the Bomb

Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 27 (Containment)

18. March 29 (Monday):DISCUSSION: DAP, Ch. 9, "Separate but Equal"

        Warriors Don't Cry, Chapters 22-28 

19. March 31:  The Cold War          See also: 1950s Timeline,  Anti-Soviet Cartoons, and  Kennan's Long Telegram

          Rumor of War, Part One: The Splendid Little War (and Prologue)

20. April 5 (Monday): Civil Rights Movement
PAPER DUE: Warriors Don't Cry
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 28 (Affluence)

21. April 7:
Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 29 (America during Its Longest War)

22. April 12 (Monday): DISCUSSION:  DAP, Ch. 10 "A Generation in War"
Rumor of War, Part Two: The Officer in Charge of the Dead
23. April 14:  Coming Apart: Kennedy to Nixon

24. April 19 (Monday):  1968 - Coming Apart     

        Rumor of War, Part Three: In Death's Grey Land 

25. April 21: After the Sixties: Nixon to Carter  

        QUIZ #3

        Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 30 (Power and Politics)

26. April 26: (Monday): DISCUSSION: DAP, Ch. 11: "Nation of Immigrants"    

27. April 28:  The Reagan Years to Bush I

Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 31 (Late 20th Century)
28.  May 3: (Monday):  Clinton, Bush II, Obama

        Liberty, Equality, Power, Chapter 32 (Politics of Hope and Fear)
        Rumor of War, Epilogue

Final Examination: - Wednesday, May 12th, 12-3pm

Updated   05-05-2010