Gilfoyle, Professor of American History
Loyola University Chicago
HIST 112, Sections 046 & 07 (773) 508-2232
MWF, 8:15 - 9:05, Dumbach 235
MWF, 9:20-10:10, Dumbach 235
511 Crown Center
Office hours: MWF, 10:15-11:15 a.m. , M, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching Assistant: email@example.com
"Democratic nations care but little for what has been, but they are haunted by visions of what will be. . . . Thus not only does democracy make every man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants and separates his contemporaries from him; it throws him back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart." Alexis de Tocqueville (1840)
American civic culture cherishes both liberty and equality, individual freedom and social justice. These impulses, frequently in conflict with each other, pervade political, economic, and social life in the United States. This course provides an introduction to the history of these tensions as they shaped the American character. Since much of this history remains unknown, forgotten, or shrouded in mythology, the course provides a framework to understand and critique American democracy. Many of the revolutionary generation believed the study of history was a prerequisite to citizenship, for a civilization with little knowledge of its past has little chance of comprehending its own identity. Consequently, this course is an exercise in understanding the essence of what it means to be an American. The major themes covered reflect the emergence of the modern United States, including the rise and decline of the U.S. as an industrial power, European, Asian, and Latin American immigration, six wars, a variety of social and political protest movements and changing labor, gender and race relations.
The course requirements and their percentage of the final grade are: 1) midterm exam (35%), 2) final take home essay exam (35%), 3) participation and class discussion (30%). The exams will be based primarily on the readings below and secondarily on lectures and class discussions. Students will receive study sheets one week before each exam which will outline the questions and issues that will be included in each exam. Midterm exams and grades will be returned before 16 October 2006.
This course satisfies core curriculum requirements for historical knowledge (knowledge areas), communications and critical thinking (skills development), and understanding diversity in the United States (values areas). A primary responsibility of students is to complete the weekly reading before the date of the scheduled class and contribute their thoughtful, reflective opinions in class discussion. Students should allocate enough time to complete the required reading, approximately 90 pages per week. The readings can be interpreted in a variety of ways and students should formulate some initial positions and questions to offer in the class discussion. For every article or book, students should be prepared to answer all of the questions found in the "Critical Reading" section of the syllabus below. Most required readings may be purchased at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the Granada Center and Beck's Bookstore, both on Sheridan Road.
Students who are disabled or impaired should meet with the professor within the first two weeks of the semester to discuss the need for any special arrangements.
The required readings are:
C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1955, 2002, revised edition).
William Riordan, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, introduction by Terrence McDonald (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1992), orig. 1905.
Richard W. Etulain, Does the Frontier Experience Make America Exceptional? (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 1999), pages 1-104.
Stanley Buder, Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community Planning, 1880-1930 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967).
John Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York: Pantheon, 1986).
Selections on the New Deal which are on reserve in Cudahy Library.
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001), pp. ix-102, 182-232, 258-281, 228-417.
Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (New York: Vintage, 1998).
Students who attend class will receive lecture notes via Group Wise electronic mail at the end of every class. The notes serve as the "textbook" for class and eliminate the need to engage in frantic note-taking. Students can more carefully listen and contemplate the arguments and ideas discussed in each lecture. Students are encouraged to take some notes during class, especially if note-taking helps them to remain active and alert. Upon accessing the notes, students should transfer the notes to a disk and print a "hard" copy. To receive the notes, students must attend the class. No attendance, no notes.
28, 30, 1 Sept.: The Civil War and Reconstruction
4 Sept.: Labor Day NO CLASS
6 Sept.: DISCUSSION of Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow
8 & 11 Sept.: Industrialization and Urbanization
13 Sept.: DISCUSSION of Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
14 Sept.: MIDNIGHT BIKE RIDE
15 Sept.: NO CLASS if Midnight Bike Ride takes place on 15 Sept.
18 Sept.: Manifest Destiny and Native Americans
20 Sept.: DISCUSSION of Etulain, Frontier Experience, pp. 1-104
22 Sept.: The Populist Revolt
25& 27 Sept.: The Dilemmas of Industrialization
29 Sept.: DISCUSSION of Buder, Pullman
2& 4 Oct.: The Era of Progressive Reform
6 Oct.: MIDTERM EXAMINATION
9 Oct.: MID-SEMESTER BREAK - No classes
11 Oct.: The Era of Progressive Reform
13 Oct.: Women and the Birth of Feminism
Reminder: all History Majors should see their academic advisor before registering for Spring Semester classes.
16 Oct.: The Emergence of a Consumer Culture
18 Oct.: The Great Depression
20 Oct.: DISCUSSION of
Carl Degler, "The Third American Revolution," in Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped America (New York, Harper & Row, any ed.). William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), chapter 14. Barton J. Bernstein, "The New Deal: The Conservative Achievements of Liberal Reform," in Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History (New York: Pantheon, 1968).
Please note: these readings are single chapters from each text and are on reserve in Cudahy.
23 Oct.: NO CLASS
25 Oct.: World War II
27 Oct.: DISCUSSION of Dower, War Without Mercy
30 Oct., 1 & 3 Nov.: Cold War America
6 Nov.: McCarthyism, Red Scare and the 1950s
8, 10, 13 Nov.: Civil Rights and Racial Change
15 Nov.: DISCUSSION of Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, pp. ix-102, 182-232, 258-281, 338-417.
Read Betty Friedan's obituary, New York Times, 5 Feb. 2006.
17 & 20 Nov.: Making the Great Society
22 & 24 Nov.: THANKSGIVING VACATION
27 Nov.: The Longest War: America in Vietnam
29 Nov. & 1 Dec.: The Consuming Democracy
4 Dec.: The Newest Immigrants
6 Dec.: DISCUSSION of Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
8 Dec.: The Reagan Revolution and the End of the American Century
FINAL TAKE HOME EXAMINATION: Due Friday, 15 Dec. 12 noon 511 Crown Center
Discussion and class participation is a very important part of your grade (30 percent). Incisive, imaginative and thoughtful comments that generate and facilitate discussion are weighed heavily in final grades. Asking questions, responding to student questions and contributing to an ongoing discussion are a necessary part of the learning experience. Failure to speak in class will only lower a student's final grade. Discussions are scheduled for 8 class periods, each worth 4 "points." Students will receive 1 point for attendance, 2 points for minimal participation, and 3 or more points for active participation. Students who raise questions that generate discussion in other classes will earn extra points.
The best ways to prepare for and contribute to class discussion are: 1) complete the reading on time, and 2) critically analyze the reading. The primary goal of critical reading is to find the author's interpretation and what evidence and influences led to that conclusion. Never assume a "passive" position when reading a text. If students ask and attempt to answer the following questions, they will more fully comprehend and understand any reading.
1. What is the thesis of the author?
2. Does the author have a particular stated or unstated point of view? How does the author construct their argument? Are the author's goals, viewpoints, or agendas revealed in the introduction or preface? Does the author provide evidence to support the argument? Is it the right evidence? In the final analysis, do you think the author proves the argument or does the author rely on preconceived views or personal ideology? Why do you think that?
3. Does the author have a moral or political posture? Is it made explicit or implicit in the way the story is told? What is the author's view of human nature? Does change come from human agency and "free will" or broad socio-economic forces?
4. What assumptions does the author hold about society? Does the author see society as hierarchical, pluralistic, democratic or elitist? Does the author present convincing evidence to support this view?
5. How is the narrative constructed or organized? Does the author present the story from the viewpoint of a certain character or group? Why does the author begin and end at certain points? Isthe story one of progress or decline? Why does the author write this way?
6. What issues and events does the author ignore? Why? Can you think of alternative interpretations or stories that might present a different interpretation? Why does the author ignore certain events or facts?
STATEMENT ON PLAGIARISM
Plagiarism will result in a final grade of F for the course as well a letter, detailing the event, to be placed in the offending student's permanent file in the Dean's office. The definition of plagiarism is:
You plagiarize when, intentionally or not, you use someone else's words or ideas but fail to credit that person. You plagiarize even when you do credit the author but use his [or her] exact words without so indicating with quotation marks or block indentation. You also plagiarize when you use words so close to those in your source, that if your work were placed next to the source, it would be obvious that you could not have written what you did with the sources at your elbow. Wayne Booth, Gregory C. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), p. 167.
To avoid plagiarism, take notes carefully, putting all real quotes within quotation marks, while summarizing other parts in your own language. This is difficult; if you do not do it correctly, it is better to have all your notes in quotes. The worst thing is to alter a few words from the source, use no quotation marks, and treat the notes as a genuine summary. You will likely copy it out as written on your notecard, and thus inadvertently commit plagiarism. Changing around a word, a phrase, or a clause is still plagiarism if it follows the thought sequence or pattern in the original. On the other had, do not avoid plagiarism by making your paper a string of quotations. This results in poor writing, although it is not criminal.
In any case, do not let this prevent you from quoting your primary sources. As they are the "evidence" on which you build your argument, you will need to quote them at necessary points. Just be sure to put quotation marks around them, or double indent them as in the example above, and follow the quote with a proper foot or endnote. The university has developed a helpful website that you may find useful in preparing your syllabi or in discussing these issues with your class. See: http:www.luc.edu/is/cease/ai.shtml
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