Spring 1997

Course Organizer and Lecturer: Dr. Robert R. Dykstra
Web Resource Organizer: Dr. Gerald Zahavi
Discussion Leader: Chris Cyphers


Dr. Robert Dykstra
TB 302-2, Office Hours: Tues.,Wed. 4-5
Dr. Gerald Zahavi
TB 202-2, Office Hours:
Wed. 9-12 and 2-4;
Th. 2:30-5
Chris Cyphers (TA)
TB 308-1, Office Hours:
Monday 1-2:30

A. Course goals:

This course introduces undergraduates to the basics of U.S. history for the period from the end of the Civil War to the 1990s. Particular emphasis is given to furthering students' "cultural literacy" -- that is, their exposure to subject matter of importance -- rather than to student self-expression. Besides learning from large lectures, small-group discussions, and assigned reading, all students will participate in the exploration of relevant historical information located on the World Wide Web (WWW).

Students will be expected to acquire a minimal level of computing literacy in the course. Toward that end, instructors will spend some time early in the semester introducing students to the Internet and to the use of WWW browsers. There are presently millions of pages of primary historical sources (texts, videos/films, oral "testimony," and graphical images) on the Web. Each day, thousands more appear. Learning how to access and use these electronic documents is an important skill -- one that all educated people should acquire.

Computers with Web browsers (specifically Netscape) will be available to History 101 students in LC-15; we will announce the schedule to the room in class. There are other sites around campus with Netscape-loaded computers and we will let you know where and when you can use them when we meet. Those of you who already have a computer and modem will be able to access the WWW on your own schedules.

B. Attendance:

Each week of classes includes two lectures, given Tuesday and Thursday in Lecture Center 20, and one discussion session, held on either Friday or Monday in Ten Broeck 1 or 2. Students are expected to attend all three classes each week. Attendance will be taken. If any student has more than four unexcused cuts during the semester, his or her course grade will be reduced by one point (for example, from B- to C+). Valid excuses must be grounded in written documentation of a medical or personal emergency.

C. Grades:

Each student's grade will be based on four separate evaluations: two midterm exams, a final exam, and a discussion grade. Each will count 25 percent of the course grade. Exams will be based on both lectures and reading. Special credit may be given for dramatic improvement between the first exam and the third. Discussion grades will be based on oral participation, quizzes, and special Web project assignments.

D. Academic integrity:

The discovery of cheating on any exam or plagiarism on any project paper will result in immediate expulsion from the course with a failing grade and a report to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

E. Lecture Center behavior:

While in class students may not read, whisper, doze, pass notes, or engage in any other type of disruptive behavior. The risk is a complete loss of temper by the lecturer. All students must be seated on time (that is, before the lecture begins); latecomers may be turned away at the door. Permission ahead of time is required for any student who must leave class early.

F. Readings (paperbound books to purchase)

Three "period" novels:


G. Weekly schedule of Lecture Center and discussion sessions:

Part 1: Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, World War I (1865-1920)

LC/ Jan. 23 Introductory

Disc/ Jan. 24/27 Computer lab: how to use the Worldwide Web

Assignments: none

LC/ Jan. 28 Lecture 1: "Emancipation and Equal Rights"

LC/ Jan. 30 Video (Lecture 2): Ethnic Notions

Disc/ Jan. 31/Feb. 3

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 487-91, 493-94, 497-503, 505-06, 518-19, 579-80, A1, A17-18

Web links:

LC/ Feb. 4 Lecture 3: "Immigrant Americans"

LC/ Feb. 6 Lecture 4: "Imperialism"

Disc/ Feb. 7/10

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 568-76, 641-55, 662-65, 668, 671-76, 710-14

Web links:

LC/ Feb. 11 Lecture 5: "Big Business"

LC/ Feb. 13 Lecture 6: "Progressivism"

Disc/ Feb. 14/17 no sessions [Washington-Lincoln Day]

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 539-51, 608-09, 681-91, 698, 703-10

Web links:

LC/ Feb. 18 Lecture 7: "U.S. Entry into WWI: External Factors"

LC/ Feb. 20 Lecture 8: "U.S. Entry into WWI: Internal Factors"

Disc/ Feb. 21/24

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 714-19, 722-42; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Web links:

LC/ Feb. 25 Lecture 9: "The Peace Settlement and the League"

LC/ Feb. 27 First Examination

Disc/ Feb. 28/Mar. 3

Assignments: No reading assignment

Web links:

Part II: The twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II (1920-1945)

LC/ Mar. 4 Lecture 10: "Labor and Business in the Twenties"

LC/ Mar. 6 Lecture 11: "Cultural Conflict in the Twenties"

Disc/ Mar. 7/10

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 745-55, 764-65, 768-71, 774-82

Web links:

LC/ Mar. 11 Lecture 12: "Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Depression"

LC/ Mar. 13 Lecture 13: "Economic Stabilization"

Disc/ Mar. 14/17

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 782-89, 794-800, 804-11

Web links:

LC/ Mar. 18
Lecture 14: "Labor and the New Deal"

LC/ Mar. 20 Lecture 15: "The Social Programs of the New Deal"

Disc/ Mar. 21/23

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 802-04, 811-21; The Naked and the Dead, pp. 3-721

Web links:

LC/ Apr. 1 Lecture 16: "U.S. Entry into World War II"

LC/ Apr. 3 Lecture 17: "The United States in World War II"

Disc/ Apr. 4/7

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 789-91, 827-44, 847-51, 858-73

Web links:

LC/ Apr. 8 Second Examination

Part III: The Cold War Era: from Truman to Clinton (1945-1995)

LC/ Apr. 10 Lecture 18: "The Cold War: Europe"

Disc/ Apr. 11/14

Assignments: No reading assignment

Web links:

LC/ Apr. 15 Lecture 19: "The Cold War: Latin America"

LC/ Apr. 17 Lecture 20: "The Cold War: Asia"

Disc/ Apr. 18/21 no sessions [Passover]

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 886-96, 900-02, 916-17, 921-23, 932-36, 940-42, 945-50, 960-62, 969-70, 973-75, 1000-04

Web links: None this week.

LC/ Apr. 22 no class [Passover]

LC/ Apr. 24 Lecture 21: "Communism, Espionage, McCarthyism"

Disc/ Apr. 25/28

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 884-85, 898-900, 910-14, 936-40, 942-45, 1031

Web links:

LC/ Apr. 29 Lecture 22: "The Secret Conduct of Foreign Policy"

LC/ May 1 Lecture 23: "Civil Rights, 1945-1965"

Disc/ May 2/5

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 896-98, 908-10, 918-19, 933-36, 981-82, 994, 996-97; The Women's Room, pp. 1-503

Web links:

LC/ May 6 Lecture 24: "G.O.P. Politics: From Ike to Newt"

Assignments: American Pageant, pp. 882-83, 906-08, 919, 923-25, 950-53, 966-69, 971-73, 976-77, 987-93,1007-11

Web links: No assignment

LC/ May 14 Final Examination (time to be announced)

Updated April 29, 1997

University at Albany History Department Home Page

This page maintained by:
Prof. Gerald Zahavi
Department of History
202-2 Ten Broeck Hall
University at Albany
Albany, N.Y. 12222
Tel. #: (518) 442-4780
Email: gz580@csc.albany.edu