Fall 2002

AmSt 2010 (710), Themes in American Culture from 1865
McKeehan classroom, MWF, 10:00-10:50

Dr. Chris H. Lewis
Ph. 492-5878
Office: Sewall Hall 42C
Office Hours: T, Th, 1:00-3:00, F 1:00-3:00 p.m.
E-mail: cclewis@spot.colorado.edu
Course Home Page: www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/index.htm

Course Description: This course is a survey of American culture and society from Reconstruction to the present. We will examine how industrialization, urbanization, and the emergence of the United States as a world power shaped modern America. The lives of European Americans, American Indians, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Chicanos and Latinos were transformed by the emergence of modern industrial America. Shaped by the meeting of diverse peoples and cultures, the United States is becoming a multinational society in a global industrial civilization.

Course Objective: The larger goal of this course is to teach you how to critically analyze, evaluate, and judge competing perspectives on American history, culture, and
society. If you disagree with an argument or perspective, or find it biased or limited, then say so. If you find the reading difficult, confused, or pointless, then say so. But, in each case, you must be prepared to support your argument and larger conclusions.

Required Reading:

Gerster, Patrick and Nicholas Cords, eds., Myth America, vol. 2
Hoffman, Elizabeth and Jon Gjerde, eds., Major Probems in
American History, vol. 2
Hymowitz, Carol and M Weissman, A History of Women in America
Loewen, James, Lies My Teacher Told Me

Class Format: Interactive lectures and class discussions. We will use the course readings to study how American culture and society is shaped by a series of individual and societal choices. History is not a story of automatic progress and development, but the result of individual and collective decisions to take one course instead of another. Make sure you read the assigned readings before each class. When you do the readings, always try to place them in their historical context and to gather evidence and examples to strengthen your essays and reaction papers.

Attendance: I will take class attendance at the beginning of every class.
Attendance is very important for success in college classes. If you don't attend class it is hard to keep up with the reading and class material.

Quizzes and daily assignments: To make sure students are keeping up with the reading, I will give pop quizzes on the daily reading. Quizzes will be based on a general knowledge of the readings: What are the larger conclusions or observations made in the reading. In addition to quizzes, I will give short daily assignments based on the daily reading. For example, you may be asked to outline the larger argument of an essay.

Grading: Grades will be based on quizzes and daily assignments (15 %), class participation and attendance (15 %), two short reaction papers to the readings (20%), a take-home midterm (20%), and a take-home final (30%). I reserve the right to give unannounced quizzes and assignments in class. Content will count most heavily in all written work, but grammar, spelling, and style will also affect your grade.

Course grades will be defined in these terms:

A-Excellent -- (Thoughtful, coherent, insightful, contributes)

B-Good -- (Knows material well, lacks depth, not outstanding)

C-Fair -- (Adequate, average, passing, little participation)

D-Poor -- (Little understanding, little effort, incoherent)

F-Fail -- (No evidence of understanding, no work, no learning)

Reaction papers: (2-3 typed pages) From the list of possible reaction paper topics, choose two to write on. You can earn extra credit if you write more than two reaction papers. (5 percent total extra credit for each additional reaction paper.) You are required to write at least one reaction paper before the midterm is due (Oct. 28). Before the reaction paper is officially due, you can turn in rough drafts for my review. As long as you turned in reaction papers when they were due, you can revise and rewrite them for a higher grade throughout the rest of the semester.

Exams: Exams will be made up of long and short answer essay questions covering lectures, class discussion, and reading assignments. Your essays will be graded on how well you use historical arguments and examples from class discussion and the reading to support your thesis. Instead of memorizing the material, concentrate on learning how to use historical arguments and examples to address major themes in American culture and society. If you keep up with the reading and take good class notes, you should have no trouble with the exams.

Incompletes: I will be very reluctant to give a grade of Incomplete (I). I assign incompletes only to students who have successfully completed most of the course work and who have been prevented by significant and unanticipated circumstances from finishing all of their assignments.

University Honor Code: As citizens of an academic community of trust, CU-Boulder students do not lie or cheat whether they are on campus or acting as representatives of the
University of Colorado in the surrounding communities. Neither should they suffer by the dishonest acts of others.

The University of Colorado has adopted a Student Honor Code. See the website at:
http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html. The University of Colorado has also
adopted a code of student behavior for classrooms. See the website at: http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html. Students are responsible to honor the Student Honor Code and Classroom Behavior Code. Please go to these two websites to read these codes and to understand the Student Honor Code at CU-Boulder.

As faculty, students, and members of the University community, we value honor, integrity, and morality. Honor is about academic integrity, moral and ethical conduct, and pride of membership in a community that values academic achievement and individual responsibility. Cultivating honor lays the foundation for lifelong integrity, developing in each of us the courage and insight to make difficult choices and accept responsibility for actions and their consequences, even at personal cost.

Students with Disabilities: I encourage students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations. If you have any additional questions about how the University can accommodate your disability, please see me or the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Disability Services Office, 322 Willard Hall, (303-492-8671). If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services early in the semester so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities (303-492-8671, Willard 322). See the Disability Services website: www.colorado.edu/sacs/disabilityservices.

Religious Obligations and Class Attendance: If you have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or other required attendance, because of religious obligations, please notify me two weeks in advance of the conflict to request special accommodation. See the CU Policy at this website: http://www.colorado.edu/policies/fac_relig.html

Cheating and Plagiarism: My policy on cheating and plagiarism is to assign a zero to the work in question. Plagiarism is copying another person's work and turning it in as your own. Plagiarism can involve buying a "class paper" online, copying another student's work, or copying whole paragraphs and material from other sources, such as encyclopedias or textbooks. See the website for the Pledge not to Plagiarize: http://www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/Code.html.

1. American Culture and Society: Whose America?

Aug 26 Introduction: What is American Studies

Aug 28 Loewen, pp. 11-17, 290-97, 312-318; Columbus letter (web) Indians claim Italy by right of discovery (web) Columbus Poster (web)

Aug 30 Loewen, pp. 42-74

Sept. 2 No Classes, Labor Day Holiday

Sept. 4 Loewen, pp. 75-97, 115-121; John Winthrop "Reasons to be Considered" (web); Sullivan "Manifest Desinty" (web);
Benton "The Destiny of the Race" (web); Anglo-American and Indian Values (web); Map of Indian America, 1600 (web)

2. Reconstructing the Nation after the Civil War

Sept. 6 Loewen, pp. 137-154; Declaration of Independence (web);
"What to the Slave is the 4th of July" (web); The Dred Scott
Decision (web)

Sept. 9 Loewen, pp. 156-170; Hoffman, pp. 27-37; Gerster, pp. 4-8;The Gettysburg Address (web); Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural (web)

3. Making the West Anglo-American

Sept. 11 Loewen, pp. 122-136; Luther Standing Bear " What the Indian Means to America(web); Chief Joseph's "The Takeover of Indian Land: An Indian's View" (web); Jackson's 2nd Annual message (web); "To the People of the United States" (web); Theodore Roosevelt argues against Indian Rights (web)

Sept. 13 Hymowitz, pp. 64-75, 176-190; Gerster, pp. 22-29. 56-62;
George Batchelder promotes Dakota (web); Mary Abel
Confronts the Kansas Territory (web)

Sept. 16 Gerster, pp. 243-247; Letter to Governor Bigler (web); Charles King editorial (web); Immigrants harm American Society (web); Immigrants do not harm American Society (web); Borderline hypocrisy (web);Foreign Workers at Highest Levels (web); An Argument against theMelting Pot (web)

4. The Rise of Modern Industrial America

Sept. 18 Gerster, pp. 38-44, 72-85; Carnegie "The Gospel of Wealth" (web);

Sept. 20 Hymowitz, pp. 192-217; Hoffman, pp. 68-72, 81-85;

Sept. 23 Populist Party Platform (web); Tom Watson speech (web)

Sept. 25 Gerster, pp. 62-71; Washington "Atlantic Exposition (web);DuBois "A Critique of Washington" (web); A Red Record (web);Stannard Baker article (web) Tillman "Lynch Law" (web)

5. Reforming Industrial America

Sept. 27 Hymowitz, pp. 93-102, 280-284; Legal Disabilities of Women (web);Declaration of Sentiments (web); Bradwell vs. State of Illinois (web); Brownson defines Woman's Sphere (web); Bullard on the Enslavement of Women (web)

Sept. 30 Hymowitz, pp. 285-301; Gerster, pp. 195-204; Bromley "The New Feminism" (web); Stanton "The Solitude of Self" (web)
Carter "Wild Young People" (web)

Oct. 2 Plunkitt "Honest Graft" (web); Steffens "The Shame of the Cities" (web) The Cancer of Corruption (web)

Oct. 4 Hoffman, pp. 134-139; Roosevelt "The New Nationalism" (web); Wilson "The New Freedom" (web)

Handout Take-home Midterm

6. American Imperialism and World War I

Oct. 7 Hoffman, pp. 101-105, 114-120; Beveridge "America should Retain the Philippines" (web); Anti-Imperialist League (web); Strong "Our Country" (web); President McKinley Prays (web)

Oct. 9 Loewen, pp. 23-30; Hoffman, pp. 164-179; Wilson "The 14 Points" (web)

Oct. 10-11 No Classes, Fall Break

Oct. 14 Cooper "Prohibition is a Success" (web); Stayton "Prohibition is a Failure" (web); A Yale Student Testifies against
Prohibition (web)

7. The Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II

Oct. 16 Hymowitz, pp. 303-311; Hoffman, pp. 228-244; Gerster, pp. 160-164;Roosevelt "First Inaugural Address" (web)

Oct. 18 Hymowitz, pp. 311-314; Gerster, pp. 165-176; Hoffman, pp. 247-254,270-277

Oct. 21 Stimson "The Decision to Drop the Bomb" (web); U.S. Bombing Survey (web); Alperovitz "More on Atomic Diplomacy" (web); "The Curators Cave In" (web)

8. Pax Americana and the Origins of the Cold War

Oct. 23 Hoffman, pp. 293-308; "Atlantic Charter" (web);
Wallace "Lip Service to Peace" (web); Clifford "American
Firmness vs. Soviet Aggression" (web); The Soviet Reaction
to the Truman Doctrine (web)

Oct. 25 NSC 68 (web); The Truman Doctrine (web); "Beyond
Containment" (web); Nixon "The Real War" (web)

Oct. 28 "The Second Extermination" (web); Faulkner Nobel Prize Speech (web); Survey of Texas Women (web); "The Fate of the Earth (web)

Take-home Midterm is Due

9. McCarthyism and Cold War Culture

Oct. 30 Nightmare in Red (web); Hoover "The Communist Menace" (web); McCarthy "Communist Threatens America" (web); McCarthyism Threatens America (web); Republican Declaration of Conscience (web); Americans accused of Communism (web)

Nov. 1 Hymowitz, pp. 314-340; Hoffman, pp. 320-323, 332-341

Nov. 4 Hoffman, pp. 358-364; Brown vs. Board of Education (web);
Plessy vs. Ferguson (web); Jim Crow Laws in the South (web)

Nov. 6 Loewen, pp. 219-229; Hoffman, pp. 323-332; The Liberal
Consensus (web)

10. America in the 1960s: Rebellion, Reform, and Reaction

Nov. 8 Gerster, pp. 185-189; Johnson "The Great Society" (web);
Johnson "War on Poverty" (web); Kennedy Inaugural Address (web)

Nov. 11 Loewen, pp. 230-237; Hoffman, pp. 364-372; Gerster, pp. 221-224; King "American Dream" (web); King "I have a Dream" (web); "FBI Cointelpro: Black Nationalists" handout; Johnson "The American Promise"(web)

Nov. 13 Hymowitz, p. 341-350; Gerster, pp. 214-220; Why I Want a Wife (web); Steinem "For the ERA" (web); Falwell "Against the ERA" (web); Klatch "Women Against Feminism" (web); The Defeat of the ERA (web); America Needs the ERA (web); Schafly Attacks the ERA (web)

Nov. 15 FBI Cointelpro: New Left handout; Senate Committee Probes the FBI's Secret Campaign (web); Students for a Democratic Society (web); Journalist Account of Police Riots (web)

Nov. 18 SNCC "Black Power" (web); Malcolm X "God's Judgement of White America" (web); The Kerner Commission Report (web); FBI Assassination of Fred Hampton (web)

11. The Vietnam War, the Imperial Presidency, and Watergate

Nov. 20 Gerster, pp. 190-197; Hoffman, pp. 417-428; Kerry "Vietnam Veterans against the War" (web); President Johnson "Why we are in Vietnam" (web); The Pentagon Papers (web); McGovern was Right (web)

Hand out Take-home Final Exam

Nov. 22 "Nixon's Enemies List" handout; Schell "Watergate" (web);
What were the Watergate Crimes (web)

Nov. 25 Loewen, pp. 260-270; Carter "Democratic Acceptance Speech" (web); Reagan "The American Spirit" (web); Jimmy Carter "The Crisis of Confidence"Trends in American Society in the 1970s (web)

Nov. 27-29 No Classes, Thanksgiving Holiday

12. America and the End of the Cold War

Dec. 2 Reagan "Evil Empire speech" (web):
Reagan "Strategic Defense Initiative" (web); Soviets
Prepare for Threat of U.S. Attack (web)

Dec. 4 Gerster, pp. 205-210; National Identity in a Post-Soviet World (web); Why the Soviets Lost the Cold War (web); The End of the Cold War marked a Triumph (web)

Dec. 6 Hoffman, pp. 458-464; Gerster, pp. 198-204; 100 Harshest Facts (web);Johnson "Divided We Fall" (web)

Dec. 9 Hymowitz, pp. 361-373; Painful Choices (web); Faludi "Blame it on Feminism" (web) The Backlash Against Feminism (web)

Dec. 11 Steve Nomad "The Elections" (web)

Take-Home Final Exam is due Tuesday, December 17th, in my office-Sewall Hall 42C.


© 2002 by Chris H.  Lewis, Ph.D.
Sewall Academic Program; University of Colorado at Boulder
Created 7 August 2002:  Last Modified: 23 August 2002
E-mail: cclewis@spot.colorado.edu
URL:    http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/index.htm
    Number of Visitors to this site:  30929                   by Chris H. Lewis, Ph.D.