The United States Since 1877

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 2241
The United States Since 1877
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week / semester Seminar: 2 hrs. per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Class sections will be divided between lectures and seminar discussions. The seminar discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of scholarly literature and as a testing ground for student hypotheses. The instructor will encourage students to elaborate, refine and revise ideas. Discussion sessions will also include tutorials in conducting historical research, the exploration of primary source documents, and practice in oral presentations. Participation in both lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course.

Course Description
This course deals with the main themes in American History from Reconstruction to the present. As well as political history, this course considers economic, social and cultural developments in the United States.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.


  1. Review of Historical Methods. United States History and Geography to 1865
  2. Reconstruction
  3. Western Developments
  4. National Politics and Society: The Gilded Age
  5. Race and Gender: Segregation and Suffragism
  6. Populist and Progressives: Politics and Society 1890 - 1920
  7. Wilson’s Presidency and World War I
  8. The 1920's: Politics and Society
  9. The Depression and the New Deal
  10. World War II
  11. Consensus and Cold War
  12. Affluence and Discontent. Vietnam, Civil Rights, Feminism
  13. Presidential Politics from Nixon to Bush. New Parties and New Majorities
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Examine historical sources critically and analytically (reading history). These sources include not only survey texts and scholarly articles, but also short monographs and extended primary sources.
  2. Create and communicate personal interpretations of historical problems (writing history). Forms for communication of personal interpretations include medium-length essays (from 1500-3000 words), comparative book reviews, short interpretive essays, primary source studies, and final examinations.
  3. Independently analyze the ideas of other students and the instructor in class in both tutorials and seminars (discussing history).
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accord with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Specific components of evaluation will include some of the following: mid-term and final exams consisting of short answer questions and essay questions; in-class written work, quizzes, research paper; seminar presentations; short debate/position papers; participation in class discussions.

Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.


An example of one evaluation scheme:

Any combination of the following totalling 100%:

Book review essay  15%
Research proposal     10%
Research essay  25%
Class/seminar participation          15%
Midterm exam  15%
Final exam  20%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Texts will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically:


Boyer, P. et al. Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. Vol. 2, 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.


Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom. New York: Norton, 1998.


Foner, Eric. Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Vol. 2, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2008.


Gillon, S.M. and Matson, C.D. The American Experiment: A History of the United States. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009.


Hoffman, E.C. and Gjerde, J., eds. Major Problems in American History. Vol. 2.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.