AMH 2020 – U.S. History since 1877


General Education Credit: Social and Behavioral Science
College Credit: 3

Course Instructor: Ben Wise
Ben Wise, Ph.D.
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About The Course

AMH2020: U.S. History since 1877 will survey the social, political, and cultural history of the United States from Reconstruction to the present. The object of studying history is to learn about the past, but also to develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, interpretation of evidence, and expository writing. A central concern of this course will be studying the diversity of the American people, and we will devote a large portion of class time to examining how an American society made up of many cultures and ethnicities has developed and changed over time. Since the study of history always also includes placing one’s own life into context, students will be asked to reflect on their own relationship to the diverse values, attitudes, and norms that have created cultural differences in the United States.

Course Goals

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain why Reconstruction set up all of American history from that point on. (Module 1-16)
  • Explain how and why American society industrialized during the late 19th Century. (Module 2-4)
  • Explain the causes and consequences of urbanization. (Module 5-6)
  • Explain why racial, ethnic, and gender divisions arose in American society from 1877 to the start of World War I. (Module 8-9)
  • Explain how and why the federal government increased its authority & power in the years following World War I. (Module 8-9)
  • Show when and why a mass national culture emerged. (Module 8-9)
  • Explain how World War II fundamentally changed America. (Module 11-12)
  • Describe how the Cold War started and why it lasted so long. (Module 13)
  • Explain why the Civil Rights movement occurred & how it reshaped American society. (Module 14)
  • Discuss how and why the United States got involved in Vietnam and how that war shaped domestic events. (Module 15)
  • Explain the rise of conservatism in the last quarter of the 20th century. (Module 16)
  • Show how the Cold War ended and the effects of this on both the United States and the rest of the world. (Module 16)

Satisfied High School Graduation Requirement Subject: American History
High School Credit: 0.5