course_syllabus - 1History 128 US Since 1865 University of...

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1 History 128 US Since 1865 University of North Carolina Spring 2009 Professor W. Fitzhugh Brundage Hamilton Hall 418 962-5452 [email protected] Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, 8-10:00, and by appointment Teaching Assistants: Apprentice Teacher: Course Subject The history of the United States during the past century and a half is exceptionally rich. The aim of this course is to understand important developments in technology, business, politics, social life, and popular culture during the past century. Particular attention will be devoted to four organizing themes: 1) the evolving definition of citizenship and rights and privileges that it accorded to various groups (women, minorities, etc.); 2) the emergence of the United States as a global power; 3) the expansion of state power; and 4) the emergence of a consumer society in the United States. Each of these developments affected the lives of all Americans, regardless of class, region, race, or gender, and continues to shape our daily lives. Course Goals Analyze historical events and change Historians have a distinctive way of thinking about the past. By learning to ask how and why (as well as who, what, where, and when) we will develop our abilities to think historically. Our goal is not mere command of facts, but rather the capacity to use history to understand how American society has evolved during the past century and a half. Demonstrate the “historical way of thinking” The recitations and written assignments in this course will provide you with an opportunity to hone your skills of critical historical analysis. The measure of success in both recitation and written work will be creativity and precision. The “historical way of thinking” is dynamic, meaning, in other words, that historical events and issues are open to a range of possible interpretation. The best historical thinking takes into account the range of possible interpretations and advances an argument that does the best job of clarifying the significance of an event or issue. It encourages us to see an event or issue in a new light. Good historical thinking requires clear expression, whether orally in recitation or on paper. Our attention to the clarity and precision of your writing is a reflection of the importance we attach to the best possible expression of your ideas. Exams The mid-term and final exams will consist of short answer "identifications" and essay
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questions. The mid-term will be a one hour in class exam. The final will be a three hour exam on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 P.M. During the final scheduled class meeting we will discuss and draft the final exam collectively as a class, including possible exam questions, topics, and format. Exams, I believe, should test your knowledge and reasoning skills, not your ability to memorize arcane information or to display obscure
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course_syllabus - 1History 128 US Since 1865 University of...

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