Instructor: John Lutz
Course Times: Tuesday and Wednesday 2:30 to 4:30 in Clearihue A306.
Office: Clearihue B222; Office Phone: 721-7392.
Office Hours: Monday 12:12-1:15 and and Wednesday 1:30-2:30 or
This half of the course is a survey of American history from the Civil
War to the present. The emphasis will be on understanding political and
social change in the United States, particularly focussing on the role
of race, and the rise of the United States to world power.
OBJECTIVES: The course has three objectives. The first is to ensure
that students have the historical background to understand how and why
the United States is the way it is today. The second is to develop the
skills and the knowledge to think historically. Since our lives are shaped
and ordered by historical circumstances, we must understand the main flows
of history in order to understand our present situation. The third goal
is to introduce research, analytical and writing skills required in historical
analysis but also in many other disciplines and employment situations.
Much of the learning takes place in the discussion groups which demand
and teach critical skills. You will learn, or enhance your ability, to
assess evidence, evaluate the likelihood of an argument, find, analyse
and present historical evidence.
TEXTS: American Passages: A History of the United States; Edward
Ayers et al, Harcourt College Publishers.
Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in American History,
Vol. II: Reconstruction to the Present; Larry Madaras and James SoRelle.
Half of your year's grade will be made up in this term. Of the grade
to be awarded this semester, there will be a one hour mid-term exam worth
20% and a three-hour final exam, worth 30% of the term. There will be
two short writing assignments of 1,500 words worth 20% each, and participation
in class and discussions will account for the remaining 10%.
FORMAT: The course is largely a lecture format with small group
discussions scheduled approximately every six classes, supplemented on
occasion by video/film/slides. The class format is meant to be participatory.
You are expected to be a full participant in the small group discussions
and it is hoped you will participate by asking and answering questions
in the larger lecture situation as well. Since I tend to talk quickly
please feel free to stop me, ask questions, clarify, ask me to repeat,
or slow down.
Every class there will be a reading assignment from the text or supplementary
readings and a question to answer for the next class. Your ability to
answer those questions is reflected in your participation grade. In addition,
the midterm essay questions and some of the final exam questions will
be drawn from these reading-questions.
DISCUSSIONS: Every second or third Friday the class will split
into two. On those days half the class will meet in Cle B215 and half
in our regular room Cle A307.
WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: One of the assignments will be an analyses
of a historical feature film based on post-Civil War America. The film
will be compared to a book treatment of the same subject. The second assignment
will be based on a theme from Taking Sides. Each will be about 1,500 words.
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day they are due.
After class starts, they will be considered late and a penalty of 2%/day
will be applied.
The sections from American Passages which you are expected to read before
each class are indicated in brackets. The discussion readings come out
of the supplementary text, Taking Sides.
Tues. 9: Introduction
Wed. 10: The Civil War, (459-470; 476-80)
Fri. 12: The War Ends, (495-501; 505-17)
Tues. 16: The Union Reconstructed, (518-538)
Wed. 17: African Americans in the Gilded Age
Fri. 19: The Ku Klux Klan, (544-6; 791-3)
Tues. 23: Industrial Capitalism, (549-551; 557-583)
Wed. 24: Labour and Family Life (552-6; 584-9; 611-19)
Fri. 26: Discussion: Was John D. Rockefeller a Robber Baron?
Readings: Taking Sides: 24-45
Tues. 30: Clearing the West (560-591)
Wed. 31: Settling the West (591-6)
Fri. 2: Politics of Exclusion and Change (543-4; 546-8; 557-66)
Tues. 6: America as an Imperial Power, (627-30; 559-76)
First Assignment Due.
Wed. 7: The Progressive Era, (678-706)
Fri. 9: Discussion: Did Yellow Journalism Cause the Spanish-American War?
Readings: Taking Sides: 117-143.
Tues. 13: World War I (745-81)
Wed. 14: Midterm
Fri. 16: The Impact of the Automobile (736-9; 797-804)
Tues. 20: The Roaring Twenties, (805-20)
Wed. 21: Reading Break -- class cancelled
Fri. 23: Reading Break -- class cancelled
Tues. 27: Depression, (823-53)
Wed. 28: The New Deal , (861-79)
Fri. 2: Discussion: Were the 20s an era of social and cultural rebellion?
Readings: Taking Sides: 195-217.
Tues. 6: American Isolationism, (880-905)
Wed. 7: World War II at Home, (905-917)
Fri. 9: World War II at the Front and the Cold War, (917-28)
Tues. 13: McCarthyism and American Prosperity, (930-60)
Wed. 14: Civil Rights Movement, (963-994)
Fri. 16: Discussion: Were the 1950s Americas 'Happy Days'?
Readings: Taking Sides: 288-311.
Tues. 20: Civil Rights and Foreign Policy, (1003-14)
Second Assignment Due.
Wed. 21: The Kennedy Years, (1015-22)
Fri. 23: Johnsons Great Society, (1032-41)
Tues. 27: Counterculture, (1023-30)
Wed. 28: The Sexual Revolution, (1043-55)
Fri. 30: Discussion: Was Americas escalation of the war in Vietnam
Readings: Taking Sides: 312-333.
Tues. 3: Nixon and Watergate, (1056-65)
Wed. 4: The Reagan Revolution and End of Cold War plus Review (1078-1087).
Fri. 6: No Class.
|FIRST WRITING ASSIGNMENT
The first assignment is to compare the interpretation of an historical
event or person seen through the eyes of a film-maker and an historian.
The assignment is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, February 6th.
After that it will be considered late - with 2% deducted per day.
The assignment involves choosing a film that is connected to American
history in the period from the American Civil War to the present, from
the list provided by the instructor. (See list -- other films are possible
but only with the prior permission of the instructor). You must sign up
for the film of your choice on a list posted to the right of my office
door Cle B222. A maximum of two individuals may sign up per film.
Your job is compare the representation of a historical event/person in
the film with a published description by an historian. Since your written
analysis should be limited to 1,000-1,500 words you should concentrate
on one incident or a small part of the film rather and use this to draw
conclusions about the whole thing. These films should be available for
rent from larger and speciality video stores. Certainly, all the films
except those marked "n" are available at Pic-A-Flic at 328 Cook
St. Those marked "uvic" are also available from the MacPherson
library video collection. Films marked 'n' may be hard to find.
Use the incident or event from your film/book combination to answer the
What are the strengths and weaknesses of using popular film to teach
What are the strengths and weaknesses of using books?
Is one of the two more accurate than the other?
You may find some ideas and assistance in the "Conversation between
Eric Foner (historian) and John Sayles (film director)" which I have
placed on reserve for this course in the MacPherson Library Reserve section,
where the two of them discuss issues raised by the questions above. Some
films or genres will have books dedicated to them and these will assist
you. You might find the CD ROM American History and Life useful to locate
book and film reviews on American History. It is available at the computer
stations next to the reference section in the library. The Humanities
and Social Sciences Journal index available through the Library's Gateway
System may also lead you to film analyses.
Finally, there are some general books on analyzing film as history in
the library, some of which I have put on reserve for this course.
Indicate the film and book you are using as well as any readings that
have assisted you using the footnoting style indicated in the style sheet
available from a slot in front of the history general office and on the
department website: http://web.uvic.ca/history/
The papers will be marked on the following criteria:
a) Is there a clear introduction and conclusion?
b) Is the paper logically and clearly organized?
ANALYSES: Does the paper answer the following questions:
a) What are the strengths and weaknesses of using popular film to teach
b) What are the strengths and weaknesses of using books?
c) Is one of the two more accurate than the other?
a) Is the paper based on an adequate/thorough examination of the relevant
b) Are there CONCRETE examples from both the film and the book(s) to support
the answers to the questions 2a-c?
c) Is the evidence sufficient to convincingly support the conclusion?
d) Is the paper properly footnoted?
a) Is the paper clearly written?
b) Is the paper free from errors that detract from the argument?
Now, make some popcorn and watch the movie!
|FILM LIST FOR FIRST ASSIGNMENT
All films available at Pic a Flic except those marked "n" and
these may be hard to find.
Films marked "uvic" are also in the UVic Library. You must sign
up for these films outsidemy office door at Cle. B222.
Glory (Black Regiment in Civil War)
Gettysburg (Civil War)
Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All (Civil War) n
Andersonville (Civil War)
Gone With the Wind (Classic Civil War)
Birth of a Nation (Film that revived the KKK) uvic
The Molly Maguires (Coal Miners murder bosses)
Fort Apache (Clearing the West for Settlement)
Tombstone (Western Settlement)
Wyatt Earp (Western Settlement)
Jessie James (Western Settlement)
Shane (Western Settlement)
Dances with Wolves (Clearing West for Settlement)
They Died With Their Boots On (Custer) n
Son of the Morning Star (Custer)
Little Big Man (Custer's Last Stand)
Reds (Socialism and Feminism in 1910s)
Rosa Luxemburg (Feminist and Anarchist)
Eight Men Out (1919 Black Sox Scandal)
Matewan (Violent Coal Mining Strike)
Bonnie and Clyde (Depression era thieves)
They Shoot Horse Don't They (Depression)
Al Capone (Organized Crime)
Once Upon A Time in America (Organized Crime)
The Godfather (Organized Crime)
The Grapes of Wrath (depression) uvic
Tora!Tora! Tora! (Pearl Harbour)
PT 109 (John F Kennedy in WWII)
The Longest Day (D-Day)
Patton (WWII General)
Saving Private Ryan (D-Day)
Fat Man and Little Boy (making of the first atomic bombs)
The Long Walk Home (Civil Rights movement) uvic
Once Upon a time...When we were Colored (Civil Rights)
King (Civil Rights)
Guilty By Suspicion (Cold War-Red Scare)
JFK (assassination of John F. Kennedy)
Mississippi Burning (Civil Rights violence)
Apocolypse Now (Vietnam War)
Platoon (Vietnam War) uvic
Born on the Fourth of July (Vietnam War)
All the President's Men (Watergate) uvic
Apollo 13 (space program)
Snow Falling on Cedars (anti-Japanese)
|SECOND WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Choose one of the questions that form the basis for a section in the
text Taking Sides.
Find at least two other scholarly history books/articles that relate
to the question and argue for one of the sides or make a new argument.
Your 1,500-2,000 word essay should advance your argument and directly
refute points made by author(s) who take a contrary view. Papers should
be footnoted and have a bibliography in accordance with the History Department
style sheet, available from in front of the History Office Cle. B245 and
on the web at http://web.uvic.ca/history/. The assignment is due at the
beginning of class. Assignments that come in after 9:30 will be penalized
Your paper will be marked according to the following criteria.
a) Is there a clear introduction and conclusion?
b) Is their a clear thesis?
c) Is the paper logically and clearly organized?
a) Does the paper deal with one of the arguments from Taking Sides?
b) Does it convincingly make the case for one side?
c) Does the paper address and discount the arguments for the other side?
EVIDENCE: a) Is the paper based on a thorough reading of Taking Sides
articles and a search of the relevant secondary sources?
b) Is the evidence sufficient to convincingly support the thesis?
c) Does the paper conform to scholarly standards in its footnotes and
a) Is the paper clearly written?
b) Is the paper free from errors that detract from the argument?
|MIDTERM SHORT ANSWER KEY
1. Haymarket Riot:
Key points: labour dispute epitomizes clash between capital and labour
in the 1880s (Gilded Age). Violence, presence of anarchists and immigrants
discredits the labour movement and contributes to the decline of the Knights
Details: A bomb thrown at policemen causes police to pen fire into the
crowd. Chicago, 1886. Four Labour leaders hanged even though they were
not linked to the bombing of police. Nine killed 70 injured.
Key Points: detective/security force used as strike breakers in labour
Details: Pinkertons were a private army bigger than or second only in
size to US Army [both acceptable] Used to break up the strike at Homestead
Penn, only the strikers anticipated their coming and after much bloodshed
forced their surrender. Ultimately the military was called out.
3. Laissez Faire Capitalism:
Key Points: The idea that government should stay out of the economy. Economic
philosophy that dominated the Gilded Age but was full of contradictions.
Business wanted no controls but tariff protection and protection from
4.The Great Upheaval:
Key Points: The period of labor unrest that peaked in the mid 1880s and
led many Americans to think they were on the verge of class-based civil
Details: These epic confrontations of the 1880s including the Haymarke
Riot were working peoples responses to the unprecedented economic
and political changes wrought by the new
industrial order. Major Labour Confrontations Took Place Over railways.
Represents the peak of the Knights of Labour influence.
5. Thirteenth Amendment:
Key Points: abolished slavery and indentured servitude in America. Amendment
to US constitution was the first element of Reconstruction.
Details: It also signalled the turning point when the war came to be a
war to end slavery. Pushed by a 400,000-strong petition Lincoln and congress
accepted amendment which was rejected 7 months earlier. Acceptance of
the amendment became one of the requisites before a former rebel state
could be readmited into the union.
6. Frontier Thesis:
Key Points: the idea that the existence of a westward frontier had a major
influence in shaping the American character.
Details: Advanced by Frederick Turner in 1893 , the thesis argued that
the freedom and challenges of the wild environment and native people forged
a distinctly American character out of Europan immigrants. Also that the
end of a period of continual western expansion would either require Americans
to expand beyond the continent or problems would ensue. Census bureau
declared the frontier closed in 1890.
7. Trent Affair:
Key Points: An incident in the Civil War which the union navy stopped
a British ship and removed Confederate official bound for Europe. The
event might have precipitated Great Britain into the war on the side of
the Confederates but the union was able to apologize and patch up relations.
Details: 1861, Confederates released and sent to Britain. Confederates
were looking for European support in the war.
8. Tammany Hall:
Key Points: Democratic Party headquarters in New York (Manhattan) out
of which city politics and organized crime was run by a corrupt political
machine in the Gilded Age.
Details: Boss Tweed and his successors colluded with the city police and
the owners of saloons, brothels and gambling establishments to enrich
each other. At the same time, they used strong arm methods and the sociability
of the saloon to deliver the votes of the city to the Democratic party
and so actually ran the city instead of the elected officials.
9. Roosevelt Corollary:
Key Points: American declaration that the country would act as a police
force in the Carribean and south America in cases where countries were
not acting in a manner consistent with US interests.
Details: A corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, introduced by Theodore Roosevelt
in 1904. It was an element in American imperial expansion in the pre WWI
Era, when Panama Canal made region more strategically important. US Invoked
it many times to invade Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic,
Key Points: Economic relationship characterizing post-civil war south
where former black slaves farmed parcels of plantations and shared the
crop with the plantation owners and were thus kept in a state of economic
Details: many poor whites also caught in system. Often had to borrow before
harvest so were in debt beyond the required rent share of the crop which
was often 50%. Perpetually in debt to white farmers state was close to
slavery - called debt-peonage; he system was also called crop-lien as
the merchants had a lien on the crops to secure the farmers debts.