History 416


August 29, 2005


I. Course Requirements

            1. Grades (exams: 50%; Course Paper: 30%; Participation, incl. quizzes: 20%)


            2. Readings (Books—available at Shakespeare Books, or on-line; documents/maps: all on website—http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson)


II. Course Chronology

            1. Progressive Era: 1912-1919 (historiographical debate: what was progressivism?; political: contested nature of two parties, how to interpret the Socialists?, 1912 elections, how to interpret Wilson’s legislative agenda?; cultural: role of leaders vs. grassroots activists, role of constitutional amendments, immigration and its effects; economic: question of monopoly and proposed responses, importance of Lochner in setting the stage; diplomatic: Wilsonianism, US intervention in the Caribbean Basin, World War I and American foreign policy, Russian Civil War)


            2. Interwar Era: 1920s (political: emergence of cultural issues, Republican dominance, Democratic divisions, La Follette candidacy; economic: transformation of business image, Taft Court and regulatory issues, peculiar nature of US economy—agriculture, holding companies, Stock Market, steel and autos, US in international economy; cultural: jazz age, youth culture, “trials of the century,” urban/rural divide—prohibition, evolution, religion; diplomatic: Wilsonianism without Wilson, war debts and Europe, Latin America and peace progressives, debates over imperialism and constitutional powers)


            3. New Deal and Beyond: 1931-1941 (economic: historiographical debate—Depression and its causes; political: FDR and emergence of New Deal coalition, what was the New Deal?, constitutional debates, Court-packing scheme; diplomatic: Good Neighbor Policy, debate over isolationism and presidential powers, US in a totalitarian world)


            4. World War II: 1941-1945 (Pearl Harbor and its aftermath; FDR’s wartime decisions—East Asia or Japan; total war and transformation of American economy—origins of “military-industrial complex,” end of Depression, expansion of federal government; war aims and nature of war—Atlantic Charter, Teheran, Yalta, UN; controversial legacies—Holocaust?, internment, use of atomic bombs against Japan)


            5. Cold War: 1945-1950 (diplomatic: alternatives to the Cold War?, stages of the Cold War, Truman and national security bureaucracy, role of nuclear weapons, role of Korea and NSC-68; political: Truman and Democratic difficulties, class of 1946, 1948 election and long-term effects; cultural: Second Red Scare and origins of McCarthyism, HUAC inquiries—labor unions, academia, Hollywood)


6. Course Themes (growth of the state; changing nature of reform sentiment, intra-branch battles—role of presidency and courts, changing nature of congressional power; US emergence as world power and its effects)