Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will demonstrate factual knowledge of important public figures, social, economic, cultural, political and intellectual developments in California history.
  • Develop a historical analysis and support it using details and examples.
  • Relate important historical events and patterns to current events and patterns and identify significant similarities and differences


History of California emphasizing the interaction of peoples of different ethnicities from the Native period up to the present day. Emphasis on periods of significant cultural transition--the Spanish mission period, American conquest and dominance, and multicultural movements of the twentieth century. Analysis of class and gender as well as race and ethnicity in the development of California history and culture.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Assess the significance and relative importance of the diverse and unique cultural groups that have shaped California
B. Describe the sources of historical prejudice and discrimination and their impact not only on minority groups but the society as a whole
C. Examine the racial, class and gender bases for social conflict in California history
D. Comprehend and assess primary and secondary sources related to California history
E. Utilize research skills including finding and analyzing information from a variety of sources and citing information properly
F. Explain the influence of different ethnic and cultural groups on current California society
G. List the difficulties facing California today and propose solutions based on historical knowledge
H. Evaluate the strengths and challenges of multiculturalism as a philosophy for California society

Course Content

A. Geography of California
B. Diversity of ancient Native societies in California emphasizing size and complexity
C. The Spanish empire in California
1. Early northern explorations
2. International rivalries and permanent settlement in Alta California
3. The goal of the mission system and its impact on the Native American population in California
D. Mexican California
1. Social, economic and political changes
2. Secularization of the missions
3. Development of foreign trade
4. Foreign infiltration
E. American occupation
1. Characteristics of the Anglo/American culture
2. U.S. conquest of California
3. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
F. Gold Rush
1. Population changes due to the Gold Rush
2. Life in the gold fields
3. Violence against Native Americans and Mexicans
4. Challenging Mexican land grants
5. Chinese immigration and American reaction
G. The Railroad Era
1. The role of Chinese in the construction of the railroad
2. Transportation monopoly and its social, political, and economic consequences
3. Labor activism and class conflict
4. Anti-Chinese campaigns and legislation
5. Progressivism in California
H. 1920s and Great Depression
1. Growth of Los Angeles and southern California culture
2. European refugees in Hollywood
3. Depression and Dust Bowl emigration
4. Unionization and expulsion of Mexicans and Mexican Americans
I. World War II
1. Growth of war industries in California
2. Increasing job opportunities for women and minorities
3. Internal migration and racial tensions
4. Japanese internment
J. Multiculturalism in the postwar decades
1. Civil Rights movements
2. Watts riot/uprising
3. Black Panthers
4. The Chicano movement
5. Cesar Chavez and unionization
6. American Indian movement
7. Feminism and the women's movement
8. The counterculture
K. Conservatism, economic growth and the present
1. AIDS and the gay rights movement
2. Immigration and Nativist propositions
3. Multicultural politics and racial tensions
4. Economic growth and inequality
5. Environmental challenges
6. California's role in the Pacific world
7. Future potential for the multicultural society

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. None, when taught on campus.
B. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Essay and objective tests and quizzes
Final exam including essay component
Class discussions
Research projects
In-class short writing activities

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat
Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Cherny, Robert, et al.. Competing Visions: A History of California, 2nd ed.. 2014.

Rawls, James J., and Walton Bean. California: An Interpretive History, 10th ed.. 2012.

Rice, Richard B., et al.. The Elusive Eden: A New History of California, 5th ed.. 2020.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Exams including objective and essay questions
B. Research papers requiring analysis and citation of appropriate sources
C. Analytical reading of textbooks, secondary sources and primary sources available online, including articles and essays from academic journals