Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in HIST 17C.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Relate important historical events and patterns to current events and patterns and identify significant similarities and differences
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of important public figures, social, economic, cultural, political and intellectual developments in modern United States history.
  • Develop a historical analysis and support it using details and examples.


History of the United States from 1914 to the present. Survey of the political, economic, social and cultural development of the United States with emphasis on the country's evolving involvement in world affairs and increasing struggle to achieve civil rights for all Americans. As an honors course, it is a full thematic seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student class lectures, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Demonstrate a broad factual knowledge of important social, economic, cultural, political and intellectual movements in modern American history.
B. Analyze issues which have a direct bearing and influence on American life today.
C. Explain the principal historical debates and problems within the field of American historiography concerning the sources and verification of historical evidence.
D. Recognize the impact of different ethnic groups and other minorities on the evolution of American society in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
E. Utilize the skills of historiographical analysis and interpretative exposition to explain and evaluate important developments in American history.
F. Use primary and secondary sources effectively to articulate sound historical analysis.

Course Content

A. How do we know what we know - primary and secondary sources and their importance and use
B. U.S. Involvement in the First World War
1. Analysis of the reasons behind America's entry into the war
2. Examination of the impact of total war
3. America's role in the war and the peace settlement
4. The development of war socialism at home
5. Comparison of the competing concepts of collective security and national sovereignty illustrated by the debate over the League of Nations
C. Social and technological change in the 1920s
1. The rise and impact of mass consumer culture
2. New images and activism of women and minorities
3. Conservative reaction to change
D. American economics and government policy in the 1920s and 1930s
1. Analysis of the causes of the Great Depression
2. Economic and social upheaval of the Great Depression
3. Assessment of the new role for the federal government during the New Deal
4. Challenges to government's role from the political left and right
E. Changing global systems and the rise of militarism
1. Assessment of the failure of collective security
2. Significance of the rise of totalitarianism
3. Aggression and conquest in Asia, Africa and Europe
F. Global aspects of World War II
1. Global aggression and U.S. response
2. Mobilization and U.S. entry into war
3. Economic and social impact of the war on the Homefront
3. Assessment of long-term impact of the war on American society
4. Analysis of Allied success and eventual victory
5. Causes and impact of the Holocaust on U.S. and the world
6. Evaluation of America's use of atomic weapons
G. Development of Cold War ideology and its impact at home and abroad
1. Assessment of the efficacy of Cold War policies in Europe and Asia
2. Origins of the concept of national security and its impact on civil rights and international law
3. Covert operations and American foreign policy
4. The Red Scare in America
H. The civil rights revolution
1. Evolution of the African American civil rights movement
2. Evaluation of the impact of nonviolent action in the South
3. Assessment of the rise of militancy in the movement
4. Government and social reaction to the civil rights movement
I. Social and political upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s
1. Containment in Asia and the Vietnam War
2. Assessment of America's increasing involvement in Vietnam
3. Impact of liberal policies under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
4. Causes and impact of social activism among minorities and youth
5. Evaluation of the counterculture and its impact on American society
J. The rise of conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s
1. Conservative foreign and domestic policy under President Nixon
2. Watergate and abuse of presidential power
3. Analysis of increasingly conservative reaction to liberal government policies
4. Assessment of social and economic revolutions under President Reagan
K. The United States in the post-Cold War world
1. Identify causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union
2. Trace conflict and change in the Middle East
3. Evaluate continuing liberal social change in American society
L. The United States in the twenty-first century
1. Analysis of the origins and continuing threat of terrorism
2. Assess the impact of globalization on American society
3. Evaluate the U.S. role in a post-Cold War world
4. Identify current economic, political and environmental challenges faced by the United States and the world and the value of historical perspective in formulating solutions to those problems

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Seminar room with tables, multi-media equipment, and LCD projector.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Systematic and continuous participation in the course
B. Exams
C. Development of directed research project in 20th century America
D. Demonstration of critical, analytical research and writing skills
E. Presentation of assigned research paper to class

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, seminar-style discussion, guided research, multimedia presentation.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Dumenil, Lynn. The Modern Temper. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Hofstadter, Richard. The Age of Reform: From Bryan to FDR. New York: Random House, 1960.

Leuchtenberg, William. The Perils of Prosperity: 1914-1932. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Romasco, Albert. The Poverty of Abundance: Hoover, the Nation, the Depression. Oxford University Press, 1968.

Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Crisis of the Old Order: 1919-1933, The Age of Roosevelt. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2003.

Leuchtenberg, William. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940. New York: Harper Perennial, 2009.

Brinkley, Alan. The End Of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.

Fraser, Steven, and Gary Gerstle, The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order: 1930-1980. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War: 1945-2006. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Hofstadter, Richard. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. New York: Random House, 1966.

Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.

Weiner, Tim. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. New York: Random House, 2007.

Rorabaugh, W. J. Kennedy and the Promise of the Sixties. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. New York: Scribner & Sons, 2008.

Young, Marilyn B. The Vietnam Wars: 1945–1990. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991.

MacLean, Nancy Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Branch, Taylor The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013.

Morgan, Edward P. What Really Happened to the 1960s: How Mass Media Culture Failed American Democracy. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010.

Dawley, Alan. Struggles for Justice. Boston: Belknap Press, 1993.

Alexander, Michelle The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2012.


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

A. Reading: range of current and seminal works by specialists and experts, range of monographs and primary material.

B. Writing: weekly one- to three-page essays requiring summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of both original and secondary texts.

C. Research paper requiring development of a thesis, collection and analysis of primary and/or secondary sources, and organization and presentation of a 10-15 page written product.

D. Class discussion and participation focusing on understanding content, analyzing point of view and competency of sources and identifying important thematic connections to present day topics and events.

E. Written questions and assignments requiring evaluation of particular documents, ideas or incidents from the period.