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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timothy M. Wright
HSTAA 303
Seattle Campus

Modern American Civilization From 1877

Emergence of modern America, after the Civil War; interrelationships of economic, social, political, and intellectual developments.

Class description

This course will give students a deeper understanding of how the United States has evolved and functioned in the period spanning the end of Reconstruction in 1877 through and beyond the events of September 11, 2001. This understanding will be developed in thoughtful study of some of the events, ideas, and conflicts—regional, national, and international—that have framed and defined the period that is often identified as “The American Century.” These events, ideas, and conflicts include the nation’s growing involvement in global affairs, struggles for civil and economic rights, contested ideas about the role and scope of the federal government, and recurring clashes over the nation’s cultural identity and values.

Student learning goals

Students will develop a deeper understanding of the chronology and causes of major events and issues in U.S. history from the end of Reconstruction to the present.

Students will sharpen their ability to perceive patterns, trends, and discontinuities in the American past.

Students will use the identification, analysis, and interpretation of historical documents, artifacts, and other sources to develop their information literacy skills.

Students will further develop their ability to produce clear, well-written and documented, fact-based essays.

General method of instruction

This is a lecture course augmented through discussions, readings, films and music.

Recommended preparation

Some exposure to a college-level history course (ideally in U. S. history) is recommended but it is not required.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be required to write two short (3-4 page) papers and one longer (8-10 page) essay. In addition, students will have quizzes, one midterm, and a final exam and will also be assessed on their participation.

The course grade will be determined as follows:

Two papers=15% each; Essay=30%; Quizzes=10%; Midterm=10%; Final Exam=10%; Participation=10%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Timothy M. Wright
Date: 01/27/2009