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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Margaret Pugh O'Mara
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 surveys the history of the United States from the end of Reconstruction to the age of Obama. Particular focus is given to the evolving role of government in the lives of individual citizens, the social effect of economic and technological changes, changing patterns of production and consumption, patterns of migration within and immigration from without, and America's changing role in the world.

Student learning goals

refined understanding of how governments, markets, and individuals and groups have functioned as agents of historical change; the contingencies and complexities shaping America’s transition from an agrarian nation to an industrial and post-industrial superpower; sharpened critical thinking and writing about history; and the historical roots of present-day political, economic, and social structures.

General method of instruction

Two 80-minute lectures plus one discussion section per week.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites, other than an excitement and eagerness to learn more about modern U.S. history.

Recommended: some previous exposure to college-level history; familiarity with the basics of historical research, the critical analysis of historical documents, and the fundamentals of historical writing.

Class assignments and grading

Attendance at two lectures and one section per week is expected, as is completion of required readings prior to section. Active participation in discussion section (including completion of any ungraded assignments given within and outside of section) is a critical component of your final grade.

The remaining assignments include a midterm, three 800-1000 word essays, and a final. All of these assignments will draw upon both the class lectures and the required reading material.

The instructor reserves the right to make slight alterations to these requirements.

three papers (15% each, 45% total of grade) midterm (10%) final (20%) participation, including section (25%)


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.
Course Web Page
Last Update by Margaret Pugh O'Mara
Date: 02/03/2013