Morgan State University
The Department of History and Geography
Fall Semester, 2012
History of the United States II
HIST 106, Section 002 (3 Credit Hours)
Communications Center, Room 115
Melvin Barrolle, Ph.D.
Office: Holmes Hall, Room 325
Office hours: Mon., Wed., & Fri: 10am-12pm
Office Phone: 443.885.1792
“[History] does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.” - James Baldwin, “Unnamable Objects, Unspeakable Crimes”
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course examines the major personalities and events that have shaped and molded the United States from Reconstruction to the present. The primary objectives of the course are to develop your skills as critical readers and interpreters of primary and secondary historical documents, to improve your ability to communicate in an organized and analytical fashion, and to provide you with fundamental knowledge about the events, people, and institutions that have shaped American society. Considerable attention is given to the origins and experiences of the American people from diverse ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds.
II. REQUIRED TEXTS
* Roark, James L, et al. (2011) Understanding the American Promise, Volume II From 1865. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. * Howard-Pitney, David. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. * Additional readings will be distributed via Blackboard.
III. ASSESSMENTS AND GRADES:
This course requires considerable amounts of reading, writing and active participation. All students are expected to read prior to attending class and be prepared to engage in discussions. Being familiar with the readings beforehand ensures greater participation during class discussions and allows the class to penetrate more deeply into topics of the week. Of course, this also improves overall performance in the course. Too, students are strongly encouraged to network with peers outside of the classroom in order to gain better apprehension of the subject matter. To this end, participation in the discussion group via Blackboard is highly recommended. All written assignments must be typed, stapled, include student name, class title, be double-spaced and written in size 12 font, Times New Roman. Lastly, all assignments are to be handed in on time. Late assignments will NOT be accepted.
15% Class Participation
Book Review (15%)
Each student is required to write a 3 page paper on the Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. The paper should select one of the two individuals—Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—and chronicle the evolution of his civil rights philosophy. Students are expected to conclude by offering an opinion on the reason for the change in philosophy each individual experienced. Follow the aforementioned guidelines on submitting a written assignment.
There will be two examinations given during this course, a midterm exam and a final comprehensive exam. Both exams will be given in class and will feature essay questions. The exams are designed to gauge general comprehension and students’ ability to navigate divergent viewpoints on the covered material. Students are expected to offer informed critical opinions. Attendance on days of...
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