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HST 112: The American Experience Since 1877

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



The American Experience Since 1877



Course Description

End of Reconstruction to the present, with primary stress on political and economic development. Also includes social, intellectual, and cultural phases, expanded role of government in national affairs, and the participation of the United States in international relations.

Topical Outline

  1. Introduction: Politics of Dead Center: 1868 - 1892
  2. The Great Plains
  3. Industrial Expansion: Labor and the Immigrant
  4. Agrarian Discontent and the City
  5. The Second “Manifest Destiny”
  6. The “Progressives”: Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson
  7. World War I
  8. Politics of “Normalcy” and Depression
  9. FDR and the “New Deal”
  10. The Coming of World War II
  11. The “Cold War”
  12. Politics of Moderation, Crisis, and Confrontation

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Films and filmstrips
  4. Overhead transparencies

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. list and discuss the Reconstruction plans advocated by Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.
  2. explain orally and in writing how Republicans in Congress took control of the Reconstruction process.
  3. explain orally and in writing how Reconstruction came to an end in the South.
  4. evaluate the legacy and impact of the Reconstruction process in American History.
  5. identify the key factors that led to the rapid economic and industrial expansion after the Civil War.
  6. explain how American labor sought to improve the working and living conditions in late 19th century America.
  7. describe the federal government’s policies toward the American Indian from 1865 to the present.
  8. analyze the factors that contributed to the expansion of America’s cities in the late 19th and early 20th century.
  9. evaluate the impact of immigration on America from 1865 to 1920.
  10. analyze why a stalemate gripped political life in America from 1870 to 1900.
  11. analyze the causes and results of the War with Spain.
  12. describe Theodore Roosevelt’s views regarding America’s role in world affairs.
  13. assess the effects of the Progressive Movement in American History.
  14. list and discuss Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy initiatives in the Western hemisphere.
  15. discuss the neutrality position of the U.S. prior to World War I.
  16. explain why the U.S. entered World War I.
  17. list and discuss the major causes and effects of the Great Depression.
  18. explain in writing the impact of the New Deal in American History.
  19. explain in writing U.S. foreign policy from 1933 to 1941.
  20. list and discuss the major impact of World War II on America.
  21. describe the impact of the Cold War on America.
  22. identify the key issues and concepts that shaped American foreign policy during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations.
  23. trace the evolution of the Civil Rights movement.
  24. evaluate the impact of the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations on American foreign and domestic policies.
  25. explain how and why Bill Clinton won the 1992 presidential election.

Method of Evaluation

  1. Three (3) examinations
  2. 6–8 quizzes comprised of objective and essay questions
  3. 8–10 page research paper.


Brinkley, America’s History Vol II, 12th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2009

Prepared by: Michael Harkins

Fall, 2008