United States Since 1865

Spring 2006 – Section 232001


Dr. Robert Wettemann
Office Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 9:30-12:00, and Tuesday 1:00-3:00, or by appointment.
207 Old Main
Phone:  793-3864
Email:  rwettemann@mcm.edu

    Course Objectives
    Required Readings
    Graded Exercises
    Class Policies
    Lecture Topics, Assigned Readings and Important Dates:
    Wettemann's Guide to Writing Book Reviews



This course emphasizes the relevant social, political, military, economic and cultural developments in the United States from Reconstruction to the present day.  While names and dates are important, this course will not be centered upon rote memorization.  Rather, it will be based upon critical analysis, consideration of major trends, and cause and effect.

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REQUIRED READINGS: There are three (3) required books that may be purchased at the McMurry bookstore. 

Faragher et al, Out of Many (hereafter OM)
DuBois, Souls of Black Folk
Alexander, Wings of Change

In addition, two documents are available via the web:

NSC-68, April 1950

The Bush Doctrine of 2002.

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A total of 500 points will be offered throughout the course of the semester.

GRADE SCALE: Grades will be determined on the following scale, developed in accordance with the McMurry University 2001-03 Course Catalog.


465-500 points






















 less than 300 points

Graded assignments and exercises will include:

Examinations: There will be two (2) exams worth 100 points each and a final exam worth 150 points.  These will be based upon lectures, material from OM and any class activities.  All exams will consist of short answer, identification and essay questions. You will need a NEW, PRISTINE, UNUSED bluebook for all exams.  The final exam will include material from the NSC-68 and the Bush Doctrine.  One third of the final exam (50 points) will consist of a take-home assignment that will be distributed after the second exam.  

Book Reviews:  During the course of the semester, you will be writing two book reviews, one critically analyzing the content of  DuBois, Souls of Black Folk, and Alexander, Wings of Change.  These will  be due at the end of class on the date specified in the "Lecture Topics, Assigned Readings, and Important Dates."  Each review will be worth 50 points, and you are strongly encouraged to meet with the professor to discuss the comments offered on the first review so that you may improve your grade on the second review.  Guidelines for this review are provided in "Wettemann's Guide to Writing Book Reviews," available online at <http://mail.mcm.edu/~wettemar/reviewguide.html>  

Class Participation: As you are paying a considerable amount of money for your education, skipping class is like throwing money away.  Unless you are independently wealthy, it is the sincere desire of the professor that you will attend all classes and be prepared to make the most of all class discussions and activities.  50 points will be awarded for superior participation and/or attendance, though the professor reserves the right to deduct additional points for lackluster performance, repeated unexcused absences, chronic tardiness, and failure to procure new bluebooks prior to the commencement of each exam.  Cash refunds will not be provided.

Extra Credit:  Students are encouraged to locate examples of field expedient devices or non-regulation solutions to practical problems developed by American soldiers immediately prior to, or during the Second World War, and explain how they changed the nature of the conflict.  For example, after landing in Normandy, the Allied advance was slowed by the strong defensive positions offered by the interlocking hedgerows in the fields of Northern France.  To solve this problem, Sgt. Curtis Culin developed the "rhino tank" in the summer of 1944 by welding portions of German beach obstacles on the front of an M-4 Sherman tank.  This innovation allowed U.S. tanks to smash through hedgerows, allowing the Allies to gain a tactical advantage in the bocage country and breakout from the Normandy beachhead.  For extra credit to be awarded, three elements must be provided by the student:  1)  a description of the nature of the problem, 2)  a description of the nature of the solution, and 3)  a proper bibliographical citation of the source of information.  Each student is eligible to submit one such device for consideration, with each example becoming void after it has been submitted (i.e., no duplications).  For example the rhino tank has already been presented as an example of a field expedient solution or device, thus it may not be submitted for extra credit consideration.  A valid submission will be worth 25 points, and will be added to the student's overall point total.  All extra credit must be turned in prior to the last day of class.  In lieu of finding a field expedient device, extra credit may also be earned by recording and transcribing an interview with a WWII Veteran about his or her experiences during the war.  Additional details regarding this option are available from Dr. Wettemann. 

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ASSIGNED SEATING: A seating chart will be circulated at the beginning of week 2.  You are requested to remain in the assigned seats for the remainder of the semester.

MISSED EXAMS and MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS: Any student requesting a make-up for the reading quiz or any examination must present a note from a physician or a university approved excuse.  All make-up examinations will be taken on the one date and time announced in class.

LATE PAPERS: Late papers will be penalized 5 points per calendar day, with the first deduction taken after class on the appropriate due date.  Thus, if the paper is not turned in until the next day after class, there is a 10 point deduction.  If you plan to be absent on a university sponsored activity the day that the paper is due, you must turn your paper in early or suffer the same penalties.  Late papers due to illness will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

PLAGIARISM:  Even if someone gives you permission to submit their work as your own, or if you present another's work as your own text without quotation marks, and proper citation, that is plagiarism.  If you have not done so already, consult the "Plagiarism" section of the McMurry History Department Style Manual.  Plagiarism will be neither tolerated nor accepted, and evidence of it will result in automatic failure of the class.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES: Other than tape recorders and calculators, the use of electronic devices (cellular phones, personal pagers, flash photography, etc.) is prohibited in the classroom without prior permission of the instructor.  All cell phones that ring in class will be answered by the instructor.  He is not responsible for any consequences that may result.  In other words, turn off all cell phones.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:  McMurry University abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no otherwise qualified student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.”  If you have a documented disability that may impact your performance in this class and for which you may require accommodations, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Services Office, located in Old Main, Room 102.

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SECTION 01 -- TR 8:00

Begin reading DuBois, Souls of Black Folk
Week 1 -- Reconstruction and the New South; Conquest of the Far West, OM chs.
Week 2 -- Industrial Supremacy, OM, ch. 19
Week 3 -- The Age of the City, ch. 19
Review of DuBois, Souls of Black Folk due on 9 February
Week 4 -- Imperial Republic, OM, ch. 20; Rise of Progressivism, OM ch 21
Week 5 -- The Battle for National Reform, OM, ch. 21
EXAM I -- 23 February
Begin reading, Riess, Sport in Industrial America
Week 6 -- America and the Great War, OM, ch. 22, pp. 
Week 7 -- The New Era, OM ch. 23
Week 8 -- The Great Depression and the New Deal, OM ch. 24
March 7 through 11 -- SPRING BREAK
Weeks 9 and 10 -- World War II, OM, ch. 25
Review of Alexander, Wings of Change due 23 March
EXAM II -- 30 March
Begin reading NSC-68 and the Bush Doctrine
Week 11 -- The Cold War, OM ch. 26
Week 12 -- The Affluent Society, OM ch. 27
Week 13 -- The Ordeal of Liberalism, OM chs. 28-29
Week 14 -- The Crisis of Authority, OM ch. 30
Week 15 -- Contemporary America, OM chs. 31
:  11 May, 8:00 a.m.

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EXAM I                                                    EXAM II                                                                FINAL EXAM

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