As you’re taking notes on the Learning Objectives, don’t ever write more than a few sentences for any one item. For those that ask you to summarize, you may write up to a short paragraph, max. Learning to distill information down to its essentials from a longer, more complicated source is a critical skill not just for history, but for other classes and jobs — what educators call a “desirable difficulty.” It’s common in many lines of work for a boss to drop a stack on your desk and ask you to summarize it. Paraphrasing or distilling, to put it in common jargon, is what people want when they say give me the skinny, or lowdown, or ask for something in a nutshell, or ask what’s the takeaway?
It may be helpful when reading to draw connections to other things or to visualize something the way you would when reading fiction. If you have a particular question, write it down, and we can discuss it. I won’t give you straight answers to Learning Objectives — that’s your task — but I might be able to ask a leading question if you are stuck and have explained to me in detail what you have already come up with. Don’t go through and try to pluck out the material related to the Learning Objectives without reading the whole chapter. It will likely take longer and I will use material from other parts of the text as distractors (wrong answers) on test items, including introductions, conclusions, and all points in between. You’ll miss connective tissue that helps you to make sense of the material.
Don’t feel like you need to click on the hyperlinks in these chapters. They are there for your general edification if you want to know more, or don’t understand a particular term, but you should generally pass over them. Stop and look at images and maps because that will better enable you to understand what’s going on in the reading. They are there for a reason and are well worth the few minutes it takes to look them over. They may appear on exams as an aid. Understanding basic geography and chronology (time and space) is helpful in building a basic foundation of historical knowledge. From there you can expand into higher levels of analysis like causation, interpretation, synthesis, etc. A good default way of analyzing whether you really understand something is to ask yourself the “Five W’s” of journalism: who, what, when, where and why. What were the short- and long-term impacts and consequences? You won’t be able to apply these principles to every Learning Objective, but they are a good starting point. To further develop your idea of critical reading and reading comprehension, here’s a good 15-20 workshop.
*Keep in mind that you can make font bigger or smaller by adjusting your browser settings. Also, if all the images in a chapter don’t appear, push refresh.
Industry & Technology 1
1. Evaluate the economic impact of the Industrial Revolution on America in the late 19th century. What were its advantages and disadvantages?
2a. Briefly identify the origins of the early Industrial Revolution. Where did it begin and when did it spread to America?
2b. Identify some successful traits of American industry prior to the Civil War and after the war regarding patents and inventions. Identify Thomas Edison and some of his main inventions.
3. Analyze how finance affected technological innovation in the late 19th century (and vice-versa).
4. Identify the War of the Currents between Edison and Nikola Tesla and their respective financial backers. How does it still influence us today?
5. Explain what modern economists mean by the phrase “hype cycle.”
6. Describe how patent concerns impacted the airplane industry.
7. Summarize the ways that railroads changed American life in the late 19th century.
8. Explain why Chicago was well situated to take advantage of the emerging intermodal system. Identify Richard Sears and some ways that he was a forerunner to today’s retailers. Also, describe how Clarence Saunders redesigned retail stores.
9. Identify important ways that Andrew Carnegie & John D. Rockefeller pioneered American business.
10. Differentiate between vertical and horizontal integration. Identify some examples in today’s market of attempts at vertical integration. Describe how, sometimes, monopolies (or at least economies of scale) can actually benefit consumers.
Gilded Age 2
1. Describe generally (in 4-5 sentences) how political machines operated in the late 19th century. Identify the role of the ward boss within the political machines.
2. Identify the concepts of graft, kickbacks, and racketeering.
3. Identify one major reason why American labor unions were relatively weak in comparison to other countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
4. Analyze what the career of Democratic Socialist Eugene Debs tells us about the American political spectrum in the Progressive Era. What overall political situation allowed for third parties to fill in the void on the left part of the political spectrum?
5. Summarize how Populists affected the mainstream political system. Identify Tom Watson and what he teaches us about the Populist movement.
6. Identify William McKinley and describe why the 1896 election was a watershed election in American history. How did it affect the near-term future for Americans? Explain how measures the two main parties took to make the country less democratic inadvertently made it more democratic in the long run.
Overseas Expansion 3
1. Explain the ideological motivations for American expansion overseas in the 19th century.
2. Summarize Americans’ colonization of Hawaii and explain their justification for overthrowing the Hawaiian government. Differentiate between America’s policies toward Hawaii and Japan.
3a. Analyze the connection between the domestic economy and foreign policy and America’s practical motivation for expansion in the late 19th century.
3b. Identify Alfred T. Mahan’s influence on American foreign policy. What country, for Mahan, best exemplified the model/formula for “sea power?”
4a. Identify Teddy Roosevelt (aka TR) and describe his rise to prominence during the war.
4b. Summarize America’s relationship to Cuba after the Spanish-American War.
5. Evaluate American involvement in the Philippines from 1898-1916. Differentiate between how Americans and Filipinos interpreted the meaning of the Spanish-American War.
6. Analyze the causes of the Boxer Rebellion in China. Define the Open Door Policy and explain how it unraveled by the 1930s.
7. Describe why the U.S. wanted to build a canal through Central America and how they acquired the territory to build it.
8. Distinguish between the 1823 Monroe Doctrine and Teddy Roosevelt’s 1904 Corollary. What did the Corollary officially and unofficially sanction in terms of U.S. foreign policy? Explain why the U.S. discouraged democracies in Latin America and why John Kennedy later criticized U.S. policy.
9. Identify the meaning of imperialism in a dictionary and evaluate whether the Texas public schools should allow that term to be used in relation to American foreign policy from 1853-1914.
Rise of the Nanny State 4
1. Throughout the chapter, define and summarize Progressivism as it applies to the early 20th century. Who were the Progressives? Explain why the Progressives are a difficult group to categorize under one heading.
2. Define the American eugenics movement and distinguish it from what happened in Germany in the 1930s/40’s. What were the long-term goals of the American eugenicists?
3. Explain why there’s been renewed interest in Margaret Sanger recently. Identify the term subtext and apply it to the controversy over Sanger’s legacy and reputation.
4. Evaluate the political strategies of the women’s suffrage movement. How did Suffragists convince the public that women should be able to vote?
5. Describe the forces that led to passage of the 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act.
6. Define regulatory creep or red tape. Why does it build up in the system?
7. Interpret the causes of Prohibition legislation. What forces contributed to it, and why did it kick in nationally in 1919 instead of, say, 1850 or 1950?
LO #8 Is for In-Class Students, Not For Distance Learning:
8. Critique the statement “you can’t legislate morality.” Apply the principle to some other laws besides the prohibition of alcohol. Examine how well it holds up.
9. Evaluate the implementation of Prohibition. How did confusion and disagreement over enforcement foil the efforts of lawmakers during Prohibition?
10. Define the Mann Act and explain its ostensible and real purpose.
11. Describe briefly how the Progressive spirit manifested itself in:
- Sports (boxing, baseball, college football)
Bull Moose From the Bully Pulpit 5
1. Know the basics of the American political spectrum in relation to economics. Identify what’s meant by being on the Left or Right. Identify the famous ideological leaders of the left and right.
2. Explain how federal (national) intervention into the economy was rationalized or justified, constitutionally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
3. Describe how the federal (national) government came to intervene in the economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
4. Identify the Federal Reserve and explain its intended role in the economy. Analyze how well it has operated over the last century based on the examples mentioned in the book.
5. Identify the 16th Amendment and explain what it means that tax brackets are progressive or graduated. Understand that everyone gets charged the same rates up to a certain amount, and only gets charged the higher rate above that cut-off. Explain why wealthy Americans sometimes pay a lower overall effective rate than workers.
6. Explain the theory behind the Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust Acts of 1890 and 1914. Why did/does the government see monopolies as disadvantageous to free markets, even though anti-trust legislation, itself, interferes with free markets?
LO #7 Is for In-Class Students, Not For Distance Learning:
7. Apply the concept of anti-trust legislation to recent history by finding an anti-trust case from the last 30 years other than Microsoft. Why do/did some people fear the company in question is/was forming a monopoly? What was the nature of the court case, and how was it resolved? This Justice Department Anti-Trust Division site is a good starting point, as is the Federal Trade Commission > Enforcement > Cases & Proceedings. Or you could do a random search starting with “anti-trust.”
8. Identify Robert La Follette and Teddy Roosevelt and describe their roles in the Progressive movement. How do La Follette and Teddy Roosevelt differ from our modern stereotypical view of politics and the characteristics of today’s parties?
9. Summarize how the terms liberal and liberalism have evolved between the 18th and 21st centuries. How does the term liberalism also change when panning out to an international perspective as opposed to just domestic (within the U.S.). Explain how the term conservative has also changed.
10. Explain why the 1912 Presidential election was an important one in the history of Progressivism and the Republican Party.
The Great War 6
1. Analyze the primary causes of the Great War of 1914-1919 — both underlying and immediate. What motivated Gavrilo Princip to assassinate the heir to the Austrian throne? Describe how that singular act drew so many other countries into a wider war.
2. Describe how the industrialized warfare of the early 20th century impacted the course of the Great War. Explain why the Western Front moved back and forth so slowly from 1914-1917.
3. Explain why the U.S. initially stayed out of the Great War.
4. Determine what drew the U.S. into the First World War. What was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for Wilson, causing him to declare war on Germany?
5. Explain the impact of World War I on American politics. Describe how it impacted race relations between Whites and minorities. Identify the term Red Summer.
6. Analyze what military influence the U.S. had on World War I’s outcome.
7. Summarize how the Great War impacted the political histories of:
- Turkey & the Middle East (more below w. #9)
- Russia & Eastern Europe
Describe why the war caused political instability throughout Europe after it was over.
8. Evaluate American relations with the emerging country of the USSR (Soviet Union) at the end of World War I. Explain how the Bolshevik Revolution impacted America’s domestic politics.
9. Evaluate and analyze Woodrow Wilson’s handling of German relations and the Versailles Peace Treaty. What did he do right and wrong, in your opinion? What resistance did Wilson get among politicians back home and why?
Roaring Twenties 7
1. Identify nativism and explain what historians mean by the urban/rural split of the 1920s. How was rural-urban tension tied to the economy?
2a. Interpret why the new Klan emerged and went mainstream in the 1920s.
2b. Describe how xenophobia expressed itself in new immigration policies in the mid-1920s.
3. Identify the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, and how it fits into the context of the 1920s.
4. Analyze why the Democratic Party struggled to gain a national footing in the 1920s, even though it did well in local elections. How did Al Smith’s 1928 presidential campaign exemplify the Democrats’ problems? How did the Democrats’ struggles and booming industrial economy impact the executive branch (presidency)?
5. Analyze how the expanding electrical grid and invention of refrigeration and air conditioning affected the American economy.
6. Explain how Henry Ford was the greatest exemplar of the new industrialism of the early 20th century. How did Ford employ more people than just autoworkers?
7. Describe some ways that radio changed American life and launched a business model in popular music.
8. Describe how Prohibition impacted crime rates and led to the rise of organized crime.
Crash & Great Depression 8
Read the background in opening paragraphs to set the stage and explain the stock market.
1. Identify Andrew Mellon and the concept of laissez-faire. How did Mellon influence economic policy in the 1920s?
2. Summarize some of the primary causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, according to our textbook.
3a. Discuss the connection between the stock market and general economy in the 1920s-30’s. Explain how banks were connected to the market and the people. Analyze whether or not the Stock Market Crash actually caused the Great Depression. Identify and explain other factors like the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
3b. Define recession and explain the etymology of an economic depression.
4. Explain the causes of the Dust Bowl. How did technology and nature intersect in an unfortunate way for Plains farmers?
5. Identify protectionism and evaluate the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. What motivated the tariff and how did it affect the economy according to most economists? Explain why economist Paul Krugman disagrees with the common interpretation.
6. Explain what Herbert Hoover tried to accomplish with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
7. Explain what caused the Bonus Army March and how the government reacted.
FDR’s New Deal 9
1. Explain why President Hoover was frustrated with Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign strategy in 1932 and his behavior after he won. Why do historians see FDR as more of a “pragmatic tinkerer” than a left-winger?
2. Summarize the basic ideas behind the early (or First) New Deal.
3. Explain why the New Deal wasn’t progressive on racial, civil rights issues for the most part.
4. As in Chapter 5, know the basics of the American political spectrum in relation to economics. Identify what’s meant by being on the Left or Right. Understand that most people view themselves as moderate and others who disagree as extreme.
5. Identify John Maynard Keynes and the ideas behind Keynesian economics. Integrate that knowledge by describing how a Keynesian would deal with the recession of 2008-13. Contrast Keynesian stimuli with more conservative approaches like that of Friedrich Hayek.
6. Familiarize yourself with the basics of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (2009-19 Stimulus Package). You don’t need to read the entire Wiki entry, but know the essentials of what it was about and where the money went (see Provisions).
7. Explain how FDR’s administration tried to jumpstart the economy during the early New Deal. How do their projects still impact us today?
8. Explain the main criticisms that FDR got from the left and right. Identify Huey Long, Charles Coughlin, and Dr. Francis Townsend.
9. Describe how the New Deal changed after 1934. What were the most important legacies of the Second New Deal of 1934-38?
- Explain the origins of Social Security and why, despite its relative success, it poses challenges for future generations of Americans. Identify Frances Perkins and her role in Social Security legislation.
- Describe how the right to collective bargaining increased the power of labor unions.
- Describe how the federal government intervened in housing during the New Deal.
10. Identify FDR’s Court-Packing Scheme and the Switch in Time That Saved 9. What lasting impact did it have on 20th-century American history?
11. Identify the Roosevelt Recession of 1937. Explain how liberals and conservatives might interpret it differently and why it is difficult to draw helpful lessons from that recession. What would liberals and conservatives, respectively, cherry-pick and flush down the memory hole?
12. Critique the theory that stimulus spending doesn’t work — that only WWII lifted the U.S. out of the Great Depression.
Versailles to Pearl Harbor 10
1. Evaluate the economic and diplomatic policies of the Western Allies (U.S., Britain, France) in the 1920s and 30’s. What were their attitudes toward trade and diplomacy?
2. Evaluate Japan’s foreign policy in Asia in the 1920s and 30’s. Contrast it with America’s Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary and Britain’s historical pattern of industrial/naval buildup as described by Alfred T. Mahan.
3. Recognize the fundamental challenges facing the Weimar Republic, and how the Nazi Party gained adherents in Germany and abroad over the course of the 1920s and 30’s.
4. Outline some of the ideological bases for German fascism (religious, economic, historical, scientific). Explain how American eugenics influenced Nazi Germany.
5. Explain how Nazis revived the German economy and the significance of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
6. Describe early fascist expansion and identify the phrase Remember Munich. Evaluate the common notion that the Western Allies (the U.S., Britain & France) should’ve stopped Hitler in 1938. Explain how Munich has affected American foreign policy ever since.
7. Explain how the rise of Germany and Japan were connected. Put another way: why did the Tripartite Agreement adding a third Axis Power make sense?
8. Analyze how Britain was able to defend itself from the German blitzkrieg in 1940-41. Why did Hitler fail to conquer England?
9. Contrast the American foreign policy Congress expressed in the Nye Committee (1935) and Neutrality Act (1937) legislation with that of Woodrow Wilson circa 1919 (Versailles, Chapter 6) and FDR circa 1940.
10. Dissect the breakdown in the relationship between the U.S. and Japan in the early 1940s. Analyze what interests compelled the U.S. to embargo the oil and steel trade to Japan.
11. Evaluate America’s preparation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Should the U.S. have seen the attack coming? Was the U.S. fair in court-martialing Husband Kimmel and Walter Short?
World War II, 1942-43 11
1. Describe the decisions FDR and his cabinet faced as of December 1941. Analyze why the U.S. didn’t attack Germany or Japan directly in 1942.
2. Summarize the basic military strategy of U.S. forces in the Pacific War.
3. Identify the importance of Guadalcanal (Coral Sea) and Midway in turning momentum against Japan.
4. Summarize how intelligence aided U.S. efforts in the Pacific War.
5. Evaluate the role of industry in winning World War II. What advantages did the Arsenal of Democracy have over Germany and Japan? How did the economic role of women change during World War II?
6. Assess how much danger the continental U.S. was in during World War II.
7. Summarize the basic military strategy of U.S. forces in Europe & North Africa. What advantage did the Allies have in Europe regarding air power that they lacked initially in Asia?Why didn’t the Allies just invade German-occupied France directly at the beginning of the war? Assess the effectiveness of the Allies’ aerial bombardment of Germany.
8. Describe why Hitler invaded the USSR and what factors complicated his plans.
9. Describe the fundamental disagreement between Stalin and the Western Allies when they met at Casablanca and Tehran in 1943. Analyze and explain what Josef Stalin meant when, after the war, he said of Hitler’s defeat: “England provided the time, America provided the money, and Russia provided the blood.”
World War II, 1944-45 12
1. Explain how and why military intelligence in Europe helped trigger the digital age.
2. Analyze the importance and timing of the Allied landings in Normandy, France in June 1944. Consider from the introduction to this chapter (and portions of the previous chapter) how the Normandy Invasion was connected to the Eastern War between the Soviets and Germans. How did the Allies confuse the Germans before the attack? Identify challenges the Allies faced after gaining a foothold in northern France.
3. Analyze the Battle of the Bulge. What factors foiled Hitler’s plan to regain momentum?
4. Understand the basic facts of the Nazi Holocaust. Describe why Eisenhower insisted on filming the camps. Identify the victims of the Holocaust.
5. Evaluate the Western Allies’ strategy in Germany in 1944-45. Why did Eisenhower let the Soviets conquer Berlin?
6. Evaluate the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What factors played into the decision? Assess the theory that Japan was on the verge of surrender before the bombings. Explain how the USSR factored into the decision to drop the bombs and Japan’s decision to surrender.
Cold War, 1945-53 13
1. Situate America’s post-WWII European foreign policy in the broader context of the Cold War. Distinguish between U.S. policy toward Germany after World War II and the Allies’ policy after World War I. Identify the Marshall Plan and explain Herbert Hoover’s role in that plan.
2. Explain the collective contribution of Harry Truman, Dean Acheson and George Kennan on U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War. Describe how they shaped policy for the next eight presidential administrations. What did Truman mean by “rotten apples in a barrel?”
3. Summarize how NATO and the Warsaw Pact raised stakes, provided protection, and increased tensions during the Cold War. Define the term collective security. Besides NATO, identify other events in 1949 that intensified the Cold War.
4. Identify NSC-68 (or Document #68) and how it changed the Cold War.
5. Explain the origins of America’s “One China Policy.” Why is the U.S. in a delicate diplomatic predicament regarding China and Taiwan?
6. Describe the fundamental disagreement between Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman that led Truman to fire MacArthur early in the Korean War.
Cold War, 1953-62 14
1. Explain why it’s an oversimplification to say that the U.S. fought for democracy during the Cold War. Identify some examples of where American (or Western) interests conflicted with America’s commitment to democracy.
2. Summarize the cause and long-term impact of the Suez Crisis.
3. Explain what Eisenhower meant in his Farewell Address by the dangers of the military-industrial complex. How can conflicts of interest arise between contractors and policymakers? Does the danger still persist?
4. Describe what foiled Eisenhower’s peace initiatives with the USSR toward the end of his second administration.
5. Describe the backdrop to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Distinguish between what the U.S. knew about the crisis in 1962 and what they learned later when Soviet archives opened after the Cold War. Evaluate ExComm’s and JFK’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Postwar America 15
Opening: Identify the meaning of the term counter-factual history.
1. Explain why relations were so contentious between labor and management in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Identify the key legislation that affected labor.
2. Identify the Dixiecrats (States’ Rights Party) and integrate their story with our earlier analysis of the Democrats in the 1920s and 30’s.
3. Evaluate the successes, failures, and challenges of Harry Truman’s Fair Deal. Identify the Old Guard, and explain their importance.
4. Describe how China’s communist revolution influenced American politics.
5. Describe Joseph McCarthy’s role in American politics and evaluate recent attempts to revive his reputation.
6. Analyze how broader American culture mirrored the government’s attempts to ferret out communists.
7. Analyze and assess the theory that Hollywood radicals were trying to dismantle the American system.
8. Evaluate the idea that public/government spending can only be a drag on the economy. How well does that notion stand up against American history during the Cold War?
9. Briefly summarize the origins of the Internet.
10. Discuss the politics of America’s highways. Who pays for them? Why did America choose roads over passenger/commuter rail? What’s the purpose of the 4-lane interstates?
11. Identify White Flight and analyze how race and class played into urban expansion and freeway construction in the postwar period. As a case study, how did Austin encourage racial segregation?
On Fire: 1960s 16
1. Summarize what made the 1960 election between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy one of the more compelling in modern history. Identify Kennedy’s New Frontier and his most significant legislative achievements.
2. Analyze what can we learn about conspiracy theories in general from the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Why does it present a problem if more than one sounds convincing?
3. Identify Barry Goldwater and analyze how the 1964 Election triggered a shift in voting patterns.
4. Identify the Great Society and contrast the legislative achievements of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Which congressmen passed LBJ’s landmark civil rights legislation?
5. Summarize how [Ralph] Nader’s Raiders changed peoples’ everyday lives.
6. Identify the Conservative Counter-Revolution and George Wallace and trace their rise in popularity over the course of the 1960s.
7. Evaluate the limitations and legacy of the 1960s counterculture (according to our textbook).
8. Describe what went wrong for the Democratic Party in the 1968 election.
9. Identify and describe the appeal of Richard Nixon’s Law & Order campaign.
10. Briefly describe some of the engineering challenges confronting the American space program in the 1960s. Based on what you’ve read in previous chapters, why were the U.S. and USSR were so intent on exploring the moon.
Civil Rights 17
If you’re not familiar with the 14th Amendment, refresh yourself with Section 1. The 14th incorporates the Bill of Rights (1-9) down to the state level, meaning that neither the national nor state governments can abridge basic rights of citizenship.
1. Explain how the mid-20th century black Civil Rights movement incorporated strategies pioneered by early civil rights leaders.
2. Summarize the ways that World War II helped trigger the modern (mid-20th c.) Civil Rights Movement.
3. Summarize the importance of the Emmett Till case. What does it tell us about the importance of jury duty, media coverage, and sectional relations between North and South?
4. Explain the ways that Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi influenced the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
5. Describe how the Civil Rights movement connected to public education, both K-12 and colleges.
6. Describe how violence and protests in Alabama and the 1963 March on Washington impacted civil rights legislation.
7. Identify and describe the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
8. Describe how, including the 24th Amendment, 1965 Immigration Act, Loving vs. Virginia (1967) case, and Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Civil Rights Movement changed the legal landscape regarding race in America.
9. Explain how voting rights legislation affected the Houston Astrodome bond issue.
10. Evaluate and critique the successes and failures of the Great Society’s war on poverty and racism.
11. Explain how the Rodney King and O.J. Simpson trials in Los Angeles exemplified and/or caused racial tension in America circa 1990s.
12. Identify policies the textbook mentions as helping cities cope with race-based police brutality.
13. Contrast the civil rights strategies of the early Southern, Christian-led movement and the Northern, Nation of Islam-oriented Black Power movement. Who were the primary leaders of the Black Power movement?
14. Evaluate the ways that the techniques and concerns of the black Civil Rights Movement carried over, or were shared, by other groups:
- American Indians
15. Identify the Constitutional argument plaintiffs used in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). Analyze which dissenting arguments were strongest or weakest, in your opinion, from a Constitutional perspective. Describe how opponents of same-sex marriage have shifted tactics in recent years.
16. Analyze and describe the pros and cons of Affirmative Action. How, in some cases, do Whites benefit from Affirmative Action?
Vietnam Wars 18
1. Summarize how the U.S. got involved in Vietnam between World War II and 1963. Identify the importance of the:
- Atlantic Charter
- Relations With France & Japan
- Domino Theory
Explain how and why NSC-68 trumped the Atlantic Charter as far as America’s role in Vietnam. Distinguish between Truman’s narrower “rotten apples in a barrel” policy (LO 13:2) toward key areas and the broader “domino theory” applied to the entire Eurasian landmass.
2. Explain why Eisenhower and the U.S. didn’t want to sign the 1954 Geneva Convention or honor the convention’s call for country-wide elections.
3. Describe how the Kennedy administration struggled to control the escalating civil war in South Vietnam.
4. Analyze how the 1964 presidential election changed the Vietnam situation for the U.S. Identify the Gulf of Tonkin incident and how LBJ’s retaliation after Pleiku helped muster Soviet support for North Vietnam.
5. Summarize the military strategy the U.S. employed in Vietnam. How far was the U.S. willing to go to keep communism out of South Vietnam, and why wasn’t it willing to exert its full capacity for warfare on the North Vietnamese?
6. From Short Video: Analyze how the la Drang battle symbolized the Vietnam conflict. How did it exemplify the strategic problems the U.S. faced fighting in South Vietnam?
7. Discuss how and why the Tet offensive was a turning point in Americans’ attitudes toward the Vietnam War. Analyze why its interpretation among journalists, historians, the Pentagon, and the public remain controversial.
8. Identify the My Lai Massacre and explain how the liberation policy backfired.
9. Critique Richard Nixon’s actions in the 1968 presidential race. Evaluate the quality of the evidence for his violation of the Logan Act or purported treason, and whether his actions were beneficial or harmful to the U.S. in the long run.
10. Contrast Richard Nixon’s strategy for attaining victory in Vietnam with Lyndon Johnson’s. How were their strategies similar? How did they vary?
11. Identify Colin Powell and three main points of the Powell Doctrine.
1. Describe Nixon and Kissinger’s détente policy and how it changed America’s foreign relations. In what ways did détente succeed or fail?
2. Briefly describe the origins of modern Israel and why Jerusalem is a contested city. Identify the 1973 Yom Kippur War and describe how the Arab reaction to the conflict affected the American economy. Analyze the role of OPEC in the world oil economy.
3. Peak Oil is the concept that production (or extraction) has peaked and gone into decline, and/or will no longer be able to meet future demand. Explain how the Peak Oil idea affected the American economy and foreign policy starting in the 1970s. How was it arguably a good thing, even if it was premature in its assessment?
4. Explain what Nixon meant when he said that he didn’t become president to “fix an outhouse in Peoria.”
5. Identify Rachel Carson and explain her impact on the environmental movement. Why would critics compare her to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao?
6. Identify the GOP’s Southern Strategy, and how it contributed to a seismic shift in American electoral politics. Explain how we still feel the impact of the Democrats reversing their stance on race.
7. Identify the Pentagon Papers and their influence on Nixon’s administration. Identify and describe the purpose of Nixon’s “Plumbers.” Read the first four paragraphs (above the table of contents) of this Wiki entry for Edward Snowden; then compare and contrast Daniel Ellsberg and Snowden. Reach an opinion on whether or not you consider one or both of these leakers heroes or traitors.
8. Identify the Watergate break-in. Compare and contrast Nixon’s situation in 1972-74 with that of Donald Trump more recently. Explain how the resulting scandal changed future American politics.
Conservative Resurgence 20
1. Over the next few sections, analyze and discuss how one could see a conservative swing coming in American politics during the Carter presidency, even before Ronald Reagan arrived on the scene in 1980.
2. Interpret Jimmy Carter’s popularity among voters in 1976. Why would a character like Carter win the presidency in the mid-1970s?
3. Identify stagflation and explain why it occurred in the 1970s. Identify some industries that deregulated in the 1970s and early 80’s.
4. Identify key new weapons in the Cold War as of the late 1970s.
5. Discuss Jimmy Carter’s record on foreign policy. What were the highlights and lowlights?
6. Identify the Reagan Democrats and how they helped build a new GOP coalition that propelled Reagan to victory in 1980. Explain what one commentator meant in saying that “Goldwater lost against the New Deal, but Reagan won against the Great Society.”
7. Define Reaganomics and contrast it with FDR’s approach during the New Deal.
8. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of deregulation during and after the Reagan Revolution. Assess how deregulation changed media.
9. Explain how enhanced Gerrymandering magnifies partisanship in American politics.
10. Analyze the connection between the 1988 campaign and minimum mandatory sentencing. What does the textbook suggest are some of the causes (other than increased incarceration) for dropping crime rates?
11. Explain how the Democratic Leadership Council, including Bill Clinton, advocated coping with the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s.
12. Summarize [Newt Gingrich’s] Contract With America and explain why Gingrich & the GOP failed to defeat Clinton in 1996. What was Gingrich’s impact on bipartisanship in Congress and in society at large? How did the “Watergate Baby” Democrats of 1974 also contribute to the long-term demise of Congressional bipartisan compromise?
Gridlock & Globalization 21
1. Review why partisanship — though a mainstay in American politics — has worsened in recent decades, creating more animosity between voters. In the sections below, assess how (if at all) partisanship and lobbying have complicated debates over globalization/trade, healthcare insurance, and high finance.
2. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of globalization & free trade. Describe why the main political parties’ embrace of globalization opened the door for Ross Perot and Donald Trump. Explain the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999. Identify the potential disadvantage of bilateral trade agreements as opposed to multilateral.
3. Describe the failure of Clinton’s 1993 healthcare initiative.
4. Trace how conservatives’ reaction to the long-term threat of single-payer universal healthcare coverage led to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010. Contrast a single-payer system with that of a health insurance mandate. Why does our textbook argue that Medicare is more “socialist” than Obamacare?
5. Explain how Trump and the GOP would like to reform the healthcare system.
6. Explain how economic changes during Alan Greenspan’s reign as Chair of the Federal Reserve helped raise risk in the economy.
7. Explain how deregulation impacted Wall Street in the 90’s and early 00’s. Identify which of the deregulated laws the textbook cites as leaving American taxpayers on the hook, tripling the amount of risk bank investors were allowed to make.
8. Identify the concept of systemic risk and whom it potentially impacts.
9. Assess the government reaction (attempted solutions) to the economic meltdown of 2008-9. How did it succeed and/or fall short? Identify and define major legislation like TARP and Dodd-Frank. What are the main features of Dodd-Frank?
10. Explain how the Great Recession impacted the two political parties (Republican & Democrat). What fundamental theory behind TARP would you imagine that both Tea Partiers and Bernie Sanders rejected?
New World Order, 1982-2000 22
*You’ll be assessing Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War more below w. #3
1. Contrast how Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan dealt with the Iranian hostage crisis.
2. Identify Charlie Wilson and his role in weakening the USSR. How did American involvement in Afghanistan create future problems for the U.S.?
3. Based on material at the beginning of the chapter and the section titled “Cold War Ends,” evaluate Ronald Reagan’s record on Soviet relations. Analyze and access how liberal and conservative historians vary in their interpretations of Reagan’s role in the Cold War.
4. Analyze why the USSR collapsed in 1991.
5. Describe the misunderstanding over NATO toward the end of the Cold War and why George Kennan feared a second Cold War. Explain why Donald Trump’s presidency might signal a shift in U.S. policy toward Europe and Russia.
6. Analyze what new challenges the end of the Cold War created for American foreign policy. How was the world, in some ways, an even more dangerous place?
7. Discuss why U.S.-Saudi Arabian relations have been complicated over the last century.
8. Identify and summarize the Powell Doctrine (this overlaps with LO 18-11). Explain how Colin Powell’s view of Vietnam shaped the way the U.S. conducted the Persian Gulf War.
9. Distinguish between the concepts of Bush 41’s multilateralism/collective security and Bush 43’s unilateralism. What are examples of each?
10. Identify the term balkanization and explain why the Europeans and NATO tried to contain fragmentation in SE Europe during the 1990s. What does the textbook argue is largely forgotten about America’s role in Kosovo and Serbia?
11. Analyze the challenges American leaders have faced in trying to broker lasting peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims.
LO #12 Is for In-Class Students, Not For Distance Learning:
12. Develop an informed opinion as to how the U.S. should proceed on foreign policy in the Middle East going forward. Is it time to step back and, without becoming purely isolationist, give up on micro-managing the problematic region through military interventions because we don’t need their oil anymore (i.e. Barack Obama & Donald Trump)? Or, alternatively, should the U.S. step up more forcefully as an agent of change, embracing its role as world leader and using its might and influence to bring about lasting peace, stability, and access to natural resources in the Middle East (i.e. establishment GOP, John McCain & Hillary Clinton)?
Geography & Chronology Learning Objectives for In-Class Courses, Not Distance Learning
Exam 1 Chapters: 1-4
How did the U.S. get involved in the Spanish-American War? What territories did it acquire as a result?
Why did the U.S. want a canal through Central America, and how did they acquire Panama to build the canal?
Geography: Cuba, Philippines, China (Boxer Rebellion), Hawaii, Alaska, Panama Canal
Exam 2 Chapters: 5-9
Chronology: America’s Involvement in World War I
Know about: Lusitania, Zimmerman Telegram, Doughboy’s (AEF) role on Western Front, Wilson’s Reelection in 1916 on a Peace Platform, Wilson’s involvement in Paris Peace Conference
Exam 3 Chapters: 10-16
Geography: East & SE Asia: South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam
Exam 4 Chapters: 17-22
Geography: Middle East & SW Asia: Egypt (SW of Israel), Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan