“Reading is an active, imaginative act; it takes work.” — Khaled Hosseini
Every test item is tied to a Learning Objective and ~ 90% of LO’s are tied to a test item. The LO’s are listed below, in sequential order, divided up into their respective chapters. As you’re taking notes on the LO’s, don’t 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. Occasionally, you might just scribble bullet points, but prose is a better test of your comprehension.
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.” Ask yourself what the punchline would be if the section was a joke (though it won’t be the last sentence). What is the most important point of the section? Don’t “miss the forest for the trees.” For instance, if I ask how the patent system impacted American aviation (LO: 1-8), I’m not looking for multiple sentences of detail on wing design; I’m looking for one sentence about how legal concerns preoccupied engineers so much that they slowed down progress. That’s the bigger point (the forest or punchline) that’s more likely to be applied to other situations in other times. An even better example is LO: 6-6 about America’s military impact on World War I. The section has a lot of details, but what if you had to summarize America’s impact in just a sentence or two? What would those one or two sentences be? How about starting with “Arriving late in the war, American Doughboys helped blunt Germany’s 1918 offensive, turning them back to their border, where they surrendered.” Have your opening sentence be the sentence you’d write if you were limited to writing just one. 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, encapsulating, 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? I hope you enjoy the details of the early aviation story for general edification (the trees in the forest), but the takeaway is that the patent system has advantages and disadvantages. I hope that hundreds of such seemingly small takeaways add up over the course so that, by the end, you’ve learned things about history that will make you a more thoughtful citizen going forward. Focus on causation and context rather than merely focusing on facts and dates. I also include some “Forest-For-The-Trees” LOs at the end of some chapters. Those don’t correspond to any particular test item but ask yourself those questions after you’ve read a chapter to see if you’ve comprehended major fundamentals that you might’ve overlooked by focusing too much on details. After a while, you’ll get used to keeping fundamentals in your head as you’re also grappling with details. If you find yourself stumped by the Forest LOs, one starting point (other than re-reading) is to go back over the notes you’ve taken on the regular LOs.
It’s helpful when reading non-fiction to draw connections to other things or to visualize something the way you would when reading fiction. “See” the material, in other words, instead of just trying to memorize words. Before reading the chapter, scroll down through the chapter to gauge its length, look at the sub-headings, and look at the images (paintings, photos, maps, graphs, etc.). If you have a particular question about anything that confuses you, 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 what you have already come up with. If you feel completely lost or out of your depth, consider visiting the History Hub Library > Basics (tab above) for background videos and primer texts and/or tapping into ACC’s Academic Coaching (link on left-hand Bb toolbar) or Tutoring (Learning Labs link in Bb Home Page). It’s perfectly normal to struggle in gateway courses and you should know that you’re not alone. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed.
Don’t go through and try to pluck out the material related to the Learning Objectives without reading the whole chapter, including conclusions. It might actually take longer and you’ll miss connective tissue that helps you to make sense of the material. Also, explaining things in your own words rather than just looking at text improves understanding and memory. Forcing yourself to use your own words when writing your LO notes rather than just looking at text or copy-and-pasting from the text improves your understanding and memory.
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. And, while this no doubt goes without saying for 99% of you, understand that I didn’t glean any information from Wikipedia when writing the text (I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t exist when I finished grad school). Stop and look at images and maps, though, 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. Another good exercise is to hand your LO notes to a friend or relative and ask if they can guess the prompt/question. If they can’t, you might be straying off topic. To further develop your idea of critical reading and reading comprehension, here’s a good 15/20-minute workshop.
Take your time as you’re reading. Studies show that people comprehend material better reading from hard copies than from a screen, but not if screen-readers avoid rushing through material quickly with the cursor on the right-hand scrollbar. The problem isn’t the medium but rather the way readers approach the medium. Use ↓ instead, or a two-finger swipe on the trackpad, and take the time to read thoroughly. Keep in mind that you can make font bigger or smaller or screen brighter or darker by adjusting your browser settings. Also, if all the images in a chapter don’t appear, push refresh. For some of the longer 1302 chapters (e.g. 9-12, 16-17), it might be best to divide your reading into two sittings. The overall reading load of ~ 600 pages is in keeping with a typical introductory college history survey and departmental guidelines.
A final word to the wise. Use History Hub and avoid the lazy short-cuts of Course Hero, Quizlet, Slader, Chegg (Study Blue), or even simple Google searches. The information is unreliable, flash-cardy, and outdated and, in the past, it’s translated into poor exam grades. I monitor these sites regularly. Rely on yourself to do your own work or ask me for help. Dare to learn something in college instead of looking for ways to game the system. You’ll be glad you did.
Industry & Technology 1
1. Evaluate the economic impact of the Industrial Revolution on America in the late 19th century. Analyze its advantages and disadvantages.
2. Identify, briefly, the origins of the early Industrial Revolution. Identify where it began and how it spread to America.
3. Identify some successful traits of American industry prior to the Civil War and after.
4. Identify Thomas Edison and some of his main inventions.
5. Analyze how finance affected technological innovation in the late 19th c. and vice-versa.
6. Identify Nikola Tesla and describe the War of the Currents between Edison and Tesla and their respective financial backers. Explain why High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines are poised for a comeback.
7. Explain what modern economists mean by the phrase “hype cycle.”
8. Describe how the patent system impacted the airplane industry.
9. Summarize the ways that railroads changed American life in the late 19th century.
10. 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.
11. Describe how Clarence Saunders redesigned retail stores.
12. Identify important ways that Andrew Carnegie & John D. Rockefeller pioneered American business and their own industries.
13. Differentiate between vertical and horizontal integration. Identify some examples in today’s market of attempts at vertical integration.
14. Describe how, sometimes, monopolies (or at least economies of scale) can 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. Describe some potential drawbacks of one-party political rule.
3. Describe why American labor unions were relatively weak in comparison to other countries in the Gilded Age (Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries). Assess the impact anarchists had on the labor movement.
4. Identify Democratic Socialist Eugene Debs and analyze what his career tells us about the American political spectrum in the Progressive Era. Describe how the Democrats and Republicans allowed third parties to fill in the void on the left part of the political spectrum. Compare and contrast how the textbook describes democratic socialism as practiced today in Europe and Canada with the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on democratic socialism.
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. 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.
3. Differentiate, on general terms, between America’s policies toward Hawaii, Japan, and Korea.
4. Analyze the connection between the domestic economy and foreign policy and America’s practical motivation for expansion in the late 19th century.
5. Identify Alfred T. Mahan’s influence on American foreign policy. Identify which country, for Mahan, best exemplified the model/formula for “sea power.”
6. Identify Teddy Roosevelt (aka TR) and describe his rise to prominence during the war.
7. Summarize America’s relationship with Cuba after the Spanish-American War.
8. Evaluate American involvement in the Philippines from 1898-1916. Differentiate between how Americans and Filipinos interpreted the meaning of the Spanish-American War.
NOTE: Understand that PROTECTORATE status afforded more liberty than being a TERRITORY. Protectorate countries had more independence than territories.
9. Analyze the causes of the Boxer Rebellion in China.
10. Define the Open Door Policy and explain how it unraveled by the 1930s.
11. Describe why the U.S. wanted to build a canal through Central America and how they acquired the territory to build it.
12. Distinguish between the 1823 Monroe Doctrine and Teddy Roosevelt’s 1904 Corollary. Describe what the Corollary officially and unofficially sanctioned 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.
13. 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.
14. Forest-For-The-Trees check: Why, when, and where did the U.S. expand overseas?
Rise of the Nanny State 4
1. Define and summarize, throughout the chapter, Progressivism as it applies to the early 20th century. 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. Describe 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. Describe how Suffragists convinced 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. Describe how it builds up in the system.
7. Interpret the causes of Prohibition legislation. Enumerate what forces contributed to Prohibition and why it kicked in nationally in 1919 instead of, say, 1850 or 1950.
8. Evaluate the implementation of Prohibition. Analyze how confusion and disagreement over enforcement foiled the efforts of lawmakers during Prohibition.
9. Define the Mann Act and explain its ostensible and real purpose.
10. Describe briefly how the Progressive spirit manifested itself in:
- Sports (boxing, baseball, college football)
11. Forest-For-The-Trees check: What’s the difference between small-p and capital-p progressivism?
Bull Moose From the Bully Pulpit 5
1. Describe 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. Explain how the elastic currency concept operates through Open Market Operations. Analyze how well it has operated over the last century based on the examples mentioned in the book. For help on elastic currency and OMO, consult the graph in the text for the basic concept. Ask yourself how you’d expect the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to respond during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, think it over for a minute, then check their statement. Does their response make sense according to the graph?
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. Explain why the government sees monopolies as disadvantageous to free markets.
7. Apply the concept of anti-trust legislation to recent history by finding an anti-trust case from the last 20 years other than Microsoft. Explain why some people fear the company in question is/was forming a monopoly and how the case was resolved. This Justice Department Anti-Trust Division site is a good starting point for pending cases. Or you could do a random search starting with “antitrust.” LO #7 Is for In-Class (F2F) Students, Not For Distance Learning:
8. Identify Robert La Follette and Teddy Roosevelt and describe their roles in the Progressive movement. Explain how 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. Explain how the term liberalism also changes 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 important to the histories of Progressivism in the Republican and Democratic Parties.
11. Forest-For-The-Trees check: What were the major government interventions in the market economy during the Progressive Era?
The Great War 6
1. Analyze the primary causes of the Great War of 1914-1919 — both underlying and immediate. Describe what motivated Gavrilo Princip to assassinate the heir to the Austrian throne. Put another way, analyze the context of that assassination. 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. Identify 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. But don’t focus on remembering the names of any specific battles or offensives.
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. Evaluate what he did right and wrong, in your opinion. Describe what resistance Wilson got among politicians back home and why.
10. Identify at least one key lesson we can learn from how the U.S. dealt with the 1918 flu pandemic.
11. Forest-For-The-Trees check: Who won World War I?
Roaring Twenties 7
1. Identify nativism and explain what historians mean by the urban/rural split of the 1920s. Describe how rural-urban tension connected to the economy.
2. Interpret why the new Klan emerged and went mainstream in the 1920s.
3. Assess why the Tulsa Race Massacre escaped history books for so long.
4. Describe how xenophobia expressed itself in new immigration policies in the mid-1920s.
5. Identify the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, and how it fits into the context of the 1920s. Describe what Tennessee and William Jennings Bryan prosecuted Scopes for.
6. Analyze why the Democratic Party struggled to gain a national footing in the 1920s, even though it did well in local elections. Describe how Al Smith’s 1928 presidential campaign exemplified the Democrats’ problems.
7. Describe how the Democrats’ struggles and booming industrial economy impacted the executive branch (presidency).
8. Summarize the GOP’s economic policy in the 1920s and what happened to progressive politics in the ’20s.
9. Analyze how the expanding electrical grid and invention of refrigeration and air conditioning affected the American economy.
10. Explain how Henry Ford was the greatest exemplar of the new industrialism of the early 20th century. Describe how Ford employed more people than just autoworkers.
11. Describe some ways that radio changed American life and launched a business model in popular music.
12. Describe how Prohibition impacted crime rates and led to the rise of organized crime.
Stock Market 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. Describe how Mellon influenced economic policy in the 1920s.
2. Summarize some of the primary causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, according to our textbook. Describe how a Perfect Storm was building in the American economy by October 1929.
3. Discuss the connection between the stock market and the overall economy in the 1920s-30s. 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.
4. Define recession and explain the etymology of an economic depression.
5. Explain the causes of the Dust Bowl. Describe how technology and nature intersected in an unfortunate way for Plains farmers.
6. Identify protectionism and evaluate the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Assess what motivated the tariff and how it affected the economy according to most economists. Explain why economist Paul Krugman disagrees with the common interpretation.
7. Explain what Herbert Hoover tried to accomplish with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Explain why the government didn’t put people to work building interstate highways and broadening/dredging the St. Lawrence River in the 1930s.
8. Explain what caused the Bonus Army March and how the government reacted.
9. Forest-For-The-Trees check: What caused the Great Depression?
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. Describe why 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. Assess why Social Security excluded servants and migrant workers.
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 (stimulus spending). Integrate that knowledge by describing how a Keynesian would deal with the Financial Crisis and Great Recession of 2007-09. Contrast liberal, Keynesian “demand-side economics” with more conservative “supply-side” approaches like that of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
6. Describe 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. Describe how 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. Assess 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.
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. Describe what liberals and conservatives, respectively, would cherry-pick and flush down the memory hole.
12. Analyze and 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 ’30s.
2. Evaluate Japan’s foreign policy in Asia in the 1920s and ’30s. Compare and 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 ’30s.
4. Identify the term Reichstag Fire.
5. Explain how Nazis revived the German economy and the significance of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
6. Describe early Nazi 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. Describe how the Tripartite Agreement adding a third Axis Power made sense.
8. Analyze how Britain was able to defend itself from the German blitzkrieg in 1940-41. Assess why Hitler failed to conquer Britain.
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. Describe how the relationship between the U.S. and Japan broke down 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. Evaluate whether the U.S. should’ve seen the attack coming and whether or not it was fair to blame Husband Kimmel and Walter Short.
12. Forest-For-The-Trees check: What caused World War II?
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 invade Germany or Japan directly in 1942.
2. Summarize the basic military strategy of U.S. forces in the Pacific War.
3 <> 4. Identify the importance of Midway in turning momentum against Japan.
4 <> 3. Summarize how intelligence aided U.S. efforts in the Pacific War.
5. Evaluate the role of industry in winning World War II. Describe the advantages the Arsenal of Democracy had over Germany and Japan.
6. Describe how the economic role of women changed during World War II.
7. Assess how much danger the continental U.S. and nearby surrounding territorial waters were in during World War II.
8. Summarize the basic military strategy of U.S. forces in Europe & North Africa. Describe the geographical advantage the Allies had in Europe regarding air power that they lacked initially in Asia. Assess the effectiveness of the Allies’ aerial bombardment of Germany.
9. Describe why Hitler invaded the USSR and what factors complicated his plans.
10. Describe the fundamental strategic disagreement between Stalin and the Western Allies. Analyze and explain what Josef Stalin meant when he purportedly 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 of the Allied landings in Normandy, France in June 1944. Consider how the timing of the Normandy Invasion was connected to the Eastern War between the Soviets and Germans. Describe how the Allies confused Germany 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. Describe 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 1945. Describe why Eisenhower let the Soviets conquer Berlin.
6. Evaluate the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and 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. Explain what Truman meant 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.” Explain why the U.S. is 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.
7. Forest-For-The-Trees check: What caused tension between the United States and Soviet Union?
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. Explain how conflicts of interest arise between contractors and policymakers and assess whether the problem still exists.
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 ’30s.
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 and Harry Truman.
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. Assess how well that notion stands up against Cold War history.
9. Briefly summarize the origins of the Internet.
10. Discuss the origins and politics of America’s highways. Analyze who funds the highways and why America chose roads over passenger/commuter rail. Describe 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, describe how Austin encouraged racial segregation.
1960s: An Overview 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 from those surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Describe why it presents a problem if more than one sounds convincing.
3. Identify Barry Goldwater and analyze how the 1964 Election triggered a shift in voting patterns for presidential elections.
4. Identify the Great Society and contrast the legislative achievements of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Identify 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 origins, limitations, and legacy of the 1960s counterculture (according to our textbook). Assess what sort of challenges the counterculture confronted and describe how the government intervened directly to weaken it.
8. Describe what went wrong for the Democratic Party in the 1968 election. Describe how the Chicago convention changed the way the parties determine their candidates.
9. Identify the term platform, as in party platform.
10. Identify and describe the appeal of Richard Nixon’s “Law & Order” campaign.
11. Describe, briefly, some of the engineering challenges confronting the American space program in the 1960s. Based on what you’ve read in previous chapters, describe why the U.S. and USSR 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 most of 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. Explain what it tells 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. Analyze how Martin Luther King connected his “I Have A Dream” speech to American history.
7. Identify and describe the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
8. Describe how the Civil Rights Movement — including the 24th Amendment, 1965 Immigration Act, Loving vs. Virginia (1967) case, and Fair Housing Act of 1968 — 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. Identify 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. Describe how, in some cases, Whites benefit from Affirmative Action.
17. Forest-For-The-Trees check: How could you use the 14th and 15th amendments to explain why they call the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s/60’s Second Reconstruction?
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. Assess how far the U.S. was 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 typified the strategic problems the U.S. faced fighting the ground war 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. Describe how their strategies were similar or varied.
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, including those with Taiwan. Describe how détente with the USSR and China succeeded in some ways and failed and others.
2. Describe, briefly, 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. Explain how the Peak Oil idea affected the American economy and foreign policy starting in the 1970s. Describe why Peak Oil was 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.
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 evolving 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.” In-Class (F2F) Students (not Distance Learning): 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. Explain how the resulting scandal changed future American politics and constitutional interpretations of executive privilege.
Conservative Resurgence 20
1. Analyze and discuss, over the next few sections, 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. Analyze why a character like Carter would 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 ’80s.
4. Identify key new weapons in the Cold War as of the late 1970s.
5. Discuss Jimmy Carter’s record on foreign policy (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.
8a. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of deregulation during and after the Reagan Revolution.
8b. Assess media deregulation, including how ending the 1949 Fairness Doctrine changed media/journalism and how Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act lowered standards.
9. Explain how enhanced Gerrymandering magnifies partisanship in American politics. Describe two ways the GOP has Gerrymandered Austin.
10. Analyze the connection between the 1988 campaign and mandatory minimum sentencing. Enumerate some causes that the textbook suggests for dropping crime rates between 1990-2010, other than increased incarceration.
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. Assess Gingrich’s impact on bipartisanship in Congress and in society at large. Explain how the “Watergate Baby” Democrats of 1974 also contributed to the long-term demise of Congressional bipartisan compromise.
The 4th Exam for F2F Lecture Students and 5th Exam for ONL Distance Learning doesn’t currently cover information from the sections on the Lewinsky Scandal and 2000 Election. The rest of the chapter is optional, but read the conclusion to recap the Reagan Revolution.
Gridlock & Globalization 21
1. Analyze 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 how the main political parties’ embrace of globalization opened the door for Ross Perot and Donald Trump.
3. Explain the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999.
4. Analyze the breakdown in America’s trade relationship with China. Identify the potential disadvantage of bilateral trade agreements as opposed to multilateral.
5. Describe the failure of Clinton’s 1993 healthcare initiative.
6. 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. Describe why our textbook argues that Medicare is more “socialist” than Obamacare.
7. Explain what Lindsey Graham meant when he said, regarding healthcare insurance, that the GOP was like the “dog that caught the car” after Trump’s win in 2016.
8. Explain how economic changes during Alan Greenspan’s reign as Chair of the Federal Reserve helped raise risk in the economy.
9. Explain how deregulation impacted Wall Street in the ’90s and early ’00s. 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.
10. Identify the concept of systemic risk and whom it potentially impacts.
11. Assess the government reaction (attempted solutions) to the Financial Crisis of 2007-09 & Great Recession. Assess how TARP succeeded and/or fell short.
12. Identify and define the Dodd-Frank legislation.
13. Explain how the Great Recession impacted the two political parties (Republican & Democrat). Aside from disagreeing with TARP, what fundamental theory behind TARP would you imagine that both Tea Partiers and Bernie Sanders rejected (assuming that they didn’t want a wholesale collapse of the economy)? HINT: look at the previous LO’s.
New World Disorder, 1982-2000 22
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. Describe how American involvement in Afghanistan create future problems for the U.S.
3. Evaluate Ronald Reagan’s record on Soviet relations, based on material at the beginning of the chapter and the section titled “Cold War Ends.” Analyze and assess how liberal and conservative historians vary in their interpretations of Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War. Identify the Seasick Summit.
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 candidacy/presidency signaled 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. Describe how the world was, 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 and explain how and where each applied his strategy.
10. Identify the term balkanization and explain why the Europeans and NATO tried to contain fragmentation in SE Europe during the 1990s. Describe what the textbook argues is mostly 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.
The 4th Exam for F2F Lecture Students & 5th Exam for ONL Distance Learning currently doesn’t cover information from this chapter below the point starting with “Regime Change In Iraq.” The rest of the chapter is optional.
Geography & Chronology Learning Objectives for In-Class (F2F) Courses, Not Distance Learning
Exam 1 Chapters: 1-4
Chronologies: American Expansion
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?
From Above 3-4: Identify Alfred T. Mahan’s influence on American foreign policy.
Geography: American Expansion. 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