Welcome to United States History II.
This course provides students with a general introduction to American history from Reconstruction through the present. It explores the impact of industrialization, immigration, urbanization, and the rise of mass culture in the United States, and examines the effect of depressions and wars on American society and politics. It also evaluates the roots of American foreign policy in the 20th century, and traces reform movements ranging from Populism and Progressivism to the civil rights, women’s and environmental movements. This course is intended to give you a sense of how historians think, and to introduce you to ongoing historical debates—both those that take place within the halls of academia and those that spill over into the broader public arena. Facts are the critical building blocks of history, but they are not history itself. As this course will suggest, the way we put those facts together—the way we construct a narrative of the past in books, museum exhibits, movies and political speeches—has a powerful impact on both our ever-involving sense of identity and on current political debates.