Here are the slides for today’s class.
This is the website for Dr. Cummings’s courses in the History Department. You will find important information here about readings, assignments, and any important updates about the course. Electronic readings may be accessed by clicking on the relevant links on the right side of this page.
Drawing on the lectures, films, and/or readings, choose one of the following questions to answer in a five page essay (double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font). You might consider looking at readings such as American Yawp, Friedan, Schlafly, Frank, Davis, and/or The Economist, among others.
It is not necessary to use all of these readings in your answer. The essay should demonstrate your familiarity with at least several of the sources assigned in the latter part of the course, while showing your understanding of the material we have covered in class. It should include a clear thesis supported by evidence cited using Turabian style footnotes.
1. What did Betty Friedan mean by “the problem that has no name”? In what ways were women limited by law and tradition in the 1950s, and in what ways did the feminist movement fight to expand freedom for women in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s? Give specific examples of laws, court rulings, and/or cultural attitudes that changed during this period.
2. What factors gave rise to the New Right in the 1960s, 1970s, and the 1980s? Why did conservatism begin to appeal to more American voters during this period, following a long period of liberal dominance from the time of FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s to LBJ’s Great Society/War on Poverty in the 1960s? Be sure to cite specific issues and/or events that led to greater political success for conservatives and the Republican Party.
The final paper is due May 1st at 5pm on D2L.
We will watch How to Survive a Plague in class on April 9th. Please watch the film Paris Is Burning (1990) outside of class. In your essay, you should examine how the two films differently portray gay life in the 1980s and early 1990s. What separates the characters in the two films, and how do they see the world? What can we learn about American society during the 1980s by watching these films? How do the characters in How to Survive a Plague and Paris Is Burning differently approach the problems they face, especially in terms of taking political action? Do they think they can change their circumstances, socially and politically — and if so, how? The essay should have a clear thesis and cite specific quotations and situations from the films to support your analysis.
Various copyright holders have recently forced Google to remove the full-length Paris Is Burning documentary that previously streamed for free on YouTube, but the film is available to rent through YouTube and Amazon; it is also on reserve at the GSU library and can be viewed through Netflix’s online streaming (if you have a Netflix account).
Pick one of the candidates in the 1912 presidential election—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, or Eugene Debs—and explain their diagnosis of what ailed American society during the Progressive Era. Describe the specific policies they proposed, and the problems that they meant to solve. Explain the rationale behind their solutions for America’s social and economic ills in the early twentieth century.
Your answer should draw on both the assigned reading in The 1912 Election (pgs. 21-62) as well as at least two primary source documents from Part Two of the book. The essay response should have a clear thesis, supported by quotations from the primary sources with citations using Turabian or Chicago style footnotes. The response should be 3-5 pages in 12-point Times New Roman font.
The Cold War
Cuban Missile Crisis
John F. Kennedy (JFK)
Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ)
The Civil Rights Movement
Brown v. Board of Education (1955)
The Voting Rights Act (1965)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Stonewall Riot (1969)
The Rise of the New Right
The Vietnam War
Iran Hostage Crisis
The War on Drugs
After the Cold War
The Washington Consensus
The “New Economy”
Welfare reform (1996)
America in Globalization and War
2000 Presidential election
The Iraq War (2003)
“Weapons of mass destruction”
Global Financial Crisis (2008)
What was “containment”? What concerns and motivations drove the United States to resist the spread of Communism after World War II, and how did these anxieties influence American foreign policy? How did the Cold War affect life in the United States? Give at least three explicit examples of how the US government acted to fight Communism at home and abroad during the Cold War, and what consequences did these actions have?
What strategies did members of the civil rights movement use to combat racist oppression of African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s? What specific tactics were used to dismantle segregation and fight for greater political, social, and economic inequality during this period, and what were the movement’s greatest successes?
What did Betty Friedan mean by “the problem that has no name”? In what ways were women limited by law and tradition in the 1950s, and in what ways did the feminist movement fight to expand freedom for women in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s? Give specific examples of laws, court rulings, and/or cultural attitudes that changed during this period.
What factors gave rise to the New Right in the 1960s, 1970s, and the 1980s? Why did conservatism begin to appeal to more American voters during this period, following a long period of liberal dominance from the time of FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s to LBJ’s Great Society/War on Poverty in the 1960s? Be sure to cite specific issues and/or events that led to greater political success for conservatives and the Republican Party.
How did the United States change in the wake of the Cold War? How did the policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton change American society, and what broad trends reshaped the US economy and politics as the nation moved into the twenty-first century?
We will not have a lecture on Monday and students are not required to attend; however, you are welcome to come and take part in a review session where we will go a little deeper in discussing the recent material. We will be back to the normal schedule for the remaining two days of class (Wed Dec 5th and Mon Dec 8th), where we will be discussing Vietnam, the rise of the New Right, the end of the Cold War, and globalization.