Assignments & Grading

Class Schedule

Papers: Document Reviews


Exam Study



Our Midterm Exam info is up, click
"Exam Study"

1-Click "Paper" above for the guide on developing your thesis and revising your essay.

2-Look on our Canvas for instructions on Chicago-style referenc notes and bibliography

3-Here is the link fort the Purdue Owl sample Chicago style paper:



(please note that the sample paper reference notes have a number and a period--however, when you use microsoft word, they will use automatic superscripts. Use sequential notes, in superscript form, a new number for each note.)

4-Please include a title for your paper, followed by the document/s you have chosen.

5-You don't need to include a cover page

21 Sept 18


Jacob Riis, Hester street, New York, 1890


Required Reading:

1) Assorted Documents posted on Class Schedule Page and Canvas

2) Additional Readings, posted on Class Schedule Page and uploaded to Canvas. Murder of the Century, as well as excerpts from Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch; Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs by Wallace Stegner; Streets, Railroads, and the GreatStrike of 1877 by David O. Stowell, The Power Broker by Robert Caro, The Warmth of other Suns by Isabelle Wilkerson, and The Race Beat by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff. You will enjoy these readings, many from Pulitzer Prize-winning books, guaranteed to transport you to the past.

3) Text Book Chapters from James Henretta, Rebecca Edwards, Robert O.Self, America: A Concise History V. 2 1865 to the Present, Sixth Edition (Bedford St.Martins, 2014)


Class Goals:

Welcome to the Lower Division survey of U.S. History, 1865 to the present. This course is a topical survey of U.S. economic, social, and political history. In this period, we see diverse people and regions--South, West, Middle West, and East, come together as a nation, knit together by commerce, mass media, and a stronger national government. In the twentieth century, we see the rise of the U.S. and the federal government, and then with globalization, the decline of nations and national power in the world arena. Your task is to comprehend and to find patterns in the broad sweep of our past, and as with most introductory courses, you will be challenged by the work required. Toward a general understanding of American history from the Civil War to the present, serious students should work to accomplish three important goals:

1-knowledge of the significant events, people, and trends;

2-an understanding of major interpretations and different perspectives;

3-the development of your own opinions, and an awareness of the way in which you yourself interpret history. Do you find the economy to be the most defining of changes and continuities in the American past, or politics? On the other hand, is the American past best characterized by social changes from the bottom up, or by the ways in which mass culture is constructed in the twentieth century? I urge you to consider your own approach to the past, to be aware of your own interpretation, and to understand why you think some events, people, institutions, or movements are more important than others.

The best way to accomplish these goals is to spend thoughtful time with lectures, reading, and assignments, then to ask your own questions of the material. Lectures and assignments will provide you with themes and significant questions. Thinking about the historical themes and questions, and outlining answers, should lead you to your own questions and ideas. I suggest you read over each chapter a couple times, then prepare lists of events, people, and issues you find to be most critical, which you can also use to analyze assigned documents.

Beginning at the crossroads of the years following the American Civil War, we will follow American expansion in time and space to the post Vietnam years, a time in which most of you were born. You might also find your way through American history via generations, and perhaps the generations of your own family. What have been the experiences of your own parents? Their parents? Which people, issues, and events have been most defining in your own family, and why?

Regarding Class:

Be respectful of your instructor and of others in class, please, turn off all electronic contraptions. You may not use lap tops in class, please take notes by hand. No multi-tasking, looking up on the wiki, reading, emailing, doing other homework, etc., on any device, and keep your phones in your bags or pockets (thank-you in advance). Also, please wait for the break before you leave. If you have some kind of emergency, just let me know before class and sit by the door. Use class as an opportunity to leave the crazy world outside, and to use your historical imagination. I will be lecturing usually for about and hour and a half, then we will take a break.

No Make-Ups unless you have a documented excuse.

Office Hours. I am on campus much, and I also do advisement for history students. My official Office Hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 to 12. I will also get to our Friday class early, and will be here after for any questions. Additionally, you can find me in my office much of the week as I advise History majors (Just click "Yamane Advising" on my main Index page and my hours will be up by the second week).

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not wait until the day before or after work is due. I encourage you to come by to see me with questions, comments, or problems, and in fact, I very much value meeting with students individually. In a large class, as many of our classes now are, it helps me to know both you and your work better. As a general rule, you should push yourself to attend office hours. You will get more out of your classes overall, and more out of CSUN. Again, on most Fridays I will be here before class.

Attendance. Come to class and please, be on time. You are responsible for what is covered and discussed in class. IF you have to miss class, get notes from another student, look them over, then come by to see me with any questions.

Plagiarism. No plagiarism allowed, or using the words of others without proper quotations and citations. Any time you "cut and paste" from the web or copy others' words without marking them with quotations, you engage in plagiarism. It renders the assignment useless (to help you develop critical thinking and basic writing skills), and it is easy for instructors to find. Why even bother? Reading, writing, then thinking about significance is not easy; it requires time and thoughtfulness. If you put-in this time, you will be amazed by your ability write engaging essays. Really.

Also, you may ONLY use class material in your essays--that is the Henretta text, the required books, and the additional Moodle readings, as well as class lecture and discussions.