History 1020: United States History, 1877-Present

Clemson University, Spring 2024

Course Details

Spring 2024
Clemson University
Monday and Wednesdays

Meets in person unless noted otherwise.

3 credit hours.
Meets: 2:30-3:45pm
Location: Hardin Hall 101

Instructor Info

Instructor: Dr. Amanda Regan
aeregan (at) clemson.edu

Pronouns: She/Her

Office Location: Hardin Hall 004

Office Hours: My office hours are flexible and you can schedule a time to meet with me. I am typically on campus Monday through Wednesday. Make an appointment for Office Hours here.

This course surveys the history of the United States, beginning with the end of the Civil War and ending in the modern day. By the end of this course, students will have obtained a solid understanding of the major events and forces in American history. Throughout the course we will pay close attention to the major political, social, and economic movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Additionally we will disrupt the traditional narrative of American history by focusing on the many histories of the United States. Relying heavily on both textual and visual primary sources, we will spend this semester looking at the major events in U.S. history not as points in a singular and linear narrative but rather a series of interwoven stories driven by a diverse set of actors.

Throughout the semester we will explore themes such as:

  • how gender, race, class, and ethnicity have shaped key events in American history
  • how ideas about the rights of American individuals and workers have shifted,
  • how the meaning of citizenship has changed over time. Including who has enjoyed it, who has been denied it, and how groups have fought to contest or change its meanings.
  • And how the power of war created conditions apt for dramatic social change.
Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the major historical events and turning points of American history and government since 1877.
  • Define the importance of key individuals and developments in American history since 1877.
  • Identify the social, economic, and political forces at work in American History.
  • Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of American history.
  • Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials.
Required Texts:
  • Joseph Locke and Ben Wright eds., The American Yawp.(You can use the free online version of this text or, if you wish, you may purchase the printed copy from the bookstore.)
  • Anna Zeide, US History in 15 Foods

Assignments & Grades

Grades will be based on the assignments listed below.

Assignment Percentage of Grade
Quizzes & Participation 20%
Document Analyses (3 @ 10% each) 30%
Midterm 25%
Timeline 25%

  • Quizzes & Participation (20%): This category encompasses both quizzes and participation in class lectures, activities, and discussions.
    • Quizzes: Each week you will have a short quiz based on the weeks assigned reading. These quizzes will be open notes and open book and you will complete them in Canvas. Each week, except where noted, the quiz will open on Friday and it is due by 11:59pm the following Friday. At the end of the semester I will drop your lowest quiz grade.*
    • Participation: Our time in class is the opportunity to actively engage with the material we are exploring. I encourage you to be active in every class session. This participation grade serves as a way to credit you with the effort and work you are putting into the class - both in and out of the classroom. I recognize that we all have different levels of comfort regarding speaking in class. Participation can take numerous forms such as speaking to the whole group, working in smaller groups during class, and completing in-class activities. In class assignments cannot be made up unless you have submitted a notification of absence through the university system.
    • Although attendance is not formally graded, it is crucial to earning a good participation grade. You can only participate fully if you are in regular attendance and you cannot pass this class without coming to class regularly. That being said, we have all learned a lot from the pandemic and I do not want students who feel ill to come to class. If you any symptoms at all, please DO NOT come to class and get in contact with me to schedule make up work. You will not be penalized for missing class due to illness. If you do need to miss class (for any reason) I ask that you please report your absence through the university’s notification of absences module. This helps the office of Student Advocacy track and identify students who may need extra help and it sends me an official notice of your absence.
  • Document Analysis Worksheets (3 @ 10% = 30%): Over the course of the semester you will complete 3 document analysis worksheets. This assignment is designed to help you learn to think historically and analyze the primary sources that we will read over the course of this semester. Worksheets should be typed using the template provided and turned in before the start of class the day that document is assigned. In class you’ll sign up to complete your document analyses on three different days over the course of the semester. Please note that for pedagogical reasons these assignments are due before the class session where we discuss it. The document analysis worksheet is available on Canvas. These worksheets are each worth 10% of your grade for a total of 30%.
  • Midterm (25%): Our midterm will take place in class on Monday, March 13th. It will consist of identification questions and short answer questions. More details and a study guide will be provided in class.
  • Timeline (25%): You will create an interactive online timeline that consists of the events you consider to be the most pivotal events in American history between 1877 and present day. We will learn how to build the timelines together in Timeline.js. The timeline is worth 25% of your grade and further details will be provided in a handout in class. Your timeline is due the day of our final exam, Thursday, May 2nd by 3pm.
Grading System

Final grades will follow Clemson’s percentage-based grading scale. Please note that I will round up only if you fall within .5% of the next grade up. So, for example, I will round up a grade that is a 89.51% or higher. Please do not ask me to round your grade up if you don’t fall within that range.

  • A: 90-100%
  • B: 80-90%
  • C: 70-79%
  • D: 60-69%
  • F: 0-59%

Policies & Procedures

Please note that this syllabus may be updated online as necessary. The online version of this syllabus is the only authoritative version.

Late Work

Due dates for all assignments are listed on the course syllabus and in the schedule for the class. They are also posted on Canvas. Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due on those days. If you submit an assignment late, I will deduct 10% for every day that it is late. Assignments submitted more than 7 days after the due date will not be accepted.

That being said, sometimes shit happens – and I understand that. We’ve just emerged from a pandemic, life is stressful, and I believe in flexibility. Therefore, if you need an extension on an assignment just ask. For most assignments, I’m more than likely to grant it. My only criteria is that you ask ahead of the due date. You can exercise the “Shit Happens Extension” clause once during the semester. If you are out with COVID for an extended period and need to miss an assignment, we’ll make special arrangements catered to your circumstances.

Technology in Class

You are welcome to use a personal device such as a laptop, phone, or tablet to take notes during class. You may find it useful to have the course readings accessible during class. However, if the device becomes a distraction and you are doing other things on it I will ask you to take notes by hand instead.

In several class sessions we’ll use an online tool for our digital history mini-projects. You’ll need a laptop or tablet for this class however if you don’t have access to one talk to me before class and we’ll set you up with a rental from the library.

A note on laptops for taking notes. While you are welcome to use your laptop to take notes in class, I would encourage you not to do so. Studies have found that students who take notes by hand are better able to conceptually recall information later compared to those who typed notes. During class you may want to use your laptop to open the lecture slides at your desk, pull up the readings, etc but I’d encourage you to refrain from using your laptop to type notes.

Classroom Conduct

In order to learn, we must be open to the views of people different from ourselves. In the time we share together over the semester, please honor the uniqueness of your fellow classmates and appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from one another. Please respect each others’ opinions and refrain from personal attacks or demeaning comments of any kind. Anyone who engages in hostile or antagonistic rhetoric will be asked to leave the classroom immediately.

Academic Integrity

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

All infractions of academic dishonesty by undergraduates must be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use the Plagiarism Resolution Form.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information and the current catalogue for the policy.

Please keep in mind that if you are copying and pasting text that you did not write yourself, you might be plagiarizing. If you are using copied text, whether pasted or retyped manually, you must be sure to accurately cite the information. Text is accurately cited when: 1) pasted text is surrounded by quotation marks or offset as a block quote and 2) the pasted text is attributed to its author and source and 3) the pasted text is cited in a footnote, endnote, or bibliography.

Student Accessibility Services

Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the instructor know and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who have accommodations are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and send these to their instructors through their AIM portal as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester.
You can access further information at the Student Accessibility website. Other information is at the university’s Accessibility Portal.

Commitment to Diversity

“Clemson University aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.” - The Clemson University Title IX statement regarding non-discrimination

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This Title IX policy is located on the Campus Life website. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, 864.656.0620. Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety.

Clemson University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As members of the community, we encourage you to take the following actions to be better prepared in case of an emergency:


  • Wed., Jan. 10
    • Introductions and Course Overview
    • After Class:
      • Fill out the New Student Survey (see link on canvas)
      • Sign up for Document Analysis Dates (see link on canvas)
  • Mon., Jan. 15
    • No class President’s day

Unit 1: The Gilded Age

Unit 2: 1900-1940

  • Mon., Mar. 11
    • Midterm

Unit 3: 1940-1965

  • Wed., Mar. 13
    • WWII
    • Reading:
      • Yawp, Chapter 24, I-V

  • Mon., Mar. 18 and Wed., Mar. 20
    • No Class. Enjoy your Spring Break!

Unit 4: 1970s through the recent past

  • Mon., Apr. 22
    • Compassionate Conservatism & 9/11
    • Reading:
      • Yawp, Chapter 30
  • Wed., Apr. 24
    • Catch Up & Review

  • Thurs., May 2nd
    • Timeline due by 3pm (the start of our final exam period).
    • There is no final exam and no need to come to class during our exam period.