History 3050: The United States, 1918-1945

Clemson University, Spring 2023

Course Details

Spring 2023
Clemson University
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Meets in person unless noted otherwise.

3 credit hours.
Meets: 10:10-11:00am
Location: Hardin Hall 232

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. Make an appointment for Office Hours here.

Course Overview

Welcome! This course will explore American History between the years of 1918 and 1945. Bookended by World War I and World War II, we’ll examine the profound social, cultural, and political changes that occurred in American life.

The course begins in the midst of a world war and a crushing pandemic before moving into what has been described as the “Roaring Twenties.” We’ll interrogate this period and ask how the pandemic, war, and expansion of the American state under Prohibition changed America. Paying attention to the diversity of Americans’ experiences in the twenties, we will ask for whom was the 1920s “roaring”?

We’ll then move to examine the economic crisis of the Great Depression. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took offfice in 1932, he promised the American people “A New Deal.” The New Deal altered the shape of American government and economic policy but also gave rise to the philopshy that the government was responsible for safeguarding both the economy and Americans’ well-being.

Finally, the conclusion of our course will look at World War II - the event that brought the Great Depression to an end and ushered in a new era in American life. We’ll examine not only the origins of the war and and how the United States emerged from the war as an international power, but also the experience and impact of the war on American culture and society.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • Describe the political, social, and cultural events that shaped the United States between 1918 and 1945.
  • Interpret documents, and other forms of evidence, in their historical context.
  • Articulate a persuasive and well-structured historical argument.
Required Texts:



The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for everyone and we will need to continue to deal with it throughout the semester. Our class is scheduled to be fully in person.

Given the continued evolution of the virus, there is a possibility some of you may miss class due to isolation/quarantine or illness. Please know that I want you to succeed in this course and I will make every possible accommodation should you need to miss class due to illness. In order to be flexible as circumstances surrounding the pandemic continue to evolve, we will deal with potential absences, make up assignments, and other exceptions or accommodations on a case-by-case basis as we need to.

It is very important that if you do need to miss class for any amount of time due to isolation/quarantine, illness, or any other reason (covid related or not) that you let me know using the notification of absences module on the Clemson University website.

Assignments & Grades

Grades will be based on the assignments listed below.

Assignment Percentage of Grade
Quizzes & Participation 10%
Document Analyses (3 @ 10% each) 30%
Essay on the “Roaring” 1920s 25%
Cause & Effect Timeline 35%

  • Quizzes & Participation (10%): 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. The quiz will cover the reading for the week and should be complete ahead of class on Friday where we will frequently discuss the readings. 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. Participation during class is crucial because it is an important avenue for learning. 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.
    • 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 are in the midst of a 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%.
  • Essay on the 1920s (3-4 pages, 25%): More details and a prompt will be provided in class. Due Friday March 10th, by 11:59pm.
  • Cause & Effect Timeline (35%): You will create an interactive online Timeline that consists of the causes and effects an event we have discussed in class. We will learn how to build the timelines together in Timeline.js. The timeline is worth 30% of your grade and further details will be provided in a handout in class. Your timeline is due the day of our final exam, Tuesday May 2nd, by 11:59pm however, while this assignment isn’t due until the end of the semester there will be several smaller components due ahead of that. By March 17th you should submit to me, via canvas, a proposed topic for your timeline. By April 7th you must submit an outline of your timeline to me that includes the events you plan to include on your timeline. Each of these milestones is worth 5% of your total Timeline grade.
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. However, sometimes shit happens – and I understand that. We’re in the middle of 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 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 at least one class session we’ll use an online tool to learn to make timelines. 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:


Note: Unless stated otherwise, all reading should be completed before class for the day that it is listed.

Unit 1: World War I & the “Roaring” Twenties

Introductions & Course Overview

The Great War and its Aftermath

Riots, Reform, & Scandal

A Return to Normalcy?

Materialism, Consumption, & Escape

The New Negro & The New Woman

Culture Wars, Evangelicalism, and the 2nd Klan

Unit 2: The Great Depression

Herbert Hoover & The Origins of the Great Depression

The Forgotten American & the Lived Experience of the Great Depression

Franklin Delano Roosevelt & the First New Deal

Spring Break

  • March 20-24th

FDR & the 2nd New Deal

Unit 3: World War II

Origins of the War

  • Monday, April 3
    • Reading:
      • Yawp, Chapter 24, I-III.
      • Adams, The Best War Ever, Ch 1.
  • Wednesday, April 5
    • Reading:
      • Adams, The Best War Ever, Ch 2.
  • Friday, April 7
    • Activity
    • Timeline Outline DUE by 11:59pm

The United States & World War II

The War at Home

Winning the War

  • Monday, April 24
    • Reading:
      • Yawp, Chapter 24, X-XI.
      • Adams, Chapter 7 & Afterword.
  • Wednesday, April 26
    • In Class Activity
  • Friday, April 28
    • Review & Catch Up

Final Exam Week

  • Tuesday, May 2nd
    • Timelines DUE by 11:59pm