U.S. History and Geography

This course is taught chronologically around the following three big themes: social movements, domestic policy, and foreign policy.

Course Materials:

Course Syllabus

* Online Textbook (not available; get a copy of textbook at book depository)
Schedule of Homework ("Evidence Flowcharts") for Trimester Three (2016-2017).
Samples of exemplary "Evidence Flowcharts" done by students.

*** Guide to Dunbar's Grading Symbols for Analytical Writing ***
*** Evidence Flowcharts *** for homework and in-class activities. View sample Evidence Flowcharts (click here to view as an Acrobat Reader .pdf file).
*** Quick Flowchart *** for quick planning of ideas.

Reading Like a Historian - U.S. History

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TRIMESTER 3 (Course: US-B) - Evidence Flowchart Questions ("EFQs"):
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For every statement you can: Support, Refute, or Modify (or Propose an Alternative Thesis/Claim/Assertion)

(Due: 3/22) Read Chapter 13:
* In the years 1931-1941, would you have argued it was best for the U.S. to pursue a foreign policy of isolationism (and neutrality) or interventionism (and internationalism)? Why?

(Due: 3/29) Read Chapter 14:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* Did the U.S. Supreme Court use valid constitutional reasoning in its decision in the case Korematsu v. the United States (regarding Japanese American internment)? Why or why not?
* Was it necessary for President Truman to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 to end WWII? Why or why not?
* To what extent, if any, did WWII provide better opportunities for women, Mexican Americans, Japanese Americans, and African Americans in U.S. society?


(Due: 4/12) Read Chapter 15:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* Who was primarily to blame for the start of the Cold War: the U.S. or the Soviet Union?
* Did the U.S. Supreme Court use valid constitutional reasoning in its decision in the case Watkins v. the United States (regarding the HUAC and McCarthyism)? Why or why not?


(Due: 4/19) Read Chapter 16:
Choose only one of the following:
* To what extent did Federal Housing Administration (FHA) policies, banks, employers, and public schools, contribute to wealth disparity along racial lines in the years 1945-1960?
* Should the U.S. government provide financial reparations (Ta-Nehisi Coates’s thesis statement; also this was done for some Japanese Americans for WWII discrimination) to every African American who is a direct descendant of someone who was enslaved in the U.S. and suffered de jure discrimination? (for purposes of debate: approximately $70K to 14 million individuals = $1 Trillion in reparations)

(Due: 4/26) Read Chapter 17:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* To what extent did the Warren Court’s major decisions reshape U.S. society?
* Overall, was LBJ’s “Great Society” program a success or a failure?
* Should the U.S. government intervene significantly with government-run programs (as was done under LBJ’s “Great Society”) to try to fix problems in U.S. society or is that better left to private individuals and charitable organizations to do?
* To what extent did the Immigration Act of 1965 change the composition of the American population?

(Due: 5/3) Read Chapter 18:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* To what extent did the ruling and mandate in the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education become a reality in the years 1954-1968?
* To what extent did the civil rights movement draw its strength from the dedication of grassroots supporters across the U.S.?
* Do you agree or disagree with President Lyndon Johnson’s claim about the origins of racism (on p. 651)?

(also Due: 5/3) Read Chapter 19:
* Was the U.S. morally justified in entering into, and pursuing victory in, the Vietnam War? Why or why not?

(Due: 5/10) Read Chapter 20:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* In the 1970s, would you have supported the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment? Why or why not?
* Did the U.S. Supreme Court use valid constitutional reasoning in its decision in the case Roe v. Wade (regarding abortion)?
* To what extent did Latino civil rights organizations successfully challenge discrimination in the years 1960-1980?


(Due: 5/17) Read Chapter 21:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* To what extent was Nixon’s “silent majority” a reality?
* To what extent did the Watergate scandal reshape the political views of Americans? (e.g. why did President Trump recently mention Nixon and Watergate?)
* Did the U.S. Supreme Court use valid constitutional reasoning in its decision in the case University of California Regents v. Bakke (regarding affirmative action)?
* To what extent did the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead to improvements in U.S. society?

(Due: 5/24) Read Chapter 22:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* Overall, does government regulation of the U.S. economy do more harm than good?
* Overall, are tax cuts good for the U.S. economy?
* To what extent, if any, did the “Reagan Doctrine” contribute to the end of the Cold War?
* Was Stonewall in 1969 and LGBT activism in the 1970s an effective movement for civil rights? Why or why not?

(Due: 5/31) Read Chapter 23:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* To what extent was President Clinton able to reform the nation’s health care system?
* Is a balanced budget amendment a good idea? Why or why not?
* Was the proposed DREAM Act of 2009 (first proposed in 2001) a reinforcement of, or departure from, any or all of the following legislative precedents:
- Immigration Act of 1965
- Refugee Act of 1980
- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
- Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
- The USA Patriot Act of 2001
* Overall, did NAFTA help or hurt U.S. workers, U.S. consumers, and U.S. businesses in the 1990s?
* To what extent did the U.S. join with the world community to address the issue of global warming in the 1990s?

(Due: 6/7) Read Chapter 24:
Choose only one of the following EFQs:
* Was the U.S. justified in entering a war in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in 2003)? Why or why not?
* Was the expansion of executive branch power under the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (reauthorized in 2006) justified and/or constitutional? Consider at least one of the following additional details in your response:
- the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA)
- expansion of the wiretapping powers of the National Security Agency (NSA)
- detentions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO)
- Rasul v. Bush (2003) and Hamden v. Rumsfeld (2006) cases before the U.S. Supreme Court


(6/14) – Final Exam Week