HIST 365 Modern America

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HIST 365 Modern America

HIST 365 7380 Modern America

Adelphi · Syllabus ·

HIST 365 7380 Modern America (2228)HIST-365

  • Fall 2022
  • Section 7380
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2022 to 12/13/2022

 Faculty Contact

Larry Menna larry.menna@faculty.umgc.edu

 Course Description

Prerequisite: A writing course. Recommended: WRTG 291. An investigation of U.S. history from the end of World War II to the events of September 11, 2001. The goal is to identify events, individuals, movements, and technological developments; synthesize primary and secondary resources; and analyze the significance of social, cultural, and political events. Topics include social turmoil, the Cultural Revolution, the role of the United States in the world, economic trends, military conflicts, consumerism, political and public scandals, and globalization.

 Course Introduction

HIST 365 offers a comprehensive survey of modern American history. Beginning at the height of the Great Depression in 1933, the course examines the expanding role of the Federal Government from the Roosevelt through the George W. Bush Administration. A discussion of America’s involvement in foreign conflicts beginning with WWII to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are explored to emphasize America’s role in the world. The course continues with an investigation of the American judicial system in order to assess the role of the courts in dispensing justice and interpreting laws and public policy that expanded and limited personal freedoms. By the end of the course, students will understand the changing American social, cultural, economic and political landscape.

HIST 365 will provide student with the opportunity to learn historical thinking skills employed by historians in the profession. Through a range of primary and secondary sources, the course offers a holistic approach to the study of Modern America. Students will learn how to evaluate and analyze sources, synthesize material and use evidence to construct a solid historical argument. Various assessments provide students with the opportunity to develop and practice critical thinking and writing skills.

Modern America examines the evolving relationship of the federal government to American society, while addressing the legacy of the Cold War and the social, economic, political and cultural changes that unfolded as the United States transitioned into the modern period.  

 Course Outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to

  • Analyze the significance and expanding role of the federal government
  • Describe the origins, impact and legacy of the Cold War on national security, international relations, immigration and domestic life as America’s role in the world expanded.
  • Explain the struggle for constitutional rights and citizenship from the New Deal to the events of 9/11
  • Examine the development of American culture through film, music and consumerism

 Course Materials

Click to access your course materials information

 Class Guidelines

Contacting your Faculty Member

You can use the Pager feature within the classroom to send a message to your faculty member.

Click the Classroom Walkthrough Videos link below, and then click The Pager link, to view a how-to video on how to use the Pager function within the classroom:

Classroom Walkthrough Videos Link

Within the Content section of your classroom, view the Start Here section or Additional Course Information section within the Syllabus to learn more about contacting your faculty member.

Academic Policies

University policy information is available in the classroom Content > Syllabus > Academic Policies section of the classroom. For a video demonstration on how to load the Content portion of your classroom, follow the link below, and then click on Course Content:

Classroom Walkthrough Videos Link

For more information about student services and other general information, visit UMGC’s website at http://www.umgc.edu/

Academic Integrity Philosophy & Policy

As explained in UMGC’s Philosophy of Academic Integrity (https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/academic-integrity/philosophy.cfm), the foundation of our vision for students to build knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve their professional aspirations is integrity. Our institutional Academic Integrity Policy (https://www.umgc.edu/administration/policies-and-reporting/policies/academic-affairs/dishonesty-plagiarism.cfm) outlines guiding principles that support integrity and lists prohibited misconduct.

UMGC Effective Writing Center

The Effective Writing Center (EWC) provides online services and resources to help students improve their writing. You can see what the EWC offers by clicking on the Resources tab located in the navigation bar at the top, then clicking on the Effective Writing Center link. The EWC offers a guide to writing and research located at www.umgc.edu/writingcenter/onlineguide/index.cfm. The center also offers direct feedback from a trained, experienced writer called a writing advisor at www.umgc.edu/writingcenter/writingadvising/index.cfm. You can also submit any piece of writing or writing-related questions by email to writingcenter@umgc.edu. For additional information about the EWC, see the Frequently Asked Questions section located at http://www.umgc.edu/writingcenter/writingresources/faq.cfm.


As a student in a 300-level, 8-week course, you are expected to devote a considerable amount of time to completing the course requirements and assignments, to developing and mastering key concepts and skills, and to engaging the key course issues.  Given the nature and structure of this course, you will have to stay fully engaged if you are to complete the course successfully.  This means turning in on time ALL assignments and completing ALL class requirements.  All requirements are laid out in this Syllabus, which is extremely important for you to read and understand, and in the Discussion areas.  Pay careful attention to them.  

Because assignments will be due each week in the course, you are expected to log on to the course at least 4 times per week. Unlike  15-week courses, where sometimes you have a few weeks to complete assignments, 8-week courses demand careful time management on your part. Please carefully allocate enough time to complete the course requirements each week. This course requires active and frequent participation in the virtual class discussions and activities. Be sure to allocate your time appropriate to the requirements of a an intensive class!!

Class Management:  Each assignment is carefully explained in this syllabus as are the ways in which each will be assessed.  Class discussions are student-driven and my role as your professor is to facilitate them.  As such, I will read all of your posts and will pose follow-up questions to help you focus on important issues that need more attention and exploration.  I will also post comments as I see necessary to individual responses. For every two discussions in the course, I will post a discussion grade based on the clarity, thoroughness, use of evidence, and reasoning of your posts.  Please pay careful attention to the discussion requirements outlined in this syllabus. In addition, as I explained above, I expect all assignments to be submitted on time; I will comment on all submissions and grade them typically within one week of the due date.  When I have completed the grading of each assignment, I will post an announcement to the class.

Preferred Contact Method:  I can be reached at my UMGC email, as listed at the top of this syllabus.  I will respond to all emails within 48 hours, but typically in less than 24 hours.

 Grading Information

You are responsible for the following graded items:

Week One Discussion 5 points
Week Two Discussion 5 points
Applied History Project – Topic and Proposal 10 points
Week Three Discussion 5 points
Week Four Discussion  5 points
Applied History Project – Annotated Bibliography 15 Points
Week Five Discussion 5 points
Week Six Discussion 5 points
Applied History Assignment – Draft Policy Brief 10 points
Week Seven Discussion 5 Points
Week Eight Discussion 5 Points
Applied History Assignment – Final Policy Brief 25 Points
TOTAL100 points

Late Policy – No late work will be accepted in this class.

Extra Credit Policy – No extra credit will be offered in this class.

 Project Descriptions

1. Weekly Discussion and Participation (40 points or 5 points per discussion): 

In registering for a Web-based course, you have made a commitment to participate in the course discussions as well as in other online activities. Please plan to participate regularly. Do not merely wait until the last day of the week to participate in the discussions. Participation for this course is defined as proactive participation in and meaningful contributions to the weekly discussions.

You are expected to demonstrate critical thinking and an understanding of the assigned readings as they relate to the issues identified in each discussion. You are expected to make your own contribution to each discussion thread as well as to respond with value-added comments to the postings of  those of your classmates (see discussion participation requirements below). You are encouraged to respond to other students as well, and to your instructor. Note in the grading policy your discussion participation counts significantly toward your final grade.  You are expected to adhere to the general rules of online etiquette.

Participation is worth 40 points or 40% of your final course grade.  You must submit a minimum of three posts per question per discussion–one response to the discussion question and at least two others to those of your classmates.

You must make your first post to each discussion question by Saturday, 11:59pm EST, and two other other posts no later than Tuesday, 11:59pm. Remember that a minimum effort will receive a minimum grade. 

I will post responses to some student responses, and sometimes I will post follow-up questions to which you should respond. And you can respond to my responses to student questions. To earn a perfect score for the discussions, you must demonstrate leadership in the forum. For our purposes, that means contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way, just as you would in a face-to-face class discussion in an upper-level course such as this one.

You should carefully follow these guidelines in the discussions:

The Submission Instructions for the Discussions, the Rules of Interaction and the Assessment Criteria, all of which appear below:

Answer/Response Format:

Each Discussion will have at least one Question thread.  You should post your answers to the Topic Questions by using the Start a New Thread for each of the Topic Questions.  To post responses to the answers of your classmates, use the Reply button at the bottom of each thread!

In your discussion posts you must use at least three, legitimate academic outside sources and cite them in your posts.

•         Submit or post a thoughtful, detailed analytical answer (6-8 sentences per question or at least 500 words) as a Reply (use the Reply Button at the top) to each question thread by the Thursday of the Discussion period.

•         Post a reply to at least TWO answers or comments (approximately 250 words each) posted by your classmates or by myself by the deadline for each Discussion question (I encourage you to submit more responses to your classmates).  Again, use the Reply button at the top menu in the Discussion. When you respond to your fellow students, try to create a dialogue with them.  In other words, engage their ideas and pose questions to each other.  As with your responses to the Discussion Questions, your responses to the posts of your classmates should be at least 500 words.

•         I will follow the discussion threads and each week will post some additional thoughts for all of you to think about.  My expectation is that you will provide answers and responses that clearly demonstrate your mastery of the reading materials.  In this sense, your participation will be substantive rather than anecdotal.  I encourage you to make connections between this period of history and our own and to respond to my comments as well as those of your fellow classmates.

Submission Instructions:

When you are ready to submit your answers to the question and to respond to the answers of your fellow students, do the following:

•        Click on the Content tab on the top menu, then scroll down and click on the Week (Week 1, Week 2, etc.).   On the right menu, click on the Weekly Discussion link, and then scroll down to view the discussion thread topics.  Click on each topic and the on the Reply Thread button to post your response.

Read the discussion questions carefully and be sure to use your research materials to formulate your responses.

•        Other students should then feel free to post responses to these responses and so on in order to have a conversation of sorts with each other.  You should not wait until the end of the Discussion to post your responses because it prevents the interchange of ideas among all of you.   Rather, try to post as many responses by mid-week in order to get a discussion going (for this reason, one aspect of the evaluation of your participation grade is your intellectual initiative; see Assessment below).

Discussion Participation Rubric

To earn 5 points;
This score is reserved for perfect performance.  Students must make at least three posts each week and demonstrate leadership in the discussions–one answer of approximately 500 words and two posts, each approximately 250 words.  Students must clear all minimums with room to spare to earn a perfect score for the week. In sum, the major answer to a question is well-prepared, shows sound, analytical, scholarly interpretation and use of the assigned primary sources and secondary sources.  Comments are well-written and have been proofread.  Posts should respond to instructor questions AND respond to student posts and questions. Again, this score is reserved for leaders. You will not earn a perfect score for the week if you submit all your posts on the last day.

To earn 4 points:
This score is reserved for solid, robust performance. In sum, posts and responses to instructor questions indicates decent preparation and some scholarly interpretation, with use of primary sources cited using the Chicago style.  Analysis is weak.  Citations may have errors; and there may be grammatical and spelling errors. Posts are submitted throughout the week, and all posts are submitted by the Sunday deadline.  Student responds to professor and other students. You will not earn a this score for the week if you submit all your posts on the last day. A discussion forum is for discussion.

To earn 3 points:
This score is reserved for minimum performance, which means submitting the required minimum number of four posts each week. In sum, posts and responses to questions are passable, but demonstrate some issues with scholarly interpretation.  Student relies too heavily on the texts.  Commentary lacks analysis.  Errors appear in citations, grammar and spelling.  Student either does not meet the Sunday deadline for all the posts, or submits posts at the end of the week rather than engaging in dialog throughout the week.  Posts respond only to the instructor questions and do not fully engage other students posts.

To earn 2 points:
This score is for those students whose posts are poorly prepared, lack focus and scholarly interpretation.  Student relies on the textbook, quotes extensively, and does not use primary sources.  Citations are missing or inaccurate and grammar is uneven.  Student’s work shows no evidence of proofreading and does not meet the Sunday deadline

To earn 1 point:
This score is for poor performance. Posts in response to questions are incorrect, lack preparation, focus, analysis, and are poorly written.  Student relies on textbook exclusively.  Citations are missing; grammar and spelling are inaccurate.  Student missed the Sunday deadline. Students to not effectively engage the material covered, the instructor or fellow students.

To earn ZERO:
The student did not post any commentaries or responses for this conference. 

2. Applied History Project (60 points)

There are four graded parts to this assignment:

Topic and Proposal (10 points towards Final Grade) – Due Week 2: Select a topic from the Current Policy Challenges list posted under Week 2. From there, students will conduct preliminary research on their topic and then submit a 200-word proposal that includes a summary of their policy, the challenge(s) associated with their policy and a working bibliography of at least 6 academic sources. You will find additional details for this assignment under the assignment folder in Week 2 under Content.

Annotated Bibliography (15 points towards Final Grade) – Due Week 4: For this assignment, students will conduct research on their topic and compose a properly formatted, detailed annotated bibliography consisting of at least six academic sources to be used in their final submission. The sources must consist of three scholarly secondary sources and three primary sources. You will find additional details for this assignment under the assignment folder in Week 4 under Content.

Preliminary Draft – Historical Policy Brief (10 points towards Final Grade) – Due Week 6: For this assignment, students will write and submit a preliminary draft of their Historical Policy Brief. You will find additional details for this assignment under the assignment folder in Week 6 under Content.

Final Draft Historical Policy Brief (25 points towards Final Grade) – Due Week 8: For this assignment, students will use their research from the last seven weeks to write and submit the final draft of their Historical Policy Brief. You will find additional details for this assignment under the assignment folder in Week 8 under Content.

Submitting Assignments and Rubrics: Students can submit their work under each assignment. Click on this assignment, scroll to the bottom of the page where you see “Add Attachments,” and then attach assignment. Students can also submit this assignment through the Assignment tab. Rubrics are attached to each Discussion and each Assignment. Please make sure to review the rubric before submitting your final draft. 

Due to the potential technical vulnerability, zip files are not allowed for any assignment submissions. 

 Academic Policies


University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has adopted a Philosophy of Academic Integrity  to guide the university’s commitment to a culture of academic integrity.  Our approach cultivates socially responsible personal and professional behaviors and traits. All members of the University community must maintain the highest level of integrity across the academic experience.  

Resources – UMGC provides an Academic Integrity Tutorial and an Integrity & Ethics Badge as learning resources. These resources include information on the fundamentals of academic integrity and how to apply your own personal ethics to coursework as a UMGC student and in other settings. Other Academic Integrity resources and guidelines are found at https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/academic-integrity/index.cfm.

Role of Instructor – Your instructor is your primary resource for how to uphold the highest ethical standards in the context of the specific requirements for this course.  

Student Responsibility – You are responsible for using UMGC-approved resources to understand key academic integrity concepts and to support your own academic success through practices that uphold values of integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.

Turnitin – Turnitin is enabled within the classroom to support the development and assessment of authentic student writing. To learn more about Turnitin, the feedback it provides, how to use that feedback to improve your work, and your options regarding the inclusion of your work in the Turnitin database, visit University guides for Turnitin at sites.umgc.edu/library/libresources/turnitin.cfm and https://sites.umgc.edu/library/libresources/turnitin.cfm#studentcopyright


University of Maryland Global Campus is committed to the success of our global community and values the diverse identities and backgrounds of our students, faculty, and staff. Each one of us has a broader life and set of experiences beyond UMGC that we bring with us to each interaction. Sharing your story with your classmates provides opportunities to learn, relate, and gain inspiration from each other. Engagement often begins with introductions at the beginning of the course. Sharing your preferred name, preferred pronouns, and other details about yourself and your life builds a foundation for connection, understanding, and a richer and more personalized learning experience.

We also recognize that some of life’s responsibilities and challenges outside of the classroom, such as childcare, a change in employment status, or illness, have an impact on success in a course. To the extent you are comfortable, we encourage you to communicate with your faculty member or Success Coach about any concerns you have for this course or as a student at UMGC so we can help you navigate potential obstacles and stay on track to achieve your goals.

Students are expected to work together cooperatively, and treat fellow students and faculty with respect, showing professionalism and courtesy in all interactions.  Please review the Code of Civility for more guidance on interacting in UMGC classrooms: https://www.umgc.edu/students/support/studentlife/conduct/code.cfm.


UMGC is committed to ensuring that all individuals are treated equally according to Policy 040.30 Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Sexual Harassment

Students with disabilities who need accommodations in a course are encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) at accessibilityservices@umgc.edu, or call 800-888-8682 or 240-684-2287.

The following academic policies and procedures apply to this course and your studies at UMGC.

150.25Academic Integrity Policy The University expects all members of the university community—students, faculty, and staff—to use guidelines to work with and promote integrity. If you are aware of any academic misconduct, please contact integrity@umgc.edu. All cases of academic misconduct will be addressed in accordance with Policy 150.25 and associated procedures.You are expected to engage in new learning that furthers your development of knowledge, skills, and abilities in each course. According to this policy, you may not submit a substantial portion of any coursework that you have submitted to any course previously without express written approval through assignment guidelines or other forms of communication. You must use UMGC course materials responsibly. Uploading course materials to any website outside of UMGC’s online classroom is prohibited by this policy.
151.00Code of Student Conduct
170.40170.41170.42The following policies describe the requirements for the award of each degree: Degree Completion Requirements for the Graduate SchoolDegree Completion Requirements for a Bachelor’s DegreeDegree Completion Requirements for an Associate’s Degree
170.71Policy on Grade of Incomplete – The mark of I is exceptional and considered only for certain courses. Students who have completed 60% of their coursework with a grade of B or better for graduate courses or C or better for undergraduate courses and request an I before the end of the term. The mark of I is not available for noncredit courses.
170.72Course Withdrawal Policy – Students must follow drop and withdrawal procedures and deadlines available at https://www.umgc.edu/ under Academic Calendar.
130.80Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading – appeals may be made on final course grades as described herein.
190.00Intellectual Property  – All university faculty, staff, and students must comply with University guidelines on the use of copyrighted material. Uploading UMGC or faculty copyrighted material without authorization degrades and corrupts the integrity of the teaching and learning experience and is a potential violation of UMGC policy and copyright law. You must obtain permission to post UMGC or other’s copyrighted material to third-party websites, including social learning network sites. UMGC reserves the right to take appropriate action to remove copyrighted material uploaded without authorization.
205.06Calculation Of Grade-Point Average (GPA) for Inclusion on Transcripts and Transcript Requests – Note: Undergraduate and graduate courses have different Grading Policies.  See Course Syllabus for Grading Policies. 
270.00Acceptable Use – The security of the online classroom is critical to ensuring a strong culture of academic integrity and authentic education at the University. It is a violation of the University’s policies for anyone to share logon, password, and any other secure information about a UMGC online account, including credentials required to access the online learning environment.


According to UMGC’s grading policy, the following marks are used:

A 90-100 90-100
B 80-89 80-89
C 70-79 70-79*
D 60-69 N/A**
F 59 or below 69 or below
FN Failure-Non attendance Failure-Non attendance
G Grade Pending Grade Pending
P Passing Passing
S Satisfactory Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory Unsatisfactory
I Incomplete Incomplete
AU Audit Audit
W Withdrew Withdrew

* The grade of “B” represents the benchmark for graduate courses. Students must maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Classes where final grade of C or F places a student on Academic Probation must be repeated.
** UMGC does not award the grade of D in graduate courses.


Scores to individual assignments are calculated based on rubrics in the class and are not rounded to the whole point. The final grade for the course is determined by weighted average and will be rounded to the nearest whole point using mathematical rule (grades with .5 and above to be rounded to the next whole point). 


Assignments are designed to enable students to achieve course objectives and succeed in the program. In the interest of equity and fairness, there will be no extra credit opportunities. All assignments are identified in the syllabus. 


UMGC values its students’ feedback. You will be asked to complete an online evaluation toward the end of the term. The primary purpose of this evaluation process is to assess the effectiveness of classroom instruction in order to provide the best learning experience possible and make continuous improvements to every class. Responses are kept confidential. Please take full advantage of this opportunity to provide your feedback.


Extensive library resources and services are available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at https://sites.umgc.edu/library/index.cfm to support you in your studies.  The UMGC Library provides research assistance in creating search strategies, selecting relevant databases, and evaluating and citing resources in a variety of formats via its Ask a Librarian service at https://www.umgc.edu/library/libask/index.cfm.


This course may contain links to external sites neither owned nor maintained by UMGC. UMGC bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of external sites or for that of subsequent links. In addition, the terms of use, security policies, and privacy policies may differ from those of UMGC. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content, terms of use, and policies.


Those requiring technical assistance can access Help@UMGC Support directly in LEO under the Help menu.  Additional technical support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via self-help and live chat at https://www.umgc.edu/help/ or by phone toll-free at 888-360-8682.


All items on this syllabus are subject to change at the discretion of the Instructor and the Office of Academic Affairs.

 Class & Assignment Schedule

Students can access their complete list of assignments and their corresponding due dates within the Assignments section of the classroom by navigating to the Assignments section of the class from the main navigation bar. Follow the link below, and then click Assignments, for a video demonstration on how to utilize this feature.

Classroom Walkthrough Videos Link

Students also have access to a calendar tool on the course homepage within the classroom.

Class Schedule

 Week/Dates AssignmentsDue Date
Week 1Oct 19-25Topic: The Great Depression/New DealRead: Week 1 Learning ResourcesDo: Review the Academic Integrity Tutorial and Sign the Academic Integrity PledgeDo: Week 1 DiscussionFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 10/22, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 10/25, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 2Oct 26-Nov 1Topic: WWII and its aftermathRead: Week 2 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 2 DiscussionTopic and ProposalFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 10/26, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 11/1, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 3Nov 2-8Topic: Affluent America/The Cold War/Early Civil RightsRead: Week 3 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 3 DiscussionFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 11/5, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 11/8, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 4 Nov 9-15Topic: Kennedy/Johnson Administration/Civil Rights MovementRead: Week 4 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 4 DiscussionAnnotated BibliographyFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 11/12, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 11/15, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 5Nov 16-22Topic: Vietnam/Women’s MovementRead: Week 5 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 5 DiscussionFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 11/19, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 11/22, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 6Nov 23-29Topic: 1970s, Nixon, Ford and Carter AdministrationsRead: Week 6 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 6 DiscussionHistorical Policy Brief – Preliminary DraftFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 11/26, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 11/29, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 7Nov 30-Dec 6Topic: 1980s, Reagan/Bush Administration/Conservative cultureRead: Week 7 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 7 DiscussionFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 11/30, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 12/6, by 11:59 pm ET.
Week 8Dec 7-13Topic: 1990sRead: Week 8 Learning ResourcesDo: Week 8 DiscussionHistorical Policy Brief – Final DraftFirst Discussion post due by Saturday, 12/10, by 11:59pm.All other assignments due by Tuesday, 12/13, by 11:59 pm ET.
HIST 365 7380 Modern America Syllabus