History 202 US since 1865

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Assigned Materials Spring 2021

  • See syllabus for books. Additional Materials:

  • Backstory (podcast)

  • American History Tellers (podcast)

  • The Last Archive, Jill Lepore (podcast)

  • The New American History This is a website that hosts and aggregates new approaches to thinking about American history.

  • American Yawp (website/wiki) Our textbook for the class. Note there are chapters and a primary source reader. This is a free to use textbook, open education resource, created by academics and hosted on a Wiki by Stanford University Press.

  • Crash Course US History. Use Crash Course History as a supplement to class. If you miss a class or just want more clarification, the Crash Course History videos offer a good lecture alternative (plus I can't match the video production quality).

  • Various Odds and Ends via YouTube, podcasts, etc.

A note on materials. Below you will find links to the course materials. It is a lot of stuff, but don't get overwhelmed. Some of this you will do out of class; some of it we will be working with and discussing in class. At other times you will get to select the materials you use, so for example it might be listen and comment on this podcast or that podcast. My goal is to get as much of the course materials online and easily accessible in advance to make navigating this class in a pandemic easier.

Each week I’ll send out an email with specifics via Moodle announcements.

The purpose of the web page is to give you easy access to links. This is not the full syllabus. The full syllabus and other course materials are posted on Moodle. Bottom line - check Moodle, read the syllabus, and read your e-mail.

Our Class Tech

Microsoft Teams

How to use Microsoft Teams with Kevin Stratvert (His YouTube channel is a useful resource for Microsoft and other types of software). We’ll be using Teams for some assignments and to augment in-class discussion since we’ll be wearing masks.

E-Mail and Microsoft Office

This web site


I’ve created a page specifically for this class (you are looking at it). Elsewhere on this site, you will find a bunch of resources that we will be using or you might find helpful. Specifically, you will find assignment instructions including reaction papers guidelines, history 202 reaction paper guidelines, and evaluating a primary document guidelines.


As you know, our LMS (Learning Management System) is Moodle. If you need some help with Moodle, ask or check out the Moodle Overview on the Moodle YouTube channel. The SBU IT folks have put up a bunch of resources on using Moodle when you log into our Moodle site. Wagner College has a handy overview of using Moodle for students.

I’ve assigned podcasts to the class. Many of you will already be listening to podcasts, but if you are new to podcasts here are overviews for the two main podcast apps - Apple and Google. You can also stream the podcasts on your PC or tablet.

The two big podcast apps:

Apple Podcast App Basics (My experience is that a solid majority of students have iPhones, so this will be your default podcast app.)

Google Podcast App Review (For those of you not in the Apple ecosystem, this is a good bet.)

There are at least a zillion podcast apps (link takes you to a review comparing 10) and most of them will do just fine. If you have a favorite you don’t have to switch apps. I use Pocket Casts on a Pixel running Android. You can also find the podcasts on Spotify or Stitcher. On Spotify I've created a playlist, Payne history spring 22. You can search by podcast name, episode name, and date in the app or you can use Listen Notes: The Best Podcast Search Engine. If you need or want captions for the audio, on your phone you can use Live Caption. On an Android phone Use Live Caption. On iPhones use hearing accessibility features for iOS. Chrome offers extensions for accessibility. Many podcast also post to YouTube. Backstory and Wondery, which does American History Tellers, have YouTube channels, YouTube has a subtitle option.

Below is the same schedule that is found on the syllabus.

Mandatory First Reaction Paper: Why History?

  • Monday we will go over technology and syllabus

  • Questions: What is a fact? How do historians work with facts to recreate the past? Post a reaction paper to the Moodle assignment.

Read Ayes, “How do our Ideas About History Change”

Listen to The Last Archive, Episode 1: The Clue in the Blue Bottle

We will discuss this on Monday. Reaction paper due by Wednesday.

Module One

Week 1: January 18 - 21

American Yawp Reconstruction

Questions: Was Reconstruction a failure? If it was a failure, should there be reparations?

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

  • D. W. Griffith: Birth of a Nation (1915) based on the novel The Clansman (we'll watch clips in class; don’t watch the entire movie unless you want to and I’m not going to encourage that.)

  • Crash Course US History, Reconstruction

Week 2: January 24 - 28

Reconstruction continued, Industrialization Starts

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

Reaction Paper Due

Week 3 January 31 to February 4


Questions: Is the 21st century a second Gilded Age? If so, why? Who were the winners and losers during industrialization?

American Yawp, Capital and Labor

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Material:

Module Paper Due

Module Two

Week 4 February 7 to 11

Industrialization Continued

Questions: Was the United States an imperial power? Did it have an empire?

American Yawp, Life in Industrial America

American Yawp, the West

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

Week 5 February 14 to 18

Empire and Populism

Questions: What drives political change? Reform?

American Yawp, American Empire

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials

Reaction Paper Due

Week 6 February 21 to 25

Progressive Era and start of World War I

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

Module Paper Due

Midterm Break: February 28 to March 4

Module Three

Week 7 March 7 to 11

The Great War and 1920s

  • Questions: Why was the Great War such a huge event for Americans? And why did we forget it so soon?

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials

Week 8 March 14 to 18

The Roaring Twenties

Questions: Were the 20s modern? What does that mean? Did the 20s foreshadow our current culture wars?

American Yawp, The New Era

Supplemental Materials:

Reaction Paper Due

Week 9 March 21 to 25

The Great Depression

Questions: Should we bring back the New Deal? Political parties that represent coalitions? Are we still debating the 1930s?

American Yawp, The Great Depression

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials

Module Paper Due

Module Four

Week 10 March 28 to April 1

World War II

Questions: Was WW II the Good War? Why?

American Yawp, World War II

Podcast you can select from

Supplemental Materials

Week 11 April 4 to 8

Cold War

  • American Yawp, The Cold War

  • Questions: Why did the United States fight the Cold War? What country held the greatest responsibility for the Cold War?

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

Reaction Paper Due

Week 12 April 11 to 13 (M/W)

The 1950s

American Yawp, The Affluent Society

  • Questions: How happy (Happy Days TV show reference) were the 1950s?

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

Module Paper Due

Easter Break: April 14 to 18

Module Five

Week 13 April 19 to 22 (W/F)


Questions: Did the 60s set the stage for our current political divide?

American Yawp, The Sixties

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials

Week 14 April 25 to 29

Malaise - the Long Sixties or the Seventies

Questions: Did Ford and Carter fail? What are the legacies of Watergate and Vietnam?

American Yawp, The Unraveling

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials

Reaction Paper Due

Week 15 May 2 to 4

The Reagan Revolution

Questions: Did Reaganomics work? How were politics different?

American Yawp, The Triumph of the Right

Podcast you can select from:

Supplemental Materials:

America at the turn of the 21st Century

Questions: Does history help us understand now? Elaborate

Module Paper Due

Final: Based on May, 9/11 Report