HST291: Age of Affluence, Age of Anxiety: The USA Since 1945
20 credits (semester 1) (semester 2 in 2013-14)
Module Leader: Dr Michael Foley
Pass in at least two of the Level One modules offered by the Department of History.
This module provides a survey of American social, cultural, and political life since the end of the Second World War up to the end of the Clinton administration. It focuses on the nation´s rising and declining status as an economic and military "superpower" and the social and cultural impact of that status on most Americans and their sense of identity. In particular, the Cold War's bearing on American society, and the Vietnam War will be at the centre of our exploration of contemporary America politics and foreign policy. The course will also pay considerable attention to grassroots movements for social change, including the civil rights movement, the women´s liberation movement, the minority rights revolution, the environmental movement, and the rise of the New Right in the last quarter century. Finally, the course will chart the changing political winds from the heyday of American liberalism under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations through to the Reagan Revolution.
There will be one lecture and one seminar per week. The seminars will be based around student-led presentations and debates.
|1||The Atomic Age and the Birth of the Cold War|
|2||The 1950s: Affluence and Anxiety|
|3||Kennedy and the New Frontier|
|4||The Civil Rights Movement|
|5||The Great Society and the Politics of Liberal Reform|
|6||Vietnam and the Crisis of American Empire|
|7||The Sixties: New Left, New Right and the Culture Wars|
|8||The Nixon Presidency: Power, Lies and Audiotape|
|9||"A Crisis of Confidence" – 1970s America|
|10||"Morning in America": The Reagan Revolution|
|11||Towards "A New World Order"? America during the 1990s|
The module is assessed by:
- One essay of 2,500 words which counts for 33% of the overall mark.
- A two-hour examination, which counts for 67% of the overall mark and is taken during the examination period of the appropriate semester.
- Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, Second Seagull Edition (2009)
- Robert Griffith and Paula Baker, eds., Major Problems in American History Since 1945, 3rd edition (2007)
Intended Learning Outcomes