HIS 102: U.S. History 2: 1877 - Present

Course Description

This course will focus on a biographical study of the United States from the end of Reconstruction to the Age of Globalism. Students will examine the political, economic, social, and cultural experiences of the American nation and its people. Both sides of controversial historical issues will be presented in a balanced, objective manner. Students will be encouraged to develop and utilize critical and ethical thinking, and to arrive at their own evaluations of America’s triumphs and tragedies. Topics include Industrialization, Overseas Expansion, the Progressives, World War I and World War II, The Great Depression/New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement, the turbulent Sixties/confusing Seventies, The Age of Reagan, and the Age of Globalism.

Notes: This course is an approved Survey Course in United States History for teacher certification in Connecticut. This course duplicates the CLEP exam and/or a course in U.S. History 2.


  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the American West and how it was transformed as a result of coming of Anglo-American whites. (Ch. 16)
  2. Describe American industrialization and explain how it changed the physical and social landscape of the country. (Ch. 17)
  3. Explain the rapid growth of American cities and why life was beautiful and ugly at the same time. (Ch. 18)
  4. Analyze the reasons for American expansionism and evaluate American policy in newly acquired territories. (Ch. 19)
  5. Describe progressivism and evaluate how well it succeeded in accomplishing its goals. (Ch. 20)
  6. Analyze America's involvement in World War I and the impact of the conflict on the home front. (Ch. 21)
  7. Examine the economic prosperity of the twenties and the disenchantment of artists as well as Nativists. (Ch. 22)
  8. Review the principal causes of the Great Depression and how it affected the lives of Americans. (Ch. 23)
  9. Describe the principal programs of the New Deal and evaluate its impact from both the Left and the Right. (Ch. 24)
  10. Analyze and evaluate America's reaction to the global crisis with its isolationism and neutrality policies. (Ch. 25)
  11. Explain how and why America and its allies won World War II and the impact of the conflict on the home front. (Ch. 26)
  12. Analyze the causes of the Cold War and how it affected American society. (Ch. 27)
  13. Describe American society in the 1950's and explain why it was a great decade for some but not others. (Ch. 28)
  14. Examine Johnson's "Great Society", the Vietnam conflict and the Civil Rights Movement. (Ch. 29)
  15. Describe the challenges to authority presented by the Anti-War Movement, the Counter-Culture, Feminism, and Black Power. (Ch. 30)
  16. Describe the principal domestic and foreign policy issues of the eighties and evaluate Reagan's efforts to deal with them. (Ch. 31)
  17. Describe the principal issues facing Clinton and Bush and evaluate their policies to deal with them. (Ch. 32)

Course Activities and Grading


Discussions (Weeks 1-8)


Quizzes (Weeks 1-8)


Final Exam (Week 8)




Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Brinkley, Alan. American History: Survey, Volume II. 15th ed. McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2015. ISBN-13: 9780077776848 (Looseleaf Edition)

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises




Topics: The Conquest of the Far West & Industrial Supremacy

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 16 & 17
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 1
  • Take Quiz 1



Topics: The Age of the City & From Crisis to Empire

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 18 & 19
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 2
  • Take Quiz 2



Topics: The Progressives & America and the Great War

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 20 & 21
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 3
  • Take Quiz 3



Topics: The New Era & The Great Depression

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 22 & 23
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 4
  • Take Quiz 4



Topics: The New Deal; The Global Crisis & America in a World at War

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 24, 25 & 26
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 5
  • Take Quiz 5



Topics: The Cold War & The Affluent Society

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 27 & 28
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 6
  • Take Quiz 6



Topics: Civil Rights, Vietnam and the Ordeal of Liberalism & The Crisis Authority

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 29 & 30
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 7
  • Take Quiz 7



Topics: From the "Age of Limits" to the Age of Reagan & The Age of Globalization

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 31 & 32
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion 8
  • Take Quiz 8
  • Take Final Exam

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.