American History II:
Reconstruction Through the Present
(Offered in 2017-18)

Taught by Robyn Blum

Taught by Robyn Blum

  • Engage numerous primary sources
  • Consider connections between current events and their historical antecedents, particularly post-WWII

Modern American History explores the United States from the period of the Reconstruction to the present (though American History I is a helpful prerequisite, it is not required). During this exciting period, the United States emerged as a crucial player on the international scene. The means of warfare shifted, scientific advancement accelerated, and the economy solidified into the systems we experience today. The rapid changes in American society stretched and challenged the philosophical and cultural basis of the United States in fascinating ways. In this course we will examine how these changes have become the theoretical foundations that underlie current American events and issues. It is particularly important to understand this as we act as responsible citizens in our nation and in today’s world.

This course will be taught at an "AP prepatory" level, meaning that we will incorporate AP exam skills and content themes, but the course as a whole will not be focused on test preparation. Students who desire to take the AP exam will gain valuable preparation from this course, but they will need to do additional preparation on their own (and of course will need to master the content covered in American History I).

We will utilize a variety of approaches in our exploration of this period. In particular, we will use lectures, discussions, and readings in primary and secondary sources. The students will complete short writing assignments, which will focus on analyze these sources, in addition to several longer papers to probe the key topics of this time-frame