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  3. American History from JFK to Trump

American History from JFK to Trump (HIST20071)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeHIST20071
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Covering the most significant issues and debates in American history since 1945, but with emphasis on the period since 1960, this subject aims to develop a deeper understanding of American political and social controversies that remain relevant today. It charts key developments: from McCarthyism to the Patriot Act; from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Black Lives Matter; from liberalism’s apogee to the rise of conservatism. It examines the legacies and controversies surrounding the presidencies of JFK, Nixon, LBJ, Clinton, Reagan, George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump. With an emphasis on domestic rather than foreign affairs, the subject covers the Sixties and the New Left, the civil rights movement, social activism in the 1970s, the role of religion in American public life and the New Right, and other key topics. The core aim is to provide students with a grounding in the history that shapes and animates contemporary debates.

Intended learning outcomes

Students that successfully complete this subject should

  • gain a general knowledge of the principal figures and significant events and developments in the history of the United States since 1945;
  • gain familiarity with the major historiographical debates concerning U.S. history and with major interpretive perspectives and approaches to the subject;
  • develop skills in locating and analysing primary and secondary sources in constructing and evaluating historical arguments;
  • develop research skills using printed and electronic sources, both primary and secondary;
  • develop skills in clear and persuasive written expression and argumentation;
  • develop skills of critical thinking, empathy, and oral expression and argumentation through participating in a multi-session role-play game

Generic skills

  • Practice teamwork and leadership, problem-solving, and analytical skills

Last updated: 11 October 2019