HST 407 The United States Since 1945

HST 407 IS Sec 3, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Wendy Smith, PhD.

Instructor name:
Wendy Smith, PhD.


Dr. Smith received her PhD in 2012 and specializes in 20th century US history.  She teaches a variety of courses including: both US history survey courses, Women's history, US history from 1877 to 1917, US history from 1914 to 1945, Mississippi history, the South in the 20th century and the history of Southern Women. Because of her background in Classical Studies, she also teaches HST 120, the History of Europe to 1648.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the email link in the "Communications" tab. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826
E-mail: istudy@olemiss.edu

Course Description

This course will examine the social, political and cultural changes that occur from the end of WWII to the present.  Topics will include (but are not limited to) the Cold War, Economic Development, the Consumer Society, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left, and the rise of Conservatism.  The course will be divided as evenly as possible between domestic affairs and foreign policy.

Students will have the opportunity to learn the practice of history as they analyze primary sources and move beyond the basics of who, what and when to look at the why of history.  Students will be asked to communicate their thoughts and opinions in both formal writing assignments and less formal posts to the discussion board.

NOTE:  A grade of “C” or better is required for this course to be applied to either a history major or minor.

There is no prerequisite for this course.

Textbook Information:

Textbook information will be provided upon enrollment in your iStudy course.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Obtain basic comprehension of the historical narrative by completing reading assignments, attending class and taking notes during lecture
  2. Discover historians’ interpretations of defining historical events by completing all reading assignments
  3. Evaluate historians’ interpretations by writing critical book reviews and analysis papers
  4. Demonstrate mastery of the course material by creating essays focused on specific aspects from this period in history

Course Outline:

This course consists of 12 instructional modules (or lessons). Please note that the suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester is written for Fall and Spring. Full summer students need to make adjustments due to the significantly shorter time period involved.

Lesson Lecture Topics Due for Grades
Start Here *You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.*NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page. Syllabus Quiz
0 Introduction Discussion board
Critical Book Review Instruction Quiz
Plagiarism Quiz
1 Origins of the Cold War Discussion board
Analysis Paper
2 Domestic Politics in the 40s - 50s & the Korean War Discussion board
Analysis Paper
3 Politics of Fear, aka McCarthyism &1950s Consumerism Discussion board
Analysis Paper
Critical Book Review
4 The Politics of Moderation & Ideals vs. Realities Discussion board
Analysis Paper
5 John F. Kennedy: The Presidency and the Assassination Discussion board
Critical Book Review
Course Exam 1 Covers lessons 1-5 To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
MIDPOINT OF COURSE If you are a semester student, you must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your information.
If you are a Flex UM student, you CANNOT WITHDRAW from this course after the lesson has been submitted.
All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course
6 Lydon Johnson & Civil Rights in the 1960s Discussion board
Analysis Paper
7 The Vietnam War & Richard Nixon Discussion board
Analysis Paper
8 Culture Clashes Discussion board
Analysis Paper
9 Post-Watergate Politics & Ronald Reagan Discussion board
Critical Book Review
10 1980s Consumerism Discussion board
Analysis Paper
11 The End of the Cold War & Bill Clinton Discussion board
12 The 1990s & A New Millennium Discussion board
Critical Book Review
Final Exam A "take home" exam  that consists of 2 essays - The first essay covers lessons 6-12; the second essay is cumulative To be completed
to finalize credit


94-100 A
90-93 A-
87-89 B+
84-86 B
80-83 B-
77-79 C+
74-76 C
70-73 C-
60-69 D
59 or less F


You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded.