Welcome to Recent and Contemporary America!

"Recent and Contemporary America" covers the history of the United States from 1945 to the present. The World War Era introduces the emphasis of the material lying in post-1945 America. It is a thematic study, not necessarily a strict chronological one. In other words, the material will be divided into broad themes. You can access material for each of these units by "linking" the topics at the right. It will not be merely an examination of wars and conflicts, but of society as a whole--what have we as Americans been up to for the last few generations?

One of the distinguishing features of this course is the question "Is this really History?" If something happens in the recent past, does that make is historical? Or historic? Would it be more appropriate to title the course "Current History"? If so, wouldn't that be a contradiction?.

There is no textbook for this course. Much of the reading will come from handouts and in-class material; some of the reading you will be expected to do outside of and in addition the in-class material. At other times you will have to supply the text." Expect to graded on assignments, class participation, quizzes, and tests.

Required Projects

You need to complete four (4) of the six (6) projects described. All the instructions are self-explanatory. All the instructions are correct as they are written. All the instructions need to be followed. Additional instructions, grading rubrics, and sample projects can be found via the links to each project type.

The due dates are guidelines, subject to change. The biographical sketch must be completed during the unit in which the person "lived."; it has to fit the class material. The other dates represent the last date you may complete a particular project, but you can them in any time prior to that date. For the most part, you are on your own to complete the projects; don't expect class time work on them.

Unit Themes

Introduction to History

The World Wars

Cold War

The 1950s

The Civil Rights Movement


The Crook, The Congressman, and The Christian

The Reagan Era

Outlook for the Future