American History 1945-1990

Department of American and Canadian Studies, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

College of Arts and Law

Details

Code 21568

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 20

Semester Both (1+2)

Pre-requisite modules You must have completed at least two years of appropriate study in this discipline.’

Module description

This module introduces students to the key themes in US political, social, economic and cultural developments in the late Twentieth Century. Students will, through the intensive study of primary sources, develop an understanding of the construction of historical argument. The key themes are:


  • The rise of the USA as a global power, including the impact of World War II, the long Cold War era and the Vietnam conflict. The course explores the development, goals, implementation and impact of American foreign policy on the world and on US politics and society, and links between foreign and domestic policy.

  • Major social movements within the US from 1945 - 1990, including immigration, women's movements, segregation and civil rights, and the impact of changes in agriculture and industry and consumption. The course explores groups that have agitated for change in the US, assessing their aims, strategies and influence.

  • Broad cultural changes in religion, gender and sexuality, and popular entertainment from 1945 - 1990.

  • The evolution of the US political system after the New Deal, notably the expansion of the powers of the federal government, the ending of restrictions on African-American suffrage in the South, and the Watergate crisis.


Teaching and learning methods

Lecture and seminar