On Campus
13 x 2-hour lectures per semester
13 x 1-hour tutorials per semester

Distance Online
13 x 2-hour lectures (recorded) per semester
Enrolment not permitted
1 of AMST2001, AMST2004 has been successfully completed
Course context
Associated Majors: American Studies; History
Topic description
This topic explores the internal tensions and conflicts that have marked modern American history. Looking at events from the 1920s to the new millennium, it charts the way that conflicting ideas about politics, society, and identity have divided Americans. It is particularly interested in competing visions of what kind of country the United States should be and who should be able to access the American Dream.

Our discussions will address some of the following subjects and themes: the role of government; liberalism and conservatism; poverty; Red Scares; immigration; white supremacy; African American struggle; protest and activism; sexual revolution(s); feminism; the culture wars; the Moral Majority.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  1. Examine key events in the historical development of the United States in the twentieth century
  2. Critically consider the political and social division within the United States
  3. Assess the factors that triggered the political and cultural shifts in twentieth century America and analyse the impact of these changes
  4. Develop students' research and analysis skills
  5. Develop students' written and communication skills.
Expected learning outcomes
Students successfully completing the topic should be able to:
  1. Identify important themes in twentieth century American history and demonstrate an awareness of how the nation developed into a modern, industrial, superpower.
  2. Understand the political and social shifts that took place over the twentieth century.
  3. Critically analyse and assess a range of sources relevant to the topic.
  4. Be able to work both collaboratively and independently and to apply their knowledge in a range of situations.
  5. Communicate effectively by constructing and developing a coherent argument in written assessment.