430: Unit 1

History 430: United States, 1941-Present, Spring, 2021

Part I: From the World War to the Sixties

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3

1. Introducing: Richard Nixon

READ Perlstein, on Orthogonians vs. Franklins, 20-23.

What does it mean to be an Orthogonian, according to Perlstein? Do you identify more with the Orthogonians or the Franklins?

2. World War II—reasons and meanings

READ Yawp, 225-239 & Documents: Lindberg, America First, Atlantic Charter.

What do you make of the slogan “America First”? Are the Allies fighting a “Good War”?

3. World War II—results

READ Yawp, 239-256 (Including recommended readings) & Docs: A. Philip Randolph and FDR; Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga on Japanese Internment

How did the war change the USA? What do you think the text has left out that you wish it included?

4. Cold War—origins.

READ Yawp, 257-269 & Docs: Kennan and Novikov Telegrams.

The US and the Soviet Union were allies in the War. What happened?

5. The Red Scare—at home

READ Yawp, 269-278 & Perlstein, 26-35 & Smith, “Declaration of Conscience”

What does Perlstein suggest motivated Nixon to root out communists at home? Was Alger Hiss guilty?

6. Where Boomers Come From—the bowels of the suburban beast

READ Yawp, 288-294, 301-310 & Perlstein, 35-43.

WATCH A few minutes of the Checkers’ Speech (I'll also show some in class):

Why did Americans respond positively to Nixon’s appeal? What does this episode tell us about the impact of TV on American culture and politics?

7. Here Come the Sixties

READ Yawp, 294-301, 317-324 & Docs: Supreme Court’s Brown decision

Which movement seems more likely to become popular with the most young people in the 1960s? How do you explain the rise of these two very different movements at the same time?

8. Containing Communism in Vietnam

READ Yawp, 327-329 & Perlstein, 99-102, 80-82, 86-87 (3 paragraphs, "He" to "good") & Docs, “Report to President Kennedy on South Vietnam”

MAP:  Of Vietnam

What would you have done if you had gotten that report from your advisors in 1961?

9. Liberalism’s Flawed Triumph

READ: Yawp, 324-327 & Perlstein, 163-166 (end of chapter) and 218-223 & Docs, Martin Luther King, “Labor Cannot Stand Still…”

This is the high tide of the liberal reform movement that began with the progressives.  Does this moment of triumph contain the seeds of the movement's demise?

10. Paper Due

You will find the assignment here. It will be due on the day of class meeting number 10 (Thursday, April 8) by the end of class time. Please turn in a hard copy (on paper) unless you are remote. Class will not meet on that day.

Are you thinking about turning in a late paper? Read the Course Requirements first.

11. Your next assignment is on page 2 of the syllabus.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3