550: Unit 2

History 550: Politics and Public Policy, Winter 2022

Part II: Political Ideas and Practices

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Week 5. B format will not have homework for the short block.

11. Paper.

12. Political ideologies in American History, from the first party system to the New Deal

READ: 550 Readings packet, 182-187 AND Alterman & Mattson, The Cause, pp. 2-12 in Appendix of the 550 Readings packet.

The reading traces the development of American political ideologies through three phases: Hamilton v. Jefferson; Whigs v. Democrats; and Liberals v. Conservatives (there’ll be more on the conservatives later). A lot of this should be review from your US history class, which most folks take in 11th grade. Feel free to bring in information you may recall from taking US history in the 11th grade.

Week 6 (below). Short blocks: no homework this week.

13. The rise of conservatism

READ Story & Laurie, Rise of Conservatism, 1-20, and documents 5, 7, 9, 11

What are the key differences between liberals and conservatives?

14. Liberalism in crisis

READ Alterman & Mattson, excerpts, 238-284; and Story & Laurie, documents 12, 24, 29, 30, 37.

QF: Racism, pure and simple, explains the defection of white working class voters from the Democratic Party.

15. The triumph of conservatism.

READ Story & Laurie, 20-31 and Alterman & Mattson, excerpts, 360-427;

VIEW: This Bush campaign ad that was mentioned on p. 21 of Story and Laurie. And these two videos from "The West Wing" TV series. Bruno; and "Liberal".

QF: Democrats pushed the white working class away; Republicans lured them in; Racism was a factor. The DLC saved the Democratic Party.

Week 7 (below): Do homework before short block. (FYI, Week 7=16,17, 18)

16. Populism

READ: 550 Readings packet, 187-195 and in the appendix: Thomas Frank, "What's the Matter With Kansas" and Kay, "Seeing Red"

VIEW: The Rant that Started the Tea Party Movement, AND this video, with Anne Case and Angus Deaton on "deaths of despair."

QF: The stockbroker populist

17. Polarization within: The Right.

READ: 550 Readings packet, 195-216

QF: American Conservatism: RIP

18. Polarization within: The Left

READ: 550 Readings packet, 216-236.

QF: The circular firing squad

Week 8. No short block homework. We will begin reading and talking about policy

19. How it all played out in recent elections

READ: 550 Readings packet, 237-254

QF: David Shor v. Matt Yglesias vs BLM


READ: The new, Green packet of policy documents, 5-24

QF: America's system of public and private K-12 education is its greatest institution of egalitarian democracy.

21. Paper due. (STILL ON THURSDAY) Class doesn't meet. Drop a hard copy in the box at the door.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4