Dark Episodes of American History

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Dark Episodes of American History

<p>Throughout the 250 years of the American Republic students of history have encountered some dark and confronting episodes. Most of the dark episodes were justified by powerbrokers in the context of

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Throughout the 250 years of the American Republic students of history have encountered some dark and confronting episodes. Most of the dark episodes were justified by powerbrokers in the context of their times but they remain controversial and questions are still asked about how and why these events occurred. The scars of the failure of the American involvement in the Vietnam War are still evident today. Attempts by successive governments to desegregate schools and universities in the 1950s and 1960s in advance of the civil rights movement resulted in some very violent and ugly behaviours across the USA.


SUGGESTED READING

  • William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream 1932-1972 History of the USA, Bantam, 1984
  • George Herring, From Colony to Superpower, Oxford History of the USA, 2008
  • Neil Sheehan, Bright Shining Lie, (History of the Vietnam War) Vintage 1989
  • Stanley Karnow, Vietnam A History, Penguin 1997


COURSE OUTLINE

  • American involvement in Indo China 1954-1975 and the failure of American foreign policy by successive governments
  • The defection of Benedict Arnold to the British army in the American War of Independence 1776-1783
  • The desegregation of American institutions in the 1950s and 1960s and the violence associated with the beginnings of the civil rights movement
  • Witch hunting in the 1690s in Salem, Massachusetts and across the USA in the 1950s and the damage caused by unchecked religious and political hysteria.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the main events involved in each case study focussing on a dark episode in American history.
  2. Consider the causes and effects, including longer term impact, of each episode.
  3. Evaluate both contemporary and later commentary on the events.