The rise of the American Dream: 1940s - 1950s
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Please note there is a break week on Wednesday 16 February 2022.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HAH06
Duration: 11 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
From coming out of the Great Depression and later engaging in World War II, America will emerge from the War in a new world order and a sense of optimism, at least for some Americans. Others will look upon different points during these two decades with of sense of conflict. All will be looking toward a future that builds a stronger US domestically as well as in the international arena. We’ll explore some of the key events and issues that transpire over the two decades and assess this idea of a ‘rise of the American dream’.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Presidential Elections during the period
- Population changes and movement
- The roles of different socio-economic sectors and ethnic groups within the population
- America’s involvement in World War II
- Beyond WWII, America’s new international role and engagement
- The American homefront: anti-Communist sentiment; racial segregation challenged and the civil rights movement; expansion of America’s territory – expansion of the Union, and the ‘Space Race’.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Discuss the domestic changes occurring within the American nation during these two decades
- Identify the key changes to America’s international role in the latter part of the 1940s and through the 1950s
- Compare different types of historical records
- Use data learned in class to engage with questions about how American’s development impacted the different groups within the nation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an ‘introductory’ level course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good standard of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses. As with all of our history and politics courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen and to think about views with which you are not familiar or may not agree, are more important than any previous knowledge or experience in the subject matter.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The class will be delivered through a presentation, accompanied by PowerPoint slides. We will use a variety of maps, images, video and text throughout the session.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No additional costs. A list of recommended resources will be provided for each week’s session via the course Google Classroom. The optional reading below is for background only.
Background Optional Reading:
P.S.Boyer (2012) American History. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
J. Gjerde, E. Cobbs, and E. Blum (2011) Major Problems in American History, Volume II (International Edition). California, USA: Wadsworth.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Check out our range of American History course online.
Dale joined City Lit in 2010 and has taught a range of courses in the history and politics programmes. She also teaches in the Politics and Geography Departments at Birkbeck, University of London. She has a PhD in Politics from the University of Durham, and has taught at the Universities of Durham, Limerick, Bedfordshire, and has guest lectured at the University of Birmingham. She has a keen interest in American history/politics, European history/politics, democratic transitions & states, and global issues like the environment, migration and civic edudation. When not teaching, Dale is usually found buried in books (both textbooks and fiction!), baking, still making attempts to learn French, hiking, or squeeking away as a beginner - learning to play the violin.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.