AMST 212--Fall 2003



Colin S. Cavell, Ph.D.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Course Room No.:  S17-229

Class SMW:  9:00-9:50 [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]                                                                                                                                                                                INTERNET:

Office Hours:  By appointment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Office No.:  S17-263

VOICE:  438775 (W)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      729091 (H)


Selected topics, themes and issues in American history, politics and government with emphasis on their contemporary relevance.


Grading Policy:  20% for Attendance*; 20% for the Class Presentation; 20% for the Midterm Exam; 20% for the Research Paper; and 20% for the Final Exam. A Guidelines sheet will be distributed outlining the requirements for your Class Presentation and for your Research Paper.


Attendance Policy*:  Attendance in class is mandatory.  As well, you are expected to follow the syllabus and accordingly be prepared for each day's class.  This means that you must read the pre-assigned readings before class so that you will be prepared to discuss and debate in class the subject matter scheduled for that day and answer questions related to the issues being covered.  NOTE:  TURN OFF all cell phones during class.


*Absence from class may be made up by preparing a two-page, typed (i.e. using maximum 12 point font size and maximum double-spaced text with one-inch margin on all sides), summary on the missed material scheduled to be covered the day(s) of your absence.


Required Texts:


InfoUSA:  Information USA [CD-ROM].  2002.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of State, Office of International Information Programs.  [Supplied by professor.]


Note on Texts:  All students are required to print out, read, and be prepared to discuss the text(s) scheduled for each class.



Sept. 20:  Introduction to American Studies II


Sept. 22:  Critique, Discussion, and Assessment of the U.S. Declaration of Independence


Readings:   Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Declaration of Independence” (1776)


Sept. 24:  Critique, Discussion, and Assessment of the U.S. Declaration of Independence


Readings:   Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Declaration of Independence” (1776)


Sept. 27:  Foundation of the Republic


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Constitution of the United States of America (1787)


Sept. 29:  Foundation of the Republic


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Constitution of the United States of America (1787)


Oct. 1:  Establishment of Public Colleges and the Federal Civil Service


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Morrill Act (1862); Pendleton Act (1883)


Oct. 4:  Farmer Opposition to Big Business & Democratization of the Law


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  People’s Party Platform (1896); Muller v. Oregon (1908)


Oct. 6:  The Merging of Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian Political Thought


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Theodore Roosevelt, “The New Nationalism” (1910); Woodrow Wilson, First Inaugural (1913)


Oct. 8:  [Last day for dropping courses]  Segregation Legalized


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)


Oct. 11:  The Regulation of Interstate Commerce, the Protection of Individual Liberties in “Suspect” Classifications, & the Abolition of Segregation in the Armed Forces


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Harlan Fiske Stone, Carolene Products Footnote (1938); Harry S. Truman, Executive 9981 (1948)


Oct. 13:  The Legal Fight Against Segregation


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Brown v. Board of Education (1954); Cooper v. Aaron (1958)


Oct. 15:  The Civil Rights Movement


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” (1963); Civil Rights Act (1964)


Oct. 18:  The Civil [or Voting]  Rights Act of 1965


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Lyndon B. Johnson, “The American Promise” (1965)


Oct. 20:  White Backlash


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)


Oct. 22:  Separation of Church and State


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)


Oct. 25:  Freedom of Expression:  “Clear and Present Danger”


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Abrams v. United States (1919)


Oct. 27:  [First day of Ramadhan 1424]  Freedom of Expression:  “The Bad Tendency Doctrine” [Ramadhan—8:45-9:25]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Whitney v. California (1927)


Oct. 29:  Freedom of the Press [Ramadhan—8:45-9:25]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Near v. Minnesota (1931)


Nov. 1:  The Free Exercise of Religion [Ramadhan—8:45-9:25]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)


Nov. 3:  School Prayer Deemed Unconstitutional [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Engel v. Vitale (1962)


Nov. 5:  Against Prior Restraint [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)


Nov. 8:  Foreign Policy:  From Political Hegemony to Presumptions of Moral & Ethical Hegemony [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Monroe Doctrine (1823); Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points Speech (1918)


Nov. 10:  Foreign Policy:  From Neutrality to Interventionism [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address at Charlottesville (1940)


Nov. 12:  Midterm Exam [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Nov. 15-19:  Mid-semester break [No classes]


Nov. 22:  Foreign Policy:  Against Fascism and For Democracy [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Atlantic Charter (1941)


Nov. 24:  Foreign Policy:  Promoting Civil Rights Abroad [Ramadhan—9:05-9:45]


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Foreign Aid and Human Rights (1976)


Nov. 25-27:  Eid Al-Fitr 1424—Holiday [No classes]


Nov. 29:  Call for a Democratic & More Humane U.S. Foreign Policy


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Jimmy Carter, Human Rights and Foreign Policy (1977)


Dec. 1:  Fighting Apartheid


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Sanctions Against South Africa (1986)


Dec. 3:  Rebuilding Europe After WWII & Establishing U.S. Predominance


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  The Marshall Plan (1947)


Dec. 6:  The Supremacy of Elected Civilian Leadership


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Recall of Gen. Douglas MacArthur (1951) 


Dec. 8:  Constitutional Limitations to Presidential Power in Times of War


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)


Dec. 10:  Against Demagoguery


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)


Dec. 13:  Exporting Democracy:  The New U.S. Foreign Policy


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Democracy and Foreign Policy (1990)


Dec. 15:  Pathway Towards Women’s Rights


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Bradwell v. Illinois (1873)


Dec. 16-17:  National Day of Bahrain—Holidays; no classes


Dec. 20:  A New Declaration of Liberty for Immigrants


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus" (1883); Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886); Korematsu v. United States (1944)


Dec. 22:  The Right to Legal Assistance


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)


Dec. 24:  Reapportionment Reform:  “One Person, One Vote” Rule Established


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Reynolds v. Sims (1964)


Dec. 27:  Women Organize to Demand Their Rights


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  NOW Statement of Purpose (1966)


Dec. 29:  Native Americans Assert Their Civil and Political Rights


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Clyde Warrior, “We Are Not Free” (1967)


Dec. 31:  Against Executive Privilege


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  United States v. Nixon (1974)


Jan. 1:  New Year’s Day [Western]—Holiday; no classes


Jan. 3:  Accountability to the People


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Excerpts from Presidential Debates (1992)


Jan. 5:  Accountability to the People


Readings:  Information USA [CD-ROM]:  Excerpts from Presidential Debates (1992)


Jan. 7:  Last day of class; Review


Jan. 18, 2004:  Final Exam  11:30-13:30


Jan. 22, 2004:  Last day for submitting first semester’s grades


Jan. 20-Feb. 11, 2004:  Inter-semester Break [Holidays]