History of American Political Parties Since 1896 – HIUS 542

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course examines the party system’s response to the emergence of the United States as a world power from the election of McKinley to the present. Special emphasis is placed on U.S. presidential elections.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The course provides students with an understanding of the history of the American political process since 1896.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words in length and demonstrate course-related knowledge. At least 2 articles from the assigned reading, 1 additional primary source, and 1 other additional resource must be cited for a total of 4 sources cited in each thread. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words in length and have at least one new source (peer reviewed, University Press, or primary) that was not used by the author in the original thread. All citations must be in Turabian.

Research Paper Prospectus Assignment

The research prospectus describes the research paper. The assignment is 1 to 2 pages in length and requires the student to describe the proposed project, explain the significance of the topic, discuss some useful sources, and project a rough outline for the research and paper. In addition to this page summary, there must also be a title page and a bibliography of at least 18 works. These pages must be numbered.

Quizzes: Historiography (2)

Students will take two multiple choice and essay quizzes over two historiographic essays: “Presidential Politics and the Election of 1912,” by William Murphy, and “Politics of the 1930s and the New Deal” by Michael A. Davis. The readings are chapters from books available online through the JFL.

Quizzes: Article (6)

Students will take six multiple choice and/or true or false articles quizzes over select articles embedded in Modules 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8: “William Howard Taft, the 1908 Election, and the Future of the American Presidency,” "A President for the Great Silent Majority: Bruce Barton's Construction of Calvin Coolidge," “'Never Argue With the Gallup Poll’: Thomas Dewey, Civil Rights, and the 1948 Election,” “To Defeat a Maverick: The Goldwater Candidacy Revisited, 1963-1964,” "Waging 'The Good Fight': The Political Career of Shirley Chisholm, 1953-1982," and “Clinton’s Elections: Redividing Government in the 1990s.” The article links for all six are through the JFL and are located in the learn section in each of the respective modules.

Quiz: Politics as Usual Book

Students will take a multiple choice and essay quiz over Politics as Usual: Thomas Dewey, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Wartime Presidential Campaign of 1944 (2014), by Michael A. Davis

Research Paper Assignment

The student will write an 18–22-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on an election of his or her choice related to those covered in this class. General election presidential campaigns are excluded. Presidential primary contests, congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns are permitted. The paper must include at least 18 sources.

Quizzes: Lecture & Reading (8)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions and 1 short answer questions, and have a 1-hour and 15-minute time limit.