History of American Political Parties Since 1896 – HIUS 542

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.




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

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the major figures and events in American politics since 1896.
  2. Explain how economic, ethnic, religious, and geographical factors influenced American politics since 1896.
  3. Demonstrate graduate-level competency in historiographical research and analysis.
  4. Demonstrate graduate-level competency in applying historical methodology in writing.
  5. Apply biblical principles to the problems and issues of American political history since 1896.
  6. Describe the campaign literature and policy subtext of presidential elections since 1896.
  7. Discuss presidential and key congressional elections 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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 250–300 words in length and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100–150 words in length.

Research Paper Prospectus

The research prospectus describes the research paper. The assignment is 1page 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 1 page summary, there must also be a bibliography of 18–22 works including at least 12 primary sources and 6 secondary sources. These pages must be numbered. There must also be a title page.

Historiography Tests (2)

Students will take two multiple choice and essay tests over three 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.

Article Quizzes (4)

Students will take four multiple choice articles quizzes over select articles imbedded in Modules 1, 4, 5, and 8: “William Howard Taft, the 1908 Election, and the Future of the American Presidency,” ““Never Argue With the Gallup Poll’: Thomas Dewey, Civil Rights, and the 1948 Election,” “To Defeat a Maverick: The Goldwater Candidacy Revisited, 1963-1964,” and “Clinton’s Elections: Redividing Government in the 1990s.” The article links for all four are through the JFL and are located in the Readings section in each of the respective modules.

Book Test

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

Research Paper

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. General election presidential campaigns are excluded. Presidential primary contests, congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns are permitted. The paper must include at least 18 sources in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Quizzes (8)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week 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.