Modern American History & Lit – 4th Period Wednesday


Instructor: Rhonda Wesselius

Course description U.S. History, Part 2 (1865-2000s) will be an in-depth, literature-based study of this dynamic, tumultuous, momentous era. We will delve in to 4 historical periods:  

 1-Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution and the Turn of the 20th Century

 2–World War I, the Depression & Segregation

 3–World War II and the Atomic Age

 4–The technological advancements and struggle for freedom in the 20th and 21st centuries.

** Due to the extensive literature in the course, it is recommended that students be given 1 credit for literature in addition to 1 credit in either World History / U.S. History for successful completion of this course.

The textbook will give an outline for the historical period, while “real books” and classic literature will enrich our learning by going beyond the facts, and examine themes of character, loyalty, power, greed, prejudice, resilience, courage, forgiveness, and finding meaning in suffering. War stories will pervade this study: World Wars I & II, Korea, Vietnam, and the ideologies that motivated them, such as, nationalism, socialism, totalitarianism, communism, fascism, and racism. Above all we will learn that ideas have consequences.  Thus, our study will focus on ideas and their consequences. Students will be expected to read, comprehend, analyze, and express those ideas and their consequences. Class time will include review of historical facts & movements, discussion of ideas and literature, lectures, presentations, and videos. Outside of class, learning will be enhanced through movies and field trips.

The goal of this course is to learn not only history, but the meaning of it– and know the Author of it. This course will give historical background and worldview foundations which will be the foundation of the student’s adult lives, as they learn to look at the world through a lens informed by historical understanding (not pop culture) and most importantly, God’s plan and purposes for mankind.



  • .Main text; Exploring America vols-. 1 & 2 & Exploring America Student Review by Notgrass
  • Other required texts: (all by Albert Marrin)


      •  The Yanks are Coming
      •  Stalin: Russia’s Man of Steel
      •  Hitler


  •  Victory in the Pacific
  •  America & Vietnam
  • Required Literature:


    •  Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington,
    •  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich M. Remarque
    •  Animal Farm by George Orwell
    • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom OR Night by Elie Wiesel 
    • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 
    • Hiroshima by John Hersey
    • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang

Homework expectations:  expect about 5-6+ hours weekly for 2 credits

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