The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST2360 History of the United States

Semester 1 (2023-2024)

Lecture TimeThursday, 10:30 - 12:15

VenueRoom 515, Lee Shau Kee Building(LSK 515)


Lecturer Noah SHUSTERMAN (

Teaching Assistant ZHANG Junlong (

Course Description

This course will cover the history of the United States from its founding in the eighteenth century through the Cold War. There will be particular emphasis on the struggles of marginalized groups to achieve the status of full citizenship; of particularly American notions of masculinity; and of the role of interpersonal violence in both urban and rural United States. 


Week 1

Topic of this lecture: intro
Primary Sources: none

Week 2

Topic of this lecture: colonial era
Primary Sources:
Bacon stuff (;
662 Virginia law (

Week 3

Topic of this lecture: revolution, constitution
Primary Sources:
the Avalon stuff (;;;
Secondary sources: Zinn, chapters 3-6

Week 4

Topic of this lecture: early republic and the Jacksonian era
Primary Sources:
Douglas text (;
Ain’t I a Woman (;
Trail of Tears (;
Whiteman, Manahatta (
Secondary sources: Zinn, chapters 7, 8

Week 5

Topic of this lecture: civil war
Primary Sources:
cornerstone speech (;
emancipation proclamation (;
the Gettysburg address (;
Declaration of Sentiments (;
Whitman (
Secondary sources: Zinn, chapters 9, 10

Week 6

Topic of this lecture: reconstruction
Primary Sources:
Amendments 13-15 (;
O Captain my Captain (;
Letter from Jourdon Anderson (
Secondary sources: Zinn, chapters 11, 12

Week 7

Topic of this lecture: “Conquering” the west
Primary Sources:
Children’s Blizzard (;
Geronimo’s Story of his life ( Chapters VIII, XIII, XIV, XIX

Week 8

Topic of this lecture: immigration and its xenophobic discontents
Primary Sources:
Chinatown declared a nuisance – resolutions (;
Chinese exclusion act (;
Cohen, Out of the Shadow, selections (,contains,out%20of%20shadow&sortby=rank)

pages 100-120, and 233-255.

(1909) IDA B. WELLS, “LYNCHING, OUR NATIONAL CRIME”(,about%20these%20usually%20unpunished%20murders.)

Secondary sources: Zinn, chapters 15

Week 9

Topic of this lecture: the 20s, the depression, and the new deal
Primary Sources:
Langston Hughes, I, Too (;
Amendments 18, 19, 21 (;
Woody Guthrie Lyrics: (;;;;
Note: these are all songs which you can either read or listen to; they are widely available on youtube, spotify, etc.

Week 10

Topic of this lecture: WWII
Primary Sources:
Japanese internment ( and;
FDR’s speech: (;
Double-V letter (
NOTE: read the letter itself, “Dear Editor, Like all Americans…”

Week 11

Topic of this lecture: suburbia, jim crow, and the civil rights movement
Primary Sources: letter from Birmingham jail (;
Ginsberg: A Supermarket in California (;
The Army/McCarthy Hearings (;

Week 12

Topic of this lecture: 1960s
Primary Sources:
Steal This Book ( the section starting at “STARTING A PRINTING WORKSHOP” through to the line that says “By the way, you can pick up Radio Hanoi on a short wave radio every day from 3:00 to 3:30 PM at 15013 kilocycles on the 19 meter band. ” but skipping the lists of names of newspapers, radio stations, etc; Friedan; John Kerry’s statement (

Week 13

Topic of this lecture: 1980s
Primary Sources: none

Assessment & Assignments

Quizzes: 10%, 15%, 15%

Tutorial: 20%

Paper proposal and outline: 10%

Research paper: 30%

The assignments and assessments are tentative, and will be finalized in the last week before the semester starts.


In each tutorial,  7-8 students should give a 10-minute presentation (with PowerPoint) consisting of textual analysis and an explanation of the historical context. After each presentation, there will be 2-3 minutes for class discussion; and each student must ask at least one question during one of the four tutorials. The students who are going to give a presentation must email the PowerPoint to the TA at least 12 hours in advance of the tutorial session. 


Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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