This is the second of three foundation courses in American Studies (including AMER1050 and AMER3050). In this course, we will focus on period from after the Civil War to the twenty-first century and on the internal problems and international conflicts that shape the face of the United States today. Among the topics for study and discussion may be the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, the changing terms of civil rights, policies of racial segregation and desegregation, the Gilded Age, immigration at the turn of the 20th century, the gangster-friendly Jazz Age, the Great Depression, World War II, the worldwide Cold War and the conformist ‘50s, the struggle for civil rights, the psychedelic flower-power ‘60s, and the Vietnam War and its aftermath, the wars on terror, and the influence of multinational corporations on United States electoral politics. Through lectures and class debates we will attempt to compare our popular knowledge of America with the sometimes different historical reality behind it. From documentary sources and literary nonfiction, through film, novels, comic books and rap music, we will lay foundations for a better understanding of the United States and its changing relation to the world.