History U | Making Modern America

Making Modern America

This History U course explores key moments and people in the history of the United States from the end of World War I to the present.


Course Instructor: Professor Margaret O’Mara, University of Washington
Eligibility: High school students


Image Source: Gerritt A. Beneker, "Work As You Would Fight," 1918 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09521.02)

Poster with text "Work as you would fight"
  • History U

  • Free for high school students

Course Description

This History U course explores key moments and people in the history of the United States from the end of World War I to the present. How has the past century of American history shaped the political and economic landscape of the early twenty-first century? What are the historical roots of contemporary political and social movements, business practices, and global flows of people, capital, and ideas? How can we use our historical knowledge to understand and address present-day challenges? The course is organized both chronologically and thematically, performing a deep, evidence-based study of particular events and people in recent US history. The broader topics featured in this course include

  • the evolving role of government 
  • grassroots activism 
  • partisan political change 
  • technology as a product and shaper of society 
  • changing patterns of production and consumption 
  • migration and immigration, 
  • financial systems and global markets

Register Now

The views expressed in this course are those of Dr. Margaret O’Mara.


  • Twenty-four video sessions led by Professor Margaret O’Mara
  • Links to optional resources
  • Short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for 12 hours of course time

How to Access

  1. Click Log In and either log into your account or click the Sign Up link on the login screen to create an account.
  2. Click the Register Now button and complete the order form.
  3. After registering, you may access your course by signing in and visiting your My Courses link under My Account.

Course Introduction


Alysha Butler explains what you will learn in this course.

About the Scholar

Margaret O’Mara, Professor of History, University of Washington

Margaret O’Mara, a professor of history at the University of Washington, is a scholar of the modern United States with a specific focus on the intersection between the development of modern technology and politics. She has published two critically acclaimed monographs that examine the development of the modern technology industry through a historical lens: Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley (2005) and The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (2019). O’Mara also specializes in the history of the American presidency and in 2015 published Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections That Shaped the Twentieth Century.

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