Syllabus

HISTORY 111: United States History to 1877

Cleveland State University
Dr. Thomas J. Humphrey
email: thomasjhumphrey@gmail.com (preferred)
Office: Rhodes Tower, 1321
Ph: (216) 523-7183
Office Hours: MW 11.15 to 12.15

Books:
Students are responsible to read the following books, which are available at the CSU bookstore:

  • Clark, et. al., Who Built America?
  • Wilson, Our Nig.
  • Richter, Facing East from Indian Country.
  • Kolchin, American Slavery.
  • Cogliano, Revolutionary America.
  • Turabian, A Manual for Writers.

READINGS:
Readings for the course break down into three categories. First, students will read portions of the texts every week. The readings will provide background for the lectures, discussions and primary source material. Second, students will read three novels throughout the semester. They are listed on the Course Syllabus page and are available at the bookstore and at most bookstores in the region. These books are also available through e-bookstores such as Amazon.com. Third, students will read and encounter a variety of primary sources. These include pictures, documents, trial transcripts, and letters. Students should read these sources, and answer questions associated with these sources, for the day that they are assigned. We will discuss those sources and contextualize them on those days.

ATTENDANCE:
Students must attend class regularly. Students who miss more than 6 classes will have their grade lowered by one full letter grade. Students will see their grades lowered one full letter grade for each two subsequent absences after the first 6. Students must be prepared to discuss the readings for the given week.

IDENTIFICATIONS:
Students will be expected to hand in a completed sheet of identifications whenever required in the syllabus. These are due at the beginning of class and will not be accepted late unless the student contacts the professor before the assignment is due.

PAPERS:
Students will write two papers. Each is five double-spaced pages in length. The first is due and examines the political, social, and economic impact of the American Revolution. The second is due and explains the breakdown of the political process in the United States from roughly 1815 to 1861. Late papers will be accepted in only the most extreme circumstances and only if the student contacts the professor before the paper is due.

EXAMS:
Students will take two mid-term examinations during the course, as noted on the syllabus. They are in-class examinations and are to be done in blue books. They will include five to ten identifications, and an essay question.

FINAL PAPER:

Students will write a Final PAPER based on a series of questions provided by the instructor. The Final Paper is worth 200 points.

THE FINAL IS SCHEDULED FOR 8 December 2014, 10:15 am.
LATE FINAL PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND STUDENTS WHO DO NOT HAND IN A FINAL WILL FAIL THE COURSE.

The final paper will be longer than the short papers, running from eight to ten pages, and must analyze one theme coherently from the beginning of the course through the end of the course. These themes will become evident during the course, and we will spend considerable time analyzing these concepts. Again, late papers will only be accepted in the most extreme circumstances if at all.  All papers must adhere to the History Department’s guidelines for papers submitted in history classes.

LATE PAPER POLICY: Late papers and late assignments will be accepted only in the most extreme circumstances. Egregious violations will result in failure for the course.

Departmental statement on plagiarism: Using someone else’s ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. “Ideas or phrasing” includes written or spoken material, of course, from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases, but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc. “Someone else” can mean a professional source, such as a published writer or critic in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, or journal; an electronic resource such as material we discover on the World Wide Web; another student at our school or anywhere else; a paper-writing “service” (online or otherwise) which offers to sell written papers for a fee.

GRADING: 93-100%=A; 90-92%=A-; 88-89%=B+; 82=87%=B; 80-81%=B-; 78-79%=C+; 70-77%=C; 60-69%=D; 59% and below=F.

General Syllabus:
Week 1: Introduction:

  • 25 August: Introduction.
  • 27 August: Natives before contact.
  • 29 August: Natives before contact.

Readings for Week 1: Who Built America, 1; Richter, Intro.

Week 2: Colonization and Conquest:

  • 3 Sept: Europeans before contact.
  • 5 Sept: Interactions, Colonization, Conquest.

Readings for Week 2: Richter, chapters 1-3.

Week 3: Colonizing the south. Identifications for Week 3.

  • 8 Sept: The Chesapeake Bay Colonies.
  • 10 Sept: Virginia and Slavery.
  • 12 Sept: Discussion.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 2; Kolchin, Intro and chapters 1, 2; Richard Frethorne’s letter to his mother and father about working in VirginiaNathaniel Bacon’s grievances against VirginiaWilliam Buckland’s Indenture Contract.

Week 4: Relgion and making the middle. Identifications for Week 4.

  • 15 Sept: New England and Puritanism.
  • 17 Sept: The Middle Colonies.
  • 19 Sept: First Examination.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 3; Richter, chapter 4; Seal of Massachusetts Bay ColonySalem Witch Trial Letter.

Week 5: The Coming Revolution. Identifications for Week 5.

  • 22 Sept: Imperial Crisis.
  • 24 Sept: From Resistance to Revolution.
  • 26 Sept: Discussion

Readings: Who Built America?, chapters 4, 5; Richter, chapters 5, 6. Thomas Hutchinson and John Holt talk about Stamp Tax Rioters.

Week 6: War! Identifications for Week 6.

  • 29 Sept: The Revolutionary War.
  • 1 Oct: The Revolutionary War.
  • 3 Oct: Discuss Cogliano

Readings: Kolchin, chapter 3; Cogliano, all; Benedict Arnold’s Plan to join the British.

Week 7: Making a new polity. Identifications for Week 7.

  • 6 Oct: Constitution Making.
  • 8 Oct: Constitution Making.
  • 10 Oct: Discussion: The legacy of the Revolution.

Readings: The Constitution of 1789.

Week 8: The explosion of slavery and cotton. Identifications for Week 8.

  • 15 Oct: The transformation of the slave south. FIRST PAPER DUE.
  • 17 Oct: The rise of King Cotton.

Readings: Kolchin, chapters 4, 5; Who Built America?, chapter 6; Narrative of John W. Fields, ex-slave.

Week 9: Capitalism and manufacturing. Identifications for Week 9.

  • 20 Oct: Wage Labor.
  • 22 Oct: Agrarianism in the North and South.
  • 24 Oct: Discussion.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 7.

Week 10: A second awakening. Identifications for Week 10.

  • 27 Oct: Reformations.
  • 29 Oct: Cavaliers and Yankees.
  • 31 Oct: Discussion of Our Nig.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 8; Wilson, all.

Week 11: God’s Expropriation
3 Nov: Manifest Destiny
5 Nov: Compromise of 1850.
7 Nov: Discussion
Readings: Who Built America?, Chapter 9.

Week 12: The decline of compromise. Identifications for Week 12.

  • 10 Nov: Political Instability.
  • 12 Nov: The Rise of Lincoln Republicans.
  • 14 Nov: The failure of the American System.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 10; Dred Scott!

Week 13: War, Revisited! Identifications for Week 13.

  • 17 Nov: The Civil War, Part 1. SECOND PAPER DUE.
  • 19 Nov: The Civil War, Part 2.
  • 21 Nov: The Meaning of the War.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 11.

Week 14: Remaking a new country. Identifications for Week 14.

  • 24 Nov: Radical Reconstruction.
  • 26 Nov: Political Realities and Reconstruction. Second Examination!

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 12; Kolchin, chapter 7.

Week 15: Capitalism, Racism, and Exploitation.

  • 1 Dec: Capitalism and New World Imperialism.
  • 3 Dec: The Rise of Industrial Capitalism.
  • 5 Dec: Disucssion of Final Paper.

Readings: Who Built America?, chapter 13.

Assignments

READINGS:

Readings for the course break down into three categories. The textbook readings provide background for the lectures, discussions and primary source material. Second, students will read three novels throughout the semester. They are listed on the Course Syllabus page and are available at the bookstore and at most bookstores in the region. These books are also available through e-bookstores such as Amazon.com. Third, students will read and encounter a variety of primary sources in class through the web site and in class. These include pictures, documents, trial transcripts, and letters. Students should read these sources, and answer questions associated with these sources, on the day that they are assigned. We will discuss those sources and contextualize them on those days.

QUESTIONS/IDENTIFICATIONS:

Students will have to answer a short series of questions on the readings and hand them in when assigned. I expect students to have addressed the identifications/questions before coming to class to discuss the readings. These questions aim to guide students to some of the important issues raised in the sources, and to provide students with ways to connect the sources thematically and contextually. Each set of questions is worth ten (10) points.

ATTENDANCE:

Students must attend class regularly. Students who miss more than 6 classes will have their grade lowered by one full letter grade. I will accept three excused absences but if you miss one more full week, you will be penalized. The professor will lower students grades one full letter grade for each two subsequent absences after the first 6.

PAPERS:

Students will write two short papers throughout the semester on the material assigned for the course. In each paper, students will put the material into historical context, and discuss the primary historical themes raised. These papers will not be reviews or reports. Instead, students will analyze one or two themes  and contextualize that theme in American history. Each short paper will be due after the material has been discussed in class, and the dates are boldly and duly noted in the syllabus. These short papers will be worth twenty-five points each. Late papers will be accepted in only the rarest of circumstances, if at all, and only after consulting with the professor before the assignment is due. Late papers, if accepted, will be graded down one full letter grade for every day they are late, including off days such as weekends.

First paper: 15 OCTOBER.
Second paper: 17 NOVEMBER.

EXAMS:

Students will take two mid-term exams and one final exam during the course. The mid-term exams cover the material from one exam to the next. They will include several identifications and at least one essay question to be discussed during the semester.

First exam: 19 September.
Second exam: 26 November.

FINAL IS DUE: 8 December 2014: 10:15 am to 12:15.

LATE FINAL PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND STUDENTS WHO DO NOT HAND IN THE FINAL EXAM WILL FAIL THE COURSE.

LATE PAPER POLICY: Late papers and late assignments will be accepted only in the most extreme circumstances. Unless otherwise directed by the professor before the assignment is due, students are not allowed to hand in papers to the administrative staff in the History Department; they are not allowed to put papers in the professor’s mailbox; and they are not allowed to email assignments to the professor.

Departmental statement on plagiarism: Using someone else’s ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. “Ideas or phrasing” includes written or spoken material, of course — from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases — but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc. “Someone else” can mean a professional source, such as a published writer or critic in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, or journal; an electronic resource such as material we discover on the World Wide Web; another student at our school or anywhere else; a paper-writing “service” (online or otherwise) which offers to sell written papers for a fee.

College Criteria

CRITERIA

To qualify in the skill area of writing a course must:

  1. Designate that at least 15% of the student’s grade in the course is based on an evaluation of writing.
  2. Include writing assignments that directly relate to the course goals.
  3. Include instruction in writing-to-learn and/or writing-to-communicate.  While writing-to-learn emphasizes the student’s experience, writing-to-communicate highlights the reader’s experience.  Both are necessary to produce a thoughtful text that observes academic writing’s conventions.[1]
  4. Require that students write a total of 2,000 words (8 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1″ margins) in multiple assignments.
  5. Assign writing throughout the semester.

CRITERIA

To qualify in the skill area of critical thinking a course must:

  1. Designate that at least 15% of the student’s grade in the course is based on an evaluation of critical thinking.
  2. Require students to attain skills beyond lower-level knowledge, thereby requiring:
  3. higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation); OR
  4. skills that involve the use of content knowledge (e.g. finding information to solve a problem); OR
  5. the recognition of the importance and usefulness of knowledge and skills gained in the course (e.g. recognize the ability to and importance of working with others to solve intellectual problems).

[1] Writing-to-learn helps students use writing to explore many aspects of the course as well as their own reflections; these activities should foster learning at deeper levels than memorization or recitation.  Writing-to-communicate emphasizes aspects of writing (style, grammatical correctness, coherence, focus) that allow a reader to navigate the writing as he or she wishes.