Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Hill, Kim
Discipline and Number
HIST 1301 Section 502
TR Time 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Course Title
U.S. History Survey to Civil War

Description of Course:

U.S. History Survey to Civil War (3 semester hours) An introduction to the methods of historical inquiry focusing on the study of American history from the beginnings through the American Civil War. No prerequisites (3-0) R

This semester, you will learn about the various ways that people lived and interacted within North America from the pre-colonial era through the end of the Civil War. We will focus on Americans’ desire for liberty in the midst of free and unfree labor systems. A textbook, a novel, and several historical documents will help us access people’s perspectives on the past.

General Education Core Objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate competency in the following core objectives:
-- Critical thinking skills – Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.
-- Communication skills – Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication.
-- Social responsibility – Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging effectively in local, regional, national and global communities.
-- Personal responsibility - Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequence to ethical decision-making.

Course Objectives: Students will learn:
-- Critical thinking skills; to analyze and think critically about some of the major political, economic, and cultural themes that characterize pre-1865 American history (assessed via the reading exercises, essay, midterm, and final exam).
-- Communication skills; to write about your understanding of some of the major events that directly affected the trajectory of colonial/early American history (assessed via the reading exercises, essay, midterm, and final exam).
-- Social responsibility; to become aware of how relations among and between cultures (e.g., race and gender) evolved from the colonial period through the end of the Civil War (assessed via the quizzes, essay, midterm, and final exam).
-- Personal responsibility; to analyze major events such as armed conflicts and government initiatives in terms of ethical decision-making (assessed via the workers’ rights assignment and final exam).

Required Texts:

-- Tindall, George Brown and David Emory Shi. America: A Narrative History, vol. one. 8th or 9th Edition. Price: $45-$56 new. ISBN: 978-0-393-93406-9 or 978-0-393-91263-0. This book is also available as an e-book for half the price at: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294973549
-- Gunning, Sally. Bound: A Novel. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2009. ISBN: 0061240265. Available as an e-book at http://www.amazon.com.
-- Two “blue books” (blank paper stapled inside blue covers).
-- Weekly Internet Access for the E-Learning site, the textbook Study Space, quizzes, and occasional e-mailed announcements.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Three Reading Exercises (18%)
Four Quizzes (12%)
Midterm (20%)

Workers’ Rights Assignment (10%)
Three-Page Essay (20%)
Group Presentation (optional to replace the essay) (20%)
Final Exam (20%)

We will use historical facts as tools. Each of the assignments is designed to help you learn to evaluate information and represent your opinions well in any profession.
Reading exercises are short note-taking assignments designed to help you prepare for exams and review major class themes.
The quizzes will be short, multiple-choice questions based on the textbook and the novel. You must complete each one on the E-Learning site by noon on the due date. The due date is always a Thursday.
The midterm and final exam will consist of multiple choice, key term identification questions, short answers, and/or essay questions. The final exam essay will be based on the theme question at the beginning of this syllabus.
The essay assignment must be based on analysis of primary sources in connection to certain historical themes. The sources will be provided by your professor three weeks before the due date. No extra research is required.
The workers’ rights assignment asks you to practice the publicity strategies of 19th century reformers and convince a certain group to help protect workers’ interests.
The optional group presentations are meant to supplement class readings and lectures by focusing on notable people or events from a specific time period. Each group member shares responsibility for analyzing the provided readings and presenting your answers with visual aids. Each group will be provided with all of the readings for the presentation; no extra research is required. Groups must include three to six students.
You can earn up to four extra credit points added to your final grade average by attending recommended events. Attendance at each one earns one point of extra credit. You can also bring up to four primary sources and describe them to Dr. Hill or the T.A. for extra credit. Discussions on the E-Learning site also count for extra credit.

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