Approved by Faculty Senate
University Studies Course Approval
Department or Program: History
Course Number: History 150: US History to 1865
Semester Hours: 3
Frequency of Offering: Every Semester
Course Title: U.S. History to 1865
A survey of United States history from prehistoric times to the American Civil War.
Special emphasis will be placed
on political developments and public policy, the origins and consequences of both slavery and ethnic, cultural and
regional diversity and conflict. Also emphasized is the transformation of the social and economic systems. Grade only.
This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2:
This is a new course proposal:
University Studies Category:
Arts and Sciences Core/ Humanities
Department Contact Person:
The department strongly believes that this sequences of courses (History 150 and 151)
will play a significant role in
Universities Studies program by providing students with an appreciation for the historical context of human experiences
and culture and an improved understanding of the discipline of history.
USP Humanities Objective 1
The University studies program requires that courses in the Humanities promote
students' ability to identify and understand
specific elements and assumptions of a particular Humanities Discipline.
History 150 and 151 both will introduce students to significant bodies of information
about the American past, a vital element
of the discipline, but will also introduce students to historical explanations, the intellectual skills of historians, and the ways in
which historian conceive of and write about the past.
The courses introduce students to the main lines of historical development (including
the development of American culture)
up to and from the American Civil War. The specific sets of facts and subplots emphasized will differ from instructor to
instructor and year to year, but students will experience the same general chronology.
The courses introduce students to the principle elements of history as a discipline.
Both aim at developing students' abilities
to identify and evaluate various kinds of evidence used by historians, to identify themes (as opposed to collections of facts)
in historical literature, and to write clearly. Both courses also invite students to begin using historical evidence to construct explanations of the past and discuss relationships among events.
The courses do all of this by means of lectures, readings of both primary documents and
historical literature, class discussions
(both small-group and full-class discussions), tests, and writing assignments.
USP Humanities Objective 2:
History 150-151 address this objective in two distinct ways. In part, the courses
explore how people in the past had differing perceptions and interpretations of the events
of their times. In large part these divergent perceptions and interpretations resulted
from their differing historical experiences, cultural values and genders. Both courses
provide students with an abundance of
instances that provided occasion for expression of divergent perceptions ranging from the "discovery" of the Americas by
15th-century western Europeans and changes in 18th-century family structures to the conflict over the slavery and the varying
19th- and 20th-century responses to industrial change.
The courses also address this issue by introducing students to the varying ways in
which historians themselves perceive and
interpret the past, and begins to explore the sources of these differences.
The courses attempt to achieve this objective through lectures, reading assignments
focused on both document drawn from
the times and historians' discussions of the past, small group and class discussions, and writing assignments.
USP Humanities Objective 3:
The University Studies Program requires courses in the Humanities to promote students' ability to understand the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic, historical, literary, philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions of human experience.
History 150 and 151 address this objective by emphasizing the role of historical
analysis in understanding past as well as contemporary developments. The courses, in other
words, direct students' attention of the task of explaining, and not just remembering,
past events, including ideas and their expression in a wide range forms. The courses
direct student attention to
the critical documents of the American Revolution, for example, as well as those of the crusade against human slavery and other social and political reform movements, and wide range of Americans' attempts to celebrate, criticize and/or make sense of their society. The courses, in other words, challenge students to understand how events and ideas came to be as they were.
The courses attempt to achieve this objective through lectures, reading assignments
focused on both document drawn from the
times and historians' discussions of the past, small group and class discussions, and writing assignments.
Representative Syllabus for History 150: U.S. History to 1865
Appended to University Studies Proposal
History 150: U.S. History to l865
As a course in history, History 150 has two major objectives: to introduce students to
the history of the United States
from its colonial beginnings through the Civil War and to make students even more effective-than they already are!-at
thinking, reading, writing, listening, and speaking in a critical/analytical/creative manner.
Regarding the first objective-to make students more knowledgeable about America's
past-we will of necessity have to
limit ourselves to certain key topics, themes, issues, events, and problems simply because the historical material
available to us is so vast and thus impossible to address in the space of a semester. Students should consult the
outline (below) to get a quick sense of the topics, etc., that we will be addressing.
In pursuit of the second objective-honing students' thinking abilities-class time and
course work will often encourage
students to approach the material in an engaged and reflective-rather than passive and desultory-manner.
The specific course requirements and expectations include the following:
1) class attendance and active participation in class discussion;
2) doing and turning in on time various quizzes (announced and unannounced) short papers,
assignments, etc., that I will assign at my discretion;
3) TWO take-home essay exams, WHICH I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO DO WITH A PARTNER.
4) a primary research paper (during roughly the 2nd half of the semester) THAT YOU MUST DO IN A
GROUP OF EITHER TWO OR THREE STUDENTS;
5) and, for freshman, a brief individual conference with me during the early weeks of the semester
Your grade for the course will be based as follows:
1) each of the take home essay exams will count 25% of the final grade, for a total of 50%;
2) 25 % for the research paper ; and,
3) 25% will be based on the combined total of the quizzes, short papers, miscellaneous assignments. As far as the quizzes, etc., go, aside from a bona fide, MAJOR LEAGUE reason (such as a major medical or family crisis) for missing quizzes or turning in short papers late, there will be NO opportunities to make-up quizzes or to turn in short papers late. On the other hand, each student will be allowed one missed quiz or one missed late short paper without getting a grade of E (failing) for that particular assignment. After you have used up your one missed quiz/late/not-turned-in-short paper , all future quizzes/short papers that you miss or try to turn in late will be given a failing grade. (If you never use up your one "miss," when figuring up your final grade, I will exclude your lowest quiz/short paper grade if this helps you.) Finally, if I assign optional short papers, and you do them, the grades you get on these optional papers will replace your lower grades on the quizzes/short papers (this assumes that you do considerably better on the optional papers than on those quizzes/short papers whose grades you would like to replace.).
4) For students on the border between, say, an A and B, I will make my final decision based on the extent and quality of the student's participation in class.
Five books are required for the course. They are:
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of
Colin G. Calloway, ed., The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America [CC]
James Henretta, et. al., America's History, THIRD EDITION, volume 1. [AH]
NOTE: MAKE SURE
YOU HAVE VOLUME 1 OF THE THIRD EDITION
Gary W. Gallagher, ed., Two Witnesses at Gettysburg
Peter C. Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History
University Studies Program Note to Students
This course is included in the Humanities category of the University Studies Program.
As such it address the following
objectives required of all courses in the humanities category:
a. To promote students ability to identify and
understand specific elements and assumptions of a particular
c. To promote students ability to understand
the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic, historical, literary,
philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions of human experience.
The following course schedule uses the letters USOa (meaning University Studies
Objective a), USOb (meaning
University Studies Objective b), and USOc (meaning University Studies Objective c), to indicate where the course
will address each of these University Studies objectives.
Topic 1 Introduction to the Class
Topic 2 Europe and European Expansion (USO a) (AH: 3-4; 11-32)
Topic 3 Early European Settlements in America, I: Jamestown, Va.
(The Chesapeake Region) (AH:37-50) (USOa)
Topic 4 DISCUSS: Early European Settlements in America, II :
Puritan New England AH:26-27, 32-34; 52-62;69-75 (USO a, b, c)
Topic 5 Native Americans: DISCUSS: AH: 4-11 and CC: v-77 (USO a, b, c)
Topic 6 Native Americans and Europeans, I (AH: ;63-66) (USOa)
Topic 7 Native Americans: DISCUSS: CC, 78-145 and AH: 24-25 (USO
Topic 8 Native Americans and European, II (USO a)
Topic 9 DISCUSS: CC, 146 to end (USO a,b,c)
Topic 10 Why Slavery? Why Africans as Slaves? (AH: 44; 48-50; 78-92)
Topic 11 Colonial Conflict in the Southern Colonies (USO a, b, c) (AH:50-52;82-84;131-132)
Topic 12 Colonial Conflict in the Northern Colonies, I (USO a,b,c) AH:
Topic 13 DISCUSS: PH: preface through chapter 5 (USO a,c)
Topic 14 Colonial Conflict in the Northern Colonies, II (AH: 116-123)
Topic 15* DISCUSS: PH: chapter 6 to the end and AH: 60 (USO a, c)
Topic 16 View and Discuss Video: "Tea Party Etiquette and Discuss AH:
158-159 (USO a,b,c)
Topic 17 Coming of the Revolution, I (USO a, b)
Topic 18 Coming of the Revolution, II (USO a) (AH:137-157;160-164)
Topic 19 The Revolution: DISCUSS: AH: 169-194; D-1,D-2 (USO a,b,c)
Topic 20 DISCUSS: Forging the Constitution [hand out midterm] AH:
197-214; D-6 through D-12 (USO a, c)
Topic 21 Visions of the American Empire (USO a, b) (AH: 214-224)
Topic 22 Politics and Political Conflict, l790 to l840, I (USO a) [midterm due]
Topic 23 Library Meeting: Introduction to Relevant Primary Resource
Materials (for paper) (meet in library instructional room) (USO c)
Topic 24 Politics and Political Conflict, 1790 to 1840, II (USO a)
Topic 25 Westward Expansion (USO a) DISCUSS: AH:
Topic 26 Beginnings and Expansion of Northern Factories and American
Industrialization, l790 to l860 (USO a, c) DISCUSS:
Topic 27 Evolution of Society and Family in the North, l790-to l860, I (USO
a, b) (AH: 246-249; 277-282; 285-290; 318-319;396-403)
Topic 28 Evolution of Society and Family in the North, l790 to l860, II (USO
a, b) (AH:314-317; 342-347;351-352;396-397)
Topic 29 Reform and Religion in Antebellum America, I (USO a,b )
Topic 30 See and DISCUSS: Video: "Daughters of Freeman" (USO a,b,c)
Topic 31 Reform and Religion in Antebellum America, I (USO a,b)
Topic 32 Reform and Religion in Antebellum America, II (USO a)
Topic 33 Evolution of the Southern Slave Society and Economy, l790 to
l860 USO a,b) (AH:249-256;383-386)
Topic 34 DISCUSS: FD, TO BE ASSIGNED AND AH: 388-392 (USO a,c)
Topic 35 Aspects of Southern Planters' Culture (USO a,b) (AH:386-388)
Topic 36 DISCUSS: FD, TO BE ASSIGNED AND AH: 388-392 (USO a,b,c)
[Optional Readings on Reserve: articles by John Campbell on
slavery: "Work, Pregnancy, and Infant Mortality Among Southern
Slaves"; "As 'A Kind of Freeman?': Slaves' Market-Related
Activities in the South Carolina Up Country, l800- l860"'My
constant companion': Slaves and their Dogs in the Antebellum
Topic 37 The Abolitionist Attack on Slavery, I (USO a,b) (AH:373-379)
Topic 38 The Abolitionist Attack on Slavery, II (USO a,b) (AH:379-380;
Topic 39 Defending Slavery (USO a,b)
Topic 40 Politicizing Slavery and the Rise of Sectional Political Conflict (USO
Topic 41 Sectional Conflict and the Civil War (USO a,b) (AH:439-454)
Topic 42 DISCUSS; GG, beginning through page 83, 163-164, and AH:
467-470 (USO a,b,c)
Topic 43 The Civil War (USO a) (AH: 455-467, 471-482; 514)
Topic 44 DISCUSS: GG, 85-161 (USO a,c)