History 2700 syllabus


History of the United States to 1877
A chronological survey of American history from European intrusion onto native lands through the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.

This course will be reading and writing intensive. Readings include original source materials, scholarly essays, and scholarly Internet sites. Writings will include discussion forums, short response papers, short essay quizzes, and critical analyzes.

United States Expansion Animated Map

Map courtesy of www.theodora.com/maps (used with permission)


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Learning Goals: 

Relationship of learning goals to activities

A. Historical Knowledge 

  • Students will demonstrate a knowledge of basic facts, events--and, especially, of significant questions and major themes in American history, 1490s-1877.
  • Students will describe the loss of Indian country.
  • Students will explain the centrality of the institution of slavery to the creation and expansion of the United States.
  • Students will explain issues of governance and the various processes -- political, economic, social, and cultural--by which systems of governance were developed and changed from colonial to reconstruction periods.
  • Students will explain the causes and consequences of the Civil War which particular emphasis on race relations, changing ideas about governance and nationalism, and the development of economic and political institutions.
  • Students will be able to explain how Reconstruction was a "splendid failure." 

B. Historical Thinking 

  • Students will gain a historical perspective by which to understand the present. Students will gain an understanding of how historians think and interpret the past through the lens of the present.
  • Students will consider a wide variety of historical sources and learn about how historians go about "recovering the past." 

C. Historical Skills

  •  Students will hone their skills in reading, thinking, writing. Students will learn how to learn, how to reflect on their own learning.
  • Students will be able to weigh conflicting claims by employing reason and rules of evidence to establish the reliability of any claim or statement.

Activities in support of learning goals:

  • There are 14 Modules
  • Discussion Forums. For each module of study, there are discussion forums. You are usually required to make three posts per forum. Two of these should be substantive responses to our readings (topics are posted, including work with primary documents), and one should be a response to the post of a classmate.There are  14 forums. Points are earned for:
    • Posting score on the relevant AP quiz you took = 2 points.
    • Response to topic A (including evidence of critical thinking and citation of sources) = 7 points
    • Response to topic B (including evidence of critical thinking and citation of sources) 7 points
    • Response to colleague's post = 4 points

    Posts should total a minimum of 600 words per week. Cite your sources. Your grade for the discussion forums will be based on the timeliness of your responses, their length, their quality and substance, your use of assigned readings. (20 points each forum)

  • 3 exams. These will be randomized from a list of posted topics. (50 points each) These quizzes must be taken on Chi Tester at WSU testing center or under proctored conditions.
  • Projects -- or short papers.There will be a variety of projects. Choose 10. These short papers (2-300 words) should be completed by the Monday after the unit in which they are described. Points will be taken off late projects. (10 points each)  
    • Points are earned for:
      • Writing which accomplishes the objectives of the assignment = 5 points
      • Writing which demonstrates strong compositional skills (no gross spelling or grammatical errors) = 3 points
      • paper includes specifics to support comments and notes sources = 2 points
  • 2 Analyzes of Scholarship. You will critique 2 pieces of scholarship in formal papers (2-3 pages), typed, free of gross spelling and grammatical errors. You may analyze the scholarship of 2 different topics in U.S. history to 1877, or you may analyze a single topic through 2 different scholars. 15 points each.)
    • Points are earned for:
      • All topics included = 8 points
      • Bibliographic citation is correct = 2 points
      • Paper is free of gross spelling and grammatical errors = 3 points
      • Paper demonstrates student's critical thinking = 2 points

Grades:  Grades will be a weighted percentage of points possible-not "on the curve." 70% = C

  • 3 exams = 150 points
  • 14 discussion forums = 280 points
  • 10 projects  = 100 points
  • 2 Analyses = 30 points
  • 1 final reflection = 5 points


About accommodations:

  • Any student requiring accommodations or services dues to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in room 181 of the Student Service Center. SSD can also arrange to provide course materials (including this syllabus) in alternative formats if necessary.
  • Weber State University recognizes that there are times when course content may differ from a student's core beliefs. Faculty, however, have a responsibility to teach content that is related to the discipline and that has a reasonable relationship to pedagogical goals. If you, as a student, believe that the content of the course conflicts with your ability to pursue the topic, you may request a resolution from the instructor. (See PPM 6-22.)

About Plagiarism:

Plagiarism on any of your work will result in failure of the project in question. Plagiarism may also be ground for failing the course. If at any time, you are unsure about what might constitute plagiarism, just ask. I'll be glad to help you figure out where and when you need to document sources or credit others with ideas you wish to borrow.