History 4130 Syllabus

A study of Utah history from its Native American beginnings through the 20th century -- emphasizing political, economic, and social developments.

Utah Counties Map


  • Stegner, Mormon Country
  • Farmer, On Zion's Mount
  • Peterson The Awkward State of Utah
  • additional readings as assigned


  • Historical Knowledge: students will be able to:
    • Explain how the geography of the state has impacted its history and economy.
    • Describe the strategies of resistance and accommodation employed by Indian leaders confronting non-Indians in Utah.
    • Identify and explain the significance of people, events, situations in Utah history from 1600 to the present.
    • Compare and contrast the settlement of Utah by the Mormons to other Western States' settlement.
    •  Explain way an understanding of Mormon history and some of LDS doctrinal beliefs are important in Utah History?
    • Describe the processes involved in the "Americanization" of Utah.
    • Analyze how the Federal Government's ownership of 70% of the land in Utah impacts the state and the politics of public land use.
  • Historical Thinking: Students will be able to:
    • Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and trends in the historiography of Utah.
    • Describe Utah's history in the context of American Western history. 
  • Historical Skills: Students will be able to:
    • Critically discuss assigned texts
    • Present in  written formats their research/analyses


  • Discussion Forums - 20 points each 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. Points are earned for:
    • Response to topic A (including evidence of critical thinking and citation of sources) = 8.5 points
    • Response to topic B (including evidence of critical thinking and citation of sources) 8.5 points
    • Response to colleague's post = 3 points
    • Posts should total a minimum of 600 words per week. Cite your sources. 
  • 1 scholarly analyses --   15 points 
  • 10 short papers -- 10 points each.
    • There will be a variety of projects. Choose 10. These short papers (200-300 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:
      • Accomplishment of the assignment = 5 points
      • Composition skills - 3 points
      • citation of sources = 2 points
  • 2 Exams -- short essay
  • Book PresentationStudents will read a modern text set in Utah and will present their responses to the text. (15 points) Points are earned for:
      • Addressing all topics = 8 points
      • Addressing issues of course and text = 8 points
      • Absence of mechanical flaws = 4 points
  • Final reflection statemen(up to 5 points)

 I will accept work late -- but such work will automatically earn fewer points.

Students will work through this course:

  1.  by going to the modules which include notes (including the assigned readings), discussion forums and assignments.
  2. by completing each week a discussion forum -- responses to topics based on assigned readings and response to at least one colleague's post. Try to post response to first topic by Wednesday; all 3 posts on due by Saturdays.
  3. by submitting assignments  -- these include "projects" or short papers in response to various topics which are intended to help you dig deeper into those topics.  AND 1 scholarly analyses. AND 1 book analysis..
  4. by taking 2 exams -- these are intended as the means by which you demonstrate your understanding of various topics gained through your reading, thinking, and writing.


Grades will be based on a percentage of the points possible

A = 94 -100%
B = 83 - 86%
C = 73 - 76%
D = 60 - 66%

  • Discussion Forums = 20 points each
  • 10 Response papers = 100 points
  • 1 Analyses of Scholarship = 15 points
  • 1 Book analysis = 20 points
  • Final Reflection = 5 points