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Course : Survey of United States History until 1865

Course Number
Section Number
X10 X66
Fall 2020
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Final Exam Day/Time
  • No Attachments Added

COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES: This is an introductory survey of United States History from European discovery to the American Civil War. The goal is to provide you with a basic knowledge of United States history during the first 400 or so years of European settlement. The focus of the course is the various political, social, cultural, and economic themes that have played key roles in the development of the United States as a nation, people, and society. The emphasized themes are ones the instructor feels are most essential in gaining an understanding of the United States in an historical perspective. A primary element of the course is the growth of critical thinking among students concerning the examination of historical themes and paradigms (examples, patterns, models, and standards). The course should also provide one with an understanding of the founding principles of the nation as well as an appreciation for the events and people that shaped the nation's history.

EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to: 1) Identify and critique historical and alternative explanations for interpretations and analyses of social issues and human behavior in modern United States history. Assessment Methodology: Multi-paragraph mid-term and final essays. 2) Identify and appreciate differences and commonalities between domestic cultures, economic opportunities, and political motivations. Assessment Methodology: Factual, analytical, conceptual, and interpretive, multiple choice exams and short answer responses to relevant historical case studies. 3) Demonstrate knowledge of the origins and evolution of U.S. society, cultural institutions, political systems, and economic policies and practices. Assessment Methodology: Factual, analytical, conceptual, and interpretive, multiple choice exams, short paragraph response, and short analytical essays. 4) Understand and be able to cogently discuss major trends and themes in early U.S. history. Assessment Methodology: A comprehensive final-exam essay that demands a critical and detailed understanding of class material, readings, and lectures.

Student Participation Clause: Students in this course are held personally responsible for their own education and encouraged to excel. Active student participation in learning [which is, at the very least, accomplished through the careful reading of all assignments, classroom engagement (attentive note taking and participation in end-of-lecture reviews and discussions), the maintenance of a weekly study schedule, the completion of all assignments in a timely manner, adequate and earnest preparation for exams, and, when necessary, individual post-exam consultation with the instructor] is essential to the successful accomplishment of all expected learning outcomes.

READING LIST Text: Divine, Robert et al. The American Story 5/E (Penguin Academic Series) ISBN: 9780134057026 Online: Various articles and primary sources as assigned.

GRADING SYSTEM Exams: 50% Quizzes: 25% Response Papers: 10% Participation: 5% Final Essay: 10% FINAL GRADE: Under no circumstances are "extra credit" assignments given to individual students. Such assignments are inherently unfair to your fellow students. Please do not request "extra credit." However, bonus points are available on most assignments. Students are encouraged to take advantage of all bonus opportunities. Accordingly, when final grades are assigned, the professor will steadfastly adhere to the following point scale. A = 90% plus B = 80 – 89.9% C = 70 – 79.9% D = 60 – 69.9% F = below 60%

You are expected to attend class and arrive on time. Please take careful notice of the following policy as it is often a point of confusion for students. Absences are excused only when a student is attending an official university-sanctioned event or an absence is specifically exempted through university policy. Additionally, emergency medical appointments are excused. How does attendance affect the grade? 1) This course is structured so that it is to the student's advantage to attend class regularly. From past experience, those students who choose not to attend class on a regular basis have not been successful. 2) Relevant terminology, from which many factual questions are derived, and major themes from which interpretive and analytical questions are derived, are presented and discussed in the classroom. Information from your text and supplemental readings are relevant but are typically not sufficient to produce well-conceived analytical and interpretive responses. 3) Material relevant to the identification and critique of major historical themes and trends and the alternative explanations for such interpretations of social issues and human behavior is presented in classroom lectures and analyzed in classroom discussions. Much information relevant to thematic lectures presented in the classroom may NOT be, and often is not, specifically addressed in your text or supplemental assignments.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MSUTexas e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and 2) earned 60 hours. Students may meet this requirement in one of three ways: by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, passing two Writing Intensive Courses (only one can be in the core), or passing English 2113. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

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