Instructor: Dana L. Werstler

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HIS 108: History of the U.S. through 1865

Spring 2007 Monday and Wednesday 11:00 – 12:15

Room 306 Leslie County Center

Instructor: Dana L. Werstler

Office 309c 672-6800 ex 73490

Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30-1:30

Home phone number: 606-251-3934


Blackboard title: HIS 109: US History through 1865 (4066 4901)
Course Description:

History 108 examines key political, economic, and social topics that have influenced significantly the American experience from the pre-colonial period through the civil War era.

Prerequisites: none
Texts: Firsthand America, eighth edition (sixth or 7th edition acceptable).

David Burner, et al Eds. (Burner)

ISBN 1-933385-02-2

Access to a college level dictionary and thesaurus

Other readings will be on reserve or assigned from the World Wide Web.
General Education Requirements
I. Communicate Effectively

1. Read and listen with comprehension.

2. Speak and write clearly using standard English.

3. Interact cooperatively with others using both verbal and non-verbal means.

4. Demonstrate information processing through basic computer skills.

II. Think Critically

1. Make connections in learning across the disciplines and draw logical conclusions.

2. Demonstrate problem solving through interpreting, analyzing, summarizing, and/or integrating a variety

of materials.

3. Use mathematics to organize, analyze, and synthesize data to solve a problem.

III. Learn Independently

1. Use appropriate search strategies and resources to find, evaluate, and use information.

2. Make choices based upon awareness of ethics and differing perspectives/ideas.

3. Apply learning in academic, personal, and public situations.

4. Think creatively to develop new ideas, processes, or products.

IV. Examine Relationships in Diverse and Complex Environments

1. Recognize the relationship of the individual to human heritage and culture.

2. Demonstrate an awareness of the relationship of the individual to the biological and physical environment.

3. Develop an awareness of self as an individual member of a multicultural global community.
Students will fulfill these competencies through the following:

1. By reading and discussing the required texts and reserve assignments, which deal with a variety of historical topics.

2. Through the process of writing essays in the examinations, students will determine what evidence will best support their thesis. During this process the students will be faced the “pros and cons” of controversial historical issues, which they will incorporate into the critical analysis of the essays, using information from other disciplines.

3. Through the oral history project and through reviewing the required essays, students will draw from historical research the knowledge to create a new appraisal of an historical event or events.

4. Through contact with historical figures and events through the text and reserve readings, students will be faced with the value of ethical behavior and actions. Class discussions will often cover the ethical questions and values of historical events. In addition, students will learn the value of honest academic work through writing their essays, the oral history project, the exams and the quizzes.
Inclement Weather Policy: During periods of inclement weather, all classes scheduled BEFORE 9:30 a.m., will be cancelled.  Students will be asked to report at 9:30 for their 9:30 classes.  Cancelled lecture information will be either make up during later classes or by extra out of class assignments
Academic Honesty Policy

KCTCS faculty and students are bound by principles of truth and honesty that are recognized as fundamental for a community of teachers and scholars. The college expects students and faculty to honor, and faculty to enforce, these academic principles. The college affirms that it will not tolerate academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, violation of the academic rights of students (section 2.0) and student offenses (section 3.0).

Complaint/Appeal Procedure

1. Division Chair: Thomas Neace.

2. Academic Dean. Tim Glosbaugh.

3. Vice President of Academic Affairs / Provost: Dr. Kathy Smoot

For information about academic rights and academic offenses and the student’s right to appeal, students should refer to the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct found on-line at
Withdrawal Policy

Students may withdraw up to midterm and receive a grade of “W” without your instructor’s permission. After midterm, and up until the last day of class, any student may officially request a W grade, which may be given at the discretion of your instructor. A student will receive a W grade for a class only if the student has officially withdrawn from class. Students who do not officially withdraw before the last day of class must receive a grade of “E”.

Accommodations Policy

Students needing accommodations should contact the local disabilities service representative to complete an Accommodations Plan which will ensure that the student receive full benefits and that the instructor is aware and can make the proper adjustments in his/her courses for the student. Hazard Community & Technical College contacts are as follows: Hazard Campus, Knott County Branch, Leslie County Center, and the Technical Campus – see Doug Fraley and at the Lees College Campus – see Cluster Howard.

Requirements: The following are the requirements for successful completion of this course. Please note that failure to complete these will/may lead to failure for this course.
NOTE WELL: Each of the following categories are "weighed" differently.

Exams (Essay) Midterm 25%

Final 25%

Attendance & Participation 15 %

Flight to Freedom web assignment 10%

Oral History Papers 15%

Outside reading assignment 10%

Extra Credit ?? 100 %
Grading Policies: Grade distribution will be as follows:

100 - 93 A = An indication of outstanding scholarship; with evidence of initiative, originality, and knowledge of the subject.

92- 80 B = An indication of consistently superior work.

79 - 70 C = An indication of a competent grasp of subject matter.

69 - 60 D = An indication of the lowest passing grade; it may not transfer to some colleges or universities.

59 - E = An indication of a lack of understanding basic subject matter.

W = Indicates and "OFFICIAL" withdrawal from the class.
Unless a student withdraws in the prescribed manner, an "E" will be recorded for the class.
It is the student's responsibility to arrange for make-up tests, papers, etc.
Examinations: Midterm - 25% Final - 25%: Examinations will consist of essay questions. They are open book and open note. Examinations may be take-home or given in class. Failure to take an examination may lead to failure in the course, regardless of attendance at class sessions and completion of prescribed work.
Attendance & Participation: 15%: Since part of what I expect you to get out of college is the learning that goes on in the classroom, I have decided to give you credit for attendance. Skipping class and reading the notes will not teach you enough about American history, even if you manage to pass the papers and exams. There are 27 possible days of class, not counting the first day of school. I will allow everyone to miss 2 days of class for any reason (illness, job interview, family wedding, bad mood), but every missed day after that results in a lowered grade. I will pass a sign-in sheet around every day. If you have to leave class early or arrive late because of a scheduling conflict, let me know. Your signature must be on the sheet to earn attendance credit.

I will award credit for the portion of you final grade based on attendance as follows:

25 - 27 days attended A

21 - 24 days attended B

19 - 20 days attended C

17- 18 days attended D

16 days or fewer attended E
Flight to Freedom Web Assignment 10% See page 8 for more information.
Oral History Paper 15% See page 8 for more information.
Outside Reading Assignment – 10% See page 8 for more information.
Extra Credit - The most common opportunity is what I call "stump Dana." From time to time students ask me questions about course material that I cannot answer. All students who are willing to do the research (on the web, in the library, etc.) to answer the question and hand in the correct answer and their source to me during the next scheduled class are given extra credit. Any student who would like more extra credit opportunities may talk to me outside of class.
Cheating: Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated in this class. If using works which are not your own- whether a sentence, a paragraph or a longer passage - put them in quotation marks and attribute them to the proper source. Collaborative work on the quizzes, tests or papers is considered cheating - you may study together if you like but think for yourself. Duplicate papers or essay answers will be assumed the product of cheating. Any student caught plagiarizing or cheating may receive an E for the entire course. Extra credit may not be used to substitute for points lost because of plagiarism or cheating.
Out of class assignment policy: It is my policy to have all out of class assignments (take home exams, papers, extra credit, etc.) due in class in the form of a hard copy (printed on paper). I have found e-mail to be unreliable, and cannot accept papers submitted to me by e-mail. If a student cannot be in class to hand the hard copy in to me, it is the student’s responsibility to get me a hard copy of the out of class assignments on or before the due date.
Late paper policy: All out of class assignments, including but not limited to take home exams, research papers, web assignments, are to be handed in to me, in class, on the due date listed in the syllabus. Ten (10) points will be deducted for every calendar day (not class day) the paper is late. Point deductions may be waived by me on a case-by-case basis, and only in the event of serious illness, injury, or similar emergency. A malfunctioning printer, floppy disk, or computer is not an emergency. “I forgot it was due today,” is not an emergency. “I lost my syllabus,” is not an emergency.
Appropriate behavior: It is important that the environment in class be conducive to learning. Please have pagers and cell phones muted. Private conversations, notes written on paper and passed around, or text messaging that takes place during the lecture or while your fellow students are addressing the class are a sign of lack of respect for your classmates and your instructor. Any student whose rude behavior disturbs the class may be told to leave. That student will forfeit that day's attendance credit. Any assignments missed as a result may not be made up.
All students enrolled in any elearning course needs to know how to use their KCTCS email account, as well as how to use the messages feature in Blackboard.
Logging-on to an eLearning class:

1. Point your browser to

2. Go to the login box in the middle of the window that opens and enter your username and password, which is the same to access your email, or student self serve account.
Checking Your KCTCS E-Mail

As a student of the KCTCS System, you have been issued a login ID and password. NOTE: this is a different login from the one described with the Web class account. E-mail is an integral part of the distance learning process as well as your everyday process as a student of Hazard Community and Technical College. As you get grade information, class registration, and other related information on your email account. In addition, all of your KCTCS information will come through student E-mail. Click on the following link to check your e-mail:

Enter the student ID number and password you were provided when prompted in the following format: The login entry is the domain name (KCTCSACC), followed by a "right slash" (/), ending with the PeopleSoft student ID that you were given during registration.

Login: KCTCSACC/jdoe0001

Password: yourpassword (whatever the password is)
*For more information about student email, go to the following site:
Reading Assignments: (subject to revision)
Readings from Firsthand America will be referred to as Burner.

All reserve or on-line reading links are on the e-learning website.

Jan. 17- First day of class. Review syllabus. Lecture about history sources and the discipline of History.
Jan. 22 - Burner, Ch. 1
Jan. 24- Overview of Native Americans

Native Americans Discover Europeans

William Wood

The Gentleman of Elvas

Joseph Nicolar

Chrestien Le Clercq

The Diversity of Native America: The Southwest

Juan de Onate

The Diversity of Native America: The Plains

Pedro de Castenada

The Diversity of Native America: The Middle Colonies

William Penn

The Diversity of Native America: The Northeast

Pierre de Charlevoix
Jan. 29- Burner, Ch. 2
Jan. 31 - City on a Hill
Feb. 5 - Burner, Ch. 3
Feb. 7 – Poor Richard Illustrated

Click on the illustration for a close up view

Feb. 12 - Burner, Ch. 4
Feb. 14 - Ben Franklin’s Will (Bring a copy of this document to class.)

The Boston Massacre

Read Anonymous account of the massacre and Captain Preston deposition.

Feb. 19 – Holiday no class
Feb. 21 – Presentation – Colonial Dress

Outside reading assignment due in class
Feb. 26 - Burner, Ch. 5.
Feb. 28 -
March 5 - Burner, Ch. 6

Pass out midterm
March 7 - Washington’s Farewell Address

Washington’s letter to Hebrew community in Newport
March 12 - Burner, Ch. 7

Midterm due in class.
March 14 – Lewis and Clark
March 19 – 21: Spring Break, no class
March 26 - Burner, Ch. 8.

The Waltham - Lowell system

Read “Prologue” to “Products of the Mills”

March 28 – Burner, Ch. 9

The African-American Odyssey - Slavery - the Peculiar Institution
April 2- Burner, Ch. 10

April 4 - The Cherokee Removal
April 9 - Burner, Ch. 11
April 11 - Seneca Falls Declaration
April 16 - Burner, Ch. 12

Oral history paper due in class.
April 18 - Manifest Destiny
April 23 - Burner, Ch. 13
April 25 - The African-American Mosaic - Abolition

Flight to Freedom assignment due in class.
April 30 - Burner, Ch. 14

Pass out final

May 2 - Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address

Declaration of causes of seceding states

May 7 – 12 Finals Week

Flight to Freedom Web Assignment10% Due April 25, 2007
Flight to Freedom is a web-based role-playing game. Students choose a character (persona) based on an historical figure. During the game, the student will attempt to escape from slavery.
Go to
Read the introduction. Click on play the game. At the Choose a Persona screen, set the difficulty level to hard and choose a persona. Play the game until you have escaped or have died. Print out the final screen, which lists the results of your escape attempt. Hand your printout in to me in class on Feb. 27, 2006. Students may hand this assignment in early if they wish.
Oral History Paper: 15%
The oral history paper is due April 16, 2007
The oral history paper will be based on an interview. Each student will interview a person over the age of 60. In the interview, students will gather information based on the topic: “What changes in American society have you seen during your lifetime and how have these changes affected you? “
Each student will hand-write and mail a thank you note to the people you interview. Each student will turn a copy of their note(s) in to me with their paper(s). The thank you note(s) is/are worth 10% of your paper grade.
On Aug. 29 and 31, the class will determine basic questions that should be asked and the information that should be included in the paper.
The eLearning website will include links to information about conducting an oral interview.

Outside reading assignment – 10%

Due in class on Feb. 21, 2007

Listed below are three primary source readings. Students must choose one of these three primary sources, read it and analyze it according to the “Outside Reading Form” below.
Manifest Destiny
“The Social use of the Postgraduate Mother
Outside Reading Form

Student’s Name:

Title of reading:
In two or three well thought out sentences, summarize the major point of this reading.
In a couple of sentences, what was the bias of the author? From what perspective does the author write--political, social, economic? Why is this significant in the document you have read?
Different from the “what is the main point” question above, list several things that you learned from this reading, things that you did not know before doing this reading.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you be prepared to refer to historians or historically significant individuals in essays. In the space below, write down quotes from the document that you think might be useful. Try to be selective--choose those that are genuinely typical of the writer’s thinking or that highlight a major point in the writer's thinking or argument. Include page numbers.

Helpful hints on how to avoid plagiarism.

If you loose your syllabus, get a replacement from me.

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