Office Hours: By Virtual Appointment Location: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Telephone

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Dr. James Tillapaugh
Professor of History
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Fall 2014 History 3346.781

Office Hours: By Virtual Appointment
Location: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Telephone: 432-552-2317
Fax Phone: 432-552-3280
E-Mail General:

· Welcome!

Welcome! This course explores the U.S. during the period after reconstruction through the progressive era. It covers the last decades of the nineteenth century and enters into the new twentieth century until after World War I.  

Each of the four units is divided into five major subtopics: leaders, elections, foreign relations, economics, and social developments. Each unit essentially covers a time segment in the post-reconstruction period of the late nineteenth century into the opening decades of the twentieth century. This era is often referred to by terms such as the coming of age, the search for order, America reborn, etc. This is when Theodore Roosevelt rose to national leadership during the progressive era, and his biography over decades will be developed importantly as "TR's Times." The text book America Reformed develops themes that go beyond political history and emphasize the intersection of race, class, and gender as important components of American History. The Internet readings fill gaps in the coverage and expand attention to unusually important events that often provided turning points, so that change becomes marked in history between what came before and what will be following for the Americans caught up in the events. American history now continues a century later as we travel on a path that keeps unfolding before us.
History 3346 fulfills requirements as follow:

  • The History major and minor in Category 2, 20th Century American History

  • The Finish@UT major in Humanities as an upper-level History course

  • The Humanities major where History courses are included

  • The Child and Family studies major as an upper-level History course

  • Other majors with prior approval, such as Political Science

  • History 1301 and 1302 general education courses are ordinarily prerequisites.

  • History 3346 is not structured for research based importantly on primary or original sources and, therefore, may be used to satisfy the seminar requirement for History majors only with enhancements and prior approval.

  • This 3000-level course may not be included in a graduate program.

  • Students from all program fields are welcome in History 3346 for an elective course


Communication Policy

Because this course is importantly based on the World Wide Web (www), there is no first class or any other such face-to-face meeting scheduled or required.

Students who enroll must contact the instructor via the private electronic mail/message system inside of the course.  Students should not use the instructor's general email address for messages or submission of assignment attachments. 

This policy will beneficially provide:

  • Security against viruses by the Blackboard firewall

  • Familiarity with the names/records of the enrolled students

  • A searchable record of communications and submissions

  • Considered communications rather than tweets on the fly.

Students should not expect any recognition or responses from the instructor to any course business that is not posted inside of the course email/message system.
Expect that there will be time lags for communications occurring outside of normal business operating hours and on weekends.
A graduate coach will provide instructional support, including assistance with grading.


Course Objectives

Critical thinking will be necessary to achieve learning objectives about "TR's Times." Generally speaking, students will be involved with readings and discussions that will result in the writing of four essays, one for each of the four units. The essays should demonstrate the abilities to distinguish between fact and opinion, primary and secondary sources, evaluation of point of view, historical accuracy, and timeliness.
Each unit includes SPECIFIC LEARNING OBJECTIVES that will help to:

  • Focus attention on the most important developments and turning points.

  • Guide discussions to understand issues raised in the materials.

  • Clarify obstacles to understanding in polemical and persuasive sources.

Focused attention, guided discussions, and clarified obstacles will assist students in learning the course content objectives. They will also provide a foundation for framing specific topics for development in the four written essays, which are discussed in the "Assignments" section


Text Book and Course Materials
There is one required textbook, with chapters appropriately assigned to the four units:
Maureen A. Flanagan. America Reformed: Progressives and Progressivisms 1890s to 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
This is an outstanding, recognized study that provides continuity and detail through the many events of America's History during these times.
Chapters in the textbook America Reformed are sometimes not assigned in consecutive order, but rather are integrated with the various unit topics as appropriate to the subject. Please follow the assigned order for the chapters to avoid confusion in the materials.
In addition, each of the units is developed through subtopics with Internet readings and videos. The Internet materials will certainly provide help for examining the topics and often will furnish satisfactory content for an understanding of them. These sources are not an exclusive list, however, and other sites and resources may be consulted.
All required and additional materials should be reported and cited, when direct quotations and paraphrasing are present, in standard forms for footnote/endnote and bibliography. Take care for exact recording of web addresses and of a print source's author, title, publication information, and pages cited.
The Turabian style is usually used in History, and a quick reference guide is provided. Majors in other disciplines may use the format of systems generally preferred in their fields of study.


Assignments & Due Dates
Each of the four units concludes with a written assignment, with a preferred length of five double–spaced pages of text. The essay may develop some specific aspect of the unit coverage, or it may be a more general overview of several of the subtopics presented there.
Students choose, define, and develop their own essay subjects.
Unit learning objectives, discussions, and obstacles ("watch out for") will help in this selection of specific topics or more general overviews.
All written assignments should follow standard essay format:

  • Title page with student name, title of paper, and other identification information.

  • Introductory thematic paragraph(s) to overall topic and specific thesis statement.

  • Paragraph format with thematic topic and concluding sentences of significance.

  • Paragraph development of historical events, people, and detailed facts.

  • Content narrative development of importance/relevance to the topic and thesis.

  • Balance in coverage to present the topic through its content from start to finish.

  • Concluding thematic paragraph(s) to specific topic and essay thesis.

  • Recognized format of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography as appropriate for quoting and paraphrasing sources.

All of these essay elements will be used in evaluating each of the essay assignments.

Topics for Discussion are integrated with the readings in each unit. They too will be helpful in realizing learning objectives and in defining essay topics. Other discussion items may be posted by students and instructors along the way. Final deadlines for the discussions are the same as for the essays.
Each of the four essays will be turned in through the course "Assignment Drop Box" by the due date as listed below and in each unit. Two weeks of study are allotted to each unit's contents and assignments. It is important to meet these two–week deadlines to make satisfactory progress and to complete the course.  
The "Drop Box" deadline will be every 2 weeks at 8 p.m. on a Monday except for the last unit which is on a Friday.

Students have experienced "stacking up" with transmission failures when waiting until the last minute. Clearly essays should be submitted before the final deadlines. Late papers must be avoided at all costs and, when rarely approved, must be transmitted by alternative means (not the instructor's regular email) that create complexities in tracking student work and in posting of grades. Please plan and prepare in advance.

Please Note the Posted Last Day to Drop or Withdraw!

Last day to drop or withdraw with a "W" grade - October 3

Each of Units One through Two should be finished and submitted by the last drop date to continue in the course. Web courses are not suited for access after the semester, and incompletes cannot be expected by those who fail to make regular progress and to finish.

Late Papers

Hist 3346 is both an accelerated and a progressive course.  Progressive means that each assignment must be mastered before continuing with the next one, which may well build on the knowledge gained in the recently completed unit.  There is no place for late papers within accelerated and progressive instruction.

Blackboard has no part in the software for accepting late discussions that allow the student to participate in postings to or from colleagues, which is by definition the instructional purpose for having discussions.

Blackboard has no good mechanisms for processing late essays into the software system, which creates all sorts of special handling needs that are real problems placed between the instructor, the essay, and accurately recorded scoring.

Late papers are unfair by every measure to the many other students who planned, studied, participated, wrote, and submitted by the published due date schedule in the syllabus and repeated in every unit assignment.

Verifiable medical emergencies do happen, and the instructor should be notified.  A plan for remediation can help the student to get back into step if possible. 

The bottom line for the usual common miseries of the late paper path to gaining course credits is don't expect that yours will be accepted or scored in an accelerated and progressive course.

Due Dates for Discussion Postings and Essay Assignments

Unit 1.  From1880       Discussion and Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, September 15

Unit 2.  To 1900s        Discussion and Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, September 29

Unit 3.  The 1900s      Discussion and Essay due by 8 p.m., Monday, October 13

Unit 4.  War/Peace     Discussion and Essay due by 8 p.m., Friday, October 24

Discussion Board Rubric


Maximum Score

Good to Satisfactory
Passing Score


Participation &Professionalism

Contributes and facilitates substantive interactions, with professional expression and e-etiquette courtesies.

Responds to assignments and other members professionally but with limited contributions.

None or little involvement with minimal substance.

Quality Understanding and Information

Strong understanding of concepts and uses of course materials and information.

Some understanding of concepts but limited use of course materials.

None or little undertanding of materials.

Critical Thinking

Strong reflective thought with premise examination and theoretical rationale.

Some reflective thought from personal perspective about course information.

None or little about issues and concepts.


The author is contradictory on pg. 22 in condemning racism while praising court rulings such as Plessy vs. Ferguson.

I believe that the courts were wrong in passing segregationist laws.

You can't make folks acts equal.


Each of the four essays will be graded on a 100–point scale, weighted equally. A minimum score of 70 must be achieved in order to complete the unit, and essays may require revisions to achieve this standard of mastery education. In essence that gives all students a risk–free reading and help not to fail.
Substantive discussion participation will be scored with 25 points for each unit and for a total of 100 points for the four units..

The final course grade will be the average of the graded essay scores and of the discussion credits, with a maximum of 500 points for the course.

Each unit score for the essay will be timely posted within one week where only the individual student can monitor the results of the progress through the semester.
Many, many students have succeeded very nicely in studying and in meeting requirements for this course over decades, and we hope that you will join them as well in your good experience with History 3346, The United States 1878-1929.


Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an extremely serious matter, with serious consequences. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. Any suspicion of academic dishonesty will be reported and investigated. A student who engages in scholastic dishonesty that includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and collusion will receive an "F" for the course. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. For complete information on UTPB student conduct and discipline procedures consult the university's handbook at:
When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or Internet applications, consult Dr. Tillapaugh. Assignments generated by downloading or printing from the Internet are considered under the auspices of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course.


Americans with Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities who are admitted to The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may request reasonable accommodations and classroom modifications as addressed under Section 504/ADA regulations. Students needing assistance because of a disability must contact the Director, Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS) Office, 432-552–2630, no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester.
The definition of a disability for purposes of ADA is that she or he (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantively limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment or, (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
Students who have provided all documentation and are eligible for services will be advised of their rights regarding academic accommodations and responsibilities. The University is not obligated to pay for diagnosis or evaluations nor is it obligated to pay for personal services or auxiliary aids.


Preparation for Computer Emergencies

Computer Crash
Not having a working computer or a crashed computer during the semester will NOT be considered as an acceptable reason for not completing course activities at a scheduled time. NOTE: Identify a second computer before the semester begins, that you can use when/if your personal computer crashes. 

Server problems
When the Blackboard server needs downtime for maintenance, the Blackboard administrator will post an announcement in your course informing the time and the date. If the server experiences unforeseen problems your course instructor will send an email.

Lost/Corrupt/Disappeared files
You must keep/save a copy of every project/assignment on an external disk or personal computer. In the event of any kind of failure (e.g., Blackboard server crash or virus infection, students own computer crashes, loss of files in cyberspace, etc) or any contradictions/problems, I may/will request you to resubmit the files.  In other words, if you submit a document to me, and I either do not receive it (lost in cyberspace) or it is corrupted when I open it, it is incumbent upon you to resend it to me, corrected, with little or no “downtime” in regard to the timeline for submission.


At the end of Unit 1, students will be able to understand and effectively communicate about:

1.A. Leadership. How T.R. grew in a life of wealth and privilege into an independent thinker with a social conscience as he and Edith established their family at their Oyster Bay, N.Y., estate.

1.B. Politics. How T.R. chose a private life as an author and historian along with a public life of governmental service identified with reformist politics and social betterment.

1.C. Foreign. How T.R. rose to be a wartime hero of national prominence as the U.S. actively entered global affairs and gained a formal and informal empire through war with Spain.

1.D. Economics. How T.R. dealt with personal tragedy by participating in the final settlement of the western ranching frontier and by becoming more rounded as an American who loved the nation’s bountiful and scenic environment.

1.E. Society. How the Gilded Age growth through industrialization, immigration, and urbanization brought pressures on the established order to address corruption in industry and government while also including the laboring people in the benefits of the American dream and system.

At the end of Unit 2, students will be able understand and effectively communicate about:

2.A. Leadership. How the rural-oriented Midwestern and southern Populist movement shamed the national conscience about the plight of the common farmer while challenging the established political parties to find honest and responsible leaders concerned about the American people.

2.B. Politics. How the economic depression of the early 1890s brought new political leadership, with the Populist sympathizer William Jennings Bryan taking over the Democratic Party but losing in 1896 to the Republican William McKinley as the demographics of urban and industrial overcame those of rural and agricultural.

2.C. Foreign. How the young, reformist Republican vice president followed the assassinated McKinley and advanced U.S. strategic interests by acquiring the rights and realities to the dream of building a great canal across the Isthmus of Panama.

2.D. Economics. How the industrial laborers struggled for human and economic rights against giant engines of capitalist power and wealth through organizations of workers led by activists for economic and social justice.

2.E. Society. How immigration brought floods of new people and urbanization organized them into the huge industrial places that made the U.S. a global powerhouse.

At the end of Unit 3, students will be able to understand and effectively communicate about:

3A.  Leadership.  How President Roosevelt used the “bully pulpit” to energize the Progressive Era of reform as loosely associated coalitions of various advocates sought changes from the special interests to adjust the U.S. system to the realities of industrialization and the twentieth century.

3B.  Politics.  How T.R. passed the leadership to William Howard Taft, who defeated William Jennings Bryan for the third time in 1908, but who lost the progressive momentum as well as the election of 1912, one of the most dramatic and important U.S. elections when T.R. split the Republican Party and also lost to Bryan’s Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, while bringing triumph to the Progressive Era of reform.

3C.  Foreign.  How T.R. brought the U.S. to institutionalized great power as a global player with special interests and empire in Latin America and the Far East, culminating with his sending the new Great White Fleet around the world for all to see.

3D.  Economics.  How the trust buster T.R., muckraking journalists, and progressive followers challenged the “Robber Barons” to become “Captains of Industry” with governmental regulations to operate in the national interests of the public-at-large.

3E.  Society.  How civil rights for racial and ethnic minorities and for women languished in a nation defined by discrimination and segregation but also became advocated by dynamic new progressive leaders and organizations seeking social justice for all.

At the end of Unit 4, students will be able to understand and effectively communicate about:

4A.  Leadership.  How T.R. as explorer and author, Bryan as secretary of state and orator, and Taft as chief justice of the Supreme Court continued to serve as national and global statesmen in peace and war until the ends of their lives.

4B.  Politics.  How President Wilson and the first congresses with progressive majorities succeeded in the passage of reform legislation that realized much of the progressive agenda as defined in the election of 1912 and afterward.

4C.  Foreign.  How world war interrupted the domestic agenda and challenged the U.S. neutrality until President Wilson led successfully into the war but unsuccessfully through the peacemaking, which proved greatly disillusioning to the American mission, people, and spirit for reform.

4D.  Economics.  How perhaps T.R.’s greatest accomplishment in implementing the conservation of natural resources and sites continued to be institutionalized with scientific management to benefit both the public and business for generations to come.

4E.  Society.  How T.R.’s proposals in 1912 for woman’s suffrage and old-age insurance were achieved finally by the social justice of the 19th Amendment for voting and of Social Security from the second Roosevelt, but how this early twentieth century era of reform could only add to the foundation for seeking the racial and gender equality that would take generations more to come.



Student Support Services
ADA Accommodation/Support                           

Director, Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS)

Admissions & Registration & Transcripts       


Blackboard Technical Support                       

1-866-321-2988 (toll-free)




Financial Aid and Scholarship                       

UTPB Library                                                     

(432) 552-2370
Student Services
Tutoring & Learning Resources: If you are taking courses through UTPB the following links provide services: Smarthinking Online Tutoring (provides tutoring services), SmarterMeasure (measures learner readiness for online courses.

Technical Information

The following link provides information on Computer requirements, Browser Configuration, Tools and Resources, and 24/7 help Desk contact information.

Blackboard: System Requirements


End-of-Course Evaluation & Instructor Evaluation

Every student must complete an end-of-course evaluation/survey provided by UTPB. During the last few weeks of class, you will receive an announcement through email notifying you that the Course/Instructor Survey is available. There are three options to access the survey.

  1. You may follow the link in the email to complete the survey using the same credentials to access your courses here.

  2. When entering Blackboard you will see a list of surveys for you to complete

  3. A button on the right hand menu bar will lead you to the survey from inside your course.

The survey is anonymous and you responses are confidential.  Your feedback is critical to us and to your instructor as we strive to improve our offerings, and our support of you, the students.


Disclaimer & Rights

Information contained in this syllabus was to the best knowledge of the instructor considered correct and complete when distributed for use in the beginning of the semester. However, the instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UTPB to make changes in the course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligation. The students will be informed about the changes, if any.

© Dr. Tillapaugh | HIST 3346 | UTPB

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