Classroom: L103 Telephone: tba

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Instructor: Christopher Fortenberry

Fall 2014

HIST1301 United States History to 1877

Classroom: L103

Telephone: TBA



Chair Social Science: Dr. John Theis –; phone 281-312-1741

Hist 1301 is a survey of the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the Civil War/Reconstruction period. United States History I includes the study of pre-Columbian, colonial, revolutionary, early national, slavery and sectionalism, and the Civil War/Reconstruction eras. Themes that may be addressed in United States History I include: American settlement and diversity, American culture, religion, civil and human rights, technological change, economic change, immigration and migration, and creation of the federal government.
3.0 hours, transferable to any 4-year institution in the state of Texas.
ENGL 0305 or ENGL 0316 AND ENGL 0307 or 0326 or 0356, OR higher level course (ENGL 1301), OR placement by testing.


LSCS is dedicated to providing access and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Lone Star College is committed to ensuring that equal access to its educational programs, activities, and facilities occurs for students with disabilities. Disability Services at each of the five campuses assists current and future students by determining and recommending appropriate academic support services. Disability Services focuses on helping students with disabilities make a successful transition to the college and acts as a referral source for services both on campus and within the community.

All students with disabilities are encouraged to register with Disability Services on the campus they will be attending and provide appropriate documentation of their disability. Students should register with Disability Services as early as possible to help ensure that all accommodations are in place by the beginning of the semester. The official accommodation letter must be presented to the instructor before any accommodations may be made.  No retroactive accommodations will be made for assignments completed before presentation of the letter.  Whenever feasible, accommodation letters should be presented to the instructor within the first two weeks of class. Please note that it is not necessary to disclose any personal and/or medical information to the instructor.

Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this course are encouraged to contact the Disability Services as soon as possible to ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

History 1301 studies the broader questions and trends in American History. We will learn certain historical facts, but understanding theory also enhances our ability to analyze both the continuity and the jolting changes that mark our history.
1. Create an argument through the use of historical evidence.

2. Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources.

3. Analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on this period of United States history.
Courses in this category of the core focus on the consideration of past events and ideas relative to the United States. Courses involve the interaction among individuals, communities, states, the nation, and the world, considering how these interactions have contributed to the development of the United States and its global role.

  1. Critical thinking skills - to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information

  1. Communication skills - to include effective written, oral, and visual communication

  1. Team Work - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal

  1. Personal Responsibility - to include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making

  1. Social Responsibility - to include intercultural competency, civic knowledge, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national and global communities

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! Seagull 4th Ed. W. W. Norton, Vol. I ISBN 978-0-393-92030-7
Additional Required Books:
Oates, Stephen. The Fires of Jubilee. ISBN 9780060916701
Foner, Eric. Voices of Freedom 4th Ed. W.W. Norton, Vol. I ISBN 978-0393922912
Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. W.W. Norton
There may be additional reading materials provided by the instructor within the online class.

In the case of plagiarism (claiming that words and ideas of others are your own and/or not indicating the source of ideas), the instructor reserves the right to give the student a zero for the assignment and/or an F for the course.  In the case of cheating during the course of an exam or unauthorized collaboration on a writing project, the instructor reserves the right to give the student or students a zero for the assignment and/or an F for the course. You will find the LSCS policy on academic integrity at


• Basic computer skills

o Ability to upload/download files; open attachments; web links, etc.

• Word Processing skills

• Internet Access. If relying on Internet access through work, the student should verify with their network administrator whether network firewalls will interfere with internet access, and in particular, with Java access. Dialup internet access is not recommended.

• A fully Java and HTML5 enabled browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 or Google Chrome)

Be sure you to disable your ‘pop-up blocker’ while using the D2L system. See
ATTENDANCE EXPECTATIONS: This applies only to the Lone Star portion of the class regarding grades. Absences for Porter High School will follow Porter High School and New Caney ISD rules and policies.
Class attendance is crucial to your success in this course. For each A day or B day course students will be permitted 5 absences before their grade is affected. For students who attend class on both A & B days will be permitted 10 absences before their grade is affected. Beginning with the 5th or 10th absence, respectively, students will lose 1 point or ½ point, respectively, from their final grade for each absence. Additionally, any students who show up to a session more than 10 minutes late will be counted as absent.
*The last day to drop this class and receive a "W" is November 10, 2014.  No drops will be accepted after this date. The instructor will not drop you from the course. If you remain in the class after the official drop date, you will receive a grade for the course. The Lone Star College System withdrawal policies online at .


A = 90-100

B = 89-80

C = 79-70

D = 69-60

F = 59 & BELOW

Grades will be determined based on the following formula. Note: It is your responsibility to keep up with your class average. Please learn how to calculate your average. Learning how to calculate percentages is an essential life skill.



Exam One


Exam Two


Exam Three/Final Exam


Chapter Quizzes


The Book Reviews


Primary Source Essay


Discussions - Online


Discussions – In Class


Weekly Discussions: 
Participation in online discussion in this class will be determined by your contributions to 10 weekly discussion postings. Each discussion will consist of 2 questions. Posting are required each week. The questions are directly related to the readings.  Active participation in the discussion is an integral part of the course. The topic is posted on Sunday of each week and students are required to respond by Saturday at 5:00pm. The first question will be posted Sunday, August 31, 2014.  All postings must be a minimum of 250 words in length and free of spelling and grammatical errors.  Each question is worth six points. The points are awarded as follows:

  • 1 point for completion (posted on time)

  • 1 point for length (250 words)

  • 1 point if the post is free of spelling & grammatical errors

  • 3 point for use of content*

It is your responsibility to make sure your posts meet the requirements. I will read/check all posts. When submitting your work the title of the document needs to be in the following format

  • Last Name, First Name, Title of Assignment being submitted

    • Example: Doe, John, Discussion 2: Question 1

These discussions are designed to help you think about and analyze the material in the readings and/or acceptable historical sources. You should be engaging in historical analysis and critical thinking. As such base your writings on the information in the readings. You are encouraged to use sources beyond your textbook to formulate your discussion postings. Be aware of your sources, however. Anyone can put anything on the internet; do not use online encyclopedias, especially Wikipedia. These are not acceptable or legitimate historical sources. Cite your sources if you use information beyond the textbook.­

*If you merely rehash what is in the textbook, you will not receive full content credit. I want you to think about the question and add something to the discussion. We all know what is in the textbook.

Be objective. Try not to impose 21st century values on the past. Avoid an overly emotional tone and do not let your own personal opinions cloud your objectivity. Not everyone believes the way you believe. Take a "studied," dispassionate view of your subject. You are a third person commentator. Do not write what you 'feel' about a topic; use evidence. Do not use slang, i.e. ‘that’s cool’, ‘wow’, etc. Use proper grammar and spelling; do not use a text messaging style. Please use formal writing; check grammar and spelling.  **NOTE: DO NOT RETYPE WHAT IS IN THE BOOK--PUT IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS!**No late assignments will be accepted. 

This portion of the course (online discussions) will count 15% of your final grade. Thus, they are a critical portion of your grade. Do not neglect them. If you have questions or do not understand the topic, please let me know. I’m happy to clarify when necessary.


Book Reviews:

The Fires of Jubilee: You are required to read, The Fires of Jubilee and complete a book review. It will be an easy assignment and if you have read the book you will do fine. It will require you to break down the book critically by comparing it with primary sources about slavery and select secondary sources. The review is designed to allow you to demonstrate you read the book. It should be between 700-1000 words in length and formatted Chicago Style. ( It will be submitted online. The review is due Monday, October 6th.

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery: You are required to read, The Fiery Trial and complete a critical book review. It will require you to break down the book critically by comparing it with primary sources and secondary sources. Since you have already completed another book review by this point you will be expected to significantly increase the quality of your work and demonstrate the ability to corroborate or disprove what the Eric Foner of The Fiery Trial argues in his book. The review should be between 750-1250 wods in length and formatted Chicago Style. ( It will be submitted online. The review is due Monday, November 10th.

Primary Source Essay: The Primary Source Essay is for you to show you have the ability to think critically about and analyze appropriately primary sources. You will use the primary sources from the America Firsthand document book any other select primary sources and construct a rational argument regarding what led to the Civil War. You will be required to form an opinion that you can support using the available sources and will be graded on your ability to produce an argument that the sources support. Your essay needs to be between 850-1250 words and formatted Chicago Style. ( It will be submitted online. It is due Monday, November 24th.

There are three (3) exams during this course. The exams will consist of 50 multiple choice questions (2 points each) and one (1) essay question (50 points). The multiple choice questions will cover 5 chapters of the textbook in addition to class activities. For the essay, students will be provided a list of 3 possible essay questions of which 2 will be on the test. The student will choose one question to write about. Students will need to have a scantron and bluebook for every test. (this requirement may change, ask for clarification)

Course SLO


(Core Obj 1)

Critical Thinking

(Core Obj 2)


1. Create an argument through the use of historical evidence.



Students will write weekly discussions this semester based historical evidence.

2. Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources.



Students will use primary sources in the weekly discussions. Secondary source analysis will be addressed through the book review.

3. Analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on this period of United States history.



As part of completing their Primary Source Essay, students will be asked to research historical, social, political, economic, and cultural forces that affected the issue addressed in the essay.

There are no make-ups for any reason. You have ample time to complete all class work and the computer labs on campus have reliably working computers and internet access. Remember, what can go wrong, will. Do not wait until the last minute to complete required course work.

Last Notes:

  • Participation is required, both online and in class

  • Learn how to navigate the online portion of the class

  • Observe course etiquette at all times. For example

    • Email

      • Always include a subject line.

      • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails.

      • Use standard fonts.

      • Do not send large attachments without permission.

    • Essays

      • Always use 12 point font

      • Always use Times New Roman

      • All papers need to be Chicago Style (

SYLLABUS CHANGES: While every attempt has been made to prepare this syllabus and class schedule in final form, it will be the instructor's prerogative to make any changes as may be deemed necessary in order to meet the learning outcomes of the course. Any changes will be announced in a timely manner.

HIST 1301


August 25 - Chap One – A New World & Chap Two – Beginnings of English America, 1607-1660

September 8 – Chap Three – Creating Anglo-America, 1660-1750

September 15 – Chap Four – Slavery, Freedom, and the struggle for Empire, to 1763

September 22 – Chap Five – The American Revolution, 1763-1783

September 29 – Exam One (Ch. 1-5) & Chap Six – The Revolution Within

October 6 – Chap Seven – Founding a Nation, 1783-1791

October 13 – Chap Eight – Securing the Republic, 1791-1815

October 20 – Chap Nine – The Market Revolution, 1800-1840

October 27 – Chap Ten– Democracy in America, 1815-1840

***The Fires of Jubilee Review Due by 11:59pm***

November 3 – Exam Two (Ch. 6-10) & Chap Eleven – The Peculiar Institution

November 10 – Chap Twelve – An Age of Reform, 1820-1840

November 17 – Chap Thirteen – A House Divided, 1840-1861

November 24 – Chap Fourteen – A New Birth of Freedom: The Civil War 1861-1865

***Primary Source Essay Due by 11:59 pm***

December 1 – Chap Fifteen – “What is Freedom?”: Reconstruction, 1865-1877

December 8 – Final Exam (Ch. 11-15)

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