Office: Robinson, 216 O Phone Number: 856-256-4500 ext. 3986
Hours: M W 3pm-4pm and by appointment Email: email@example.com
Description: This course surveys the history of the United States to 1865. We will begin with the colonization of the Americas, the resulting conflicts with Native Americans, and the growth of slavery. After dwelling upon the nature of the American Revolution and the creation of the Constitution, we will focus upon the process of westward expansion, the development of industrial capitalism, and the rising sectional differences between North and South that led to the Civil War.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to (1) demonstrate an introductory knowledge of the history of the United States to 1865, (2) refer with familiarity to some of the more important documents in the early history of the United States, (3) critically analyze historical monographs, and (4) display the analytical and writing skills necessary to bring historical evidence to bear upon the reconstruction of the past.
Grading: The students will be evaluated as follows.
First Exam — 10%
Second Exam — 10%
Analytical Essay on Assigned Book— 20%
Primary Source Analysis — 20%
Class Participation and Reading Quizzes — 20%
Final Exam — 20%
Exams: All students will be required to take three exams. The first exam will consist of objective questions. The second exam will be primarily an essay exam. The final exam will contain both an objective section and an essay section.
Analytical Essay on Assigned Book: Students must write a short paper (500 words maximum) on one of four assigned topics (see schedule). The essay will be due at the beginning of class the day the reading is to be discussed. An essay topic for each book will be distributed two weeks prior to the due date.
Primary Source Analysis Paper: By the last day of class, each student must submit a paper (no more than 750 words) that examines a general topic relevant to the course through the analysis at least one of the primary sources in the assigned Reserve coursepack and one of the documents in the reader by Howard L. Green, Words that Made New Jersey. The only works to be cited in the paper should be the documents themselves (and the course textbook by Jenkins). No additional sources, whether they be from the web, the library, or any other source, are expected or allowed. The student’s topic must be approved by the instructor. More information on this assignment will be provided in class.
Attendance and Participation: Your attendance is mandatory. Class will start on time. Three tardies will be considered one absence for grading purposes. Twenty percent of your final grade for the course will reflect your participation in class, your attendance record, and your performance on reading quizzes.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is strictly prohibited in this class. Please indicate that you are familiar with plagiarism by printing and signing the statement on “The Use of Sources in Writing Research Papers." This statement can be found on the History Department web page. Please attach the signed sheet to your paper.
Class Preparation: This is a reading INTENSIVE course. We will discuss the readings on the day they are assigned. The class participation part of your grade will be based largely on your ability to answer questions and speak informatively on the assigned readings. Students are also encouraged to re-write their notes from the preceding class before the start of the day's lecture and discussion. Time spent preparing for class will vary from student to student depending upon prior instruction in history, year in college, and natural aptitude. Nevertheless, I have found that the more time students put into the class the more they get out of it and the higher grades they get in it. On average, students hoping to attain an "A" should spend a minimum of 9 hours outside of class each week doing the reading, preparing for discussion, and writing. Students seeking a "B" should plan on 6 outside hours of work. Students seeking a "C" or to get a satisfactory mark from the instructor should spend 3 hours per week outside of class.
Textbook: Phillip Jenkins' A History of the United States has been selected as the textbook for this course. The textbook may be purchased at the Rowan Bookstore.
Course Reader: The reader contains a specific set of primary documents for discussion in nearly every class period. Students should read these documents carefully. Be prepared to respond to specific questions from the instructor about the content of the documents. Consider their relation and significance to the current topics being covered in lecture. The reader is available both in hardcopy and online via Campbell Library’s Course Reserves.
Texts: The following books are required reading for the class. They must be read by the date listed in the syllabus. Failure to do so will seriously undermine the scheduled classroom discussion. Between the texts listed below and outside reading, students should be prepared to READ 100 PAGES EACH WEEK for this class. Total reading for the fifteen-week class will be approximately 1500 pages. The following works may be purchased at the Bookstore.
David McCullough, 1776 Anthony F. C. Wallace, The Long, Bitter Trail.
Essay Evaluation: All essays (papers and exam answers) will be graded on the following criteria: organization (introduction with thesis, supporting paragraphs with topic sentences and examples, and a conclusion that restates the thesis), clarity of language (clear and simple language, including appropriate use of grammar), content (strong, yet balanced, argument with well-chosen and historically accurate examples), and power of argument (forcefulness and creativity of the paper's conclusions).
Week by Week Schedule
1: September 3 (W): Introduction to the Course
2: September 8 (M): Europe, Africa, and America before 1500 A.D.
Reserve Reading: Jared Diamond, “The Ancient Ones”