American Heritage - Essay

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American Heritage 1 – Colonial Period to 1877
History 170, Section 2 – Brooklyn – Tuohy 309
T Th 1:40-3:05

-Mr. Peter Maust
-Office Hours in Brooklyn: Tue-Thu 11:15-12:30 or by appointment -Office: History Department, 5th floor, St. Joseph’s Hall [256 Clinton Ave.]

This is an introduction to U.S. history from the 1400’s to the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Students are expected to be prepared and participate in class.

➢ There may be changes or additions in these readings and the schedule. All changes will be announced in class and updated on the Blackboard website. You are responsible for keeping track of any changes, updating your syllabus, and doing the required assignments.

Course Themes:
1) “American Exceptionalism”
2) Opportunity and Progress
3) Agency
4) Diversity
5) Liberty vs. Power

Three Prime Questions for Students of History:
1) What happened? (Describe what occurred and when)
2) Why did it happen? (What were the causes?)
3) Was what happened good or bad? (What were the effects?)

Book (required): Mary Beth Norton, Carol Sheriff, et. al. A People and a Nation, Volume 1: to 1877 (8th ed.); ISBN: 061-894-7167 This book is also on reserve at the library for 2 hours at a time.

Course Objectives:
1) Students will increase their ability to closely read and understand historical materials. 2) Students will hone their ability to make persuasive arguments by using historical evidence while making presentations and facilitating class discussions, participating in regular class interchanges, and writing essays for two examinations. 3) Class and online discussions will encourage critical thinking & sharpen student’s ability to speak and communicate effectively. 4) Written assignments and composing presentations for the class will develop & test student’s competencies with regard to information literacy.

1) Students will understand the chronology and historical developments in North America and the United States from 1492-1877. 2) Students will be able to identify and explain several important and recurrent themes in American history. 3) Students will learn to connect occurrences during this time period with earlier and later historical developments and make arguments both the continuities & changes in society.

-Attendance, class preparation and participation (15%)[1]
-Class presentation and assisting class discussion (20%)
-Quiz (10%) – Sept.
-Exam (25%) – Nov. 10
-Final Exam (30%)

Students are required to respond to two questions and to post three questions of their own on the Blackboard course website once during the semester at The students who are assigned for the week will also lead and facilitate in-class discussion during all classes for that week. On the Blackboard website, students will make detailed answers (two paragraphs – at least seven detailed sentences each to two questions) in response to questions posted by the instructor. For their assigned week, students must: 1) Closely read the required assignment, view any assigned videos and respond to the discussion questions on Blackboard before the first class of that week. 2) After reading the assignment for the week, respond (at least 7 sentences each) to at least two of the instructor’s questions on Blackboard by Tuesday at 8AM. 3) If for some reason you are unable to access Blackboard, you must submit a printed version of your questions and responses to the instructor at the first class of the week. 4) You should first respond to any questions that have not already been answered, and then you may post an additional response to another question. If you respond to a question that has already been answered and there are still “open” questions, 10 points will be deducted from your score. 5) Responses should refer specifically to course material (please cite the page...
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