Fall 2004 | University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Prof. Watson Jennison | Email: wwjennis@uncg.edu | Office: McIver 208 | Phone: 336-334-5488
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Wednesdays, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

HIS 211: The United States to 1865
Course Syllabus

Go To: August | September | October | November | December

For many years, historians focused on statesmen and other great men as the sole agents of change in American history. This course shifts focus to ordinary Americans and their efforts to shape their own history and the history of their nation. The goals of this course are to introduce students to the controversies, trends, events, and actors in the first half of American history and to familiarize students with the analytical skills employed in the study of history.

Course Requirements: The requirements for this course include assigned readings for each class, periodic assignments and quizzes on the assigned readings, two papers, and two exams.

Sections: Students are required to sign up for a discussion section. Attendance in section each week is mandatory. The sections are scheduled as follows:

Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., McIver 140
Thursdays, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., McIver 230A
Thursdays, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., McIver 140
Fridays, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., McIver 230A

Assigned Readings: The assigned textbook for this course, Ayers et al, American Passages, is available in the University Bookstore. Additional readings are on blackboard, e-reserves, and the internet. These readings will be linked to the Syllabus on Blackboard and listed under Course Documents on Blackboard as they become available. The assigned reading list may undergo minor changes, including the addition of primary source readings; students should be sure to consult the most current version of the Syllabus on Blackboard under Course Information.

Participation, Short Assignments, and Quizzes (20%): Participation in discussion is mandatory. Students should be prepared to discuss the readings on the day that they are assigned. Attendance alone is not sufficient for full participation credit. Students will be given brief in-class and take-home writing and research assignments based on the assigned readings. Students will also be periodically quizzed on readings and lectures.

Paper (20% each): Students are required to write two papers, one due on September 13 and one due on November 8.

Exams (20% each): There will be two exams in this class: one midterm on October 6 and one final exam on December 6. Both exams will include identifications and essays.

Attendance and Late Policy: You are allowed three absences. After three absences, you will receive a zero for participation for that day. In addition, students will be dropped from the class for excessive absences. It is your responsibility to make up assignments and quizzes missed during your absences. Assignments and quizzes which are not completed, for whatever reason, will receive zeroes. Assignments submitted in class are due at the beginning of the class period. Students who submit assignments after the deadline will be penalized with a grade deduction based on the lateness of the assignment. No assignments will be accepted one week after the due date. Assignments submitted by email, which are, for whatever reason, unreadable, will not be counted as turned in and will be penalized a grade deduction until the student submits a hard copy or a readable electronic version. If a student submits an assignment by email or leaves an assignment in the professor's mailbox, it is the student's responsiblity to check that the professor has received the assignment.

Plagiarism Policy: The University defines plagiarism as "intentionally or knowingly representing the words of another, as one's own in any academic exercise."1 (See the University's Academic Integrity Policies for further information.) All sources (books, articles, documents, internet sites, etc.) used in any paper or assignment must be properly cited or will be considered plagiarism. Any instance of plagiarism will receive a zero and will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for appropriate action, including suspension or expulsion from the University.

Week 1:

01: Monday, August 16: Introduction

02: Wednesday, August 18: Precontact

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 1
  • Article: Douglas Preston, "Cannibals of the Canyon," New Yorker, November 30, 1998, pp. 76-89 on blackboard
  • Tutorial: UNCG Library, Chapter 7: From Research to Writing, First Steps: An Explorer's Guide to Research

03: Sections

Week 2:

04: Monday, August 23: Creating the Atlantic World

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 2
  • Primary Sources: Christopher Columbus, The Diario of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America, 1492-1493, on blackboard; Bernal Diaz del Castillo, The Conquest of New Spain, 1632, on blackboard; Mexican Accounts of Conquest from the Florentine Codex, c. 1547, on blackboard; Bartolomé de Las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account, 1542, on blackboard

05: Wednesday, August 25: Invasion of North America

  • Article: T. H. Breen and Stephen Innes, "Seventeenth-Century Virginia's Forgotten Yeomen: The Free Blacks," Virginia Cavalcade, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Summer 1982), pp. 10-19 on blackboard
  • Primary Sources: John Winthrop, "But What Warrant Have We To Take That Land" (1629) on internet, John Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity" (1630) on internet, and "The Examination of Anne Hutchinson at the Court of Newton" (1637) on internet

06: Sections

Week 3:

07: Monday, August 30: Colonial America: New England

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 3
  • Primary Sources: Examination of Susannah Martin, May 2, 1692, on internet

    Note: The examination of Martin takes place with court officials and the accusers present. The questionner is generally the court official. The accusers (the possessed) claim to be injured or afflicted by Martin's presence.

    To Access: If you are having trouble accessing this document, right-click on the above link OR cut and past the following URL into your web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc): http://wyllie.lib.virginia.edu:8086/perl/toccer-new?id=BoySal2.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/oldsalem&tag=public&part=203&division=div2

08: Wednesday, September 1: Colonial America: Chesapeake

  • Article: Edmund Morgan, "Toward Slavery," in American Slavery, American Freedom, 1975, on blackboard
  • Primary Sources: Equiano's Autobiography, 1793 on internet

    Note: The events described by Equiano in this excerpt occurred c. 1756. If you have trouble accessing this link, cut and paste the following address into your internet browser: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1h320t.html

09: Sections

Week 4:

10: Monday, September 6: Labor Day Holiday

No Class

11: Wednesday, September 8: Colonial America: Lowcountry

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 4
  • Article: Robert Olwell, "'Loose, Idle and Disorderly': Slave Women in the Eighteenth Century Charleston Marketplace," in More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas on blackboard
  • Primary Source: Darien Anti-Slavery Petition of 1739 on blackboard

12: Sections

Week 5:

13: Monday, September 13: Breaking the Ties

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 5
  • Primary Sources: North Carolina Regulators, 1769, on internet
  • First paper due at beginning of class.

14: Wednesday, September 15: Forging a New Nation

  • Article: Edmund Morgan, "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox," Journal of American History, Vol. 59, No. 1. (Jun., 1972), pp. 5-29 on jstor or blackboard

15: Sections

Week 6:

16: Monday, September 20: Stabilizing the Union

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 6
  • Primary Sources: Cato's Letters No. 3 on internet and The Federalist, No. 10, on blackboard

17: Wednesday, September 22: "We the People"

  • Article: Linda Kerber, "The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment-An American Perspective," American Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 2, Special Issue: An American Enlightenment (Summer, 1976), pp. 187-205 on jstor or blackboard

18: Sections

Week 7:

19: Monday, September 27: The American Revolution in the Atlantic Context

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 7

20: Wednesday, September 29: Rousing Anger in the Backcountry

  • Article: Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau, "The Whiskey Rebellion in Kentucky: A Forgotten Episode of Civil Disobedience," Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Autumn, 1982), pp. 239-259 on blackboard

21: Sections

Week 8:

22: Monday, October 4: Acquiring the West

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 8

23: Wednesday, October 6: Midterm Exam

24: Sections

Week 9:

25: Monday, October 11: Fall Break

No Class

26: Wednesday, October 13: Westward Expansion

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 9
  • Primary Sources: TBA

27: Sections

Week 10:

28: Monday, October 18: Jacksonian Era

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 10
  • Primary Sources: TBA

29: Wednesday, October 20: Indian Removal

  • Article: Joel W. Martin, "Cultural Contact and Crises in the Early Republic: Native American Religious Renewal, Resistance, and Accommodation," in Frederick E. Hoxie et al, eds., Native Americans and the Early Republic, (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999), pp. 226-258 on blackboard

30: Sections

Week 11:

31: Monday, October 25: Antebellum North

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 11
  • Primary Sources: TBA

32: Wednesday, October 27: Antebellum South

  • Article: Brenda Stevenson, "Distress and Discord in Virginia Slave Families, 1830-60," in In Joy and In Sorrow: Women, Family, and Marriage in the Victorian South, 1830-60, pp. 103-124 on blackboard

33: Sections

Week 12:

34: Monday, November 1: The Mexican War and Manifest Destiny

  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 12
  • Primary Sources: TBA

    35: Wednesday, November 3: Reforming the Nation

    • Article: Christine Stansell, "Women on the Town: Sexual Exchange and Prostitution," City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860, (New York: Knopf, 1986), pp. 171-192 on blackboard

    36: Sections

    Week 13:

    37: Monday, November 8: The Debate Over Slavery

    • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 13, pp. 380-393
    • Primary Sources: TBA
        • Second paper due at beginning of class.

        38: Wednesday, November 10: Secession

        • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 13, pp. 394-406
        • Primary Sources: TBA

              39: Sections

              Week 14:

              40: Monday, November 15: Descent to War

              • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 14
              • Primary Sources: TBA

                  41: Wednesday, November 17: On the Homefront

                  • Article: James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 9-46 on blackboard

                  42: Sections

                  Week 15:

                  43: Monday, November 22: War's End

                  • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 15
                  • Primary Sources: Spotswood Rice to "My Children," September 3, 1864, and Spotswood Rice to Kittey Diggs, September 3, 1864, on internet

                      44: Wednesday, November 24: Thanksgiving Holiday

                      No Class

                      45: Sections: Thanksgiving Holiday

                      No Class

                      Week 16:

                      46: Monday, November 29: Presidential Reconstruction

                      • Textbook: Ayers et al, American Passages, Chapter 16
                      • Primary Sources: TBA

                          47: Wednesday, December 1: The Rise and Fall of Congressional Reconstruction

                          • Article: Martha Hodes, "The Sexualization of Reconstruction Politics: White Women and Black Men in the South after the Civil War," in American Sexual Politics: Sex, Gender, and Race since the Civil War, pp. 59-74 on blackboard
                          • Primary Sources: TBA

                                48: Sections

                                Week 17:

                                49: Monday, December 6: Final Exam


                                1 http://studentconduct.uncg.edu/policy/academicintegrity/violation/plagiarism/

                                Last Modified Sunday, August 25, 2004