American Civ I Syllabus Spring 2014

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1418 IDS 2133 American Civ I
Spring 2014
MWF 11:15-12:15
Davis 224

James Finck, Ph.D.
Davis Hall 219B
574-1229
jfinck@usao.edu

Office Hours:
 

Jennifer Long, Ph.D.
Troutt Hall 217
574-1217
jlong@usao.edu

Office Hours: MWF 8-8:30; TTh 8-11 and 1-2:30

 

Course Description

American Civ I explores the backgrounds of the American nation by considering the government; values; religious, social and political concerns; and creative expressions experienced by the its people from the time of European contact until the conclusion of the Civil War. This is much more than a history class. We'll certainly discuss "typical" history topics such as wars, presidents, the Constitution, who did what when, and why the Senate is different from the House of Representatives. But there's so much more to understanding the character of a nation and the people who live there. We'll read and discuss poetry; examine fine art; talk about the lives of famous and not-so-famous people; talk about the importance of paper money and why Andrew Jackson wanted to burn it all; read some fire-and-brimstone sermons consider the importance of race and class in the American story; try to figure out why they South is so different from the North, and why the West is different from both. The two professors will sometimes present different interpretations of events and ideas, and we encourage you to disagree as well.  At its heart, the purpose of this class is to encourage you to think critically about the past, and how it relates to our present and our future.

American Civ and the IDS Curriculum

This course is part of USAO’s unique interdisciplinary Core Curriculum, and thus has a larger purpose apart from disseminating information about the United States from 1865 to the present day. Indeed, the specific content itself will change from semester to semester and from section to section depending on the faculty who are part of the teaching team. The objectives of this—and all IDS courses—are larger, more complex, and much more significant. We aim to produce students who will learn and use the skills of critical thinking, enabling them to become good consumers, questioners, and analyzers of information; develop a life-long love of learning; and appreciate the value of multiple perspectives in understanding and analyzing complex issues.

Because each IDS course shares these common goals, the Core Curriculum is an integrated whole. We encourage students to move through the Core in its prescribed order, from courses that deal with the Individual, and then broaden into the Natural World, the Community and the Nation, and finally the World of Ideas. The Skills Courses (including Writing, Rhetoric and Mathematics) should be completed before the student begins the sophomore-level IDS courses, as these skills are imperative to success there and beyond. (For more information about the IDS Core Curriculum, see the IDS webpage at  /usao-ids).

American Civ has more specific goals as well. We aim to produce students who will think critically about American culture; understand the myriad ways that history informs the present; make connections between the social, cultural, political, and economic realms of the American system; and understand how culture affects individual Americans, and how individual Americans have contributed to and changed American history.

Textbook and Readings

Reading the assignments carefully and thoroughly is essential for success in this course. You are expected to have read the day’s assignment before coming to class, or lecture will not be productive for you. But once won't be enough for full understanding—you should be prepared to reread the assignments after we discuss them in class, and to return previously discussed readings as new ideas present themselves. Reading assignments are listed on the class schedule below. And remember that while you do not have to agree with every idea you read, it is your job to understand them.

 * American Destiny: Narrative of a Nation, Carnes and Garraty. Available in the USAO bookstore

* Articles linked through the syllabus

 Assignments

Writing Assignments

Students will submit outlines of assigned readings to turnitin.com by 10am on the dates listed below. You are to outline the assigned reading, carefully identifying the thesis and the supporting arguments. 

Outline 1          Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Outline 2          Common Sense

Outline 3          Fed #10 OR Fed #1

Outline 4          Washington's Farewell Address

Outline 5          Jefferson on Slavery

Outline 6          Self-Reliance

Outline 7          Declaration of Sentiments

Outline 8          Lincoln's First Inaugural

Outline 9          John Brown's speech

Outline 10        Lincoln's Second Inaugural


turnitin.com class id: 7471556

turnitin.com class password: Jackson

Exams

 You will be tested on your knowledge of American Civ with three exams, on the dates listed below. The exams will be a mixture of short answer and essay questions, and will cover topics addressed in class as well as the assigned readings.

Grading

10 outlines @ 10 points each                100 points
First Exam                                            100 points                   
Second Exam                                        100 points
Final Exam                                           120 points

Final grades will be calculated as a percentage of the 420 total possible points.

Tentative Schedule (check here often, as more readings may be posted or rearranged)

Tentative Course Schedule

Date

Topic

Reading/Assignments

F 1-10

Introduction

 

M 1-13

Early Interactions

Text Chs. 1 and 2

W 1-15

Early Interactions

 

Text Chs. 1 and 2
Phillis Wheatley poems:

"On Being Brought from Africa to America" and

"To The University of Cambridge, in New-England"

F 1-17

British Colonial System

 

Outline 1 due
Text Ch. 3

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

M 1-20

British Colonial System

Text Ch. 3

W 1-22

British Colonial System

 

Text Ch. 3

F 1-24

Revolution

Outline 2 due
Text Ch. 4

M 1-27

Revolution

Text Ch. 4
Common Sense

W 1-29

Revolution

Text Ch. 4

The Declaration

F 1-31

New Republic

 

Outline 3 due
Text Ch. 5

Federalist #1 and #10

Philadelphia Story: Prof. Ellis on Constitutional Compromise

M 2-3

New Republic

 

Text Ch. 5

The Constitution

W 2-5

New Republic

 

Text Ch. 5

Washington’s Farewell Address

F 2-7

 

First Exam

M 2-10

Jeffersonian America

 

Text Ch. 6

Jefferson and Separation of Church and State

W 2-12

Era of Good Feelings

 

Text Ch. 7

F 2-14

Era of Good Feelings

 

Outline 4 due
Text Ch. 7

M 2-17

Economic Growth

 

Text Ch. 8

The Devil and Tom Walker

W 2-19

Economic Growth

 

Text Ch. 8

Thomas Jefferson on Slavery

F 2-21

Jacksonian America

 

Outline 5 due
Text Ch. 9

M 2-24

Jacksonian America

Text Ch. 9

W 2-26

Jacksonian America

Text Ch. 9

F 2-28

Middle Class America

Outline 6 due
Text Ch. 10

Self-Reliance

 

 

 

M 3-3

Middle Class America

 

Text Ch. 10

Declaration of Sentiments

W 3-5

Middle Class America

Text Ch. 10

F 3-7

 

Second Exam

M 3-10

Westward Expansion

 

Text Ch. 11

Life in the Rocky Mountains

W 3-12

Westward Expansion

Text Ch. 11

F 3-14

Sectionalism

Outline 7 due
Text Ch. 12

Spring Break

 

 

M 3-24

Sectionalism

Text Ch. 12

W 3-36

Sectionalism

Text Ch. 12

F 3-28

Coming of the War

 

Outline 8 due
Text Ch. 13

Lincoln’s First Inaugural

M 3-31

Coming of the War

Text Ch. 13

John Brown’s trial speech

W 4-2

Coming of the War

Text Ch. 13

F 4-4

Civil War

Outline 9 due
Text Ch. 14

M 4-7

Civil War

 

Text Ch. 14

Gettysburg Address

W 4-9

Civil War

 

Text Ch. 14

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

F 4-11

Civil War

Outline 10 due
Text Ch. 14
Walt Whitman poetry

M 4-14

Reconstruction

Text Ch. 15

W 4-16

Reconstruction

Text Ch. 15

F 4-18

Reconstruction

Text Ch. 15

M 4-21

 

 

F 4-25

Final Exam 10:00-11:30

 

 

 Attendance

It is your decision whether to attend class or not. Attendance will be taken periodically. While you will  not be penalized directly for missing class, no make-up exams  are given, and you are responsible for all information disseminated in any classes that you miss. Additionally, attendance will help (or hurt) those students who are "on the margin" for final grades.

Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

Cell phones, laptops, and other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging and noise-making electronic things must be turned OFF during class and kept out of sight. Because of the potential for distraction (for you and those sitting around you), laptops use is not allowed in class. (Exceptions can be made only in the case of a documented accommodation need. Please inform the instructors if this is the case).

 We know you think that you can listen to lecture, check your Facebook, take notes, text your friends about where to meet for lunch, formulate intelligent questions, read your email, participate in class discussion and listen to your iPod all at the same time, but you can't. Lots of good research tells us that multitasking detracts from the learning experience and can actually make you dumber (see, for example, "The Myth of Multi-Tasking" athttp://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-myth-of-multitasking).

Be fully present in the classroom; treat class as a one hour refuge from all the other electronic demands in your life. You might find that all those pressing demands on your time—all those incoming texts, all the new Facebook statuses, all the waiting messages—really aren’t all that urgent. You might even find that the electronic silence gives you a calm space in which to really think and learn.

That said, if your cell phone or other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging or noise-making electronic thing goes off in class, you will be asked to leave. If you're texting or emailing or checking your Facebook in class, you'll be asked to leave.

 Email Policy

When you send an email to either instructor, you must CC the other professor as well.

 Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this or any other class on campus. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: Plagiarism, Fabrication, Cheating, and Forgery and Altering Documents. All instances of dishonesty will be result in penalty without exception. The maximum penalty for the first offense is a grade of "F" for the course  and the incident will be reported to the Academic Vice President for inclusion in the student's permanent university file. A second and all subsequent offenses (in any course across the university) may result in the student's expulsion from the university. A full explanation of the University's Academic Code of Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook, pages 9-11. We're really not kidding about this. Don't cheat. We mean it.

ADA Statement

According to the ADA, each student with a disability is responsible for notifying the University of his/her disability and requesting accommodations. If you think you have a qualified disability and need classroom accommodations, contact the office of Student Services located on the third floor of the Student Center.  Please advise the professor of your disability as soon as possible, to ensure timely implementation of appropriate accommodations. Faculty have an obligation to respond when they receive official notice of a disability from Student Services but are under no obligation to provide retroactive accommodations.  To receive services, you must submit appropriate documentation and complete an intake process during which the existence of a qualified disability is verified and reasonable accommodations are identified.  Call 405-574-1278 for more information.

Writing Center (Nash 306)

The Writing Center is a free resource for all writers at USAO.  They aim to create a friendly and welcoming environment in which students feel comfortable voicing their concerns about their writing.  They work with writers to help them learn how to become more competent and confident in their written work.   The Writing Center’s purpose is educational; it supports the academic mission of USAO.  The tutors are not proofreaders or editors.  They are trained peer tutors who are there to offer advice and feedback to writers who have particular concerns.   Stop by Nash 306 for more information.