History 110: United States History
Discovering Freedom in American

Dr Thomas J. Humphrey
Rhodes Tower 1938
Office Hourse: MW 11:00 am to 12:00, and by appointment

Course Goals: This course is designed to give students an understanding of significant ideas, events, and themes that shape our changing notion of freedom, independence, and citizenship. These concepts have historical antecedents that fundamentally shape how we view the various people who have inhabited North America from the late fifteenth through the end of the twentieth century. At the same time, those people shaped and changed the meanings of these ideas, expanding and contracting them at various points over the past five hundred years. In the twenty first century, these notions inform how citizens of the United States present themselves to others, and affect how people outside view the people who live in the United States. To investigate these themes, this course focuses on one question: What is citizenship? By tracing how that definition changes over time, we will also discover how the meaning, and meanings, of "American" likewise changed.

During the course, students will improve their analytic skills by handling the primary and secondary sources that will enable them to begin to investigate the question that guides this course. Students will also enhance their ability to judge conflicting material, and will improve their writing skills. They will do so while gaining a comprehensive understanding of the colonial organization of North America, the development of the United States from a weak nation into an imperial superpower, changes in race relations, and the transition to industrial and then to imperial capitalism.

Book Purchases:

Harriet Wilson, Our Nig.
Thomas Bell, Out of This Furnace.
Alan Taylor, American Colonies.
Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi.
Eric Foner,The Story of American Freedom.


All assignments, everything, is to be handed directly to the professor by the student who completes the project. Late material will only be accepted in extreme circumstances. Grades are figured in the traditional way (90-100=A; 87.5-89=B+; 83-87=B; 80-82.5=B-, and so on).

Questions: Each week, students will answer questions related to the readings. These questions are designed to help students understand the reading, and to make sure students keep up with the readings. I will randomly collect five sets of questions. Each set of questions will be worth 10 points. Students who fail to hand in these questions will not succeed in the class.

Papers: Students will write four short papers during the course. These papers will be based on the books and other primary sources students will read for the class. Although each paper will deal specifically with the book in question, the papers must also place each topic into historical context. Each paper should be five pages, double-spaced, with normal margins, and typescript (typed). Each paper is worth 25 points, and failure to hand in a paper will likely result in a very poor grade for the course. The topics proposed below are starting points. We will discuss what these papers should examine in greater detail in class.

Final Examination: For the final exam, students will write a 10 to 12 page essay in which they explain the changing nature of citizenship in North America from the early seventeenth century through the early years of the twenty first century. This paper will be due in class during the time of period assigned for the final exam. The final paper is worth 100 points. Students who fail to hand in a final paper will fail the course.

The FINAL EXAM IS 10 December 2008, 8:30 am to 10:30 am.

Statement on plagiarism: Using someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. "Ideas or phrasing" includes written or spoken material, of course — from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases — but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc. "Someone else" can mean a professional source, such as a published writer or critic in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, or journal; an electronic resource such as material we discover on the World Wide Web; another student at our school or anywhere else; a paper-writing "service" (online or otherwise) which offers to sell written papers for a fee.

Source: Capitol Community College's guide to plagiarism (based on the MLA style): http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/plagiarism.shtml.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)

This course offers Supplemental Instruction for students who wish to participate. An SI Leader has been assigned to this course and will hold regular sessions out of class time to allow students to review material discussed in class, discuss and add to lecture notes, apply reading comprehension strategies, get help with assignments, prepare for quizzes, and prepare papers. These regular sessions have been scheduled for the following times:

MC 110L
      M: 4:15-5:30
      W: 3-4:00
      F: 2-3:00

Students who cannot make these times but wish to make use of Supplemental Instruction should contact the SI Leader or the Tutoring and Academic Success Center at 216 687 2012, or at tutoring@csuohio.edu

    Arts and Humanities
        1.  Courses must be offered at the 100/200 level in an arts and humanities discipline including but not limited to English, History, Philosophy, Art History, Music History, Religious Studies, or Modern Languages.  Courses offered in other disciplines may be approved if they meet the other conditions indicated below.
        2.  Courses must provide students with background knowledge and analytical skills that will allow them to:
            a.    Demonstrate understanding of how human beings interpret, translate, and represent diverse experiences of the world through language, literature, the historical record, philosophical systems, images, sounds, and performances.
            b.    Apply that understanding to the study of the human condition, cultural heritage, cultural artifacts, creativity, and history.

To qualify in the skill area of writing a course must:
    1.    Designate that at least 15% of the student’s grade in the course is based on an evaluation of writing. 
    2.    Include writing assignments that directly relate to the course goals.
    3.    Include instruction in writing-to-learn and/or writing-to-communicate.  While writing-to-learn emphasizes the student’s experience, writing-to-communicate highlights the reader’s experience.  Both are necessary to produce a thoughtful text that observes academic writing’s conventions. 
    4.    Require that students write a total of 2,000 words (8 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1” margins) in multiple assignments.
    5.    Assign writing throughout the semester.

Critical Thinking
To qualify in the skill area of critical thinking a course must:
    1.    Designate that at least 15% of the student’s grade in the course is based on an evaluation of critical thinking.
    2.    Require students to attain skills beyond lower-level knowledge, thereby requiring:
        a.    higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation); OR
        b.    skills that involve the use of content knowledge (e.g. finding information to solve a problem); OR
        c.    the recognition of the importance and usefulness of knowledge and skills gained in the course (e.g. recognize the ability to and importance of working with others to solve intellectual problems).



Week 1: Indian-European Interactions
Readings: Taylor, 1, 2, and 3.
Questions 1. Due: 29 August.

Week 2: Land and Labor in North America
Readings: Taylor, 4, 5, and 6; Questions 2. Due: 5 September.


Week 4: Colonial Stability
Reading: Taylor, 10, 11, and 12
Questions 4. Due: 19 September.

Week 3: Religion in the English Colonies
Reading: Taylor, 7, 8, and 9; Hutchinson's Trial.
Questions 3. Due: 12 September.

Week 6: The Constitution and New Nation
Readings: Foner, 1, 2, and 3.
Questions 6. Due: 3 October

Week 5: Independence
Readings: Taylor, 13, 14, and 15.
Original Draft of the Delcaration of Independence (July 1776).Questions 5. Due: 26 September.

Week 7: The Divided Nation
Readings: Our Nig.
Questions 7. Due: 10 October.

Week 8: The Civil and Uncivil War
Readings: Foner, 4, 5.

Week 9: Reconstruction and Jim Crow
Readings: Foner, 6.
Questions 9. Due: 24 October.

Week 10: Industrialization
Readings: Out of This Furnace.
Please prepare a summary of this book and its characters for Friday. 31 October.

Week 12: The Hot and Cold Wars
Readings: Foner, 10, 11, and 12.
Questions 12. Due: 14 November.

Week 11: Progressives and the Decline of Capitalism
Readings: Foner, 7, 8, and 9.
Questions 11. Due: 7 November.

Week 14: The Divided Nation

Week 13: Civil Rights.
Readings: Coming of Age in Mississippi.

Questions 13. Due: 21 November.

Week 15: The New Conservatism
Readings: Foner, 13.
Questions 15. Due: 5 December.