HISTORY 101-I01 U.S. History to 1865

 Three Semester Hours

Fall 2007



Dr. Squy G. Wallace



McMullen Hall (MH # 113B)

Phone 753-2171; FAX 753-2131

Course Link Website:


Office Hours:

1:00-2:00 PM Monday & Wednesday; 4:00-5:00 PM

Monday & Wednesday; or by appointment



America Past and Present (Brief 7th ed.) by Divine et al.

ISBN: 0-321-42180-9

A Midwife’s Tale, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; ISBN 0-679-73376-0

Company Aytch, or, A Side Show of the Big Show, by Sam

 Watkins; ISBN 0-452-28124-5


Catalog Description:

Survey of U.S. political, social, economic, diplomatic, and cultural development from colonial times to Reconstruction.  When taken with History 102 satisfies the United States Constitution requirement.  Prerequisite: ENG 101 reading level.  (3 + 0)


Course Description:

History 101 covers the period from the first settlement of the North American continent through the Civil War.  As with most history classes, it relies on a knowledge of dates, events, trends, and people in the past.  However, the “whos” and “whens” of history are important because they help to reveal the “whys” and “hows”--why events happened and how these events are related.  The history of the United States is the story of greatness (the Constitution and Bill of Rights) as well as of cruelty (the treatment of blacks and Indians); both positive and negative aspects will be discussed in the interest of an honest assessment of American society during its first two centuries.


Student Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the student will:



ü      demonstrate a knowledge of the important dates, events and movements of American history to 1865, and understand some of the differing interpretations of those facts;

o       Measurement:  quizzes, exam scores



ü      Be able to make connections and see relationships between historic and current events and movements; and

o       Measurement:  essay questions on exams




ü      Better understand the work of historians and the writing of history.

o       Measurement:  writing assignments evaluated by appropriate rubric




Method of Instruction:  This course is conducted completely online through WebCampus.


Assignments and Expectations:


Reading and Writing:  Students who enroll in History 101 are expected to keep up with the assigned reading schedule.  Regular quizzes over the reading will allow students to practice their recall of names, dates, and events before the scheduled exams.  Exams will consist of a combination of multiple choice and essay questions; there are three exams which will occur approximately every five weeks.  Students will also be asked to write two short papers which will give them practice in the methods of historical writing, such as synthesis and analysis.


Expectations for Written Work: Writing in history courses follows the same standards for correct grammar and good writing used in English courses.  For this reason, this syllabus includes a copy of Grading Standards for College Writing developed by the GBC English Department that shows what qualities writing should have in order to receive an A. Students not taking an English course may want to invest in a handbook such as SF Writer which is available in the bookstore.


Book Review.  Book reviews are due on October 7 and November 18, 2007.  Here are the submission guidelines:


1.  Use either APA or MLA style formats for your paper.  I have a link on my website which gives you detailed guidance on the MLA format.  See the information at:


 2. Detailed guidance and an example of a well written historical book review is posted as an attachment to the assignment dropbox.


3. Submit your book review to for review at least two weeks before it is due.  Review comments from the tutors and make corrections to your paper before submitting it in the WebCampus drop box.


4.  Submit BOTH your tutor’s markup copy AND your final report in the WebCampus drop box before the due date.


5.  Submit your report in MS WordDO NOT submit your paper in WordPerfect, MS Works, or other word processing program.  If you don’t know which word processing program you are using, ask someone for help! I can open and read ONLY MS Word documents (.doc file).  If I can’t read your document, you get NO CREDIT for your work.  Every semester at least ONE student earns a “0” grade on his or her book review for failing to follow these instructions!  If you have questions about this requirement please contact me well in advance of the submission date.


6.  All submissions must be your original work.  Read and heed the GBC statement on academic dishonesty in the General Catalog and the discussion on plagiarism at the end of this syllabus.  The penalties are severe and will be enforced.


7.  Your grade will be based on content, language usage, grammar, spelling, and format.  (Here is a word to the wise, run spell check on your report BEFORE you submit it.  Also, I recommend having someone proofread your work before it is submitted.) 


Expectations for Written Work:  Writing in history courses follows the same standards for correct grammar and good writing used in English courses. 


All papers must be submitted through your WebCampus account. 


NOTE:  You will not be able to submit papers to your WebCampus account after the submission deadline has passed.  Failure to submit a paper in a timely manner will result in a grade of “0” for that assignment.  Please do not e-mail your report to me – I can’t put it in your drop box, only you can do that!


How to learn using this online course:


If you have not used WebCampus in a course at GBC, here are some tips that will help you:


1.  Successful students submit their work well before the closing date.  Don’t wait until 11:00 PM of the day work is due to submit your assignments or take quizzes/unit tests. 


2.  If you are submitting a response to an essay question, save your work frequently.  Some Internet Service Providers terminate user connections if data is not transmitted every 5 to 10 minutes. I highly recommend students take all major exams using a computer that has a DSL connection or a computer in the Library, High Tech Center, or at one of GBC’s branch or satellite campuses.


3. Skipping assignments, quizzes, or tests will lower your grade and make it difficult for you to complete the course.  Check assignment dates early in the week and ensure that you meet the schedule.


4. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (PPPPP)!  Plan ahead and work ahead.


To learn the most from this course you should follow these learning steps for each chapter:


1.  Read the Chapter Learning Objectives for each chapter before you do anything else.    (Note to the wise:  You may see one or more of these objectives phrased as essay questions later in this course.)


2.  View the PowerPoint slides to get an overview of the chapter.  (Successful students print the slides and use them as a note taker when they read the chapter.)


3.  Read the assigned Chapter in the America Past and Present.  Take notes on the topics and write your responses to each one of the Chapter Learning Objectives.  Your responses will be very helpful to you in preparing for the three unit tests.


4.  If you have questions, post them on the Discussion Board.  I will try to answer them as promptly as possible.


5.  Complete the quiz for the chapter before the closing date.  The quizzes consist of 10 Multiple Choice questions randomly drawn from a very large question database. Each time you take the quiz you will encounter a different set of ten multiple choice questions.  You may take the quizzes an unlimited number of times.  Your latest score will be retained in the grade book.  (A word to the wise, this question database is also used to create the unit tests so the more times you take the quizzes the better prepared you will be for the unit test.)


6. Review for major exams.  Although you will have access to your text and notes during the exams, you will not have enough time to look up the answers!  Don’t be lulled into thinking that you can “wing” the answers to the questions after you start the exam.  All exams are timed and you will be “timed out” of the exam when time expires.  If you do not clicked “Save” and then “Finish” BEFORE time expires you will have a blank response submitted which earns a grade of “0.”  Be prepared!


7. Read the two assigned supplemental books.  Don’t try a shortcut by “reading about” the book using reviews posted on the web.  Read the books and write your own report!  Don’t plagiarize!  I use “Turn It In” software to check all reports and I maintain a database of ALL reports previously submitted in ALL History courses at GBC. 


Evaluation and Grades:

Final grades for the course will be computed as follows:

Three exams, each 20%                                                           60%

Written assignments                                                                20%

Attendance, participation, and quiz grades*                          20%


*Quizzes will be based on readings. 


The table on the next page shows how different grade systems equate to each other.  Exams will be based on percentage scores, while essays will receive letter grades.  Students should be able to chart their progress by referring to this table.








Grade Point Value








95 - 100






90 - 94






87 - 89






83 - 86






80 - 82






77 - 79






73 - 76






70 - 72






67 - 69






63 - 66






60 - 62






Below 59.44


Withdrawals: Students who wish to withdraw from the course must do so by the end of the thirteenth week of the semester.  Withdrawal information is available through Student Services.  Students who do not officially withdraw will receive an F.


Incompletes: The Incomplete (I) is assigned in special circumstances (serious illness, death of a family member) when a student who has completed three-quarters of the course with a C or above cannot complete the course.  It must be arranged in advance with the instructor.


Grade Appeals: GBC has a standard procedure for grade appeals which is given in detail on page 50 of the GBC General Catalog 2006-2007.  Note that the first step is to meet with the instructor.


Policy of Academic Integrity:

GBC subscribes to the traditional policy of academic integrity:  Students are expected be honest.  That means that students are expected to do their own work.  In work that utilizes sources written by others, those sources must be given credit for exact words and ideas.  Students who plagiarize (copy the work of others and pass it off as their own.) are violating the standards of intellectual honesty and are subject to punishments ranging from failing the assignment to dismissal from the institution.  Students who assist other students to cheat or plagiarize are subject to the same disciplinary measures. See page 27 - 31 of the GBC General Catalog 2005 – 2007.  For additional information read the article on plagiarism at the end of this syllabus. 




Schedule for HIST 101-I01, Fall 2007 (This is a guide only and may be changed.)


Note that this is a tentative schedule.  Any changes will be discussed in class.  For greatest comprehension of the lecture and text material, students should complete the reading before it is covered in class.  The course will cover 15 chapters in America Past and Present, each about 20 pages in length.  Other readings will be assigned according to the schedule below.  The WebCampus quiz, exam, and assignments date take priority over this schedule.





See WebCampus for open and close dates

Aug 27 – Sep 2

Course Introduction, Overview


New World Encounters, Chapter 1

Chap 1 MC Quiz

Sep 3 – 9

The English Colonies, Chapter 2

Chap 2 MC Quiz

Sep 10 – 16

Putting Down Roots, Chapter 3

Chap 3 MC Quiz

Sep 17 – 23

Experience of Empire, Chapter 4

Chap 4 MC Quiz

Sep 24 - 30

The American Revolution, Chapter 5

Chap 5 MC Quiz

First Test covering Chapters 1 -5.


See WebCampus for open and close dates

Oct 1 - 7

The Republican Experiment, Chapter 6

Chap 6 MC Quiz

Oct 8 – 14

Democracy in Distress, Chapter 7

Chap 7 MC Quiz

Oct 15 – 21


Chap 8 MC Quiz


1st Book Review due

October 7, 2007. Submit in WebCampus dropbox.

Oct 22 - 28


Chap 9 MC Quiz

Oct 29 – Nov 4


Chap 10 MC Quiz

Nov 5 – 11



Second Test Covers Chapters 6-10


Chap 11 MC Quiz


See WebCampus for open and close dates

Nov 12 – 18


Chap 12 MC Quiz


2nd Book Review due

November 18, 2007. Submit in WebCampus dropbox.

Nov 19 – 25


Chap 13 MC Quiz

Nov 26 – Dec 2


Chap 14 MC Quiz

Dec 3 - 9


Chap 15 MC Quiz

December 10 - 14

Finals Week

Third test (Final Exam) covers Chapters 11-15

See WebCampus for open and close dates




History 101 – General Education Objectives with

Learner Outcomes and Measurements


Objective 1: Communication Skills–Strong


Communication skills are of critical importance in History 101 and the class strongly meets this objective through a variety of methods.  First, students develop acute listening and oral communication skills.  Not only do students have to assimilate a great deal of information from the historical narrative presented by the instructor (lecture is the basic format of the class) but also listen effectively to each other as questions are raised and discussions stimulated by their peers.  In these discussions students hone their oral communication skills as they grapple with new ideas.  Second, students sharpen their reading skills through the required texts and short supplemental readings left to the instructor’s discretion.  Historical textbooks are not easy reading and require a college level reading ability to digest the vast amounts of information and distill it into a usable form.  Third, students will learn writing skills.  While each instructors assignments vary, this element is always present in various forms: short free writes, short answer questions that require the ability to know not only the facts but also the significance of an event or person, large essay questions on the examinations that require the ability to synthesize vast amounts of material and present it in a concise essay format, book reviews, and formal papers.




Learner Outcomes

Dr. Wallace’s Measurements

(1)  Students will demonstrate communication skills during conduct of the course

Monitored through discussion board, essay responses, and reports.

(2)  Students will comprehend historical texts.

Performance on exams and in written assignments evaluated with appropriate rubrics.

(3)  Students will synthesize information from lectures, texts, and media.

Measured by exams and writing assignments.

(4)  Students will use appropriate academic formats and standard English.

Measured in writing assignments.


Objective 2: Critical Thinking–Moderate


Critical thinking is a vital process that students must develop in this class.  Reasoning and independent thought are significant parts of this class because students are required to examine this era of U.S. history and interpret it.  In class discussions, examinations, and papers students are asked to analyze and critically examine historical actors and their actions.   Many of these events are ambiguous and have different interpretations, so students must come to some sort of awareness that for some issues there are no simple answers and that all interpretations are not of equal merit.  This is what historians do.  Quantitative ability and scientific understanding are dealt with to some degree, though scientific understanding is the stronger of the two.  Scientific discovery and development play a vital role in the historical process and the history of science and the theoretical underpinnings of the scientific method are dealt with in the narrative of the course.  Quantitative ability is addressed to some degree through the broad use of statistics as historical evidence.  Students are made aware of the strengths and weaknesses of statistics through the examination of historical examples such as voting, immigration, settlement, and economic growth patterns.


Learner Outcomes

Dr. Wallace’s Measurements

(1)  Students will examine various interpretations of events in U.S. history to learn that, for some events and historical actors, opinions of historians differ.

Measured by exam essay questions evaluated by appropriate rubrics.

(2)  Students will apply inductive reasoning, also known as the scientific method, to historical interpretation.

Measured by students’ ability to write essay answers in which conclusions are based on and drawn from factual information and statistics based on rubrics designed for this purpose.


Objective 3: Personal and Cultural Awareness–Strong


            History 101 deals with all four elements in this objective to a significant degree.  This forces students to develop a strong sense of the individual in society.  This entire class is about the emergence of the democratic republic that is the United States, and how early Americans formulated the civil rights that we now take for granted as uniquely our own.   Students are also urged to see history from different perspectives (such as race, class, and gender) and to understand that different groups of Americans can interpret historical events very differently because of their different experiences and values.  This course obviously engenders a sense of the past, but it also produces a sense of accountability.  We explore the ramifications of past actions, such as slavery or industrial development, and evaluate the outcomes. Finally, this course strongly develops an appreciation of fine arts by stressing human creativity in high as well as popular culture.  Art, architecture, music, and literature from the monumental to the personal all are emblematic of cultural development and play a significant role in history.


Learner Outcomes

Dr. Wallace’s Measurements

(1)  Students will recognize the need for multiple perspectives in the study of U. S. History and the various cultures and groups that have contributed to our history.

Measured through relevant essay exam questions and monitored class discussion.

(2)  Students will identify the special role of diversity in the national experience of the past.

Measured through relevant essay exam questions and monitored class discussion.


Objective 4: Personal Wellness–Some Degree


History 101 meets the personal wellness objective to some degree by highlighting the historical development of reform movements that significantly affected our modern attitudes toward personal well being, cleanliness, and health.  Reform efforts such as the Temperance Movement, the Abolitionist Movement, and the Asylum and Prison Reform Movement all altered the ways in which Americans think about physical and mental health.  It is useful to see that modern standards of cleanliness and health are very different than past American concepts of these same issues.


Learner Outcomes

Dr. Wallace’s Measurements

(1)  Students will gain a perspective on present issues and events through knowledge of the past such as the “Columbian Exchange.”

Essay, exams, and written discussions.


Objective 5: Technological Understanding–Some Degree


History 101 fulfills the technological understanding objective because of the emphasis in the class on using technology as a writing and research tool.  Writing assignments are encouraged to be done using computer word processing and internet research is encouraged.  In addition, some instructors use supplemental primary source readings that are available on the internet.  By encouraging students to become more computer and internet literate, this class encourages technological understanding.



Learner Outcomes

Dr. Wallace’s Measurements

(1)  Students will demonstrate the ability to complete quizzes and exams online and submit written assignments in WebCampus drop boxes.

Students will learn to successfully use WebCampus computer technology.

(2)  Students will learn to access websites for primary resources and better understand the role of diversity

Students will demonstrate web skills.


Plagiarism – AVOID IT!


(With thanks to the Dr. Robert Griswold, University of Oklahoma)


Each student at Great Basin College is supposed to know what plagiarism is and to be aware that to plagiarize the work of another person is a serious academic offense.  This handout will give you some formal definitions of plagiarism but more important, it provides you with some concrete examples of writing which meet the definition of plagiarism so you can avoid plagiarism.


What is Plagiarism?[1]


Plagiarism: the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own, including:


1.  Directly quoting from another work without letting the reader know that the words are not your own.  In this case, the writer generally fails both to use quotation marks around the quoted passages and to mention the name of the original author of the words.


2.  Paraphrasing without attribution is another common form of plagiarism.  In this case, the student paraphrases the original passage, but the student does not give credit to the original author from whose work the paraphrase derived.


3.  Plagiarism can also be committed when a student paraphrases with or without attribution and in so doing uses much of the original wording, thereby passing off the original prose as the student's own.


4.  A more tricky case of plagiarism involves students who use entirely their own words but borrow the ideas, arguments, facts, or reasoning of another without giving attribution.  Such cases do not involve general knowledge--The Civil War started in 1861--but rather material that is not part of general knowledge but rather comes from the special efforts of the original author.


5.  Another form of plagiarism, which is simply fraud, is the submission of work under your name which is not yours.  Such work could be by another student, friend, or family member or by a company that writes papers for hire.  A number of companies on the Internet sell papers to students, and buying such a paper and submitting it as your own is a serious breach of academic honesty and a vile form of plagiarism.


In short, plagiarism consists of failure to give proper credit for ideas and writings that come from others, but some concrete examples will help clarify its meaning.


In order to avoid even unintentional plagiarism, here are two good rules to follow:


1.  Place anything you copy verbatim from another writer--whole sentences, phrases, and a single distinctive word--within quotation marks and identify the source of the quotation, normally in a footnote or an endnote.


2.  Always give credit for ideas that are not your own.  If you are summarizing the basic idea of an article you have read, give credit to the author for those ideas in a footnote or endnote.  You should do this even if you do not use any of the author's original words in writing your summary.  If you are uncertain whether or not to cite an author, the safest course to follow is to offer a citation.

As a rule, avoid an extensive use of quotations.  Papers should never be long quotations strung together with a few words of your own.  Use quotations only for the telling phrase, the unbeatable metaphor, the perfect description, or the controversial point of view that deserves expression in the original.  Most of what you take from other sources should be paraphrased, and it is at this point that many students get into trouble.  When paraphrasing, you must be certain that you express the ideas from your source in your own words.  You cannot change a few conjunctions or articles, throw in or cut out a few words here and there, alter the syntax a bit and pretend that it is your writing.  It is not.  The structure and most of the phraseology remains that of the author, and your paraphrase is a kind of plagiarism.  One basic rule might help: never take five consecutive words from a source without placing them within quotation marks.  Even fewer words, of course, should be placed in quotation marks if these words are distinctively the authors.


The following example will help you better understand plagiarism and thus avoid it: below you will find a quotation, followed by an improper and a proper example of paraphrasing.


The quotation: "Most of the time a child who knew no English would be placed in a "sink-or-swim," total-immersion class when first entering school.  After six months a student who did not "sink" would graduate to a class appropriate to his or her ability to cope with English.  Bilingualism was not an option, and as a result many of the children schooled under this policy recall that their initial experiences were intensely traumatic." (1)


1.  Selma Berrol, "Immigrant Children at School," in John Cary, et al., eds., The Social Fabric: American Life from the Civil War to the Present,  8th ed., vol.2 (New York: Longman, 1999): 111.


Paraphrasing that would be considered plagiarism: Much of the time, children who knew no English would find themselves in a "sink-or-swim" immersion class when entering school.  After a half-year, students who did not sink would join a class suitable to their ability to deal with English.  Bilingualism was not permitted, and therefore many children under this policy remember that they found school initially intensely traumatic.  (1)


1.  Selma Berrol, "Immigrant Children at School," in John Cary, et al., eds., The Social Fabric: American Life from the Civil War to the Present, 8th ed., vol.2 (New York: Longman, 1999): 111.


Proper paraphrasing:  Immigrant children who could not speak English often found schools a hostile environment. "Bilingualism," as Selma Berrol has observed, "was not an option," and thus immigrants often remembered their school days as anxious, frustrating times. (1)


1.  Selma Berrol, "Immigrant Children at School," in John Cary, et al., eds., The Social Fabric: American Life from the Civil War to the Present, 8th ed., vol. 2 (New York: Longman, 1999): 111.


The author of the improper example of paraphrasing does cite the Berrol argument, but the writing too closely tracks the original to escape the charge of plagiarism.  While many words are changed, many are not, and the structure, phrasing, and vocabulary too closely resemble the original.  Such a student would be guilty of committing plagiarism.  The second example is a true paraphrase.  Berrol's ideas are summarized accurately but in the writer's own words, and Berrol is properly quoted where appropriate via the use of quotation marks.  Note that the entire statement is covered by footnote 1.


Plagiarizing ideas:


Another form of plagiarism involves using your own language but appropriating someone else's ideas as your own.  Suppose, for example, you had been asked to write a paper on the experience of  immigrant children in American schools at the turn-of-the-century.  If you properly paraphrased Berrol (as above in the "proper" example) but gave her no credit in a footnote or endnote, you would be pretending that this analysis was based on your research, that these were your conclusions, and that these were your own ideas about immigrants and schooling.  But such is not the case.  Your words are really a proper paraphrase of Selma Berrol's ideas, conclusions she reached after extensive research on the history of immigrant children in U.S. schools.


Taking notes and avoiding plagiarism:


One of the easiest ways to fall into the trap of plagiarism--deliberate cheating aside--is to write your paper while you have library books and journals or the photocopies of such lying next to your computer.  If you write directly from the original authors' works, you may indulge, quite innocently, of improper paraphrasing, but such behavior is plagiarism nonetheless.  One of the best ways to avoid plagiarism is to take careful notes, preferably on note cards or note slips.  On your note card, place quotation marks around all material you copy verbatim. Check to make sure you have copied this material accurately, and write down the page number and the source on the note card.  Read carefully the material you wish to paraphrase, then close the book or journal and write your paraphrase.  By not looking at the original source while you paraphrase it, you should avoid the temptation of relying too heavily on its sentence structure and vocabulary.  If an author uses a particularly memorable or apt phrase, put that in your summary with quotation marks around it and the page number beside it.


A final word:


Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic integrity and is to be avoided at all costs.  Outright cheating--i.e. using another student's paper, buying a paper on the Internet, copying long passages of an article verbatim and passing this work off as your own work--is the most egregious violation of the rule against plagiarism and also the easiest to catch.  But even students with no ill intent can sometimes commit plagiarism, most often by incorrectly paraphrasing another author's ideas, sentence structure, and/or vocabulary.  In general, remember that your paper should be comprised of your ideas, your interpretations, and your arguments.  It should never consist of a string of long, undigested block quotations linked together with a few well-placed conjunctions.  Likewise, it should not consist of a string of improperly paraphrased paragraphs or a series of unattributed ideas that originated with another author.  You can refer to other sources and quote them where appropriate, but remember that plagiarism is most likely to happen when your paper emphasizes the ideas of others rather than your own.  Give credit where credit is due, when in doubt provide the reader a citation, and remember that plagiarism in any of its forms is a serious breach of academic honesty.






[1]  Title 2 of the University and Community College System of Nevada CODE, Chapter 6, section 6.2, (q) states, Acts of academic dishonesty, including but limited to cheating, plagiarism, falsifying research data or results, or assisting others to do the same is prohibited activity.  For these definitions and the systems disciplinary procedures and your rights see the GBC general catalog 2005 - 2006, pages 26 30.