Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

HIST 121: American History To 1877

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  Course Description

A survey of institutions, politics, culture, and society in America from colonization to reconstruction. G.E.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Final



  • Foner, Eric. (2017). Give Me Liberty (Volume I) and Voices of Freedom (Volume I) (5th ed. Custom Bundle). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-393-64965-9]
  • Rampolla, Mary Lynn. (2016). A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (8th ed). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-4576-9088-4]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

The study of early American history is the study of the national past in the deepest and broadest sense. It is the study of the ways in which present ways of living and thinking have developed from historical circumstances and situations. It seeks to describe and analyze politics, culture, and society to the degree that the record of evidence will allow. It considers the vital facts of historical matters, which make citizens both wiser in public choices and more conscious of their private lives. It accentuates the power of human motivation, of those institutions constituted to advance civilization, and of those patterns of habit and thought that resonate with the American experience.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and interpret primary sources about America from colonization to reconstruction and use them as evidence to support historical arguments.
  2. Identify and describe the context and significance of major figures, institutions, and events in America from colonization to reconstruction.
  3. Construct a historical essay based on documents.
  4. Analyze the concept of citizenship in America from colonization to reconstruction.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (25) 200 20%
Quizzes (4) 200 20%
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment (1) 50 5%
Term Paper (1) 120 12%
Final Exam (1) 400 40%
Term Paper Topic Submission (1) 10 1%
Term Paper Outline (1) 20 2%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 2 8
Discussion 3 8
Introductions (Discussion) 0 Sunday
Quiz 1 50

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 5 8
Discussion 6 8
Quiz 2 50 Sunday
Term Paper: Topic Submission 10
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 8 8
Discussion 9 8
Quiz 3 50 Sunday
Term Paper Outline 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 11 8
Discussion 12 8
Quiz 4 50 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 14 8
Discussion 15 8
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment 50 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 16 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 17 8
Discussion 18 8

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 19 8 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 20 8
Discussion 21 8
Discussion 22 8
Term Paper 120 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 23 8 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 24 8
Discussion 25 8
Final Exam 400 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week will have 3-4 discussion topics/questions to answer. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday, with your initial post due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) on Thursday and two responses to classmates due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday. Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates. All posts and thoughts must be your own. If you are writing about a reading from our text, be sure to include the author and title in the first sentence or two so others know what piece you are referencing. Your responses to others’ posts should also be well developed, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts. Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas. Discussions will be graded on three levels: argument presented in response to the discussion prompt (due Thursday); answering follow-up questions posed by the instructor; and the quality of interaction with classmates (due Sunday except in Week 8).

Term Paper

Term Paper Topic (Week 2)

The Term Paper Topic will be chosen from an available list of acceptable topics provided in the Content area. Once chosen, submit it to the appropriate dropbox for instructor feedback by 11:59 pm CT Sunday. The Term Paper Topic Submission is worth 10 points.

Term Paper Outline (Week 3)

The Term Paper Outline should be composed of three main topics supported by three sub-topics for each main one, exclusive of the introduction and conclusion. Once you complete your Term Paper Outline you will submit it to the appropriate dropbox for instructor feedback by 11:59 pm CT Sunday. The Term Paper Outline is worth 20 points.

Term Paper (Week 7)

You will develop a Term Paper based on the topic you have chosen in Week 2, and built from the outline you developed in Week 3. It should identify at least four related primary sources from the Voices of Freedom readings or other primary source documents. It should utilize two secondary sources that help develop and support a thesis.

The format of the Term Paper should include an introduction, body, and conclusion and be organized into paragraphs with approximately eight sentences developing a single topic. Proper grammar, punctuation, correct spelling, and other aspects of correct composition should be maintained. It should be at least six pages of fully-typed text. Each page should be double-spaced, including at least 250 words and 25-27 lines using 12-point font. It should include a title page, end notes pages, and a bibliography page. It should be formatted using the Chicago Manual of Style, referenced in the Rampolla text. Visual images and infographics do not count toward the final page count. All papers must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format.

All assignments must be your own original work, and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). All papers are due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the Week 7 to the appropriate dropbox. The Term Paper is worth 120 points.

Chicago Manual of Style Assignment

Based on the information covered in Rampolla in the assigned reading, you will respond to a set of questions to define the purpose of a thesis statement, clarify what is not a thesis statement, show the correct way to format footnotes (including electronic sources), demonstrate the proper way to cite quotes, give examples of primary and secondary sources, and use the correct method of listing bibliographic references. The material in this assignment will link directly to the guidelines and requirements for the Term Paper, due in Week 7. The assignment includes guidance on where to find the relevant material in the Rampolla text for each question. The Chicago Manual of Style Assignment will be due to the appropriate Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 5. It is worth 50 points.


There will be Quizzes in Weeks 1-4 worth 50 points each. Quizzes will be available beginning at 12:01 am CT Tuesday and will be due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of the same week. They will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions, worth 2 points each. Quizzes are open book and students will have 1 attempt to complete the quiz. A strict time limit of 50 minutes per quiz will be enforced (with a 5 minute grace period).


There will be a proctored (closed book) Final Exam in Week 8. It will be available beginning at 12:01 am CT Monday and will be due at 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8. The Final Exam will be comprised of a combination of multiple-choice and short essay questions that cover Chapters 8-15. There will be a strict time limit of 2 hours (120 minutes) for the exam and you will have 1 attempt to complete it. The Final Exam will be worth 400 points.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • Foner, Chapters 1 and 2
  • Rampolla, Chapter 6
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 1
Compare and contrast the predominant European values and way of life with those of the Native Americans. Consider religion, land ownership, gender roles, and beliefs about freedom and liberties in your post.
Discussion 2
After reading the assigned Voices of Freedom documents, answer the following: what ideas regarding religion, liberty, and freedom present themselves?
Discussion 3
Describe the types of people who chose to immigrate to North America from England in the 17th century. What were the biggest reasons for their decision to make the trip?
Introductions (Discussion)
Introduce yourself to me and to your classmates. Include information about your hobbies, family, educational goals, favorite books, etc.
Quiz 1
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 1.
  • Foner, Chapters 3 and 4
  • Rampolla, Chapters 2 and 3
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 4
How did patterns of class and gender roles change in the 18th century? Provide one example and explain your reasoning.
Discussion 5
From the Voices of Freedom documents this week, identify Scarouyady and Pontiac and explain how they differ in the ways they addressed white audiences.
Discussion 6
Consider the author’s videos in the content area. What are the major themes addresses and which ones do you find are most important and relevant to you and why?
Quiz 2
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 2.
Term Paper: Topic Submission
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
  • Foner, Chapters 5 and 6
  • Rampolla, Chapters 4 and 5
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 7
What issues unified but also divided colonists during the Revolution? Why do you believe these issues were important?
Discussion 8
After reading the assigned Voices of Freedom documents this week, answer the following: What are the main threats to and boundaries of freedom during the Revolution?
Discussion 9
What was the impact of the American Revolution on Native Americans, slaves and women? Identify situations or people to support your position.
Quiz 3
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 3.
Term Paper Outline
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
  • Foner, Chapter 7
  • Rampolla, Chapter 7
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 10
What major compromises led to the final approval of the Constitution? Who benefitted, and who did not, from these compromises and why?
Discussion 11
After reading the Voices of Freedom documents assigned this week, answer the following: how do the two men differ concerning how the principle of representation operates in the United States? Defend your reasoning.
Discussion 12
How did Americans justify excluding Native Americans and African Americans from the ideals and promises found in the details of the new national identity and the concepts emerging of liberty and freedom?
Quiz 4
Will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions worth two points each and cover assigned readings for Week 4.
  • Foner, Chapters 8 and 9
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 13
What were the major causes and outcomes of the War of 1812?
Discussion 14
After reading the Voices of Freedom documents, answer the following: explain how different kinds of women in society were affected by economic changes happening in the first part of the 19th century. Defend your reasoning.
Discussion 15
View the author videos in the content area. What do you believe are the most important themes? Share your viewpoint with the class.
Chicago Manual of Style Assignment
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
  • Foner, Chapters 10 and 11
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 16
How does Andrew Jackson represent both the promise and contradictions of freedom during this time period? Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 17
After reading Voices of Freedom documents, answer the following: How do Taper and DeBow differ in their understanding of the relationship between slavery and Christianity? Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 18
Describe the general concept of slave culture and the major efforts to resist slavery. Provide examples to support your answer.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • Foner, Chapters 12 and 13
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 19
How was the abolitionist movement affected by other social and economic changes, such as the rise in literacy, new print technology, and ideas associated with the market revolution? Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 20
After reading the assigned Voices of Freedom documents from Angela Grimke and Catherine Beecher answer the following: How do these two definitions of women’s freedom differ from one another?
Discussion 21
From Voices of Freedom document covering the Lincoln-Douglas debate, why does Lincoln believe the nation cannot exist forever half-slave and half-free, whereas Douglas believes it can?
Discussion 22
View the author videos for Chapters 12 and 13. Identify the main themes and explain which you think are the most important.
Term Paper
Submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7.
  • Foner, Chapters 14 and 15
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 23
What made the American Civil War the first modern war? Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 24
After reading the required Voices of Freedom documents for the week, answer the following: What do these documents suggest about competing definitions of freedom in the aftermath of slavery? Explain your reasoning.
Discussion 25
Describe the successes and failures of Reconstruction. Which do you feel were the most important and why?
Final Exam
Complete the Final Exam (proctored) by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late work will be accepted unless there is a documented reason that meets the criteria of an excused absence according to the new policy on Non Attendance Administrative Withdrawal.

Students must make every effort to contact the instructor prior to the due date of an assignment to discuss reasons for that assignment not being submitted on time as well as be prepared to supply documentation.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.