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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

HIST 350: American Revolution

Course Description

Analysis of the American Revolution during the eighteenth century. The course considers the causes and the consequences of the colonial rebellion against the British Empire in North America. Furthermore, it assess the preconditions, constraints, and outcomes of the struggle for independence. Particular attention will be given to the clash of values, interests, and ambitions transforming the thirteen colonies into the United States. Moreover, significant themes of cultural, economic, military, and constitutional developments are explored.

Prerequisite: HIST 121

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Brown, Richard D. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
    • ISBN-978-0-495-91332-0
  • Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History. Modern Library, 2002.
    • ISBN-978-0-8129-7041-8
  • Morgan, Edmund S. The Birth of the Republic, 1763-1789. 4th . University of Chicago Press, 2012.
    • ISBN-978-0-226-92342-0

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 the American Revolution is the study of a vital part of American culture. The ideas and philosophical beliefs that emerged during the revolutionary era have lasted over generations. Much of our present day thinking about politics, religion, and society can be traced back to the late colonial period. We often hear phrases like, "The Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to mean...," or "This is a free country, I can do what I want." Over the years, historians have helped keep alive the principles of the revolution, which has helped shape the American experience. We will examine many of the events that took place, as well as many of the people, that led the colonists to rebel against an empire that many of them perceived as tyrannical. Because the American Revolution is a central point in the history of the United States, not all historians or readers of history have agreed on the significance of the Revolution. Many diverse interpretations have emerged. We will study some of those interpretations and hope to gain a better understanding of the controversies that a major historical event can produce.

As we proceed through each week's assigned readings and discussions, you will notice that the major theme of the course is the revolutionary activities of the colonists and the political arguments surrounding the writing of the Constitution. Within this context, we will also explore some of the social underpinnings of the era. We will take a look at the way the ordinary farmer lived his life, what slave life was like, examine the role of women, and analyze the religious controversies during the American Revolution.

This course will be conducted no differently than the way historians study history. We will read primary and secondary sources, discuss topics, and write answers to questions. The main textbook for the course will provide primary readings as well as interpretations that do not always agree. In addition, we will read two supplemental books that also give two different but general perspectives on the American Revolution. Along the way, we will take “virtual” field trips and links to Internet sites will be added to assignments to help you gain a better visual perspective.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the significant people, places, and events of the American Revolution.
  2. Analyze the factors that shaped colonial resistance movements in Massachusetts and in Virginia.
  3. Explain the responses of natives, blacks, and women to the rebellion against the British Empire.
  4. Analyze the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  5. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and trends in the historiography of the American Revolution.

Grading

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 (8) 200 20%
Midterm (1) 250 25%
Book Review (1) 100 10%
Final (1) 250 25%
Research Paper (1) 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Week 1 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Week 2 Discussions 25 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Week 3 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Week 4 Discussions 25 Sunday
Midterm Exam 250
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Week 5 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Week 6 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Week 7 Discussions 25 Sunday
Book Review 100
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Week 8 Discussions 25 Saturday
Research Paper 200
Final Exam 250
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Book Review

The book review is a critical analysis of a historical study. This will be the time for you to practice your skills on how to make a critical examination of another historians’ piece of work. By the end of the course, you will be required to submit a book review over The American Revolution by Gordon Wood.

First thing to recognize when writing a book review is that you are not writing a book report. A book review is a critical analysis of the book -- NOT a report of the book’s contents. Summarizing chapter by chapter is not a review. This does little to help in telling another historian whether this book was worth reading. What historians want to know is whether this book has contributed something significant to the study of history. A good book review will have a:

1. An introduction (about a paragraph telling what this essay is about).
2. A quick summary of the book (really no more than 2 pages).
3. A critical analysis of it (about a page discussing the sources the author used, maybe comparing it to other books or interpretations, writing style, information brought out, whether the book contributed to historical knowledge, etc.).
4. Summary of the review. Please do not go over 5 pages.

Please see Grading Rubric in the Content area for grading criteria.


Discussions

The ability to analyze and academically discuss an issue is a key component to understanding history. Historians gain a further understanding of historical accuracy when they discuss and critically analyze their views with others. The discussion portion of the course provides you with an opportunity to discuss and challenge each other’s views of the assigned readings for the week.

Each week I will provide five questions/topics over the week’s reading assignments. You are required to answer each question and respond to at least four (4) of your classmates’ answers from any of the questions/topics. This may include multiple responses between you and one other classmate discussing the same issue. You do not have to respond to every student, but the point is for you to carry on a conversation with your fellow classmates by building upon or debating your points of view. You may post more than four responses to other students, but you will receive a maximum of 25 points for each weekly discussion.

Your answers and responses must be written clearly, thoughtfully, and insightfully. Merely stating in your responses to fellow students that you agree or disagree is not considered a quality response, and will not be counted. Your answers and responses must show a familiarity with the reading assignments and a holistic understanding of the week’s topics by citing your sources and backing up what you say with evidence. Although you cannot receive more than 25 points, I will use extra comments in deciding borderline grades. See the grading rubric for more details regarding assessment of discussions.

Each week you will also be required to tour one or two websites and post a message regarding the “virtual field trip.” Therefore, you should have a minimum of 10 postings each week. Please see Grading Rubric below for grading criteria.

Research Paper

By the end of the course, you will be required to submit a research paper. You will need to critically analyze primary sources and research related secondary sources. This assignment will not only provide the opportunity for you to take an in-depth look at a subject, but also provide you with the opportunity to improve your research and writing skills. During the first week of class, I would like for you to consider a topic for your paper. You may choose your own topic but you will be required to submit that topic to the instructor via the appropriate discussion board. A quality paper is one that consists of the following:
  1. A well constructed thesis statement.
  2. A critical examination of primary sources.
  3. Consulted quality secondary sources.
  4. Well constructed paragraphs.
  5. Proper use of language, spelling, punctuation, and other mistakes.
  6. 1 inch margins and double spaced.
  7. Uses the Chicago Manual Style for documentation.
  8. A separate Bibliography page, which list both the primary and secondary sources consulted.
For this class, the research paper should be around 8-10 pages, double spaced, standard font, and one inch margins. Please use the Chicago Manual of Style for citation and bibliography listing. Also, you want to use both primary and secondary sources. Please be careful in using internet sources. Many of these are not good sources and are merely like Encyclopedias. They don't tell much. However, this is not to say that internet sources are useless. Many historical journals are now online. Your best sources are those found in JSTOR through the Columbia College Stafford Library. Please see Grading Rubric below for grading criteria.

Exams

Historians like to test their knowledge and understanding of the past by engaging in examinations. You will be required to take two proctored exams. Each exam is worth 250 points toward your final grade. These two tests are an exercise to measure your ability to grasp the material that is being read, discussed, and analyzed. Each exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions (worth 1 point each), 2 short answer essays (worth 50 points each) and 1 long answer essay question (worth 100 points).


Course Outline

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

Week 1: History and Historiography of the American Revolution
Readings
• “Overview of Week 1” found in the Content area
• Thomas Bailey: “The Mythmakers of American History” in The Journal of American History, vol. 55, no. 1 (June 1968), 5-21. You can access this journal article by logging into the Columbia College Stafford Library and then clicking on this link: The Mythmakers of American History. It is an article that tells us not to be caught up in the myths in history. The American Revolutionary era, rightly or wrongly, has many myths that have endured generations. This article brings to light some of the myths.
• Morgan: Forward, Prefaces, and “Lexington Green”
• Brown: Preface, Chapter 1. As you read the two essays, do not read them for content only, but look at them in a broader sense and compare/contrast them to each other.
Week 1 Discussions
  • Introduction: Please introduce yourself to your classmates. Tell us who you are, what you like to do, where you are, and maybe why you are taking this course. Posts are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Discussion 1: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
    • Library of Congress: Review the American Revolution and its Era:Maps and Charts 1750-1789 collection hosted by the Library of Congress’ American Memory project.Included in this collection are a number of maps by famous mapmakers from both public and private collections.
    • PBS: Liberty! The American Revolution: For something fun, take “The Road to Revolution” trivia game to see how much you already know about the Revolutionary War.http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/road.html
Week 2: Preconditions of the American Revolution and the Pivotal Year 1763
Readings
• “Overview of Week 2” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapters 1 and 2.
• Brown: Chapters 2 and 3.
• Wood: Preface and “Origins”
Week 2 Discussions
  • Discussion 2: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: The Imperial Crisis and the Declaration of Independence, 1766-1776
Readings
• “Overview of Week 3” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapters 3 and 4.
• Brown: Chapter 4.
• Wood: “American Resistance”
Week 3 Discussions
  • Discussion 3: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Week 4: The Fight for Independence and the British Loyalists
Readings
• “Overview of Week 4” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapter 5.
• Brown: Chapter 5.
• Wood: “Revolution”
Week 4 Discussions
  • Discussion 4: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Midterm Exam
The Midterm, which covers the material from Weeks 1-4, will be available from Monday at 8:00 a.m. until Sunday at midnight.
Week 5: Native Americans and African-American Challenge
Readings
• “Overview of Week 5” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapters 6 and 7.
• Brown: Chapters 6 and 7.
Week 5 Discussions
  • Discussion 5: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
    • African Americans in the Revolution: View this web page for some very valuable information on African Americans and Slaves during the Revolution
Research Paper
Please update me on the progress of your Research Paper by posting a message in the Discussion Board under Week 5, Research Progress.
Week 6: Women in the Revolution and Religion
Readings
• “Overview of Week 6” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapters 8 and 9.
• Brown: Chapters 8 and 9.
Week 6 Discussions
  • Discussion 6: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
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.
Week 7: The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution
Readings
• “Overview of Week 7” found in the Content area
• Morgan: Chapters 10 and 11.
• Brown: Chapters 10 and 11.
• Wood: “Constitution-Making and War” and “Republicanism”
Week 7 Discussions
  • Discussion 7: There are five separate discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: After reviewing the following websites, post what you found fascinating or what stood out to you. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Book Review
Your Book Review over The American Revolution by Gordon Wood is due by midnight Saturday. Please submit your review via the correct Dropbox folder.
Week 8: Government Under the Constitution
Readings
• “Overview of Week 8” found in the Content area
• Brown: Chapter 12.
• Wood: “Republican Society” and “The Federal Constitution”
Week 8 Discussions
There are only two discussion postings for this week’s assignment. You must post an original answer to each of the questions, but only need to respond to two (2) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Saturday.
Research Paper
Your Research Paper over an approved topic is due by midnight Saturday. Please submit this paper via the correct Dropbox folder.
Final Exam
The Final Exam, which covers material in Weeks 5 through 8, will be available from Monday at 8:00 a.m. until Saturday at midnight.


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.

Plagiarism

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.

Non-Discrimination

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.

Late work will not be accepted without prior authorization from me, and a grade penalty may apply regardless of the excuse.

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.


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