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Journal of American History

2001 Syllabi
Teaching the American History Survey

Gary J. Kornblith & Carol Lasser
Editors' Introduction | Article

US History to 1865/1877

Douglas Egerton
Le Moyne College

Karl Jacoby
Brown University

Gary Kornblith
Oberlin College

Lewis Perry
St. Louis University

Joshua Piker
University of Oklahoma

Doug Sackman
University of Puget Sound

William Scott
Kenyon College

Virginia Scharff
University of New Mexico

Maris A. Vinovskis
University of Michigan

US History since 1865/1877

Douglas Egerton
Le Moyne College

Doug Sackman
Oberlin College

Virginia Scharff
University of New Mexico

William Scott
Kenyon College

American History to 1865

Joshua Piker

Prof. Joshua Piker
Office:313 DAHT
Phone: 325-6370

Fall 1999
Office Hours: W 2:30-4:00,
F 2:30-3:30
Classroom: DAH 200M
Meeting Time: MWF 1:30-2:20

History 1483: American History to 1865

This class provides students with an overview of America's social, political, and cultural development from the beginnings of European colonization through the American Civil War. Two themes will run through the lectures and readings: 1) the emergence of sectional differences and the ways in which they were (and were not) overcome; 2) the varied experiences of Europeans, Africans, and American Indians, and the ways in which each group contributed to the course of American history.

The class will be structured around a combination of in-class lectures and out-of-class readings. Because it is important that you both attend class regularly and complete the reading promptly, there will be approximately ten short (3 question) pop quizzes during the course of the semester. The quizzes will not count toward your final grade, but you must pass (2 correct answers) 7 of the 10 quizzes. If you pass only 6, your grade drops by one letter; if you pass only 5, your grade drops by two letters, and so on. There will be no make-up quizzes; if you are absent the day of a quiz, you fail that quiz.

Students will take two in-class exams and a final. All are closed book/note; all will require you to write essays. I will provide you with study guides prior to each exam to help you prepare efficiently.

Grades will be determined using the following formula:

Exam #1 = 25%
Exam #2 = 30%
Final Exam = 45%

Assigned Books:
Frederick M. Binder and David M. Reimers, The Way We Lived, Vol. 1: 1607-1877, 4th ed.
William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England.
Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White.
Mary Beth Norton et al., A People and A Nation: A History of the United States, Vol. 1: to 1877, 5th ed.
Alan Taylor, William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic.

Class Schedule


Week 1) 8/23-8/27

Lecture 1: Introduction; logistics
Lecture 2: America, c. 1500
Binder and Reimers, pp. 5-15
Lecture 3: European Exploration and Settlement, 1492-1600
Norton, pp. 3-30
Cronon, pp. vii-x, 3-15

Section 1: Colonial America

Part 1: the 1600s

Week 2) 8/30-9/3

Lecture 4: The Founding of Virginia and the Displacement of the Indians
Binder and Reimers, pp. 20-33
Norton, pp. 33-45
Lecture 5: Tobacco and Unfree Labor in the Chesapeake
Binder and Reimers, pp. 33-35
Norton, pp. 45-49
Lecture 6: Bacon's Rebellion and the Rise of Slavery
Binder and Reimers, pp. 57-73
Norton, pp. 68-74

Week 3) 9/6-9/10

Lecture 7: Labor Day; class canceled
Lecture 8: Puritanism and the Founding of New England
Binder and Reimers, pp. 35-37, 39-50
Norton, pp. 49-55
Cronon, pp. 19-53
Lecture 9: The Evolution of New England Society
Binder and Reimers, pp. 51-57
Norton, pp. 55-58, 80-84
Cronon, pp. 54-81

Week 4) 9/13-9/17

Lecture 10: King Philip's War and the Emergence of a New Northern Landscape
Norton, pp. 74-80, 84-88
Cronon, 81-156
Lecture 11: Dealing with Diversity: King Philip's War and the Middle Colonies
Norton, pp. 61-68
Lecture 12: Pennsylvania and South Carolina: Toward Quaker Order, Toward a Black Majority

Part 2: 1700 -- c. 1750

Week 5) 9/20-9/24

Lecture 13: From Colonies to Empire
Norton, pp. 91-116
Lecture 14: Evolving American Societies: New York and Pennsylvania.
Binder and Reimers, pp. 73-6, 90-1, 96-108
Lecture 15: Evolving American Societies: New England and the Great Awakening
Binder and Reimers, pp. 79-90, 91-94

Week 6) 9/27-10/1

Lecture 16: The Africans' New World
Lecture 17: The Indians' New World
Cronon, pp. 159-170
Lecture 18: Exam #1; Study Guide

Section 2: Revolution and Republic

Part 1: From Monarchy to Democracy

Week 7) 10/4-10/8

Lecture 19: A Dangerous Triumph: The Seven Years' War and the Beginnings of the Imperial Crisis
Binder and Reimers, pp. 113-124
Norton, pp. 119-143
Lecture 20: America's Revolution and America's Rulers: Challenges to Monarchy and the American Ruling Class
Taylor, pp. 3-85
Lecture 21: Class Canceled; fall holiday

Week 8) 10/11-10/15

Lecture 22: The American Revolution
Binder and Reimers, pp. 125-129
Norton, pp. 145-169
Lecture 23: Victory and Its Discontents: From Revolution to Constitution
Norton, pp. 171-176, 183-186, 190-196, 199-216
Taylor, pp. 110-198, 229-255
Lecture 24: Winning the Battle and Losing the War: The Ruling Class, the Constitution, and the 1790s.
Norton, pp. 225-245

Part 2: Freedom's Implications

Week 9) 10/18-10/22

Lecture 25: The Republican Revolution and the Beginnings of a Democratic America
Binder and Reimers, pp. 124-125
Lecture 26: Slavery and Freedom: African-American Experiences
Norton, pp. 178-182, 221-222
Lecture 27: Native Americans and "Civilization": Dealing with a Domestic Imperial Power
Norton, pp. 186-190
Binder and Reimers, pp. 16-18

Week 10) 10/25-10/29

Lecture 28: Freedom's Implications: Euro-American Women and Republican Motherhood
Norton, pp. 176-178
Taylor, 256-291
Lecture 29: Lewis & Clark & Company: The Expanding Republic
Norton, pp. 216-221
Taylor, 86-110, 198-228, 317-329
Lecture 30: From a Society with Markets to a Market Society: Competency and Capitalism in the Early Republic
Norton, pp. 253-264
Taylor, pp. 372-405

Week 11) 11/1-11/5

Lecture 31: Religion and Reform in the Early Republic
Binder and Reimers, pp. 186-203, 243-246
Norton, pp. 345-354
Taylor, pp. 406-427
Lecture 32: Politics, 1820s-1830s: Sections and Parties
Norton, pp. 245-251, 358-367
Lecture 33: Racial Ideology and U.S. Indian Policy
Binder and Reimers, pp. 151-168
Norton, pp. 334-339

Week 12) 11/8-11/12

Lecture 34: EXAM #2; Study Guide

Section 3: E Pluribus Unum?

Lecture 35: The Slaveholders' Regime
Binder and Reimers, pp. 249-263
Norton, pp. 285-299, 306-310
Lecture 36: Slave Life in the Antebellum South
Binder and Reimers, pp. 264-267
Norton, pp. 299-306

Week 13) 11/15-11/19

READING TO BE COMPLETED BY FRI.: Ignatiev, pp. 1-121
Lecture 37: Modernization and the Antebellum North
Binder and Reimers, pp. 148-149, 220-226
Norton, pp. 313-334
Lecture 38: East of the Frontier and North of Slavery: Native Americans and African Americans in the North
Norton, pp. 339-342
Lecture 39: Undermining Slavery: Resistance, Free Blacks, and Abolitionists
Norton, pp. 354-358

Week 14) 11/22-11/26

Lecture 40: Class Canceled: Catch up on your reading
Lecture 41: Class Canceled; Thanksgiving Holiday
Lecture 42: Class Canceled; Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 15) 11/29-12/3

Lecture 43: The Mexican-American War and the Ideology of Manifest Destiny
Binder and Reimers, pp. 180-183
Norton, pp. 277-282, 367-372, 375-378
Lecture 44: The California Gold Rush: Optimism and Fear at Mid-Century
Binder and Reimers, pp. 170-180
Lecture 45: Expansion's Legacy: 1846-1850
Norton, pp. 378-385

Week 16) 12/6-12/10

READING TO BE COMPLETED BY FRI.: Ignatiev, pp. 124-168
Lecture 46: A House Divided: The Failure of Compromise
Norton, pp. 385-401
Lecture 47: The Civil War: Battlefields and Other Sites of Conflict
Binder and Reimers, pp. 269-281, 285-286
Norton, pp. 403-439
Lecture 48: Review session.

FINAL EXAM: Monday, Dec. 13; 8:00 a.m.; Dale Hall, rm. 200. Study Guide.