United States History
Early U. S. History surveys the national story from the first settlements in British North America
until the Civil War and Reconstruction. The course mixes the traditional approaches—military,
political, and diplomatic—with social, religious, and economic settings and the perspectives of
women, African Americans, and other minorities. It includes key trends in the past that often
remain relevant in American society, including race, gender, class, religion, and democracy. The
course prepares majors for upper level studies but also equips general education students with a
broad knowledge of the period. Students will be able to identify and explain major trends,
events, and their causes. Finally, the course aims to provide an appreciation for the subject.
The course requirements are as follows:
Two tests (100 points each),
Final Exam (100 or 120 pts., instructor’s discretion),
Daily reading assignments and quizzes (one point per question),
Map quiz. (10 pts.; A = 1-2 wrong; B = 3-4 wrong; C = 5-6 wrong; D = 7 wrong; F =
8 wrong or more.)
Book quiz (20 pts.)
Book review (25 pts.)
Several quizzes will be given on reading assignments. These quizzes will be announced.
Ten percent will be deducted for every day that an assignment is late. Students guilty of
copying (plagiarism) will be referred to the Honors Council. Plagiarism is taking credit for the
thoughts or ideas of others.
The final grade will be determined by dividing the number of points earned by the total
93-100% = A 73-76 = C
90-92 = A- 70-72 = C-
87-89 = B+ 67-69 = D+
83-86 = B 63-66 = D
80-82 = B- 60-62 = D-
77-79 = C+ 59 =F
The instructor reserves the right to include improvement in the final grade; to qualify for
improvement, a student must demonstrate progress prior to the final exam and must have taken
Attendance is mandatory in accordance with college policy. Tardy students run the risk of
being counted absent. Two tardies equals one absence. The instructor has the discretion to
penalize students for heavy absences; the penalty is typically half a letter grade for the semester,
assessed on the final exam. For an excused absence from a test or quiz the instructor reserves the
right to request written documentation. Arrangements to do work missed due to an absence must
be made on the first return to class. If possible (athletic events, dental appointments, etc.), students
should make arrangements before the absence. Please do not use email to schedule a make-up
date. Please do not send the instructor an email asking, “tell me what I missed”; you missed a
lesson. Check the syllabus. Students who are absent and, therefore, do not hear an
announcement of a forthcoming “daily reading” quiz are not excused from the quiz.
Do not bring cell phones to class.
Office hours: MWF 9:00-12:00; MW 1:00-2:00; TTH 8:00-11:30, 2:00-4:00.
Paul Boyer, et al, The Enduring Vision, fifth ed. (text).
David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (1994).
Joyce Appleby, ed., Recollections of the Early Republic: Selected Autobiographies (1997).
August 30 Intro to Course.
September 1 The Discoveries and Early Settlements. Boyer, Chs. 1, 2.
4 Colonial Virginia: The Emergence of Planter Society. Boyer, 68-75.
6 Colonial New England: A City on a Hill. Boyer, 53-68.
8 The Middle Colonies: Tolerance amidst Diversity. Boyer, 78-82, 117-21; Longenecker,
“Introduction: An Egalitarian Theology,” Piety and Tolerance, optional and on reserve.
11 Colonial Black Americans and Slavery. Boyer, 75-78, 104-5.
13 New England Life and Society: Salem. Boyer, 62-63.
15 Quiz on colonial America (20 pts). Also map quiz (10 pts.)
18 Social Revolution. Boyer, ch. 4.
20 Political Revolution. Boyer, ch. 5.
22 Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride. 8:00 book review; 12:00 quiz .
25 The War for Independence. Boyer, 159-85.
27 The Constitution. Boyer, 185-95.
29 Women and Revolutionary Era.
October 2 TEST. 8:00 objective; 12:00 essay.
4 The Federalist Era: Preserving the Sacred Fire of Liberty. Boyer, 195-203.
6 The Federalist Era: Enemies of Liberty Abroad. Boyer, 203-216.
11 Republicans Protect the New Nation: Jefferson, Madison, and 1812. Boyer, 228-48.
13 The Emergence of the Supreme Court. Boyer, 247-53.
16 Egalitarianism and Elitism in the Early Nineteenth Century: Boyer, 274-282; and
Longenecker, “No deep-toned Organ” in Piety and Tolerance (on reserve).
18 Egalitarianism and Elitism in the Early Nineteenth Century: The Arts and Scholarship.
Boyer, ch. 11.
20 The Market Revolution. Boyer, 255-74.
23 The Early Republic: An Era of Revivalism and Social Reform. Boyer, 299-314.
25 The Early Republic: An Era of Political Reform, I. Boyer, 285-99.
27 The Early Republic: An Era of Political Reform, II.
30 Women during the Early Republic. Boyer, 310-11, 279-81.
November 1 Appleby, Recollections of the Early Republic, quiz and book review.
3 Immigration in Early America. Boyer, 377-84.
6 TEST. 8:00 essay; 12:00 objective test.
8 Slavery. Boyer, ch. 12.
10 Tyler, Texas, and Mexico. Boyer, 384-407.
14 The South. Boyer, 345-62.
16 The Growing Crisis, I: The Compromise of 1850. Boyer, 407-14.
18 The Growing Crisis, II: Kansas-Nebraska Act. Boyer, 414-421.
20 “A House Divided”: Simulation Game.
27 The Growing Crisis, III: Buchanan, Scot, and Brown. Boyer, 421-34.
29 Why did the South Secede?
December 1 The Civil War. Boyer, ch. 15.
4 Reconstruction, I. Boyer, ch. 16.