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U.S. History to 1877

HST 201- US History Survey
Professor Kuhl
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Office:  Clow Faculty 307   
Fall 2007
Office Hours:



This course introduces students to American history from settlement to the Civil War.  We will examine the years of colonial and national growth, with a particular emphasis on how ordinary people contributed to historical change.  Topics include:  Puritans, slavery, witch trials, the American Revolution, religious thought, the Industrial Revolution, women’s social movements, and the Civil War.  The goals of this course are to provide a foundation of knowledge about the shaping of the nation, and to introduce students to the use of historical methods in analyzing continuity and change over time.



Available at the Campus Bookstore

  • ed. Nash  The American People vol.I
  • ed. Boezi  Voices of the American People
  • Townshend  Pocahontas and the Powhaten Dilemma



  • Students are expected to attend class.  See attendance policy for more details.
  • Students should complete the day’s required reading, and come to class prepared to discuss the reading
  • There will be five quizzes on the reading.
  • There will be one midterm and one final exam, with short identifications and essays



Attendance is essential for learning at a brick and mortar university, and records will be kept in this class.  Only a few types of absences will be excused.  To faciliate that process, you must write down your name, the date of class you missed, and attach appropriate documentation.  Bring those items to the next class period, and turn them in to me after class.  I will return the pages to you with your next assignment marked “approved” or “disapproved.”  Only the following four reasons and documents will be accepted:

  1. Medical illness.  A Doctor’s note testifying to the date and seriousness of incident.
  2. Family death.  I must receive:  the name of the deceased, the name of the funeral parlor, and your parent’s address so that I may send condolences.
  3. Religious holiday.  You must have a note by Sept. 21 from your faith leader verifying your good standing in a faith community and all the dates of conflict in the semester.
  4. University related event such as soccer game, debate tournament, etc.  Bring in the schedule at the beginning of the semester.
  • Please note that any responsibilities related to an outside job do not count as an excuse for missing class.  School cannot work around your job, but many jobs can work around school.
  • I do not allow make-up quizzes or tests for unexcused absences.  As an incentive for good attendance, other than the obvious benefits of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE, students with no more than 2 unexcused absences may drop their lowest quiz grade.
  • Because of the limited number of spaces in history courses, the department has instituted a new administrative drop policy.  Any student who misses the first three classes will be dropped from the course without notification and their space given to a student on the waiting list.



Professor Kuhl holds office hours every week on _____ from __ and by appointment.  Please feel free to drop by to ask questions about the readings, clarify points from lecture, challenge my interpretation of history, or hold other sorts of intellectual conversations.



I maintain a D2L site for this course that offers many resources for students.  Announcements may show extra credit lectures or other opportunities.  The Content section has all the syllabus material, plus lecture outlines and reading questions.  Throughout this semester it is advisable to check the syllabus to see what lectures will be given so you can print the lecture outline from the Content section and bring it to class that day.  This will help you take better notes during lecture. As you do your homework the reading questions should help you prepare for class discussions and tests.  In the Discussion section of this D2L site I have set up a forum where you may post any questions you may have.  There are quite a few students in my classes so please do not e-mail me directly:  I probably will not respond.  Instead, please post questions on the discussion site.  I will respond to those, and all students who have the same question will benefit.



Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from The University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of The University; policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.   For more information on The University policy see



Course grades will be determined as follows:

  • Class Participation 20%
    • The best preparation for participation is doing reading assignments and attending class.  Ideally, once those conditions are met you won’t be able to stop yourself from answering questions, posing questions, contributing to in-class group projects, and other types of scholarly interactions.
  • Reading and Map Quizzes 30%  (objective questions on the day’s reading assignment)
  • Midterm Exam 20%  (covers material from readings, lectures, and discussions)
  • Final Exam  30%   (similar format as midterm)



This course fulfills a general education requirement.  You may wonder why, especially if you have no particular interest in history, you find yourself in this classroom.  One of the goals of a liberal arts program is to produce educated people, not just people trained to do one sort of task.  Ask yourself:  “Would I rather be well-trained, or well-educated?”  This history course can help you become well-educated in two ways.  One, it can provide you with a basis of knowledge about how this nation was created.  So when you hear judges claim to know what the Founding Fathers wanted, or observe the ongoing debate over the separation of church and state, or wonder why the Midwest is so different from the South or Northeast, you’ll have a fighting chance of knowing what is going on.  That sort of knowledge is timely, and will help you better understand this country.  The second way this course will further your education is by honing critical thinking skills.  Making sense of history involves looking for patterns, learning to read and interpret documents, imagining a different sort of world, and thinking about the choices people have made.  Those skills are timeless, and will serve you well in whatever career you choose.

**All items on syllabus are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor**



Week 1

Week 2 Contact and Three Continents

  • tues. 9/11        
    Read:  Ch.1-2 text, Barbosa document
  • thurs. 9/13       
    Read:  Ch.2 docs; Pocahontas ch.1-3

Week 3 Civiliations Clash

  • tues 9/18         
    Read:  Pocahontas ch.4-6
  • thurs 9/20        
    Read:  Pocahontas ch.7-9

Week 4 British Colonization

  • tues 9/25         
    Read:  Ch.3 text & docs
    Lecture:  “The Chesapeake and Colonial Slavery”
    Map Quiz:  Colonial Cities
  • thurs. 9/27       
    Read:  Benjamin Franklin part I (p.3-66)
    Lecture:  “Witches and Women”

Week 5 Colonial Society and Growing Dissent

  • tues 10/2         
    Test #1 bring #2 pencils
    Lecture:  “Tobacco, Debt, and Revolution”
  • thurs 10/4        
    Read:  Ch.4 and 5 text & docs
    Lecture:  “The Consequences of Empire”

Week 6 The American Revolution

  • tues. 10/9      
    Read:  Ch.6 text & Declaration of Independence A-2
    Recite:  Decl. up to second “happiness”
  • thurs. 10/11     
    Read:  Ch.7 text, docs, & Constitution A-4
    Recite:  Preamble

Week 7 The Early Republic

  • tues. 10/16      
    Read:  Ch.8 text & docs, plus Ch.6 docs
    Lecture:  “Republican Motherhood”
  • thurs. 10/18     
    Read:  Ch.9 text & docs
    Lecture:  “The Second Great Awakening”
    Map Quiz:  Missouri Compromise

Week 8 Industrialization and the Market Revolution

  • tues. 10/23      
    Read:  Ch.10 text
    Lecture:  “Industrialization and Societal Change”
  • thurs. 10/25      Read:  Ch.10 docs

Week 9 Slavery and the Old South

  • tues. 10/30       Test #2  bring #2 pencils
  • thurs. 11/1        Read:  Ch.11 text & docs
    Lecture:  “Slave Culture and Society”
    Recite:  Douglass speech second to last paragraph

Week 10 Antebellum Reform

  • tues. 11/6        
    Read:  Ch.12 text       
    Lecture:  “Reshaping the Domestic Sphere”
  • thurs. 11/8       
    Read:  Ch.12 docs
    Lecture:  “The Anti-Slavery Movement”

Week 11 How a Slave Became a Man

This week we will not meet in class.  Students will participate in an online class discussion of the Douglass narrative.

  • tues. 11/13    
    Read:  Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass
  • thurs. 11/15     
    Read:  Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass

Week 12 Moving West

  • tues. 11/20      
    Read:  Ch.13 text & docs
    Lecture:  “The Rise of Chicago”
  • thurs. 11/22     
    thanksgiving holiday

Week 13 Sectional Conflict

  • tues. 11/27      
    Read:  Ch.14 text & docs
    Lecture:  “The Causes of the Civil War”
    Recite:  Last sentence of the Gettysburg Address
  • thurs. 11/29      TBA

Week 14 The Civil War

  • tues. 12/4        
    Read:  Ch.15 text & docs
    Lecture by Tom Rowland
    Map Quiz:  Sherman’s March to the Sea
  • thurs. 12/6       
    No class meeting at regular time.  Please attend movie showing of Glory from 6-8 in room TBA

Week 15 Reconstruction

  • tues. 12/11      
    Read:  Ch.16 text & docs
  • thurs. 12/13     
    Final Exam bring #2 pencil
by linnm37 — last modified Jun 08, 2012 01:48 PM