COURSE TITLE:  United States History to 1877

    CREDIT HOURS: Lecture Hours: 3 Lab Hours: 0


    CATALOG DESCRIPTION: A course that will develop the student’s abilities to organize, interpret, and evaluate oral, printed, and electronic sources of information about the political, economic, and cultural history of the United States from pre-Columbian times to the end of the Reconstruction period.

    TEXTBOOK: Davidson, James West., et al.  U.S.: A Narrative History. 2012. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS: Lecture, discussion, outside reading, and audiovisual materials will be used to present this course.


    Class attendance is an integral part of education. The dialogue between instructor and student forms the cornerstone in the acquisition of knowledge. Each instructor will check attendance daily and may at his/her discretion use attendance as one of the grading components of the class. The actual attendance policy will be provided to the student in the Class Syllabus at the beginning of the course.


    1. Major examinations with a final examination over the material.

    2. The student will be given the opportunity to earn an additional grade by writing a critique of a non-fiction book covering some topic pertinent to the historical period of the course.

    3. Instructors may utilize minor quizzes, such as chapter quizzes or map tests, at their discretion.

    4. Instructors may include participation grades as a component of the final grade, and may use attendance as a factor in determining course grades, at their discretion.


    After completing History 1301, the student will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

    THE COLONIAL PERIOD (TO 1763) [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Describe in general terms the major pre-Columbian American societies and cultures.

    Explain the circumstances and significance of Columbus’s discovery of America.

    Explain the “Columbian exchange.”

    Identify the major Spanish and other European explorations and discoveries and conquests in the Americas.

    Describe the establishment of the thirteen mainland colonies.

    Compare contrast the southern and northern colonial economies.

    Describe the origin and functioning of slavery and the indentured servant system.

    Describe colonial government both in terms of typical governmental structure and of overall imperial administration.

    Describe religion and education in colonial America.

    THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD (1763-1789) [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]

    The Revolutionary War  [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]

    Explain the long term and the immediate factors that led to the American Revolution.

    Explain how the Declaration of Independence reflected English political theory of the 1680s tempered by the American colonial experience.

    Identify the major turning points of the Revolutionary War.

    Describe the role of international diplomacy in the Revolutionary War.

    The Articles of Confederation [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]

    Describe the structure, weaknesses, and achievements of the Articles government.

    Explain the background of the Constitutional Convention.

    Explain the major choices and compromises that shaped the Constitution.

    Describe the political struggle for ratification, including Federalist and Antifederalist arguments.

    THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD (1789-1841) [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]

    The Federalist Era (1789-1801)  [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]

    Show how the first Congress shaped the executive and legislative branches.

    Explain the domestic and foreign-policy issues of the 1790s that led to the emergence of the first American political parties.

    Compare and contrast the views of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, relating these to the emergence of the first American political parties.

    The Republican Era (1801-1825) [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Explain the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) and its significance.

    Describe the War of 1812 in terms of background and significance.

    Identify the causes and the evidences of nationalism that swept the U. S. after the War of 1812.

    Explain the issues which fed the rise of sectionalism by the early 1820s.

    Identify the major foreign policy events of the post-War of 1812 era.

    The Jacksonian Era (1825-1841) [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Identify specific ways in which the U. S. political system was made more democratic in the 1820s, and the consequences and limitations of these changes.

    Explain the significance of the elections of 1824 and 1828.

    Describe the major issues of the Jackson administration, and the ways in which Jackson expanded the powers of the presidency.

    Describe the major cultural and economic changes of the 1820s – 1840s.

    THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION (1841-1877) [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Manifest Destiny [2, 5, 8, 0]

    Define the term “manifest destiny.”

    Explain the Mexican War in terms of causes and significance.

    Show how issues raised by the outcome of the Mexican War contributed to the sectional to sectional discord of the 1850s.

    The Turbulent 1850s  [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Describe the Compromise of 1850.

    Explain the significance of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854).

    Identify the major events that deepended the sectional split in the late 1850s.

    Explain the significance of the election of 1860.

    The Civil War [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Explain why the southern states seceded.

    Describe various historical interpretations of the Civil War.

    Explain the war aims and strategies of the North and the South.

    Identify major turning points of the Civil War.

    Explain why the North won the Civil War.

    The Reconstruction Period  [2, 5, 8, 9]

    Compare and contrast various historical interpretations of what occurred in Reconstruction.

    Compare the motives of Andrew Johnson with those of the Radical Republicans.

    Identify the main events and turning points of the Reconstruction period.

    Describe the Compromise of 1877.



    The final course grade will be based on a minimum of two major exams each worth a minimum of 15% of the course grade, plus other assignments at the instructor’s discretion. Additionally, each student will be required to complete a brief quiz and the beginning and end of the course. The first will be administered during the first week of classes, and the second at the time of the final examination. This quiz is scored but does not contribute to the student’s individual course grade.

    The following standards will govern the assignment of final course grades:

    89.5 – 100% = A         79.5 – 89.4% = B        69.5 – 79.4% = C        59.5 – 69.4% = D        0 – 59.4% = F



    The requirements of this course include a zero tolerance policy for academic dishonesty. Every discovered instance of cheating or plagiarism will result in disciplinary action as well as automatic failure of the course. If you are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism, please consult the instructor. This academic integrity requirement shall be included in each Course Syllabus.



    Any student with a documented disability (e.g. learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, mobility, etc.) may contact the ABLE Accommodations and Disabilities Office located in the Student Services Office (817-598-6350) to request reasonable classroom accommodations. This statement shall be included in each Course Syllabus.



Last Modified on August 13, 2019