United States History I Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information


Office Location

Dutton Hall 202G

Office Hours

Monday/Wednesday: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuesday 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Also by Appointment

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

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HIST-1301-020 United States History I


Course Description

A survey of the social, political, economic, cultural and intellectual history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the Civil War/Reconstruction period. United States History I includes the study of pre-Columbian, colonial, revolutionary, early national, slavery and sectionalism, and the Civil War/Reconstruction eras. Themes that may be addressed in United States History I include: American settlement and diversity, American culture, religion, civil and human rights, technological change, economic change, immigration and migration, and creation of the federal government.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at https://melodiegraves.youcanbook.me

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Tech Supported

Syllabus Information


Shi. America: The Essential Learning Edition, VOL I, Second Edition. W.W. Norton & Company, 2018. ISBN: 978-0-393-64300-8 

This text is required. If you purchase a used book, you will need to purchase access to online tools that accompany this book (an in-app purchase). If you would like to use an e-book, you can purchase it online on the first day of class.


Access to a reliable desktop or laptop computer, reliable internet connection, and online textbook are required.

Mozilla Firefox installed as an available web browser. You will use this browser when accessing Blackboard and your textbook website. Other browsers are incompatible with the tools we will be using.

Student Performance

This is a Hybrid, 8-week course. It is fast-paced! To be successful, you will need to be familiar with the syllabus and course schedule and follow these carefully. You must have full access to a working computer (desktop or laptop) and to the internet. You will not be able to complete coursework using your smartphone, since the Blackboard functions you will be using are not reliable through smartphone or tablet technology.

Attend class regularly and communicate with me if you must miss a class or if you need to leave class early.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at https://acconnect.actx.edu .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Course and Contact Information:

Class Time:        Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 AM - 11:15 AM; Meetings are on ZOOM

Office Hours:     T/TH: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM, or by appointment. Conducted in person or via ZOOM                       

Office:               Social Sciences Adjunct office, Dutton Hall


Email:                Utilize the course email function in Blackboard only. Follow the link named  Send Email.

Course Overview

This is an 8-week Lecture survey course in American History covering the Pre-Columbian world to  to 1877. As part of learning about this period, you will also learn how to think critically about historical events, evaluate primary and secondary sources, compare viewpoints, and share your analyses of these events and materials through written and verbal forms. This course will be given in a tech-supported format, which means that we will conduct classes using Zoom and other similar technologies.

You must be prepared to complete coursework online, work with others in class, and be a self-starter to be successful. You must be committed to completing readings and other assignments in a timely manner, and come to class prepared to discuss topics outlined in the course schedule.

All students must attend class in order to achieve a passing grade. If you are having challenges with class attendance, please contact me immediately.

As a student in this class, you can expect me to be prepared to teach you each day, and to answer your questions about the topics we discuss. I will respond to emails and other communications within 24 hours on weekdays, and will work to help you achieve the course objectives in this class.

Course Objectives

            Throughout this course, students will:

  1. Identify, define, and explain perspectives, ideas, ethical challenges, cultures, classes, individuals, and events in American history.
  2. Determine and explain motivations of peoples you will study, and evaluate how their motives guided their actions.
  3. Compare perspectives of peoples living in the Americas throughout the period covered.
  4. Assess how events in American history shaped and were shaped by its citizens, the environment, and other historical factors.
  5. Acquire and practice skills in critical thinking through reading, source analysis, listening, discussion, collaboration, and writing.

Classroom Conduct

Come to class prepared to learn and contribute each day. Complete assigned materials each week. Bring a notebook, pencil or pen, and your book to all class meetings. When you enter the classroom, enable your video feed so classmembers and your instructor can see you.

Acceptable student behavior is explained in the Student Handbook, listed under the heading: “Student Conduct & Responsibilities” beginning on page 16 and continuing through page 17. Consequences for violations of the Code immediately follow. There is also an explanation of expectations of student behavior in this section. It is your responsibility to know and abide by this code of conduct while a student at Amarillo College.

You are expected to show respect for every individual in the classroom. Harassing or disrespecting others on any basis is inappropriate. Be mindful and respectful of one another, and use this opportunity to learn more about differing viewpoints and experiences.

Cell phone use including texting during class is rude and will harm your participation grade. Using phones is acceptable when technology is required during the class time.

There will be class activities during which you will be free to use your own technology such as smart phones. Otherwise, turn your cell phones off before class begins unless this is your means of attending class. Again, if you must use them to participate effectively (such as during an online session or meeting), this use is acceptable.

College expectations, personal and work pressures, and unexpected events in life can be challenging. There is help available for anyone dealing with depression, grief, loss, anxiety, addiction, etc. Amarillo College Social Services can help. Their contact number is 806-371-5439. Services are professional and confidential. Follow this link to view these services: https://www.actx.edu/socialservices/ .

Grading Criteria

Course Work

I will list all assignments in the syllabus, on the course schedule, or announce them in class. All assignments are available in Blackboard or on the companion website for your textbook. Review the syllabus and schedule often to check due dates and course expectations. You are responsible for completing all assignments in a timely manner, and for staying informed about what is expected of you. If you have questions about the requirements or are unsure about how to complete the work, consult the syllabus and the assignment instructions first. If you are still in need of help, contact me at least two days before the assignment is due and I will be glad to assist you.

You will use Blackboard and the companion website for your textbook for the following functions:

  • Communicating with your instructor and classmates
  • Accessing and completing course content including assignments, study aids, primary source materials, content mastery tools, skills tutorials and assignments, and other materials
  • Taking exams
  • Completing other coursework as assigned
  • Viewing grades

Readings and Assignments

Weekly readings will include material from America; the Essential Learning Edition, vol. 1 and occasionally other sources. You will complete about two chapters of reading each week. Be prepared to comment on what you have read. For all chapters, you will complete content mastery exercises in InQuizitive, an interactive and personalized tool, as you progress through the text. At the end of the semester, I will drop your lowest InQuizitive score. The average scores from InQuizitive and History Skills Tutorials will count for a total of 300 points.

If you have any difficulty acquiring the book or completing your readings, let me know immediately. I will provide instructions for accessing the online materials during our first class meeting.

Note: If you are unable to access your online materials (if you purchased a used book) this week, as an invited member of this course you have temporary access to online exercises and tutorials. This means you can begin your readings and assignments right away.

Term Paper

You will have one formal writing assignment focused on primary source analysis and comparison. There are three distinct steps in this assignment. First, you will complete the History Skills Tutorials. Second, choose one set of documents to analyze and compare; I will provide these to you in the assignment. When you have thoroughly read and analyzed the documents, you will write an essay based on the text, your analysis, and additional research of the topic. You will take your essay rough draft to the Writer's Corner for help with completing your final draft, and then upload your rough draft to the drop box provided on Tuesday, April 12. Third, turn in your complete project, which includes your finished essay and your sources cited page (your bibliography) on Tuesday, April 26, on Blackboard. Your completed essay including the rough draft and sources cited page is worth 150 points.


You will have three major exams in this class. They will include a variety of question types, including essay questions. Questions are from the book, assigned source materials, class activities, and lectures. Each exam is worth 100 points.

Participation and Class Activities

Attendance is directly connected to your success; each day that you are present and completing in-class activities and assignments, you will earn participation points. Full participation is necessary for you to be successful in the class, and points will be assessed for each activity including a syllabus assignment, document analyses, and in-class discussions. Attendance. participation, and class activities and are worth a total of 200 points.

During the first week of class, you will complete your syllabus assignment worth 50 points. 

Extra Credit

Students may complete extra credit throughout the semester. You may earn up to 25 points. Extra credit opportunities will be announced in class or in Blackboard.



Attendance, Class Activities, and Participation: 250 points

InQuizitive Activities: 200 points

History Skills Activities: 100 points

Term Paper: 150 points

Exams: 300 points

Grade Breakdown:

1000 total points available

900-1000 points= A

800-899 points= B

700-799 points= C

600-699 points= D

0-599 points= F


Attendance is vital to your success in this class and is required. There are times when absences cannot be avoided due to a variety of reasons including illness, emergencies, or travel for educational purposes. If this occurs, contact me immediately.  If you must miss class due to college activities or business, have your coach, director, or sponsor provide notice of the absence in advance of the activity. Such absences are excused if you notify me in advance.   


Course Schedule




Due Date

Lecture Topics

Course Objectives

Week 1


America: Chapter 1

InQuizitive: How to Use InQuizitive Tutorial; Chapter 1 exercises


Syllabus Scavenger Hunt

History Skills Tutorials

03/28/2022 11:59 PM



03/28/2022 11:59 PM

04/04/2022 11:59 PM

Course Introduction

Pre-Columbian World, Cultural Collisions



1, 2, 3

Week 2

America: Chapters 2 & 3

InQuizitive: Chapters 2 & 3

History Skills Tutorials (Cont.)

Term Paper Opens

04/04/2022 11:59 PM

04/04/2022 11:59 PM

Term Paper Due 04/26/2022

Document Analysis: Concepts & Skills Q & A

European Colonies

Colonial Life & Conflict

1,2,4, 5

Week 3

America: Chapters 4 & 5

InQuizitive: Chapter 4 & 5 exercises

In Class Activity: Revolutionary Americans

Exam 1: Chapters 1 through 4

04/11/2022 11:59 PM



Available 04/07/2022- 04/12/2022 11:59 PM

From Colonies to States

The American Revolution

1, 2, 3, 4

Week 4

America: Chapters 6 & 7

InQuizitive: Chapter 7 & 8 exercises


Term Paper Rough Draft Due in Drop Box 

04/18/2022 11:59 PM




Creating a "More Perfect" Union

The New Republic

The Era of "Good Feeling"

1, 2, 4, 5

Week 5

America: Chapters 8 & 9

InQuizitive: Chapter 8 & 9 exercises 


Exam 2: Chapters 5 - 9

04/25/2022 11:59 PM


Available 04/21/2022- 04/26/2022

The Market Economy, Communication, and Transportation "Revolutions"

Religion and Reform

Nationalism and Sectionalism


Week 6

  America: Chapters 10 & 11

InQuizitive Chapter 10 & 11 exercises

Term Paper Due in Drop Box

05/02/2022 11:59 PM



"Age of Jackson"




Week 7

America: Chapters 12 & 13

InQuizitive Chapter 12 & 13 exercises

In-Class Activity: Going West

05/09/2022 11:59 PM


Westward Expansion

The Secession Crisis

1, 2, 4, 5

Week 8

America: Chapters 14 & 15

InQuizitive Chapter 14 & 15 exercises

Final Exam: Chapters 11 - 15

05/12/2022 5:00 PM

Available 05/10/2022- 05/12/2022 11:00 PM

Civil War


1, 2, 4, 5


Instructor’s note on course schedule and syllabus: I may adjust the lecture/activity schedule during the term to accommodate reasonable variance in class discussions. Due dates for readings, tutorials, exercises, and exams will remain the same.


Additional Information

If you are not doing as well as you had expected in this course and are concerned about your progress, please speak to me about your concerns. I will be glad to help you.

Syllabus Created on:

03/20/22 11:38 PM

Last Edited on:

03/21/22 12:57 AM