Nov 09 2010

History 106 (Dual Credit)

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History 106

Dual Credit Course: Black Hawk College/Rockridge High School

History of the United States Since 1877

Course Syllabus and Requirements

Spring 2014

David R. Potthast, MA

LCDR, USN – Retired; Adjunct Professor of History

Office: Rockridge High School, NE-20

Office Phone: (309) 793-8020, ext. 525



Class Information:

Room: NE-20


Hours: 3rd Period (10:05 – 10:55)


Black Hawk College Mission Statement: Black Hawk College provides the environment and resources for individuals to become life-long learners.


College Web Address:


  1. I.                   Course Description

History 106 is a survey of United States history 1865 to the present.  The course will begin by examining Reconstruction and the Jim Crow South, settlement of the western frontier, industrialization, immigration, the American labor movement, and the reforms associated with the Progressive Era.  As the 19th century ends and the 20th century dawns the course will focus on the United States rising to become a world power politically, militarily and economically.  The modern state and societal changes are considered during the turbulent years leading up to the Great War and culminating in World War II.  Following this the course will study the Cold War and reforms that would later give rise to the emergence of staunch conservatism of the 1980s.  The semester will conclude with an examination of the challenges faced by Americans socially, economically and politically as the 21st century dawned and with it the rise of global terrorism.


IAI: S2 901


Three Credit Hours, No Prerequisites, Transfer, Degree Credit, In-class, Non-repeatable


  1. II.                Textbooks


Henretta, James A., David Brody, and Lynn Dumenil. America’s History, Volume Two: Since 1865 (Seventh Edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2011.


Henretta, James A., David Brody, Lynn Dumenil, and Kevin J. Fernlund. Documents to Accompany America’s History, Volume Two: Since 1865 (Seventh Edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2011.


  1. III.             Expected Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student shall be able to:
    1. a.      Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of the “New” South and analyze the emergence of the Jim Crow South.
    2. b.      Identify and demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of the “New” South and analyze the emergence of the Jim Crow South.
    3. c.       Critically analyze how industrial changes affected the American economy, society, politics, and foreign policy.
    4. d.      Analyze the origins, development, and consequences of the United States as a global political and economic superpower.
    5. e.       Critically analyze the ideas, issues, effectiveness, and limitations of the major reform movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
    6. f.       Critically analyze U.S. involvement in the Cold War, associated regional conflicts, and later wars/operations intended to stabilize regions where America has interests.  Analyze how those wars, successful or not, affected American politics, culture, society, and the economy.
    7. g.      Differentiate primary and secondary sources, use both in analyzing modern U.S. history, and compare and contrast the variety of historical perspectives.
    8. h.      Appraise the social, political, economic and cultural contributions of Americans of different classes, genders, and ethnicities.
    9. i.        Demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills.
    10. j.        Apply basic organizational, reading, and writing skills through primary and secondary sources and completing in-class and out-of-class reading and writing exercises.


  1. IV.             Course requirements for students:

This course will be an in depth study of the history of the United States since the end of the Civil War.  It will include lectures, extensive class discussions, films, and primary and secondary readings to garner the information to understand the history of this period.  The course is intended to be both challenging and interesting.  Specific class requirements include:

–          Read ALL assigned materials

–          Be in-class on time and for the full period every class day

–          Participate in class discussions everyday

–          Complete written assignments and quizzes on time


  1. V.                Grading System and Scale

The grading system and scale between Black Hawk College and Rockridge High School vary.  Rockridge students are graded on a quarterly basis; however, Black Hawk mid-semester grades are not reported or recorded on the student’s transcript.  Since students will be receiving dual credit and weighted high school credit for this course I will use the Rockridge grading scale and system as described in the student handbook and modified by me as follows:


Assignment and Quizzes/Examinations:                       Grading Scale:

Position Papers      = 40%                                                  A = 93% – 100%

Weekly Quizzes    = 30%                                                  B = 85% – 92%

Participation          = 10%                                                  C = 76% – 84%

Examinations        = 20%                                                  D = 65% – 75%

Total                      100%                                                   F = 0% – 64%


Note: Weighted high school credit will only apply for students earning a grade of C or higher.


  1. VI.             Assignments and Evaluations:

Position Papers (6 papers)

The position paper assignment is an interesting and innovative way for students to delve more deeply into historical material and then debate views offered by an opposing side.  I believe that this will be very effective in offering high school students the opportunity to question information and to formulate opinions based on examining the details presented by opposing sides of an argument.


Black Hawk College requires 10 – 12 pages of expository writing for every accredited History course.  Students in this course will write six short (approximately 2 pages in length) papers.  Each paper will be a response to a question given below.  These are formal, annotated, argumentative, expository writing assignment, not book reports.  Students will use the Chicago style of annotation found in Kate L. Turabian’s A Manuel for Writers (recommended by the American Historical Association). Ideally, the student will use both primary and secondary materials within each assignment associated with the topic area in order to fashion a response to the prompt.


The class will be divided into two groups: MAROON and WHITE.  Student’s will be assigned to each group during the first week of class and will alternate groups at the mid-term.  Three position papers will be due during each quarter of the semester.  It is the students’ responsibility to know which group they were assigned to and have their papers in hand at the beginning of class the day the assignment is due.  Due dates will be strictly enforced and late papers will not be accepted unless there is a serious and compelling reason.  On the class meeting date when a paper is due, some students will be selected to read their papers which will begin the class discussion of the material.


Specific Position Paper Requirements:

  1. A title page including the student’s name, the instructor’s name, the course title, and the assignment title is required.
  2. Papers will be typed, double-spaced using 12 point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.  Papers will be printed using black ink on white paper and stapled.
  3. Direct quotes, paraphrases of ideas that are not yours and disputed facts must be cited in footnotes.  Failure to do so is called plagiarism (academic dishonesty), and at the very least, will result in a failing grade on the assignment.
  4. Proofread carefully.  Use grammar and spell-checking software as deductions for spelling and/or grammatical errors will be applied.


Students are reminded that there are SIX written assignments – all papers will contribute significantly to the final grade.  There is no extra credit associated with this course.


Groups and Prompts:



  1. Republican: “Support Radical Reconstruction in the South”
  2. Populist: “Support Free-Silver and Working Class Reforms”
  3. Expansionist: “Support War with Spain and Acquisition of Territory”
  4. Democrat: “Support the New Deal Programs and Reforms”
  5. Nationalist: “Support Japanese Internment”
  6. Anti-Communist: “Support U.S. Involvement in Vietnam”



  1. Southern Democrat: “Oppose Radical Reconstruction in the South”
  2. Gold-Bugs: “Oppose Free-Silver and Loose Money Policy”
  3. Anti-Imperialist: “Oppose War with Spain and Acquisition of Territory”
  4. Republican: “Oppose the New Deal Programs and Reforms”
  5. Constitutionalist: “Oppose Japanese Internment”
  6. Anti-War: “Oppose U.S. Involvement in Vietnam”


Quizzes (Weekly – 14 total)

Quizzes will be given weekly over the reading material excepting the weeks where the examinations occur.  They will vary in format and include either multiple choice questions, questions pertaining to a historical map, and/or short answer identifying a subject or event and explaining the associated significance of the subject or event.


Examinations (Mid-term and Final)

There will be two comprehensive examinations.  The mid-term examination will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions from the reading material in the texts and from lectures.  The final comprehensive examination will span the entire semester and will consist of only short answer and essay questions.  As with the mid-term examination, the final will draw on textbook materials, lectures, and any specific additional materials noted in class (e.g., film).


  1. VII.          Academic Honesty and Plagiarism
    1. Cheating is defined as the willful giving or receiving of information in an unauthorized manner during an examination, quiz or writing assignment, illicitly obtaining exam questions in advance, using someone else’s work for written assignments as if it were one’s own, or any other dishonest means of attempting to fulfill the requirements of the course.
    2. Plagiarism is the use of an author’s words or ideas as if they were one’s own without giving credit to the author by citing a source.  This includes but is not limited to direct quotations and paraphrasing.
    3. Punishment for cheating and/or plagiarism (academic dishonesty) is at the discretion of the instructor and could include any of the following: 1) an “F” for the course; 2) a zero (0) for the assignment; 3) Expulsion from the college.


  1. VIII.       Classroom Management

Check your current BHC Student Handbook and Rockridge High School Student Handbook for important information about college processes, policies, and procedures.


1)      Classroom Discipline: The student Code of Conduct (BHC Student Handbook) specifies that students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the regulations of the college and such laws of the city, state, and federal government as apply to the matter of conduct.  The BHC Student Handbook lists a number of activities and behaviors that are not permitted.  Implicit in these is disorderly or inappropriate classroom behavior: “The actions of students … must not violate the rights of others or disrupt the normal processes of the institution.”  Each faculty member has responsibility for control of the classroom and should take steps to ensure an orderly environment in which learning may occur unimpeded.  In accordance with the instructor’s responsibilities, as defined within the BHC Student Handbook, the instructor reserves the right to remove students from the class at the instructor’s discretion.  With respect to the Rockridge High School Student Handbook, all requirements and expectations of student discipline will be adhered to.

2)      Attendance Policy: This is a college class.  There is an expectation that you will attend all classes.  If you miss four class hours (a total of 200 minutes), either consecutively or cumulatively, the instructor may assume that you are no longer interested in remaining in the course, and consequently drop you for non-attendance.  If you are absent, you are responsible for all materials covered during your absence.  Please obtain class notes from a classmate and, if you wish, I will be happy to briefly review those notes with you.

3)      Incomplete Policy: The grade of “I” (Incomplete) will be given only under the most extreme circumstances, and will only be given to a student who, at the time, is passing the course and who has already completed at least 80% of the course material.


  1. IX.             Assistance

If you need assistance please contact me as soon as possible.  I can arrange meetings before school, after school, during my prep period, and on learning lab days.


  1. X.                Course Outline and Tentative Schedule:

Please note that the semester schedule is tentative and it is the student’s responsibility to keep track of any changes.


Pre-Semester Start and Week 1 (Jan 6 – 17)

–          Introduction and Historiography Overview

–          Chapter 15 – Reconstruction, 1865 – 1877

–          First Position Paper due Jan 17

–          Debate: Should the South be reconstructed according to a Radical Congress’ dictates?


Week 2 (Jan 21 – 24)

–          Chapter 16 – The American West: Conquering a Continent


Week 3 (Jan 27 – 31)

–          Chapter 17 – The Busy Hive: Industrial America at Work, 1877 – 1911


Week 4 (Feb 3 – 7)

–          Chapter 18 – The Victorians Meet the Modern, 1880 – 1917


Week 5 (Feb 10 – 14)

–          Chapter 19 – “Civilizations’s Inferno”: The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities, 1880 – 1917


Week 6 (Feb 18 – 21)

–          Chapter 20 – Whose Government? Politics, Populists, and Progressives,  1880 – 1917

–          Second Position Paper due – Feb 21

–          Debate: Should the United States favor a gold standard monetary policy and working class reforms?


Week 7 (Feb 24 – 28)

–          Chapter 21 – An Emerging World Power, 1877 – 1918

–          Third Position Paper due – Feb 28

–          Debate: Should the U.S. declare war on Spain and acquire overseas territory?


Week 8 (Mar 3 – 7)

–          Chapter 22 – Wrestling with Modernity, 1918 – 1929

–          Mid-Term Examination – Mar 7


Week 9 (Mar 10 – 14)

–          Chapter 23 – The Great Depression and the New Deal, 1929 – 1939

–          Fourth Position Paper due – Mar 14

–          Debate: Was the New Deal necessary and good for the United States?


Week 10 (Mar 18 – 21)

–          Chapter 24 – The World at War, 1937 – 1945

–          Fifth Position Paper due – Mar 21

–          Debate: Was Japanese Internment necessary to the national security?

Week 11 (Mar 24 – 28)

–          Chapter 25 – Cold War America, 1945 – 1963


Week 12 (Apr 7 – 11)

–          Chapter 26 – Triumph of the Middle Class, 1945 – 1963


Week 13 (Apr 14 – 17)

–          Chapter 27 – Walking into Freedom Land: The Civil Rights Movement, 1941 – 1973


Week 14 (Apr 21 – 25)

–          Chapter 28 – Uncivil Wars: Liberal Crisis and Conservative Rebirth, 1964 – 1972

–          Sixth Position Paper due – Apr 25

–          Debate: Vietnam: What impact did the war have on the nation?


Week 15 (Apr 28 – May2)

–          Chapter 29 – The Search for Order in an Era of Limits, 1973 – 1980


Week 16 (May 5 – 9)

–          Chapter 30 – Conservative America Ascendant, 1973 – 1991


Week 17 (May 12 – 16)

–          Chapter 31 – National Dilemmas in a Global Society, 1989 – 2011


Week 18 (May 19 – 23)

–          Final Examination – TBA

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