History 145, Fall 2010


Instructor:  Mike Nagle




This course will provide a survey of American history from European contact to the Civil War.  It will focus on a variety of topics including Native Americans, European colonization, the emergence and evolution of slavery, the American Revolution, the development of the American political system, westward expansion, and the growth of sectionalism that eventually resulted in the Civil War.




Paul S. Boyer, The Enduring Vision


LecturePoint:  Interactive US History Lectures (free for now but this may change)

 Available at:


          Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower


Solomon Northup, (Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon, ed.), Twelve Years A Slave (required)




Exam #1


Exam #2


Exam #3


Exam #4


Summary/Analysis of either Mayflower or Twelve Years A Slave


Quiz over Mayflower


Quiz over Twelve Years A Slave




Total points for the course



ü Moodle includes a Grade Book function, but there have been some problems with calculations in the past.   I will maintain the “official” grades for each student.  This has never led to a different grade for anyone in the past, but if a student has a question at the end of the term about their grade calculation, please let me know.




An on-line course is much different than a face-to face course.  The top experts in the field of on-line education estimate that a three credit course requires a minimum of 145 hours of student work.  Experts also state that there is a direct link between the number of times students log-on to an on-line course site and the grade students receive.  The higher the number of times a student logs-on to the course, in general, the higher the student’s grade.  With that in mind, following the first week of class, this class typically has three activities due each week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11:00 PM).  In most cases, each assignment or exam could be completed well before the date they are due.  The reason why specific due dates & times for assignments are included is to ensure students don’t fall behind. 




I have set office hours this semester but in addition to these I will be on-line at least six days per week.  I will monitor the class more closely Monday through Friday; on Mondays, my tendency will be to be on-line in the afternoon at the very least, and on Fridays I will be on-line at least in the morning.  I also will monitor the class on the weekend.  I will be on campus quite often this term, so please phone or send an e-mail. 

          Office Hours:  M/W 10:00-10:30 and 2:00-2:30; T/Th 9:30-10:30 aba; my office is ASC 379

          Phone:  (231) 843-5905




If you are having problems with Moodle contact the WSCC help desk at (231) 843-5570.  If no one answers make sure to leave a message.  The e-mail address for the WSCC help desk is




1.     Students will come to a greater understanding of the interactions between Euro-Americans, Native Americans, and African Americans and the results of these interactions for the past and their continued impact on today's society.

2.     Students will be able to describe and analyze the emergence and evolution of slavery.

3.     Students will be able to describe and evaluate the causes and consequences of the Civil War and its significance to American history.

4.     Students will improve their analytical, writing, communication skills, and computer literacy.




Note:  Specific dates for discussions, assignments, and exams are included in this calendar.  Some changes may need to be made, if so, they will be announced on the Moodle course page and/or through e-mail.


Section 1:  Native Americans & Early Colonization (up to Early 1700s)


Week I

Sept 2-6

Read Boyer Ch. 1, begin Mayflower

Course Orientation Wednesday September 1 at 4:00 PM room 210


·        Introduction/Biography: due Thurs 9/2 by 11:00 PM

·        Student Success On-line Assignment:  due Fri 9/3 by 11:00 PM.  View presentation then send e-mail attachment of a Word Document or RTF file demonstrating the presentation was viewed.

·        Comments on Lecture01 posting:  due Sun 9/5 by 11:00 PM

Lecture01-The First Americans

Week II

Sept 6-12

Read Boyer Ch. 2, continue Mayflower


·        Response to another Bio: due Tues 9/7 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture02 or 03 posting:  due Fri 9/10 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture03 or 04 posting: due Sun 9/12 by 11:00 PM

Lecture02- European Exploration ; Lecture03-New England Colonies

Week III

Sept 13-19

Read Boyer Ch. 3, continue Mayflower


·        Exam #1: must be taken Fri 9/17 by 11:00 PM

Lecture04-Middle Colonies & South Carolina



Section 2:  Colonial Society, Revolution & A New Constitution & Republic (1670-1801)


Week IV

Sept 20-26

Read Boyer 4, continue Mayflower


·        Mayflower posting #1: due Tues 9/21 by 11:00 PM

·        Movie Posting #1: due Fri 9/24 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture05 posting:  due Sun 9/26 by 11:00 PM

Lecture05-Colonial Society

Week V

Sept 27 – Oct 3

Read Boyer Ch. 5, continue reading Mayflower


·        Mayflower posting #2: due Tues 9/28 by 11:00 PM

·        Movie Response Posting #1: due Fri Oct 1 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture06 or 07 posting:  due Sun 10/3 by 11:00 PM

Lecture06-Toward Revolution; Lecture07-Origins of the Constitution

Week VI

Oct 4-10

Read Boyer 6, finish Mayflower


·        Mayflower posting #3: due Tues 10/5 by 11:00 PM

·        Mayflower posting #4: due Fri 10/8 by 11:00 PM

·        Mayflower Quiz: must be taken by Sun 10/10 by 11:00 PM


Week VII

Oct 11-17

Read Boyer Ch. 7


·        Comments on Lecture07 or 08 posting: due Tues 10/12 by 11:00 PM

·        Mayflower Paper: due Fri 10/15 by 11:00 PM

Lecture08-New Republic


Oct 18-19


·        Exam #2: must be taken by Tues 10/19 at 11:00 PM



Section 3:  Age of Jefferson to Westward Expansion (1789-1840s)



Oct 20-24

Read Boyer Ch. 8


·        Movie Posting #2: due Sun 10/24 by 11:00 PM

Lecture09-Age of Jefferson

Week IX

Oct 25-31

Read Boyer Ch. 9, 10, begin Twelve Years A Slave


·        Comments on Lecture09 posting:  due Tues 10/26 by 11:00 PM

·        Twelve Years A Slave posting #1: due Fri 10/29 by 11:00 PM

·        Movie Response Posting #2: due Sun 10/31 by 11:00 PM

Lecture10-“Good Feelings” and Jacksonian Democracy; Lecture11-American Society & Economy Transformed

Week X

Nov 1-7

Read Boyer Ch. 11, continue Twelve Years A Slave


·        Comments on Lecture10 or 11 posting:  due Tues 11/2 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture11 or 12 posting:  due Fri 11/5 11:00 PM

·        Twelve Years A Slave posting #2: due Sun 11/7 by 11:00 PM

Lecture12-Westward Expansion

Week XI

Nov 8-14

Read Boyer Ch. 13, continue Twelve Years A Slave


·        Exam #3: must be taken by Fri 11/12 by 11:00 PM



Section 4:  Southern Society, Impending Crisis & Civil War


Week XII

Nov 15-21

Read Boyer Ch. 12, 13, continue Twelve Years A Slave


·        Comments on Lecture13 posting:  due Tues 11/16 by 11:00 PM

·        Twelve Years A Slave posting #3: due Fri 11/19 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture14 posting: due Sun 11/21 by 11:00 PM


Lecture13-Travel West & Old South;

Lecture14-Impending Crisis


Nov 22-28

Read Boyer, finish Twelve Years A Slave



·        Twelve Years A Slave posting #4: due Sun 11/28 by 11:00 PM



Week XIV

Nov 29-Dec 5

Read Boyer Ch. 14, finish Twelve Years A Slave


·        Twelve Years A Slave Quiz: must be taken by Fri 12/3 by 11:00 PM

·        Comments on Lecture15 posting: due Sun 12/5 by 11:00 PM

Lecture15-Civil War

Week XV

Dec 6-12

Read Boyer Ch. 15


·        Movie Posting #3: due Tues 12/7 by 11:00 PM

·        Twelve Years A Slave Paper: due Fri 12/10 by 11:00 PM

·        Movie Response Posting #3: due Sun 12/12 by 11:00 PM


Week XVI

Dec 13-17

Read Boyer Ch. 15


·        Exam #4: must be taken by Fri 12/17 at 11:00 PM

·        ALL Course Material must be turned in 12/17 by 11:00 PM





1.     Exams must be taken and received by me, by the time/date outlined above or they will be unavailable.  I plan to make them available five days before the date they must be taken, so they may be taken early.  A study guide is posted on my homepage and available on Moodle identifying key terms and the possible essay questions for each exam.   If you are sick or have experienced an emergency contact me, prior to or the day the exam is due to let me know so that we can determine when/if a make-up can be administered.  If a make-up is administered, it will be an all-essay exam.  Students have up to one week to take a make-up exam.

2.     Incompletes are only used in an emergency and students must have completed at least 50% of the course with a 70% or above to receive an Incomplete.

3.     Logging on to the Moodle site is like attendance in class.  Announcements will be posted to the Moodle site if emergencies arise.  Students are responsible to keep informed if any changes to the course schedule are posted as a result of unforeseen circumstances. 

4.     Plagiarism can be defined as “to steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one’s own” (American Heritage Dictionary).  Written assignments must acknowledge when a direct quote is taken or another person’s ideas are paraphrased.  If a source is not cited, this is plagiarism.  Copying another student's ideas and/or paper is cheating.  Sometimes the class will discuss lectures and readings as a group, but each student must turn in their own paper and exams with their own ideas.  This also is true when posting comments to the discussion board.  If you’re using information from a website, or another outside source, make sure to include a citation (if a website is used you may simply copy & paste the URL into your posting to show where the material was found).  If you are unsure what you should do, ask me.   Plagiarism and/or cheating are grounds for failing an exam, assignment, or even the entire course.  If you are unsure what you should do, ask me!




Participation in discussion will make up 350 points (35%) of your grade in this course.  The discussions will take place over the web using Moodle Discussion Boards.  To earn a C for an individual posting, the posting must be AT LEAST TEN SENTENCES in length, unless specified otherwise, and keep in mind that it will probably be easier to make all postings (particularly movie postings) much longer than ten sentences.  Late postings are accepted, but each posting also must be made on time to receive full credit.  To earn a higher grade, the responses will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:


o   Relevance to the topics at hand

o   Originality & demonstration that postings made by other students have been read

o   Depth/breadth of response—demonstrates critical thought, research, thorough understanding of subject matter

o   Accuracy

o   Citation of source (if information from a website or another source is used, it MUST be cited)



Posting Grade

Description of Work


Contains detailed and accurate information from lecture, film, or readings. Demonstrates a thorough understanding of subject matter.  Includes original thought and analysis.  Compares & integrates information for the assignment to other sources included in the class (such as previous lecture material; links films or readings to lecture, text, other films, or additional sources).  Postings are well written (with correct grammar & spelling) and argued.


Demonstrates the readings, lectures, or films have been viewed and understood, but might lack detail.  Includes original thought, but analysis could be stronger.  Could use comparison to additional sources.  Postings are well written (with correct grammar & spelling) and argued.


Demonstrates lecture, readings or film have been read and understood, but might need detail and analysis.  Lacks original thought and may repeat information which has previously been discussed by others in the class.  Postings are well written (with correct grammar & spelling).


There will be four primary types of postings to be made to the Discussion Boards:


·                    Biography (a total of two responses)

o        Post a one to two paragraph biography of yourself; you may want to describe where you live, your major, the number of college classes & on-line classes you’ve taken, what you would like to learn in the class and what you like to do for fun.

o        Reply to at least one other biography.  Maybe you have something in common with someone else, even if it’s only your “hatred” of history or the fact that you live in the same town.

·                    Movies (a total of at least six responses and there are two types)

o        Summarize & evaluate the movie you’ve chosen to watch (three are required).  The evaluation should relate the movie’s content to lecture and also should comment on its accuracy from an historical point of view.   You may want to research information about your film on the internet to learn about the film’s accuracy/inaccuracy.  If research has been done make sure to include a URL of the website(s) you’ve visited in your posting.

o        Evaluate the historical accuracy, link to lecture, comment, or ask a question based upon the postings made by other students in regards to their summary of the movie they watched (three are required).

·                    Comments on lectures (at least twelve responses)

o        You may comment on items you find to be interesting in each of the power point lectures and you may also follow imbedded hyperlinks which are included in the lecture.  The hyperlinks will take you to sites on the internet which investigate in more detail the issues covered in the lecture.  If you do investigate the imbedded hyperlinks, or do your own research, please make sure to include a URL of the website(s) you’ve visited.

o        Another possibility is to respond to questions posted by myself or other students.  Essentially the questions will be designed to determine if the power point presentations have been viewed & understood.  Questions are also designed to provide help prepare for each exam.

·                    Comments on the books Mayflower & Twelve Years A Slave (at least eight responses)

o        You may comment on items you find to be interesting in the readings.  You also may want to investigate websites which may provide additional information about the assigned book and its author.

o        Another possibility is to respond to questions posted by myself or other students.  Essentially the questions will be designed to determine if the readings in the book have been completed. They may also help to provide ideas for the Summary/Analysis paper.




·        Exams:  There will be four exams based upon lecture and discussion.  A study guide for each exam is available on Moodle & my homepage.  This should form the basis for your studying.  The exams will be based primarily on lecture material, but students are responsible for information included in the required readings and discussions.  Each exam will consist of two parts:  one part is objective (20 m/c questions) and will be taken at the course site on Moodle.  The second part of the exam is essay.  The #1 source to be used as a basis for the essays is lecture material.  There will be four possible essays for each exam; you may choose to answer any two of those four.  The completed essays must be sent to me via an e-mail attachment by the time & date listed in the course calendar.  The essays must be composed using either MS Word or they must be saved as a Rich Text File (rtf) in order to allow me to view them. 

·        Quizzes Over Books:  There also will be two quizzes during the semester over each of the two required books.  These will be multiple-choice and will be taken at the course site on Moodle.

·        Papers:  A set of questions will be available for the papers over the two “outside books.”  You can choose which book to write your paper over depending upon your interest.  Correct grammar and spelling are important.

·        Readings:  The text is required reading for this class, but you will not be tested on anything from the text that is not posted on the study guide for each exam.  Use the text to fill in any “gaps” in lecture notes. 

·        In order for the quiz segment to work at its optimum level on the Moodle website, it is recommended that Firefox must be used (rather than Internet Explorer) as your web browser.  This can be downloaded for free to your home computer.  To access Firefox you can simply type “Firefox” into any search engine, but there is also a hyperlink to the site on the course webpage.




·        Make sure to write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction (including thesis statement), body & conclusion.  Look at my homepage and Moodle site for tips on writing good essays.

·        The #1 source to be used as a basis for the essays is lecture material.  No outside research (other than the lectures and textbook) is needed for the essays.  In fact; it’s discouraged.  Information taken from the lectures does NOT need to be cited (the lectures are clearly an obvious source for the essays, so they would fall under the category of “Personal Communication”).  However, if the text is quoted or paraphrased it must be cited.  If any websites or additional sources are used in any manner, they too must be cited.  If you’re using information from a website or another outside source for an exam, you may use the in-text citation style and include a Bibliography.




Late assignments  (including postings to forums) are accepted for up to one week, but they are penalized 10% for the first late day, and 5% for each additional late day.


Letter Grade

Total Points

Description of Work




Superior work; essays contain strong thesis and logical argument; includes analysis, supporting facts and relevant information; well organized and well written.  Includes information from lectures, outside readings, films, speakers, and discussions.





Above average work; essays contain strong thesis, but might lack focus and organization; includes analysis; generally well written and argued; information is strong but missing some points; arguments could use more support.







Average work; essays contain no thesis or thesis is weak; pertinent information is included, but could use more evidence and stronger organization; understanding of course content is shown but contains little analysis.







Poor work; essays lack coherent argument and are poorly written; information is missing and/or incorrect.






Below 600

Failure; lacking correct information; lack of effort is shown.