United States History to 1877


  2. A. Course Title: United States History to 1877
    B. Course Number: HI 113 - 30758
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: T Th 12:30:00 PM - 1:45:00 PM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Ollinger Riefstahl, Alison
    G. Office: Mansur Hall (MH) 129E
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2814
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 8:30:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 8:30:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Friday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    I am also available by appointment. If these days and times do not work for you, please contact me to set up a time that does.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: MH121

    This course surveys the discovery, establishment, and growth of the English colonies; their relations with Great Britain; the revolution; the Confederation; the Constitution; the growth of nationalism; westward expansion; slavery; the Civil War; Reconstruction; economic, political, and social development; and international relations. This is a three credit hour course.


    This course is designed for the student to gain knowledge of United States history. This course provides an introduction in history for the associate degree. It establishes the basis for further historical study for a humanities requirement for a student’s degree program.

    This course is a general education course with transferability to New Mexico schools, but it is always advisable to check with the receiving four-year school.




    Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States
    Free online text option:
    Or the book can be purchased at amazon (both new and used copies) or other retailers:
    ISBN-13: 978-0062397348
    ISBN-10: 0062397346

    All other materials and documents will be provided by the professor and accessible through Canvas.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    This class will be a mixture of video, lecture, presentations, discussion, and related activities. Each week we will complete the chapters as detailed in the Course Outline. For each chapter there is a module in CANVAS with the assigned materials and assessments as required. Grading is based on the following components:

    Assignments = 30 %
    Quizzes = 20%
    Essays = 30%
    Exams = 20%

    It should be remembered that I can only evaluate you on what you submit to the class. I do not GIVE grades - you EARN them. You have the responsibility for your grade in your hands; I am the facilitator for your educational experience - but you are the driving force.

    Please note that I will NOT discuss grades over email, you must make an appointment to see me or stop by for office hours to discuss grading and assessments. If my office hours are not conducive to your schedule please make an appointment with me for a time that is convenient. I am very flexible and willing to meet with you outside of my posted office hours.

    All assignments, activities, quizzes and essays are created with the understanding that you will have access to the book when you are completing and submitting work in Canvas. Therefore, everything in this class is an “open-book” exercise. However, because of that understanding, your assessments will go beyond the basic comprehension and identification questions, and will present complex questions that require equally complex explanations and evidence such as in-text citations (AMGOV pg.123) for ALL written work.

    I know that although I will have due dates assigned in the course that there will be times students for various reasons may have difficulty meeting those deadlines. I will accept your work late under the following conditions: within 24 hours there will be no late penalty assigned, so please just submit your assignment as soon as you can to the due date. If an assignment is submitted more than 48 hours late, but within a week of the original due date, it will automatically have 20% deducted - immediately taken off the top BEFORE it is graded. This is my late policy unless you have made prior arrangements with me regarding your absence or extenuating circumstances can be verified.

    Attendance: There is no attendance policy. Showing up every day is the expectation, it is not an activity which earns you points. You will be expected to sign-in and attend each class. If excessive absences (over 5) are noted for a student, it is the right of the instructor to drop the student from the class. HOWEVER - attendance records may be used to justify rounding up or down on an assignment on a case by case basis.

    All quizzes and essays are created with the understanding that you will have access to the book when you are completing work in Canvas. Therefore, everything in this class is an “open-book” exercise. However, because of that understanding, your assessments will go beyond the basic comprehension and identification questions, and will present complex questions that require equally complex explanations and evidence.

    Outside Readings and Videos for Discussion Boards, Reflection Papers, and activities:
    In this course we will read several outside articles and documents related to the chapters as assigned. For some, you will be asked to post to a Discussion Board forum or write a reflection paper, or complete an activity as part of your weekly work.

    In addition to reading outside selections that highlight topics and events in history, you will also view video clips and movies, both inside and outside of class. These will be available on Canvas under each Module as assigned along with all other readings, documents, rubrics, and links. Instructions, rubrics, and supporting documents will be provided under Modules as these are assigned.

    Discussion Boards will require you to post your own thread which needs to be substantive and academic in tone and vocabulary, and to then reply to five other posts written by your classmates. You also need to follow the rules of common courtesy and reply to those who post to your thread (what I call housekeeping your thread). You should follow the rules of common courtesy and polite conversation, calling others by name and referencing their point before you make your own.


    Quizzes will be assigned and available through the chapter Modules on Canvas. You will have at least 3-7 days to complete a quiz, but they are timed and you only have one attempt to complete and submit the quiz.You may be required to download and use the Respondus Lockdown Browser for these quizzes or to go to the Testing Center for a proctored exam as assigned. Please see the instructions in Canvas for RLB.

    Quizzes can be taken with your book and notes available, but time will not allow you to attempt this without reading the chapter or familiarizing yourself with the material beforehand. A quiz may contain multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or essay questions. All answers should be in complete sentences and proper grammar as instructed. These types of assessments will be timed and monitored. If any Academic Dishonesty is suspected it will be investigated and referred to the Administration (please see the NMJC Academic Honesty policy).

    Essays will also be assigned and submitted through Canvas as assigned. You may be required to utilize TurnItIn or another program for plagiarism checks and assessment. Instructions will be provided in Modules as assigned. The goal of the essays assigned is to learn how to write a short essay, a long essay, and to do a Document Based Question that integrates primary and secondary sources into the answer.

    Movie Review Essays:

    We will watch several movies and write a critical analysis/review essays of each of them for class. I do not want a synopsis of the movie, I want you to pay attention to things like the style, the message, portrayals of stereotypes, and how these elements might reflect or contradict the things we have been studying in class or how it highlights things we may not have looked at. You will be given a handout with questions and topics to cover in the reviews. This should not be a taxing exercise, but one in which you will critically review an artistic work and see how it relates to American history and how we view that period or event in our contemporary culture. What do these films tell us about history and how do they inspire us?

    This is a web-enhanced course, meaning that we utilize traditional classroom time and also assign assessments through our class Canvas site.
    Canvas is the learning management system and is where most of information that you need to be successful in this course "lives". You must learn to check Canvas each day for messages, announcements, changes to our schedule, and to contact me about class.

    Class Format, Netiquette, and Communication:

    I will be lecturing for part of the class, which will support the text. The class will also consist of question and answer and discussion periods. Please come to class prepared to discuss the current chapter and the additional readings for assigned for reflection and discussion. It is not possible to cover all the assigned material in class. You are responsible for the assigned material not covered, YOU MUST READ YOUR TEXTBOOK and expected to be able to discuss all material assigned.

    As many of our assignments will be completed via computer and the internet, it is important you understand the proper internet/online etiquette standards of our coursework. You need to put your professional and academic self forward at all times, however this doesn't mean we cannot have a good time and a humorous tone.


    For ALL collaborative communication please follow the basic guidelines below:
    • Use descriptive subject lines to make threads easy to follow and scan.
    • Keep posts to the correct format for length and content.
    • Back up your statements when you agree or disagree with others.
    • Use professional language, including proper grammar, in academic-related posts. No slang, emoticons, or chat acronyms allowed.
    • Use attachments or links to websites for long, detailed information.
    • Stay on topic or start a new thread if it is allowed.
    • Be respectful of others’ opinions and remember the golden rule—to treat others as you want to be treated, EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREE.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's Social/Behavioral Sciences Department endorses the Core Competencies as established by the State of New Mexico. In compliance with the State Matrix, all histories have been placed in Area V Courses under Humanities and Fine Arts. Within our respective fields, as appropriate, students should:

    A. analyze and critically interpret significant and primary texts and/or works of art (this includes fine art, literature, music, theatre, and film.)

    B. compare art forms, modes of thought and expression, and processes across a range of historical periods and/or structures (such as political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual.)

    C. recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and/or cultural perspectives.

    D. draw on historical and/or cultural perspectives to evaluate any or all of the following: contemporary problems/issues, contemporary modes of expression, and contemporary thought.

    Selected Specific Competencies will be used to demonstrate mastery of the above.


    After completing this course, the successful student should be able to:
    · Generalize pivotal ideas, persons and events in America’s past.
    · Articulate key historical events and figures.
    · Analyze events of the past and their bearing on the present by utilizing various primary and secondary sources.
    · Integrate historical perspectives into personal citizenship/civic engagement.
    · Describe the contributions of influential historical figures, both well-known and lesser known, in American history.
    · Recognize causal relationships between the past and present.

  11. I. New Student Orientation Video Transcript

    II. Basic Computer Skills: How to use an email account, how to attach, upload, and download files. How to view, save, rename, and print files. Have basic word processing skills and are familiar with using different web browsers

    III. Canvas Technical Requirements

    IV. Technology Requirements for Students: A Desktop or Laptop that is no more than five years old, has at least Windows 7 or MAC OSX 10.6 with 1 GB of memory, 2.4 GHz Processor, has a webcam and a microphone. The Internet speed is between 5 to 10 Mbps per second.

    V. Technical and Academic Support

    Call the 24/7 Canvas Help Desk at (575) 399-2199 for assistance and have your course CRN (ex. 10023) and your Username available.

    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.


    Additional Assignment details will be posted in Canvas, along with all Rubrics used for assessment.

    FINAL EXAM: *Final Exams are scheduled in the regular classroom on tba


    I reserve the right to edit this syllabus at any time, or to make changes to the class format if adjustments need to be made. If made, these changes will be communicated in writing using the CANVAS system.

    I will not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, disrespect of anyone in this class, and consider these to be grave offenses.

    I am always available for outside help or instruction, and I hope you will find me to be a very tolerant and fair person, albeit one with a dry sense of humor. This is a learning experience for us all, and it is my hope that we can make it an enjoyable one. I look forward to the semester - and hope you do as well.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    (This is a tentative outline.)

    United States History to 1877

    Week One
    Course Introduction and Syllabus
    Historical Thinking Skills – The Four Reads
    History is a Weapon – Howard Zinn
    You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train - film

    Week Two
    Goodbye Columbus – the Truth about Columbus
    Crash Course Series Introduction Reflection & The Columbian Exchange
    Howard Zinn CH 1 - Quiz

    Week Three
    Crash Course Video
    Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and Me
    Howard Zinn CH 2 – Quiz

    Week Four
    Crash Course Videos - Colonial Ways of Life
    VA Slavery Legislation
    Film Analysis Article, Clips, & Quiz
    Howard Zinn CH 3 - Quiz

    Week Five
    Salem, The Crucible, and McCarthyism
    MOVIE ANALYSIS PROJECT– Last of the Mohicans

    Week Six
    Crash Course Videos - From Colonies to States
    The Many Faces of Benjamin Franklin
    Common Sense
    Howard Zinn CH 4 - quiz

    Week Seven
    Crash Course Videos
    The American Revolution
    What do You Declare?
    Dirty Little Secret

    Week Eight
    Movie Analysis Essay – The Patriot

    Week Nine
    Crash Course - The Constitution
    The Constitution – Founding Father’s Library
    Howard Zinn CH 5 - Quiz

    Week Ten
    Undaunted Courage - Stephen Ambrose
    The War of 1812 – Don’t Give up the Ship!
    Crash Course

    Week Eleven
    Crash Course Video - The Opening of America
    The Market Revolution
    Howard Zinn A People’s History CH 6 - quiz

    Week Twelve
    The Jacksonian Era
    Nullification, Indian Removal & the Bank War – King Andrew
    Howard Zinn’s A People’s History CH 7 - quiz

    Week Thirteen
    The Old South

    Week Fourteen
    Religion, Romanticism, & Reform
    Howard Zinn CH 8 - quiz
    The Gathering Storm: The Causes of the Civil War

    Week Fifteen
    Crash Course
    Howard Zinn CH 9 - quiz
    Women in the Civil War
    Film Analysis - Gettysburg or Glory

    Week Sixteen
    Crash Course
    Howard Zinn CH 10 - quiz
    The Civil War Continued
    Ken Burns – The Civil War