Western Civilization III Course Syllabus

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1 Western Civilization III Course Syllabus Young man, there is America which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world. INSTRUCTOR: Miss Clausen -Edmund Burke COURSE DESCRIPTION: Welcome to Western Civilization III. Our course will focus on the founding of America and continue through the Civil War and Reconstruction. This may sound like a been there, done that course that students have studied before, but our study will go far beyond the significance of 1776 or rehashing the Peculiar Institution of America s original sin of slavery. We will certainly build and reinforce a strong knowledge of essential content (the all-important facts and dates) regarding the period of history from 1492 to The core progression of events will begin with Age of Exploration and discovery of the New World, and move into the American Colonial Era, culminating in the American Revolution and founding of the United States. The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Convention stand tall in this course. We pass into the 19 th century and study America s growth and expansion as a fledgling nation trying to establish itself. Finally, we will look at the origins, events, and consequences of the catastrophic Civil War and subsequent attempt to reconstruct the Union. Along the way, we will examine some of the extremely important observations of Alexis de Tocqueville in the classic Democracy in America. Our year ends with the Industrial Revolution and Westward Expansion in full-swing, with America poised to take a giant leap forward as a global economic and political power. But the perhaps too-familiar feel of American history may blind us to some incredible stories, questions, and dilemmas. What separates America from its European past, and what unites it? What are the intellectual, religious, political, philosophical, and the oft-underappreciated geographical origins of the American founding? Is America a new nation? Or a continuation of an older civilization, that takes cues and inspiration from Rome and Britain? How does the American political project change the relationship between free man and state, and how does a democratic age change the mores and practices of society? Why is the American South so different from the North, and what role does slavery play in the story? How does the Civil War change the trajectory of American history? Is America really a unique nation a shining city on a hill and does it have a special place in the world, even today? COURSE BOOKS: America: the Last Best Hope. Vol.1 William J. Bennett Primary Sources Provided in Class N.B. The primary text for the course is America: the Last Best Hope. Students will get to keep their copy of the book, and are expected to take notes and annotate in the book itself.

2 NOTABLE PRIMARY SOURCES: Second Treatise of Government (excerpts) John Locke Leviathan (excerpts) Thomas Hobbes The Declaration of Independence The Constitution of the United States The Federalist Papers Excerpts Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville Abraham Lincoln Excerpts N.B. Expect other, shorter primary source documents on a routine basis. MATERIALS: You will need the following for class: 3-ring binder with dividers Loose leaf notepaper (no spiral bound paper) Black or blue pens Red pen for marking Highlighter N.B. The edging of spiral bound paper has the unfortunate habit of ending up scattered along the floor. Exotic ink colors don t make your writing any cleverer, just harder to read. READING AND TAKING NOTES: The bulk of studying will come through reading assignments, classroom lecture and discussion. Students will be expected to take notes in class and on their reading, and to keep those notes ordered and on-hand; they will be your primary method of reviewing for tests. Students should use the Cornell note taking system in class. There will occasionally be short-response questions assigned as homework for use in class discussion and test-preparation. These will be included in class participation. Notes and student organization of class materials will be periodically taken up and graded. N.B. Daily homework assignments will be posted on Engrade. GRADING: Notebook 10% Quizzes/Class participation 20% Tests/Papers 60% Quizzes: Expect quizzes frequently, either announced or unannounced. Quizzes will be short and primarily designed to gauge your familiarity with content (and to help keep you honest in doing the readings). Quizzes will cover readings and classroom material.

3 Tests/Papers: You will be tested over each unit of material. You will be notified of tests well in advance, and given ample time to review and study. Tests will feature a range of short objective questions, and longer complex questions asking you to give a written analytical response. There will be two argumentative papers on key topics in the class (one on the American Founding and one on the Civil War) that will require students to take a position and defend it with appeals to primary sources. All typed writing will use Times New Roman 12 pt font, and will be formatted and cited according to classroom instruction. Fall and Spring Final Exams: There will be a mid-term exam before Christmas and a final exam at the end of the year. Both will be comprehensive. GRADING SCALE: A A B B B C C C F 0-69 HISTORY FAIR: Students will have the opportunity to participate in the School History Fair. This is an optional assignment. CLASSROOM POLICIES: Needless to say, everything in the student handbook applies for this class. In particular though, the following policies are emphasized: Food and all liquids other than water will not be permitted. No gum. Students will obey all uniform regulations and comport themselves with decorum and respect. Students will be seated with notes and books out before class begins. The beginning of class is not the time to start getting ready for class. Talking out of turn and disrespecting those around them is not a reflection of the maturity that is expected of students. Students should not have to be reminded of this. Students will always remember that they are examples and role models to the rest of the school. Overall, be mindful of George Washington s first rule of Civility and Decent Behavior: Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present. ABSENCES AND MAKEUP WORK:

4 See the section in the school handbook for specific details. In brief, you have as many days to make up missed work due to excused absences, as days you missed. If you know you ll be missing class and can get assignments ahead of time, those will be due when you return. Work that is habitually late or incomplete may be subject to disciplinary action. TUTORING: Miss Clausen is available during study hall and by appointment for tutoring or any assistance as needed. I am available at all hours by , and will endeavor to respond promptly to all questions. HONESTY: Cheating and plagiarism are not merely wrong, they are disrespectful to the teacher, class content, one's peers, and perhaps most importantly, to oneself. Any cheating or plagiarism will result in a zero grade, a trip to the Headmaster s office, and the involvement of the student's parents. Students should have too much pride (the good kind) to resort to base deceit. A low but honest grade is a far better thing than a high false grade, even assuming it isn't found out. Which it will be. Plagiarism is turning in work under your own name, that is not your own. Quoting someone else without citing it and pretending it is your own work is wrong. Quoting someone else and merely switching a few words or phrases around to make it look like your own words is also wrong. We will discuss in class how to properly handle quotations and evidence when writing history. Cheating is working off your peers. Looking at someone else's quiz or test for answers, is wrong. Stealing notes and copying them without permission, is also wrong. HOWEVER: If you miss a day and need to catch up, you may copy someone's notes if they give you permission, but be sure to talk about the work with them so you understand the content. You may also study for tests in groups and share notes with each other. COURSE OUTLINE Semester 1 Introduction and the definition of History Luther and the Reformation The Tudors and the Stuarts The English Civil War The long Enlightenment Hobbes and Locke The Age of Exploration: Spain, Portugal, and France Jamestown, The Mayflower, and the Arbella The Development of the Colonies King Philip s War Salem Witch Trials The Great Awakening The French and Indian War (Meet George Washington) Sugar Act, Stamp Act Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party (Meet John Adams) The Declaration of Independence The Revolutionary War

5 Semester 2 The Revolutionary War continued The Articles of Confederation The Federalist Papers Constructing the Constitution The Bill of Rights George Washington and Cincinnatus Alexander Hamilton: The National Bank and the Duel John Adams and Thomas Jefferson The Louisiana Purchase, Missouri Compromise, Westward expansion The War of 1812 Madison, Monroe, and Adams Jacksonian Democracy Calhoun and Nullification Antebellum South and the Abolitionists The Rising Storm Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War The Beginning of Reconstruction ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Please sign and date this syllabus, and return to class. Signature: Student: Parent: Date:

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