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Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain knowledge of some of the major developments in American history to 1877 (discovery, colonization, American Revolution, establishment of the Constitution, foreign affairs, westward expansion, gender, slavery, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction), including an understanding of key historical terms and theories. Demonstrate this knowledge in exams, papers, and class discussions.
  2. Hone the ability to analyze questions and issues in American history to 1877, assess historical information accurately, and distinguish between questionable and valid historical assertions in exams and papers.
  3. Learn through example and practice in classroom activities, papers, and exams to evaluate primary and secondary sources skillfully and honestly.
  4. Learn to skillfully integrate data into coherent arguments expressed through a clear, well-written style in exams, papers, class discussion, and other classroom learning activities.

Course Materials

You will need to purchase these materials to complete the course:

Note: You do not need MyHistoryLab to complete this course. You are welcome to buy access to it if you would like to, but it is neither required nor expected that you do so.

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Map/Chronology/Events Quiz

This quiz covers a broad range of locations, dates, and events important for you to know as you begin the course. You do not have to know details about these items at the beginning of the course, but knowing the basics will help you as you continue in the course.

Use this map to help you study: [ LINK REMOVED ] Map Quiz Study Guide

Lesson Quizzes

These quizzes check your understanding and retention of the material you read. Each quiz consists of about 20 multiple-choice questions. The quizzes are timed: you will have 15 minutes to complete each quiz. This means you will need to thoroughly read the material, because you will not have time to look up the answers after you begin the quiz.

Common Sense Discussion Board Response

In lesson 6, you will read Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and write a 500-word (equivalent of 2-page double-spaced) response to the prompts, which you will post on the course discussion board. In addition to posting your ideas, read some of your classmates’ responses and consider how their perspectives agree with or differ from yours.


You will write two 5-page (1250-word) responses to specific prompts; one on the Constitution in lesson 7, and another on Blassingame’s The Slave Community in lesson 11. Submit both electronically, in .DOC or .DOCX format.

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You will complete three exams during the course.

Hint: To prepare for the exams, review the readings, the learning outcomes, and the review questions.

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Here is the breakdown of how the assignments and exams contribute to your course grade:

Map/Chronology/Events Quiz 25 points
16 quizzes 80 points (5 points each)
Common Sense Response 25 points
Constitution Write-up 25 points
Slave Community Write-up 25 points
Midcourse Exam 1 100 points
Midcourse Exam 2 100 points
Final Exam 100 points
Total 480 points

Your letter grade will be determined using this percentage scale:

A 93–100
A− 90–92
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B− 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C− 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D− 60–62
E (fail) 0–59

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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