Georgia Highlands College

HIST 2111/W1, "American History I"

Online HIST 2111 is designed for those who need flexibility with their class schedule, have experience with computers and D2L specifically, and are self-motivated learners. 

Are you ready for an online class?

I highly recommend that you take the Readiness for Education At a Distance Indicator (READI) to assess your readiness, your goals, and your learning preferences.  You can find the READI at

On that page you will find several User Names and Passwords.  Just select and use the one that best fits your major area of study.  When the READI opens, you will notice a navigation bar on the left side.  The items listed in the bar are the areas that you will be measured on by the indicator.  At the end, a report will be displayed which you can use to help you prepare to be successful as a distance-learning student.


*For this course, there is a mandatory orientation session that will be online using Collaborate on Saturday, January 11th OR Sunday, January 12th. Paste the following link into your browser to enter either session.

The Saturday, January 11th session will begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.

The Sunday, January 12th session will begin at 2:30 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Choose the session that best meets your schedule. 

The only on-campus meetings are the two proctored midterm and final exams.  Students are responsible for signing up for these proctored exams according to the schedule set up by the proctors (TBA).  Dates and times for these exams will be offered at each of our campus locations.

How to sign up for the midterm and final exams:

The registration system for the midterm exam opens two weeks after the start of the semester.  For final exams, the registration system will open the week after midterm exams.  If you are taking more than one Web-based, Online or DVD course, then you must sign up for a different testing session for each course.  The following link will take you to the sign-up information page:

Information on how to Sign-Up for an online course midterm or final exam

Prerequisites for this course: Satisfactory placement scores/READ 0099 and ENGL 0099.

Course Description : This is a survey of U. S. History to the post-Civil War period; this course stresses the political and constitutional history of the United States from earliest settlements until 1877. It satisfies the state legislative requirements in United States and Georgia history.

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Moss                                                  

Office: Marietta campus, Norton Hall, room 232,                            

Office Hours on campus:

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Available online: Mondays and Wednesdays: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.


The following text is required for this course:

Foner, Eric.   Give Me Liberty! An American History.   Volume One, Seagull Fourth Edition.

Additional readings will appear on this D2L website for the course.

All assigned readings are required and necessary. You must be familiar with the use of the Internet and D2L. You must have reliable internet access from a computer (not a smartphone) that is off campus or be able to use internet facilities on campus.


Course Objectives:

Upon the successful completion of this course:

Students will be able to explain the diversity of the Native American cultures prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

Students will discuss the centrality of slavery to the emerging Atlantic economy.

Students will be able to explain the causes & consequences of exploration & colonization including issues of trade, cultural diversity, & the origins of the American Revolution.

Students will be able to discuss the consequences of the cultural collision among Europeans & Indian Nations, from New England to New Spain, from the initial colonial encounter through the policy of removal.

Students will be able to explain the larger historical & intellectual contexts of the American Constitution & Bill of Rights, including Enlightenment ideas & English common law.

Students will be able to identify issues pertaining to governmental systems & the evolution of American liberty from the Articles of Confederation to the end of the Age of Jackson.

Students will be able to identify economic development & cultural reform movements during the first half of the 19th century.

Students will be able to explain the relationship between events connected to Manifest Destiny & the causes of sectionalism & the Civil War.

The student will be able to identify decisive events of the Civil War & explain the regional & national consequences of Reconstruction.

Student Learning Outcomes


  • Students will demonstrate their ability to express ideas logically and clearly in standard written English.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to read, analyze, and comprehend college level written texts.

Critical Thinking

  • Students will be able to recognize differing perspectives and points of view.
  • Students will be able to anticipate consequences.

Social Science

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of diversity among cultures.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of current and historical political systems.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of current and historical social systems.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the cause and effect relationships in society.
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with the basic concepts of the American governmental system.


Course Expectations:

1. Attendance: Although this is an online course, you must regularly do readings, finish assignments, and take part in discussions on a scheduled basis. This is not a course where you complete the assignments at your own pace, when you feel like it. You must consult the Course Assignments document daily to make sure you have completed your work on time.

2. Make-Up Work : Exams, quizzes, and written assignments are required of all students at the stated time periods. Make-ups will be administered only in cases of confirmed emergencies and at the discretion of the professor.

3. Respect: All students will respect the scholarship, views, and opinions of the instructor and fellow students. In our discussions and communication, debates are welcome; disrespect will not be tolerated.

4. Honesty: All requirements of this course must be completed with academic honesty. Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.

Plagiarism is submitting work that is not yours and passing it off as your work. It is copying work from a website, a book, a journal or other source without giving credit to the source that created it. It is stealing the ideas of others. It is dishonest. It is wrong. It will not be tolerated at Georgia Highlands College.

Students guilty of plagiarism or cheating will receive an automatic F on that assignment and may receive a grade of F for the entire class.   Additionally all incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to Georgia Highlands College. Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subjected to anti-plagiarism review through services such as or search engines (Google for example).   Submitted papers will be included as source documents in a reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.   Use of is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the website.

5. Intellectual Curiosity: All students are expected to actively involve themselves in this course. A variety of materials have been selected, with differing viewpoints. You are expected to critically examine all materials - the textbook, the readings, audio-visual materials, and lectures. You are required to THINK in this class.

Accommodation of Disability:

Disability Statement: "Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should make an appointment with the College Access Center (706: 802-5003) to coordinate reasonable accommodations.  The students are also welcome to contact the instructors privately to discuss one's specific needs."


Evaluation and Grading

Your work will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Course participation: This includes participation in course activities and completion of assignments on time.

Discussions: Taking part in discussions requires a meaningful contribution, a thoughtful response, not an "I agree" comment. Your comment should add something to the discussion. Audio-visuals, PowerPoints, and links on the Course Assignments document are integral parts of this course, supplementing the text. These sources can contribute to your ability to make a thoughtful response, so do read them.

Written Analyses: Students will write a response to the readings as indicated in the syllabus. These responses will be submitted using the Dropbox tab. Your responses must take into account your understanding of the historical period about which you are writing.

Document Analysis:  Students will complete a Document Analysis of specified primary documents.   The Document Analysis Worksheet will be available on-line.

Reading Comprehension Quizzes: Students will answer a timed five question multiple-choice quiz after each chapter from the textbook. There are 15 quizzes. These quizzes will be accessed through the Quizzes tab. They will test your understanding of the material. The quiz questions are taken from the study questions on the Course Assignments document. Make sure to keep up with your reading assignments (found on the Course Assignments document).

Exams:   There will be two proctored exams that must be taken on-campus. Both of these will consist of matching, multiple choice, short answer questions, and one essay question. The exams will test your understanding of the material covered in the readings, powerpoints, and class discussions.


The components of your grade are weighted as follows:

Class Participation - 5%

Discussions - 15%

Comprehension Quizzes - 10%

Document Analysis - 15%

Written Response - 15%

Midterm Exam - 20 %

Final Exam - 20%


Grades are computed as follows

A = 90-100

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 0-59

A = Student demonstrates mastery of the content and methods of the course, as well as originality, depth and instinctive insights

B = Student demonstrates a good command of the content and methods of the course, reflects comprehension, and achieves the stated objectives

C = Student demonstrates adequate competence in the content and methods of the course

D = Student demonstrates minimal knowledge of the content and methods of the course.

F = Student fails to demonstrate knowledge of the content and methods of the course.


"Standard Rules for the Student"

The following, written by Fela Sowande, will provide guidance as you approach this course and the readings:

1. Never be over-awed by authority. Not at any time whatever, nor for any reason whatsoever, can any one with safety or profit permit his faculty-of-thought to take a 'sabbatical', least of all when the individual's mind is exposed to the thoughts of other people.

2. Be open to conviction, but refuse to be convinced until conviction becomes a necessity. In other words, do not imprison your mind in the padded cell of the comfortable rut of your own preferred beliefs, prejudices, biases, or ego-centricity!

3. Read little, think deeply - and much. Avoid acquiring the 'grasshopper-mind'. Books are highly suggestive, therefore, choose your authors with care; take time to think through the full implications and connotations of what you read, and test its validity from as many angles as you can. Even nourishing food leads to indigestion, if swallowed whole. Avoid mental indigestion at all costs.

4. Seek TRUTH and pursue it, to the extent of remaking your own mind no matter the cost, should it become necessary. The 'superstitions' of today were the 'truths' of yesterday; the 'truths' of today will be the 'superstitions' of tomorrow. Allow them no "permanent-residence" in your mind. Seek not mere "knowledge" but UNDERSTANDING. Perchance WISDOM may follow.

5. Never lie to yourself, or you are a lost fool.

6. Learn to "think beyond the thoughts of people that lean on things they see", who so easily become "obsessed by the perceptible" to such an extent that their capacity for original thought gradually becomes so atrophied, that all they can do is to repeat parrot-fashion the cast-off thoughts of others, with less intelligence than the (so-called) 'dumb' animals.

7. Make it your golden rule never to be broken, NOT under any circumstances to consult any author on any subject until you shall first have thought deeply about it and reached some conclusions, no matter how tentative. Remember at all times: NOTHING BELONGS TO YOU EXCEPT YOUR MIND HAS HAD A HAND IN ITS FORMULATION.

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