Course Outlines

Suffolk County Community College

CATALOG NO.: HIS-103 COURSE: Foundations of American History
INSTRUCTOR: Professor West DEPARTMENT: Social Science


YEAR: 2014

  TEXT: Foner, Eric, Give Me Liberty: An American History, Vol. 1: To 1877, Seagull Third Edition, W. W. Norton & Co. We will use the electronic version of the book.
To purchase a site license, go to this link

Warren, Elizabeth, A Fighting Chance, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2014


The student will be able to:

1. demonstrate an awareness of the major events in American history to 1877, such as national origins, economic development, and the growth of the republic.

2 .explain the basic workings and development of the American political system, including the emergence of the party system.

3. demonstrate an understanding of how the past has shaped the present, including how colonial America impacted on 20th century America.

4. take an informed stand on issues, that affect his/her role as an American citizen, e.g., voter's rights, racial equality, etc.

5. evaluate the importance of key issues such as:

population growth and ethnic diversity
slavery and abolitionism

war and conflict

social problems

foreign affairs

role of women


The textbook should be read progressively during the semester so that it is completely read by the end of the semester. The course is centered around classroom lectures and discussion. The textbook, however, is also an essential part of the course, providing continuity and important details. Supplementary readings and a bibliography are accessible on the web site:
If you do not have access to a computer at home, you can use the computers in the computer lab in the lower level of the library. A book report, and a research report or second book report are required. The first book report will be based on the autobiography of Elizabeth Warren.The second report will be based on one of the books listed in the course bibliography . A possible alternative to a book report may be a research report, if approved in advance by the instructor.

Blackboard software will be used as a supplement to the course for purposes of online tests, and grading. Blackboard is accessible through the "My SCCC" portal on the college website.


The English Department offers a Reading Laboratory, and a Writing Laboratory which includes personalized instruction in the correct procedures for research reports. A Computer Laboratory in the Library offers personalized assistance in word processing which is a valuable tool in writing reports, as well as giving you access to the internet supplements to the textbook.


1. A book report, and a research paper or second book report are required. Send me an e-mail to advise me of your selection of a book for the second book report, or a topic for a research paper on or before October 7th. Proposals for a research paper must be made on or before October 7th. Otherwise, choose a book from the course bibliography for a second book report. Please indicate your course and section number in your message.
2. The first report on the autobiography of Elizabeth Warren is due on September 30th. The final deadline for the Warren book is October 30th.The second report is due on November 11th. Late reports will lose credit. If the second report is not submitted by November 29th, you will receive a grade of W or F.
Written instructions for these reports can be accessed from my Homepage by clicking on "Report Requirements".

2. There will be six multiple choice tests during the semester, the dates for which will be announced in advance. Adequate preparation for the tests requires studying the text, participating in class discussions, and using the supplementary internet resources. The tests will be accessible online, using Blackboard software. Tests will not be given during class times. They will be given at specific times outside of class hours. It will be your reponsibility to take the tests during the specified times.

GRADING POLICY: The first report = 15%. The second report = 25% of the grade. The average of the 6 tests = 60 % of the grade. A grade of "W" or "F" will result if the term report is not completed. Reports which are copied or plagiarized will result in an immediate failure of the course.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Regular class attendance is essential if you expect to understand the course material and get full benefit from taking the course. In case of unavoidable absence, let the instructor know the reason.
Lateness will count as 1/4th of an absence. If you leave before class dismissal you are liable to be counted absent. Points will be added or subtracted from your final grade in accordance with the following table:
Perfect Attendance: +3 points One absence: +1 point Two absences: 0 point Three absences: -1 points
Four absences: -2 points Five absences: -4 points 6 absences: -6 points 7 absences: F or W grade

It is your reponsibility to keep track of your attendance. Attendance records will be available at the beginning and the end of each class meeting.

CLASS DECORUM: I welcome questions and contributions to class discussions, however, they should be relevant to the topic. Attention should be focused on the class activity. Reading, and the use of laptop computers or other mobile electronic devices, is not allowed during class time.

WITHDRAWAL DATE: The last date at which you may withdraw voluntarily from the course is Anyone who has been absent more than 3 times should withdraw from the course. After that date, you cannot withdraw without failing the course, unless you notify me, before the end of the semester, with a valid reason for doing so. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have withdrawn.

DATE CHAPTER 3rd Edition
9/2 6& Decl. of Independence. 1776
The Revolution Within (See Decl. of Independence )

Forging a New Nation


See appendix or the Web site


Securing the Republic: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson

Jefferson, Madison and the War of 1812



The Era of "Good Feelings", The Jacksonian Era

A New World: Indians, Portugal and Castile
Dutch and French Colonies; Founding of English Colonies
Slavery, Struggle for Empire: British Supremacy
Revolution and Independence: background and prelude
Economic and Cultural Changes
1815 -1845
Slavery, Reform, and Westward Expansion
12, 13
A House Divided
Civil War
15, web site

SUPPLEMENTARY READING LIST: Select one of the books on the supplementary reading list (bibliography) for a book report. The bibliography may be found on the web site.

HS33 bibliography
Book Report

Course Outlines

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