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Online · College of Arts & Sciences · History

Survey of American History I

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 02/11/2020

Course Description

A survey of the political, social and economic developments of America from the colonizing experience through the Civil War with emphasis on the development of the American democratic tradition.





As part of Liberty University’s liberal arts education, this course seeks to develop the student’s capacity to think and act creatively and critically within the context of Christian values. Therefore, this course’s purpose goes beyond a mere study of names and dates to developing the student’s historical consciousness, which provides insight into the complex realities of modern living. Understanding history in this grand manner, then, is a vital prerequisite to responsible citizenship.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify major figures and events in American history to 1865.
  2. Describe the stages of American national development to 1865.
  3. Explain how political, economic, military, diplomatic, religious, and cultural factors influenced American development to 1865.
  4. Demonstrate college-level competencies in reading comprehension, documentary analysis, research and historical writing.
  5. Evaluate interpretive and historiographical approaches to American history to 1865.
  6. Apply biblical principles to the problems and issues of American history to 1865.

Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs): Communication and information literacy (CIL)

Communication and information literacy

CIL 1: Discover and evaluate information to accomplish a specific purpose.

CIL 2: Communicate information effectively in the English language, orally and/or through writing, for a variety of purposes, using technology when appropriate.

CIL 3: Analyze and assess various forms of information and expression to determine their meaning, employing technology when relevant.

CIL 4: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the role of research and scholarship in order to apply it in various contexts.

CIL 5: Relate communication and information literacy to participation in God’s redemptive work

Critical thinking

CT 2: Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning.

Course Resources

Required Resource

The resource below is provided in the course at no cost to the student. However, if the student prefers a physical copy of the resource, he or she may purchase it through the Liberty University Online bookstore, MBS Direct. The purchase of physical copies is optional.

Liberty University Custom: Cengage Learning. MindTap® for U.S. History. Boston: Cengage Custom Publishing, 2015.

Disclaimer: The above resource provides information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in this resource.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Turabian Style Guide:
    5. Please note, technical skills for this course include: Creating and submitting files in Microsoft Word, Basic Blackboard navigation skills.

Course Assignments

MindTap readings, lecture presentations, primary sources, and websites

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

MindTap Activities (50)

The student will complete various activities in MindTap (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Primary Source and Presentation Reviews (8)

The student will complete quizzes that cover all presentations, articles, or websites for the module/week in which they are assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and/or true/false questions, and have a time limit of 30 minutes. At the discretion of the instructor, 10% may be deducted for every 5 minutes the student exceeds the time limit (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

American History Opposing Viewpoints Project

This project will be completed in stages throughout your course, with specific instructions provided for each portion in the appropriate weeks. The stages will be completed as follows:

Week 2: Part I… Summary and topic selection

Week 4: Part II… Sources and Annotated Bibliography

Week 6: Part III… Completed Research Project (3 pages)

Specific instruction guides for this Three Part task are respectively located in the Course Content site Module/Weeks 2, 4, and 6 links. Students will be required to format all aspects of the Part II and Part III portions of the project following Turabian citation style (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4, and CT 2).

Museum or National Park Proposal Assignment

By the close of Module Week 4, the student will post a brief proposal requesting instructor permission to either physically visit a suitable location or a website pertaining to the upcoming Mod. 7 Museum or National Park Assignment. For the sake of planning ahead and before posting a site proposal, students are strongly encouraged to enter the Mod. 7 course site to locate and carefully read the Instruction Guide for the Museum or National Park Assignment. The post should include 3-4 sentences discussing the site proposal as well as the general interest or reason behind the visit. If a student decides to utilize a website, such as a “walking tour” link or a quality YouTube site of a historical museum or location, they will need to include the website address in their proposal post. Within a few days after the proposal entry has been submitted, students will receive a reply from the instructor. Upon review and discretion utilizing the assignment feedback tool, the instructor will approve or disapprove of the proposed location and/or weblink and, if need be, express the reason. If the proposal and/or suggested link is not approved by the instructor, the student must must promptly locate a new site to utilize that will be acceptable to the instructor. It is most important that students receive instructor approval of the location and/or website before pursuing the visit and writing the follow-up paper assignment that will be due by the close of Mod. 7 (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Museum or National Park Visit Assignment

The student will visit one of three options related to U.S. historical events between the 1500s-1865: 1. A local museum. 2. A National Park. 3. A website walking video tour of a Museum or National Park related to U.S. historical events between the 1500s-1865. As a precaution, if the student chooses the website route, it is strongly urged that they contact their class professor well in advance to gain approval for both the location and website. The student will then type a double space 12 font reflection (700-800 words) answering the following questions… How is this historical site relevant to events within the 1500s-1865 and the area now known as the United States? What historical information did you learn from this visit? What historical event or events were covered via this site? What (i.e.) artifacts and/or other displayed items were interesting to you and why? In other words, what stood out about this place and why? How did the site help you appreciate history? (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Reading Comprehension Assessments (2)

The student will complete 2 assessments throughout the course. Each assessment will have a short passage embedded in it. The student will read it and answer 5 multiple-choice questions within a time limit of 20 minutes. Each assessment will be openbook/open-notes. At the discretion of the instructor, 10% may be deducted for every 5 minutes the student exceeds the time limit (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; FSLO: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


MindTap Activities (50 at 4–10 pts ea)


American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part I (Summary)


American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part II (Annotated Bibliography)


American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part III (Research Paper)


Primary Source and Presentation Reviews (8 at 20 pts ea)


Reading Comprehension Assessments (2 at 20 pts ea)


Museum or Nation Park Visit Proposal


Museum or National Park Visit Assignment




Course Policies

Instructor Feedback and Response Time

Red Zone: Emails sent within the 36-hour period preceding the submission deadline may not be answered in time to help with content questions. All late policies will apply.


Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


HIUS 221


Reading & Study




3 presentations

3 primary sources

1 website

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

MindTap Activities (5)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 1






2 presentations

1 primary source

MindTap Activities (6)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 2

Reading Comprehension Assessment 1

American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part I






4 presentations

1 website

MindTap Activities (6)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 3




3 presentations

1 website

MindTap Activities (6)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 4

American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part II

Museum or National Park Visit Proposal






4 presentations

MindTap Activities (6)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 5




3 presentations

MindTap Activities (8)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 6

American History Opposing Viewpoints: Part III





3 presentations

MindTap Activities (7)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 7

Museum or National Park Visit Assignment





5 presentations

1 primary source

MindTap Activities (6)

Primary Source and Presentation Review 8

Reading Comprehension Assessment 2






NOTE: Each course module/week (except Module/Week 1) begins on Tuesday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Monday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.