Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Liberty University logo

Online · College of Arts & Sciences · History

Survey of American History I

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 06/09/2022

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.


For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog


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.

Course 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.

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

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Canvas recommended browsers
    4. Turabian Style Guide
    5.  Microsoft Word

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 the Course Overview.

Maintaining Memory Assignment

The student will research a historical character from the list provided and write a 300-350 word summary explaining their accomplishments and why he/she should be remembered today (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; CIL: 1, 2, 3, 4, and CT 2).

American History Opposing Viewpoints Project Assignments (3)

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

  • American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Summary Assignment 
  • American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment
  • American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Research Paper Assignment

(CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; CIL: 1, 2, 3, 4, and CT 2).

Museum or National Park Visit: Proposal Assignment

The student will post a brief proposal requesting instructor permission for an in-person visit or an official virtual tour of a historical museum or national park pertaining to American History from 1500-1865. It is most important that the student receive instructor approval of the location or website before pursuing the visit and writing the follow-up assignment (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; CIL: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Museum or National Park Visit: Paper Assignment

The student will write a 600-700 word follow up paper that provides an overview of the museum or national park in-person visit or virtual tour. The student will explain how the historical site is relevant to American history from 1500-1865, highlight the information learned from the visit or virtual tour, and point out which artifacts and other displayed items were most interesting. The student will also ascertain how the in-person visit or virtual tour helped foster a greater appreciation for history (CLO: A, B, C, D, E and F; CIL: 1, 2, 3, 4).

MindTap Quizzes (51)

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

Quizzes (10)

The student will complete quizzes that cover the specified materials from the current module in which they are assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, For standard quizzes, the student will have 30 minutes to choose the correct answers to 10 multiple-choice questions. For primary source quizzes, there will be a short passage from a primary source that is embedded in it. The student will read it and answer 5 multiple-choice questions within a time limit of 20 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; CIL: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


MindTap Quizzes (51 at 4–10 pts ea)


Maintaining Memory Assignment


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Summary Assignment


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Research Paper Assignment


Quizzes (10 at 20 pts ea)


Museum or National Park Visit: Proposal Assignment


Museum or National Park Visit: Paper 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 discussions, 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 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 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 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


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Technology Integration Set-Up

Prepare: Cengage MindTap

Module 1: Week 1

Read: 5 items

Watch: 3 items

Explore: 1 item


Quiz: Exploration and Settlement

Quiz: European Motivations and Early Advances into the New World

Quiz: Native American and West African Societies before Contact

Quiz: Technology and European Exploration

Quiz: Missions, Labor, and an End to Spanish Dominance in the New World

Quiz: The Columbian Exchange

Module 2: Week 2

Read: 3 items

Watch: 2 items


Maintaining Memory Assignment

Quiz: Colonial America and the Great Awakening

Quiz: Primary Source - Jonathan Edwards

Quiz: The Rise of New World Slavery

Quiz: Point-Counterpoint: Political Lens

Quiz: Point-Counterpoint: Economic Lens

Quiz: Patterns of European Settlement

Quiz: Natives and Newcomers

Quiz: Colonial Society in British North America

Module 3: Week 3

Read: 3 items

Watch: 4 items


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Summary Assignment

Quiz: The Era of the American Revolution

Quiz: Shifting Territorial Claims in North America

Quiz: Colonial Responses to British Economic Policies

Quiz: Changing American Ideas and the Concept of Liberty

Quiz: The Common People

Quiz: The War

Quiz: Diplomacy and Peace

Module 4: Week 4

Read: 3 items

Watch: 4 items


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Museum or National Park Visit: Proposal Assignment

Quiz: The American Republic

Quiz: Challenges of Confederation

Quiz: Constitutional Reform

Quiz: The First Party System

Quiz: Pivotal Presidential Elections

Quiz: Foreign Entanglements

Quiz: Why Does This Matter? Social Lens

Module 5: Week 5

Read: 4 items

Watch: 3 items


Quiz: The Democratization of America

Quiz: Picturing History

Quiz: The Second Party System

Quiz: Why Does This Matter? Political Lens

Quiz: Natives and Newcomers

Quiz: War of 1812

Quiz: An Expanding Nation

Quiz: Building a National Economy

Module 6: Week 6

Read: 4 items

Watch: 3 items


American History Opposing Viewpoints Project: Research Paper Assignment

Quiz: American Revival and Reform

Quiz: Reforming the Young Republic

Quiz: One Long Struggle toward Equality

Quiz: Our Peculiar Institution

Quiz: Debating and Opposing Slavery

Quiz: Taking Sides

Quiz: Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny

Quiz: Trails to the West

Quiz: Getting to the Source: Economic Lens

Module 7: Week 7

Read: 2 items

Watch: 3 items


Museum or National Park Visit: Paper Assignment

Quiz: Expansion and Sectionalism

Quiz: Picturing History

Quiz: The U.S. War with Mexico

Quiz: Picturing History

Quiz: Compromise of 1850

Quiz: Then & Now˸ Social Lens

Quiz: The Crisis in Kansas

Quiz: Political Polarization

Module 8: Week 8

Read: 1 item

Watch: 5 items


Quiz: The War Between the States

Quiz: Primary Source - Lucretia Mott

Quiz: The Battlefront, 1861-1862

Quiz: The War on the Home Front

Quiz: Point-Counterpoint: Social Lens

Quiz: Point-Counterpoint: Economic Lens

Quiz: The Battlefront 1862-1865

Quiz: Politics and Dissension