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Online · College of Arts & Sciences · History

History of American Politics
HIUS-341

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

Course Description

The course covers American national politics, including the development of the American party system, episodic political issues, and the influence of major politicians. Special emphasis is placed on critical U.S. presidential elections.

Requisites

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

Rationale

The American political tradition is unique in the history of the world. This course provides the student with the opportunity to study the key features and implications of that tradition and how they continue to shape our world. Because the course covers the entire span of U.S. history, it will augment other U.S. history courses in the degree program.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the major figures, trends, parties, and events in American politics.
  2. Detail the stages of party development from 1789 to the present.
  3. Explain the economic, ethnic, religious, and geographical factors in American political culture.
  4. Recognize and discuss the contributions of Christians in the American political process.
  5. Demonstrate competency in reading comprehension, documentary analysis, research, and historical writing.

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. Microsoft Word
  5. Turabian Style Guide

Course Assignments

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words.

Primary Source Paper Assignment

The student will write a 3–5-page paper analyzing assigned primary sources on the size, scope, and power of the central government. The paper will focus on pertinent and assigned sections of Tocqueville and will be written in current Turabian format.

Book Review Assignment

The student will write a 700–800-word review, in current Turabian format, on a book he/she selects from the approved book list. All books can be found in the Jerry Falwell Library.

Chronicling America Assignment

Using a provided newspaper database, the student will examine a local or state political event from the state (or adjacent state) of the student’s current home (or birth/raising, if desired). This could be an election, controversy, political party dispute, debate, etc. The event must have occurred before 1931, and the student must find reference to it in a newspaper published before 1931. Once located, the student will write a 200–250-word description of the event and briefly analyze the political issues involved. Proper citation of the newspaper in current Turabian format is required.

Political Campaign Assignment

The student will research a specific presidential or congressional political campaign of his/her choosing from between 1920 and 1970. The focus of the research will be on the slogans and paraphernalia used in the campaign and what that reveals about the political culture of the period. The student will make a 6–8-minute narrated Adobe Spark presentation in which he/she analyzes the significance of 1 slogan and 1 piece of paraphernalia used by 1 candidate in the election. The student must provide a bibliography of at least 4 scholarly sources in current Turabian format.

Oral History Interview Assignment

The student will conduct an Oral History Interview with a family member, friend, co-worker, etc. of his/her choosing. The student must select the interviewee who can best discuss an opinion/perspective on a major political development/event/idea/controversy since 1960. This opinion need not be scholarly, but it must be informed in some way, either through professional interest/involvement (a politician), unique perspective (a pastor or activist), or personal interest. The student will create a set of at least 10 questions designed to elicit substantive information about the interviewee’s perspective, and will write a 300-word summary of the interview. The student will also write a 1–2-page analysis of the views expressed in the interview. In the analysis, the student will assess how those views reflect larger developments in American political culture and thinking, and how those views compare/contrast with traditional American understandings of politics and government. The student will also video record the interview and submit the recording with the written part of the assignment. The interview must be at least 10 minutes.

Quizzes (2)

The Quiz: Mid-Term Assessment and the Quiz: Final Assessment will be essay quizzes based on the materials from the first and second halves of the course, respectively. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 short-answer questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussions (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Primary Source Paper Assignment

100

Book Review Assignment

100

Chronicling America Assignment

100

Political Campaign Assignment

150

Oral History Interview Assignment

200

Quiz: Mid-Term Assessment

(Modules 1–4)

100

Quiz: Final Assessment

(Modules 5–8)

100

Total

1010

Policies

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 https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. 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

A B C D F
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 http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

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

Course Requirements Checklist

Module 1: Week 1
Learn

Read: 6 items

Watch: 2 items

Apply

Discussion: Who is a Real American?

Module 2: Week 2
Learn

Read: 8 items

Watch: 1 item

Apply

Primary Source Paper Assignment

Module 3: Week 3
Learn

Read: 13 items

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Book Review Assignment

Discussion: Tocqueville and Antebellum America

Module 4: Week 4
Learn

Read: 5 items

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Quiz: Mid-Term Assessment

Module 5: Week 5
Learn

Read: 7 items

Watch: 2 items

Explore: 1 item

Apply

Chronicling America Assignment

Module 6: Week 6
Learn

Read: 7 items

Watch: 1 item

Apply

Political Campaign Assignment

Module 7: Week 7
Learn

Read: 5 items

Watch: 2 items

Apply

Oral History Interview Assignment

Module 8: Week 8
Learn

Read: 4 items

Watch: 3 items

Apply

Discussion: Bottom Five Presidents

Quiz: Final Assessment