Lisa Norling
823 SST
(612) 626-4501

Office Hours:
Tues. 11:15-1:15 and by appointment

Tracey Deutsch
582 SST
(612) 624-8547

Office Hours:
Tues. 1:00-2:30 and by appointment

History Dept.
Univ. of Minnesota



Click here to download an MS Word version of this syllabus

Hist 1301W: Authority and Rebellion in America to 1865
Fall 2008
Lectures: M/W 11:15-12:05, Willey Hall 125

Prof. Tracey Deutsch                                                   Prof. Lisa Norling
Office Hours: 582 Soc Sci                                           Office Hours 823 Soc Sci
Tues 1:00-2:30 and                                                      Tue. 11:15-1:15 and
by appointment                                                            by appointment
(612) 624-8547                                                          (612)-624-4501                                            

Course Description: 
This four-credit writing-intensive course examines the beginnings of American history from the early colonial period through the Civil War. The course offers a broad and innovative survey of three tumultuous centuries of conflict and change through the fundamental issues of “authority” and “rebellion.”  How did the diverse peoples on the North American continent envision and struggle for what came to be a new world order?  Whose hopes were realized, and whose were thwarted?  We investigate those questions by exploring several recurring topics throughout the semester: the global context in which American history occurred; the transition to capitalism; the diverse meanings of “liberty” and “democracy,” and the hard-fought emergence and continuing battles over the United States of America.  Throughout, we will pay special attention to 1) the connection between social ideas and experiences, and political and economic structures and 2) to the significance of race, gender, class, and religion as vital categories in American life.

The course uses primary sources (documents produced in the time period under study), the writings of historians (called secondary sources) as well as a textbook (a tertiary source) to examine a broad array of key processes and events. We will examine how historians use evidence to produce knowledge about the past, and we will explore the value and the limitations of historical sources.  All three sorts of sources will be used in discussion section, in lectures, and in course assignments.

Course Objectives: This course meets the following Liberal Education requirements: Historical Perspectives Core, Cultural Diversity Theme, and Writing Intensive.  The course objectives are:

  • To engage in a rigorous analysis and assessment of key contests over authority in North America from early colonization to the end of the Civil War, and to investigate how historians have debated the origins of the United States (Historical Perspectives Core)
  • To investigate the cultural origins and diversity of traditions and values represented in American society, and to understand how gender, race, ethnicity, and class have shaped Americans’ lives (Cultural Diversity Theme)
  • To explore the value and limitations of historical sources and what they can and cannot tell us about the past (Historical Perspectives Core)
  • To develop and practice disciplinary-specific skills of written analysis and communication (Writing Intensive Designation)

This class fulfills the writing-intensive requirement of the College.  As a writing intensive class, it will include instruction in the following sorts of reading and writing:

  • Identification, summary, and assessment of scholarly historical arguments
  • Distinction between primary and secondary sources
  • Analysis of a primary source
  • Short response papers and analytic essays that make an argument
  • Revision in response to feedback and resubmission of at least one written take-home assignment

We will put these skills to use in a variety of assignments, including:
1) Primary source assignment: exploration of an assigned primary source, 300-500 words (worth 5% of the final grade). 
2) A 3-5 page essay on an aspect of Cronon, Changes in the Land (15%)
3) A 3-5 page essay on an aspect of Countryman, ed., What Did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans? (10%)
4) A 5-7 page essay on as aspect of (Sprague, ed.) Parker, His Promised Land, with a first and second draft (combined worth 20%).
5) A capstone essay, due at the end of class, worth 5% of your final grade.
5) There will also be 5 in-class quizzes/writing assignments during the semester that will draw from both the readings and lectures (worth a combined total of 15%).
6) Regular attendance and active participation in the discussion sections, and other quizzes and exercises assigned by your TA section leader, will make up 30% of the final course grade.

NOTE: Except for the first one (the primary source assignment), ALL writing assignments must be sent to your TA as an e-mail attachment before lecture class begins on the day they are due, with an additional and identical hardcopy due at the beginning of your discussion section.  All papers are subject to a search in the SafeAssign database for plagiarism.  (For more on plagiarism, see below.)  Late assignments will receive a grade deduction as per your section syllabus.  An exception will be made only when a physician’s note regarding a medical condition explains the delay or you have other documented evidence for legitimate and unavoidable tardiness.

Assigned readings
The following books are available in the Coffman Union Bookstore:

  • William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England.  Revised ed., New York: Hill and Wang, 2003.
  • Edward Countryman, ed., What Did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans? New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999.
  • Stuart Seely Sprague, ed., His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P.
    Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad.
    New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
  • Jacqueline Jones, et al., Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States, Brief Edition, Volume 1 (to 1877), 2nd edition. New York: Prentice Hall, 2008.

*ABOUT THE TEXTBOOK FORMAT: Because it saves you a great deal of money, we have created two new options for purchasing your textbook.  You may buy either the unbound, paper version of Created Equal or access to the electronic, on-line version. The paper version is available in the bookstore.  The online version is available at, where you can register for a six-month subscription.  Both versions come with on-line access to the associated website MyHistoryLab.

Most of the assigned primary sources -- documents and images -- are available in electronic form on MyHistoryLab, the website provided by the publisher to accompany the Created Equal textbook. These readings are indicated as “MHL” on the schedule of readings and assignments below. You will receive instructions for using MyHistoryLab ( from your TA.

Other primary sources, flagged on the schedule below as “COURSE WEBSITE,” will be posted on the course website:

Other assigned readings, indicated as “E-RESERVE” on the schedule below, will be located on electronic reserve through the University Libraries website: You will receive the password for e-reserve from your TA.

*Please note: The primary sources are crucial to the pedagogy of this course; they will be discussed in section and will appear on quizzes. You should print out the primary sources and all the other on-line readings (except for the textbook) and bring them with you to the appropriate discussion sections.

Course Website:
The course website contains a copy of this syllabus; information about the course instructors, office hours, and discussion sections; some of the assigned readings; and helpful tips on taking notes, writing scholarly essays, and studying history.  Lecture outlines, writing assignments, and study guides will be posted on the website as the semester progresses. You will need to use your Internet username and password to access some of the materials on the website.

All students should be familiar with the University’s policies governing student conduct and academic integrity. For a complete overview, see:

Plagiarism and Scholastic Dishonesty: The University of Minnesota's Student Conduct Code classifies scholastic dishonesty as a disciplinary offense actionable by the University. Scholastic Dishonesty is defined as: “Submission of false records of academic achievement; cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement.”

Plagiarism or dishonesty in your work is unacceptable and will be prosecuted to the full extent of university policy (this includes failing the student for the entire course).  Do not ever use words that are not yours without citing your source.  Ideas that are unique to a particular source should also be cited properly.  If you have questions about using citations or the definition of plagiarism, don’t hesitate to ask the professors or any of the course TAs, or consult the University’s writing center’s website at

Classroom Atmosphere:
We expect thoughtful behavior.  That is, we expect you to remain respectful of your instructors and classmates while also being willing to ask hard questions of each other and the material.  What we won’t tolerate is open flouting of classroom decorum (e.g., reading the newspaper while someone is talking, repeated yelling or talking over someone), any form of harassment, or any comment that is intentionally hurtful.  Although this is a large lecture, we are all still learning together—and that requires everyone’s engagement for the full fifty minutes. 

Disability Accommodations:
It is University policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact their instructor early in the quarter to discuss their individual needs for accommodations. This syllabus is available in alternative formats upon request. For more information, see


Schedule for Lecture Topics, Reading and Writing Assignments, and Exams

NOTE: the lecture schedule and the reading assignments may be adjusted during the semester, if necessary.  Due dates for graded assignments will not change.

In the schedule of reading assignments, the Created Equal textbook is abbreviated “CE txt,” and the online MyHistoryLab website is abbreviated “MHL.”

W Sept 3         Introductions

M Sept 8         1492 in World History
Film: Death March of DeSoto
Readings: CE txt Chapter 1 (pages 2-23 only)
E-RESERVE: H. Zinn, A People’s History of the U.S., Chapter 1
MHL: Document: Chapter 1: From the Journal of Christopher Columbus (1492)    
W Sept 10       Conquest, commerce, and conversion
Readings: CE txt Chapters 1 and 2 (pages 23-45)
And just ONE of these sets of documents as assigned by your TA:
A)  COURSE WEBSITE: The Requerimiento (1511); MHL Document Chapter 1: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, “Indians of the Rio Grande” (1528-1536); and MHL Document Chapter 2: Don Juan de Onate, “Letter from New Mexico to the Viceroy (1599); or
B) MHL Document: Chapter 1: Jacques Cartier, “First Contact with the Indians” (1534); MHL Document: Chapter 2: Jacques Cartier, “On Meeting the Micmac Indians” (1534); and MHL Document: Chapter 2: Micmac chief’s Observations of the French (1691); or
C) MHL Document: Chapter 1: Thomas Harriot, “The Algonquian peoples of the Atlantic Coast” (1588) and MHL Document: Chapter 1: Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh

Primary source assignment due as hard-copy (i.e. printed out on paper) brought to your discussion section, the second time it meets this week.

M Sept 15       Pilgrims and Puritans: what (and why) was the “City on a Hill?”
Readings:  CE txt Chapter 2 (pages 45-53)
Cronon, Changes in the Land, Chapters 1 and 2
MHL Document: Chapter 2, John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity” (1630) MHL Document: Chapter 2: Prenuptial Agreement (1653)
MHL Document: Chapter 2: The Third Charter of Virginia (1612)
W Sept 17       Contrasting world views on the eastern seaboard: Algonkian and English
            Reading: Cronon, Changes in the Land, Chapters 3 and 4

   Quiz 1

M Sept 22       The Blurry World of Contact
Readings: Cronon, Changes in the Land, Chapters 5 and 6
MHL Document: Chapter 3: Onandogas and Cayugas, Two Iroquois Chiefs (1684)
COURSE WEBSITE: Sermon prior to Pequot Massacre; John Mason on the Pequot War (1637); Roger Williams (1654)

W Sept 24       From Salem (1692) to the Age of Reason (1794)
Readings:  CE txt Chapter 3 (pages 70-79)
Cronon, Changes in the Land, Chapters 7 and 8
MHL Document: Chapter 5: Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741)
M Sept 29       Enlightenment, enterprise, and the origins of American capitalism
Readings:  CE txt, Chapters 4 and 5 (pages 84-108 and 110-129)
COURSE WEBSITE: “Benjamin Franklin Coaches an Ambitious Tradesman” (1748)
MHL Image: Chapter 2: 1659 Tobacco Company Advertisement
MHL Document: Chapter 2: Runaway Indentured Servants (1640)
MHL Image: Chapter 4: Slave Sale Notice

W Oct 1          Slavery and History
Readings: MHL Document: Chapter 2: The Laws of Virginia (1610-1611)
MHL Document: Chapter 3: Laws of Virginia, 1661, 1662, 1691, 1705
MHL Document: Chapter 4: Of the Servants and Slaves in Virginia (1705)

Cronon paper due: e-mailed before lecture; hard-copy brought to section

M Oct 6          Making Americans through war, politics and protest
Readings: CE txt Chapters 5 and 6 (pages 129-159)
MHL Document: Chapter 5: Crevecoeur, “Letters from an American Farmer” (1782)
MHL Document: Chapter 5: Declaration of the Injured Frontier Inhabitants [of PA]
MHL Document: Chapter 6: B. Franklin, “Testimony Against the Stamp Act” (1766)

W Oct 8          From Rebellion to Revolution and Independence
                        Film clips: The Patriot; Revolution
Readings: CE txt Chapter 7 (pages 162-189)
COURSE WEBSITE: Thomas Paine, Common Sense
MHL Document: Chapter 7: Declaration of Independence
MHL Image: Chapter 7: The Tory’s Day of Judgment – Engraving

M Oct 13        Making a New World Order
Readings: CE txt Chapter 8 (pages 191-214)
Countryman, What Did the Constitution, Part III chapter 2 (Patterson essay, pp. 69-85)
MHL Document: Chapter 7: Slave Petition to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1777); MHL Document: Chapter 8: Military Reports on Shays's Rebellion (1787)

Quiz 2

W Oct 15        Constituting a Republic
                        Film: The Empire of Reason
Readings:  Countryman, What Did the Constitution, Part III chapters 1 and 3 (Kramnick and Wood essays, pp. 33-64 and 89-109)
MHL Document: Chapter 8: Patrick Henry Speaks Against Ratification of the Constitution (1788)
MHL Document: Chapter 8: The United States Constitution
MHL Document: Chapter 8: The Bill of Rights (1789)

M Oct 20        Making Jefferson’s “Empire for Liberty”
Readings: CE txt Chapters 9 and 10 (pages 216-250)
WEB READING: “Who was Sacagawea?” at
E-RESERVE: D. Barbie, "Sacagawea: The Making of a Myth," in Sifters: Native American Women's Lives, ed. Theda Perdue (Oxford U Press, 2001), pp. 60-76.
MHL Document: Chapter 9: Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis (1803)

W Oct 22        Presidential Politics and Partisanship in the Early Republic
Reading: Countryman, What Did the Constitution, Part III chapter 4” (Lewis essay, pp. 113-132)
MHL Image: Chapter 8: President-Elect Washington’s Reception in Trenton
MHL Document: Chapter 9: George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
MHL Document: Chapter 11: Davy Crockett, Advice to Politicians (1833)

M Oct 27        Millhands and Deckhands: Industrialization on land and at sea
Readings: CE txt Chapter 10 (pp. 251-259)
MHL Document Chapter 12: “A Second Peep at Factory Life”; MHL Document Chapter 11: Preamble of the Mechanics Union of Trade Associations (1827); MHL Document Chapter 11: Female Industrial Assn (1825)

Countryman paper due: e-mailed before lecture; hard-copy brought to section

W Oct 29        Markets and Slaves
Readings:  E-RESERVE: W. Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Harvard U Press, 1999), Chapter 4

M Nov 3         Andrew Jackson faces down the Cherokees
Readings: CE txt Chapter 11 (pages 261-281)
MHL Document: Chapter 11 Andrew Jackson, "Second Annual Address to Congress" (1830); MHL Document: Chapter 11 Memorial of the Cherokee Nation (1830)

Quiz 3

W Nov 5         “Manifest Destiny” and the War Against Mexico
Readings: CE txt Chapter 12 (pages 283-292; 300-306)
Parker, His Promised Land, pp 7-16, 25-70
MHL Document Chapter 12: John O’Sullivan, “Annexation” (1845); MHL Document Chapter 12: Thomas Corwin, “Against the Mexican War” (1847)

M Nov 10       Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
Readings: CE txt Chapter 12 (pages 292-300)
Parker, His Promised Land, pp.70-122
MHL Document Chapter 13: John Brown's Address before Sentencing (1859); MHL Document Chapter 13: Frederick Douglass, Independence Day Speech (1852); MHL Document Chapter 13: William Lloyd Garrison on John Brown's Raid (1859)

W Nov 12       Women’s Wrongs and Rights
Readings: MHL Document: Chapter 13: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments; MHL Document: Chapter 13: Sojourner Truth, Address to the Woman's Rights Convention (1851)
Parker, His Promised Land, pp. 122-151

M Nov 17       Universal Reformers and Utopian Experiments
Readings: MHL Document: Chapter 13: Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance" (1841)
COURSE WEBSITE: Margaret Prior, “Walks of Usefulness” (1830s); Thomas Grimke (1833)

His Promised Land first drafts due: e-mailed before lecture; hard-copy brought to section

W Nov 19       Migration, Inclusion and Exclusion in Antebellum America
Readings: MHL Document: Chapter 12: Petition of the Catholics of New York (1840)
COURSE WEBSITE: Nativism Documents

M Nov 24       Resistance and Rebellion: Creating the Confederate States of America
Readings: CE txt Chapter 13 (pages 308-331)
COURSE WEBSITE: Secession Documents

Quiz 4

His Promised Land drafts returned in section

W Nov 26       War in Minnesota: the U.S.-Dakota Conflict
Film: The Dakota War (Extra Credit Assignment)

M Dec 1          Lincoln, Douglas, and Race
Readings: CE txt Chapter 14 (pages 333-354)
MHL Document: Chapter 13: Abraham Lincoln, Charleston Debate (1858); MHL Document: Chapter 14: Emancipation Proclamation (1863); MHL Document: Chapter 14 The Gettysburg Address (1863)

W Dec 3          Civil War, Reconstruction, and American Unification
Readings:  CE txt Chapter 15 (pages 356-378)
MHL Document: Chapter 15: Mississippi Black Code (1865); MHL Document: Chapter 15: Albion W. Tourgee, Letter on Ku Klux Klan Activities (1870); MHL Document: Chapter 15: Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments

His Promised Land final drafts due: e-mailed before lecture; hard-copy brought to section

M Dec 8          War and Memory
Readings: E-RESERVE: T. Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Random House, 1998), "Confederates in the Attic" (pp. 1-17), "A Farb of the Heart" (125-144), and pp. 242-252

Quiz 5

W Dec 10        Concluding Remarks
Evaluations in Today’s Lecture

Final Due Date for Capstone Paper—5 pm Monday December 15—turned in as instructed by your TA


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