PURPOSE: To acquaint students with an understanding of the basic
forces that have shaped American life during the last third of the nineteenth century. To develop skills in the use and interpretation of documents. To develop skills in writing, researching, and reasoning.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Sean Dennis Cashman, America in the Gilded Age 2nd
Edition Leon Fink, Major Problems in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era
EVALUATION: Quizzes 10%
1st Exam 15% 2nd Exam 15% Final Exam 20% Short Essays 20% Research Project 20%
QUIZZES: There will be a quiz on each chapter in the Cashman text.
The quizzes will be given on the reading for a particular day's assignment. Each quiz will consist of two multiple choice questions. Each correct answer is worth .5 points. There will most likely be more than eleven quizzes, however. This makes it possible for students to receive more than 10 points on this part of the evaluation. Students must be in their seats at 1:00 in order to take the quiz. There are no make-up quizzes for any reason. You may take a quiz ahead of time. If you are too sick to come to class you may take a quiz over the phone by calling my office immediately before class.
EXAMS: (15-20% Final Grade) There will be three exams. The exams
will be mostly essay in format with a few identification questions.
None of the exams will be cumulative. The mid-terms will be worth
15% each, the final will be worth 20%. You will be permitted to
bring to the exam one 8 1/2 by 11 inch study sheet with whatever
information you wish on it. These study sheets may be prepared in
conjunction with other students. They will be collected and may
not be typewritten or word processed. They may not be photocopies.
Violators will not be allowed to use their sheets on the exam.
Make-up exams are permitted and arrangements for them must be made
on the first day you are back. Failure to do so will result in a
loss of ten points on the exam. Make-up exams are always more
difficult than the originals.
SHORT ESSAYS: (20% Final Grade) You are assigned eleven chapters in
Leon Fink, Major Problems in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. You are responsible for reading and analyzing the material in each. You will, in addition, write a short essay (around 750 words) on the topics listed below. Your essays do not have to be typed but they do need to be neat. The essays are due in class on the day that a given chapter is assigned.
Chapter 1: How did industrial growth change Americans' perception of their society? Chapter 2: How did workers respond to the growth of industrial capitalism? Chapter 5: How did Americans cope with the tremendous growth in urban population? Chapter 8: To what extent did immigrants become "Americanized?" Chapter 11: What did Americans assume to be appropriate sex-roles for men and women? Chapter 13: Why did Americans develop a mass commercial culture around the turn of the century? Chapter 7: Was life in the turn of the century getting better or getting worse for African-Americans? Chapter 4: What was so "new" about the New South? Chapter 3: Was the west, as Frederick Jackson Turner claimed, the "source of American democracy?" Chapter 6: To what extent did politics provide an opportunity for Americans to challenge the status quo? Chapter 14: How did Americans justify their new place in world affairs? Writing a good essay requires several things. First and foremost,
it requires that you carefully read through the relevant material. Not everything in each chapter will be relevant to the question -- you will need to select relevant essays and documents to address the question. When you write your essays you need to develop a thesis that addresses the relevant question. Craft an argument that takes a point of view. Don't simply summarize the material. Your task is to interpret the evidence and to incorporate it into an essay that addresses the question. That means that you must make general statements -- but that you must support them with evidence. You must draw conclusions from your evidence and to present your interpretation in a clear manner. You will need to draw upon both the documents and the essays in each chapter.
Your essays will be graded as follows. 5 = excellent 4 = good 3 = adequate 2 = weak 1 = poor 0 = no submission I will multiply your best 8 scores by 2.5 to get the total number
of points out of 100 for this part of the course. You may rewrite papers or submit late papers up to the final exam. Late papers or re-submitted papers will lose one point of credit.
Evaluating the essays is necessarily subjective, but these are the rough guidelines I use. An excellent essay should both address the key questions in a comprehensive way and make effective use of the material presented in the book. A good essay often does one of the above well, but generally does not make sufficient use of the material or does not address the question in a comprehensive way. An adequate essay generally addresses the question in a marginal way or misses key points which should have been obvious if the material were read with care. It may also only make marginal use of the source material or else miss the question completely.
RESEARCH PROJECT: See handout.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students are expected to attend every class.
Attendance will be taken in every class. I recognize that legitimate reasons may force students to miss an occasional class. The first four classes missed will not negatively affect your final average. The fifth and sixth classes missed will cost 1.5 points each. The seventh and eighth classes missed will cost 3.0 points each. The ninth and tenth classes missed will cost 4.5 points each, and so on. There are no exceptions; there are no excused absences. Students are advised not to miss classes in the beginning of the semester to avoid losing credit because of emergencies towards the end. Students who have missed too many classes may "make up" a class they have missed by writing a report which will cover the material missed. Absences are counted from the first day of class, not the first day the student began attending class.
A WORD TO THE WISE: Students who wish to win favor with professors
are urged to learn their names and to use them correctly. This is particularly true with those of us who have unusual last names. Mine is Cecil-Fronsman. It is not Cecil; it is not Fronsman.
A FINAL NOTE: I reserve the right to raise final averages by as much
as two points on the basis of interest shown in the course. Interest will be judged by attendance, participation in discussion, and in questions asked.
A FINAL, FINAL NOTE: Part of my job is to help you learn. I am happy
to stop class and answer questions. I am happy to have you come in and see me in my office to help you in any way I can. I am genuinely interested in seeing you understand as much as possible. But I cannot help you if you do not take the initiative. It is your responsibility to do this.
PART I: THE RISE OF AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY . Mon Aug 23 The Legacy of the Civil War --- Wed Aug 25 Industrial Revolution Cashman 1 Mon Aug 30 Rise of Big Business Cashman 2 Wed Sept 1 Justification of Big Business Fink 1 Mon Sept 6 Labor Day -- No Class --- Wed Sept 8 Critique of Big Business --- Mon Sept 13 The World of the Worker Fink 2 Wed Sept 15 Labor: 1865-1886 Cashman 7 Mon Sept 20 Labor: 1886-1900 --- Wed Sept 22 First Exam Good Luck PART II: URBAN AMERICA . Mon Sept 27 The Rise of the City Cashman 4 Wed Sept 29 Governing the New Cities Fink 5 Mon Oct 4 The New Immigrants Cashman 3 Wed Oct 6 The World the Immigrants Made Fink 8 Mon Oct 11 The World the Middle Class Made --- Wed Oct 13 The Victorian Mind --- Mon Oct 18 Women & Family in Victorian America Fink 11 Wed Oct 20 Challengers to Women's Sphere --- Mon Oct 25 Popular Culture in the Victorian Age Fink 13 Wed Oct 27 Second Exam Better Luck PART III: THE SOUTH, THE WEST, POLITICS, FOREIGN POLICY . Mon Nov 1 Black Life in a New South Cashman 5/Fink 7 Wed Nov 3 The New South Fink 4 Mon Nov 8 Defeat of the Indians Cashman 8 Wed Nov 10 The New West Fink 3 Mon Nov 15 The Farmers' Dilemma Cashman 9 Wed Nov 17 Agrarian Protest --- Mon Nov 22 Structure of Gilded Age Politics Fink 6 Wed Nov 24 Thanksgiving Vacation --- Mon Nov 29 From Hayes to Cleveland: 1877-1893 Cashman 6 Wed Dec 1 Years of Crisis: 1893-96 --- Mon Dec 6 Origins of an American Empire Cashman 10 Wed Dec 8 The New Empire Cashman 11/Fink 14 Mon Dec 13 (1:30) Final Exam Best Luck
Bill Cecil-Fronsman firstname.lastname@example.org Department of History Office: (913) 231-1010 x1317 Washburn University Fax: (913) 231-1084
Topeka, KS 66621
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Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
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