HI375 The American Frontier

for S2J 2005

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

CourseHI 375 The American Frontier PV
FacultyBroom, John T.
TitleProfessor of History/Adjunct Faculty
Degrees/CertificatesPh.D Modern Western History 1993 -- Union Institute
M.A. Modern Military History 1989 -- Vermont College, Norwich University
B.A. History 1976 -- University of Minnesota
Office LocationCopley Hall 322 -- Classroom
Office Hours5:00 PM on class days
Daytime Phone816-781-0995
Web Pagehttp://captain.park.edu./broom
Semester DatesMarch 14 - May 8 2005
Class Days---W---
Class Time5:30 - 9:50 PM
Credit Hours3

1). ISBN 039304973: Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest, 1ed, Norton

2). ISBN 0669415804: Milner et. al., Major Problems in the History of the American West, 2ed, Houghton Mifflin.

3). ISBN 0312183097: Etulain, Does the Frontier Experience Make America Exceptional, 1ed, Bedford.

4). ISBN 0312192118, Deverell and Hyde, The West in the History of the Nation: Volume Two Since 1865, A Reader, 1ed, Bedford.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Course Description:
A study of the American frontier from the point of view of those who created it and participated in its development.  We will examine the art, music and literature of and about the frontier.  We will, throughout the course, note the participation of non-Anglos along American frontiers, and contrast the American frontier with those of other continents.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
FACULTY'S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: My educational philosophy is based on interaction; built on lectures, readings, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites and writings.  I will engage each of you in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions.

Learning Outcomes:
COURSE OBJECTIVES: For each student to develop an understanding of historical methods, historians' interpretive approaches to history and elements of 19th Century American Frontier history.
Critical Literacy: demonstrate skill in critical thinking through evaluation of historical interpretations and myths, which direct popular conceptions through the weekly reading précis, course examinations and research paper.
Civic Literacy: demonstrate insight into American social and political systems and into ways for contributing to responsible citizen participatory solutions through course discussions, examinations and the research paper.
Values Literacy: demonstrate skill in evaluating changing social norms and their historical effects through course discussion, examination, reading précis and research paper.
Aesthetic Literacy: demonstrate insight into the interplay of artistic interpretation with social conflict, technological and ethical questioning through the course discussion, reading précis, examinations and research paper.

Course Outcomes:
1. The student will be able to evaluate the impact of the expansion and settlement of the American West on the general course of American History.
2. The student will be able to explain the general course and pattern of settlement and its multi-ehtnic nature.
3. The student will be able to discuss the varying nature of the frontier, its different economic components and their contributions.
4. The student will be able to evaluate the nature of the changing government policies with regard to the west, its settlement, people and land use.

Course Assessment:
COURSE ASSESSMENT:  Course assessment will be based on the following assignments: two essay examinations, 5 written issue papers and classroom discussion.   The essay exams will be given during week 4 and week 8 of the course and they will consist of two (2) 3-5 paragraph essays.  The topics for the issue papers are listed on the course schedule below.  These will consist of 750-1000 word essays addressing the topic, they are evaluative in nature, the student's informed opinion is important to these papers.  An essential part of the course is in class discussion, I do not lecture in the traditional sense. I will talk and ask questions. When I ask a question in class you should be able to use a combination of knowledge gained from the readings, your experience and awareness of the world around you, and logic to answer the question and in fact lead others to make additional comments. If you have questions, which I am not addressing, please feel free to ask them.  I may ask to hold them for a while we finish another topic, but your questions matter to my and I will do my best to answer them.  Your opinions matter as well. History is much more than merely facts, it is an interpretation of facts, an opinion about those facts. While a historian's opinions may be informed by a wide knowledge of history, the only way they reached that point was by study and by voicing their opinion along the way. A spirited but civil discussion about the topics and issues raised in class is my goal.

100 points for 5 issue papers 20 points each
100 points for Midterm Exam
100 points for Final Exam
300 points total.

A = 270-300 pts
B = 240-269 pts
C = 210-239 pts
D = 180-209 pts
F = less than 180 pts.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS:  Assignments not submitted on the due date will receive a grade 10% below the the scored grade unless prior approval has been coordinated and approved with the instructor.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT:  Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.  Cell phones and pagers are very distracting and shall be turned off prior to class, if your cell phone or pager goes off during class, I will confiscate it and turn it in to the Dean's office where you can collect it and explain to the director why your phone messages are more important than your weekly 4.5 hours of instruction.

 Class ActivitiesAssignmentsTests and Issue Papers
Meeting - 11. What is the Frontier, What is the West?  What is the significance of the West and the Frontier to American History?  Readings: Does the Frontier Make America Exceptional?  Read the entire book.No Written Assignment.
Meeting - 2The Settler's Way West and modes of settlement?       Readings: Limerick Chapter 2 Part I, pp. 55-62; What were the motivations of the various groups that moved west?  Were they successful in fulfilling their dreams?
Meeting - 3The Conquest of the West: The Native Americans, the Federal government's role and the ArmyReadings: Limerick Chapters 3 and 6; Major Problems Chapter 3, pp. 82-96; and readings to be handed out by instructor. The West A Reader Chapter 2What were the causes of conflict with the Native Americans, how did government policy change over time, how successful were those policies and given the conditions of the time was there an alternative solution to the conflict?
Meeting - 4The Economics of the Frontier: Cowboys and Sodbusters?Readings: Limerick Chapter 4 pp 124-133; Major Problems Chapter 6 (all) and Chapter 10 pp. 354-  359 and pp. 370-378. The West A Reader Chapter 4. Midterm Exam
Meeting - 5The Economics of the Frontier II: Railroads, towns and miningReadings: Limerick Chapter 2 parts 2 and 3, pp. 62-73 and Chapter 4 pp. 97-124;  Major Problems Chapter 9 The West A Reader Chapters 3 and 5.  In what ways was the industrialization of the United States reflected in both the agricultural west and the mining west?
Meeting - 6Cultural and social issues in the westReadings: Limerick Chapter 8 pp. 280-288; Major Problems Chapter 5 pp. 156-163, 169-181, Chapter 7 (all) and Chapter 8 pp. 268-274 and 280-294What was the role of women on the frontier, in what ways was their impact different in the west than in the more established areas of the United States?
Meeting - 7The Other in the west; Hispanics, Asians and African-AmericansReadings: Limerick Chapter 7 (all) and Chapter 8 pp. 259-280; Major Problems Chapter 5 pp. 156-163, 169-181 and Chapter 8 pp. 274-280, 294-302. The West A Reader Chapter 1. The west was far more multi-ethnic than the eastern portion of the United States what impact did this have on the development of the West.
Meeting - 8The Frontier legacy and American Exceptionalism revisitedLimerick Chapter 10 and Major Problems          Chapters 1 and 15. The West A Reader Chapters 14 and 14Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.  
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog
Page 101

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="http://www.park.edu/catalog">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 100

Disability Guidelines:

Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:

This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.