HI375 The American Frontier

for S2J 2007

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HI 375 The American Frontier


S2J 2007 PV


Walker, Bruce L.


Assistant Professor of History/Adjunct Faculty


Ph.D U.S. Military History/ US Military Institution
M.A. American History/ UMKC
B.A. History/English Lit/ Park University

Office Location

Copley Hall 300---Classroom

Office Hours

5:00 PM on class days

Daytime Phone


Other Phone





Semester Dates

March 13-May 8 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM



Credit Hours


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.

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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:
The instructor has designed the course with his educational philosophy in mind. The course is based on lectures, readings, issues papers, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos and writings. The instructor will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of historical ideas, issues, and contradictions.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the forces that motivated Europeans to explore and settle the New World;
  2. Appraise the roles played by minority ethnic groups along the frontier;
  3. Recognize the peculiar quality of "heroic activity" on the frontier;
  4. Assess the role of the frontier in the development of American character;
  5. Evaluate the role played by the frontier in America
  6. .Critique the significance of "the closing of the frontier."
Class Assessment:
The course assessment will be based on the following: A midterm essay exam, a final essay exam, and 5 issue papers to be assigned on a weekly basis. The first issue papers that are assigned will require the students to present their point of view and the paper to the class.The mid term will be given on the fourth week and the final will be given during the final class period. I also expect class discussion and questions. My lectures are filled wtih questions to be answered by the class.

100 points MidTerm Exam 250 points Final Exam.   100 points for the 5 issue papers (20 points each). 50 points presentation of the first issue paper (each student will present a paper and be graded on that presentation. Total 500 points.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
I will accept late submission of course materials but at the cost of a 10% deduction below the scored grade. Now if the student receives prior approval from me this deduction will not be enforced.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
This is a university setting so I expect each student to act like a student attending and learning in a university setting. This means cell phones are turned off while in class and do not depend on computers, printers, or disks to work when needed so please plan ahead just in case.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Class Activities Assignments Meeting - 1 Introduction, Western History, Western Exploration, Mountain Men and the Fur Trade. Readings: Does the Frontier Make America Exceptional? Read the entire book. Meeting - 2 The Settler's Migration West. Readings: Limerick Chapter 2 Part I, pp. 55-62; Meeting - 3 The Conquest of the West: The Native Americans, the Federal government's role and the Army Readings: Limerick Chapters 3 and 6; Major Problems Chapter 3, pp. 82-96; Meeting - 4 The Economics of the Frontier: Cowboys, Ranchers, and Sodbusters? Readings: Limerick Chapter 4 pp 124-133; Major Problems Chapter 6 (all) and Chapter 10 pp. 354- 359 and pp. 370-378. Meeting - 5 The Economics of the Frontier II: Railroads, law and order, towns and mining Readings: Limerick Chapter 2 parts 2 and 3, pp. 62-73 and Chapter 4 pp. 97-124; Major Problems Chapter 9 Meeting - 6 People of the west Readings: 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 280-294 Meeting - 7 Native Americans Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans. Readings: 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. 1. Meeting - 8 The Frontier legacy. Readings: Limerick Chapter 10 and Major Problems Chapters 1 and 15

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

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. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 "W".
  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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

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. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:2/2/2007 8:45:38 AM