MWF 10 AM
This period witnessed the emergence of an egalitarian society, and modern two-party system (including conventions, mass electorate & strong executive leadership). It was also an era of great social change, and the first development of a new industrial society--as well as the appearance of a Southern cotton economy. It is also the age in which Americans expand westward rapidly, encouraging a North-South split. This course will analyze the developments, events and attitudes that affect our society even today. It will also offer the student an overview of the leading figures of this period who reflected these changes--such as Jackson, Clay, Webster, etc.
Attendance at lectures (excused absences permitted, with relevant paperwork). Also the reading of two required books: David Reynolds, WAKING GIANT; AMERICA IN THE AGE OF JACKSON, and Robert Remini, THE LIFE OF ANDREW JACKSON. Also, undergraduates must submit a term paper or book critique of 2000 to 2600 pages. Graduate students must submit a term paper of twice that length, as well as a short historiographical review of three pages dealing with a limited topic relevant to that period--and then discuss it in a meeting with the professor and the other graduate students. And of course the students must take the 2 quizes, 1 midterm and Final required in the course.
Each test is assigned a certain number of points. Most tests are written, though a modest number of multiple choice questions are included in the two quizes which are given (one, a fourth of the way through the course; the other, three-fourths of the way through the course). However, the bulk of the quizes, and all of the midterm and Final, are written questions. The correct answer depends on accuracy, and in written sections on the grasp of the question, definition of the central problem, and use of examples. All questions are assigned a number of points, the amount appearing on the test with the question. The points a student receives are compared with the number of possible points, and a 90%, 80%, etc. scale applied--usually with a limited curve as well. At the end of the semester a students' points are totaled, compared with the totals for the lowest A- in all tests or papers, lowest B- in all, etc., and a grade determined accordingly. Then the bonus (if warranted) is figured in. The result is the course grade.
Tests must be taken on day and time announced in class. One makeup per student is allowed. The term paper topic must be submitted by Feb. 7, and likely sources by March 2, and the final, typed paper by April 22.
Late papers are accepted with prior approval of instructor. Those more than 7 days late will be penalized by receiving one grade lower than their content would normally justify.
Attendance is expected. Excused absences are granted for health or university functions--or with prior approval of the instructor. Good attendance merits a modest bonus; missing more than 5 classes, if unexcused, results in no bonus; missing many more than that could warrant the student being dropped from the course (but with advanced warning).
No electronic equipment allowed on desk or in lap during exams; discovery of such items justifies the confiscation of the test, and a grade of "0". However, recording devices or laptops are permitted during lectures.
Each student is allowed 1 makeup. Failure to take a test results in a "0" for that test/paper.