The American West, 1803-1890

Course Details

Course Number: 4613  Fall 2013

Course Attachments

Textbooks

MSU Faculty Member
Dr.  Leland Turner   
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Course Objectives

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  The goal of this course is to provide an in-depth knowledge of the history of the American West from European contact with indigenous peoples through Anglo dominance during the 19th century.  It will consider the Spanish, French, and English-American efforts to occupy the region, treat with Native peoples in the West, and develop the region’s economic potential.  Social and cultural history, environmental topics, and women and other minority studies are included.  The course will consider the dominate role the U.S. government played in exploring and developing the American West.  The course should also provide one with an understanding of the evolution of frontier theory in historical studies.  The emphasized themes will be ones the instructor feels most essential in gaining an understanding of the America West, frontier theory, and regional mythology in an historical perspective.  A primary element of the course is the growth of critical thinking among students concerning the examination of historical themes and paradigms.

 

EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Identify and critique major themes in American West history, including frontier theory, economic conquest, cultural conflict, and the role of the U.S. government in the development of the West.

2. Understand and identify major elements of the historiography and methodology of Frontier and Western studies.

3. Identify and appreciate the intercultural and environmental relations among native, minority, and European cultures.

4. Demonstrate knowledge of the origins and evolution of American West institutions, economic systems, and frontier mythology.

5. Understand and be able to cogently discuss the major trends and themes the history of the American West and of frontier theory in historical studies.

 

METHODS FOR ASSESSING EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES:  Exams incorporate short answer, and essay writing. These questions generally afford multiple interpretations of arguments but demand critical and detailed understanding of class material, reading, lectures, discussions, and other primary and secondary material. A term paper assignment provides assessment of the student’s critical thinking skills and their ability to organize academic materials.

 

Student Participation Clause:  Students in this course are held personally responsible for their own education and encouraged to excel.  Active student participation in learning [which is, at the very least, accomplished through the careful reading of all assignments, classroom engagement (attentive note taking and participation in end-of-lecture reviews and discussions), the maintenance of a weekly study schedule, the completion of all assignments in a timely manner, adequate and earnest preparation for exams, and, when necessary, individual post-exam consultation with the instructor] is essential to the successful accomplishment of all expected learning outcomes.


Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

ATTENDANCE:  You are expected to attend class and arrive on time.  Please take careful notice of the following policy as it is often a point of confusion for students. Absences are excused only when a student is attending an official university-sanctioned event or an absence is specifically exempted through university policy.  Additionally, emergency medical appointments are excused

 

How does attendance affect the grade?

1) This course is structured so that it is to the student’s advantage to attend class regularly.  From past experience, those students who choose not to attend class on a regular basis have not been successful.  

2) Relevant terminology, from which many factual questions are derived, and major themes from which interpretive and analytical questions are derived, are presented and discussed in the classroom.  Information from your text and supplemental readings are relevant but are typically not sufficient to produce well-conceived analytical and interpretive responses.

3) Material relevant to the identification and critique of major historical themes and trends and the alternative explanations for such interpretations of social issues and human behavior is presented in classroom lectures and analyzed in classroom discussions. Much information relevant to thematic lectures presented in the classroom may NOT be, and often is not, specifically addressed in your text or supplemental assignments.


Other Policies

CONDUCT:  All students are expected to act as responsible adults in the classroom, in online discussion forums, and in all course related communication.  Any and all undue disruptions or distractions will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Below you will find some general guidelines covering certain actions and/or behaviors that are to be avoided.  As a general rule any behavior that disrupts the administration of this class will not be tolerated.

 

Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. In order to assure that all students have the opportunity to gain from the time spent in class students are prohibited from engaging in any form of distraction. Inappropriate behavior in the classroom shall result, minimally, in a request that the offending student leave the classroom.  Furthermore, the professor reserves the right to deduct points from the student’s semester total or expel the student from the course.

 

Electronic Devices/Texting/Phone Use:  The use of tape recorders, iPods, mp3s, or any other electronic recording device in class is prohibited without the instructor’s permission.  It is imperative that you turn off phones, any and all communication devices, and other electronic equipment before entering the classroom.  The use of a telephone or texting device for any reason is prohibited in the classroom.  It is considered a major distraction.  On the first offense the student will be penalized 20 points on her or his semester point total.  The second offense will result in the student being asked to leave the classroom.  The professor reserves the right to drop a student from the class upon the third offense.

 

Arriving late for class is considered a major distraction. If arriving more than three (3) minutes late – please DO NOT enter the classroom. 

 

E-mail:  Please note that e-mail correspondence in the most effective, efficient, reliable, and convenient way in which to communicate with your professor outside of the classroom.  The professor/student relationship is professional by nature and, accordingly, your e-mail correspondence should be constructed professionally.  The professor reserves the right to disregard all unprofessional e-mail correspondence.

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Please observe and understand the following statement from the Midwestern State University Undergraduate Catalog. 

“As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, we, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

 

Student Honor Creed: “I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."
 

MAKE-UP EXAMS:  Such exams are given only if the professor determines that the student has a legitimate reason for having missed the scheduled examination and only on prescribed dates set by the instructor. The qualifications concerning make-up exams are as follows:

 

1) A student must have a documented reason for missing an exam in order to be eligible for a make-up exam or classroom quiz.  To be eligible a student must present documentation of participation in an official, university-sanctioned event or documentation of an emergency medical incident. If you do not have a valid pretext, you will not have the opportunity to make-up an exam or classroom quiz.

2) Any and all make-ups must be scheduled and completed on the arranged or scheduled make-up day.  If the exam or classroom quiz is not taken on that day, you will receive a zero for the missed assignment.

3) A make-up exam or classroom quiz may not be the same as the scheduled exam or quiz. The professor reserves the right to administer essay-only make-up exams. This policy is not negotiable and will be in force no matter the nature of your absence from an exam or quiz. Please take note of this policy and make certain you fully understand all facets of the make-up policy.

4) Online quizzes are not subject to the course make-up policy. Quizzes are open for a period of time sufficient for the student to complete the quiz before the due date.

 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):  The ADA is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.
 

Safe Zones Statement: The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

 

 


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.