History 151-3 American History I: Colonial America

And The United States Through The Civil War Period

Fall 1999

Instructor: Hal M. Friedman

Class Period: MWF, 10:08-11 AM, L5 Liberal Arts Building.

Office Hours: 9-10 AM and 12-1 PM, MWF; 9-9:30 AM and 11 AM-12:30 PM,

T TH in L-105 Liberal Arts Building (313-845-6387); or by appointment. The instructor can also be reached by contacting the Social Science Division at 313-845-9625.

Course Themes:

HIST 151 is an introductory survey course in the history of Colonial North America and the Early United States. The course will explore various aspects of North American history, culture, and society from the encounter between Indians and Europeans around 1500 to the end of Reconstruction in 1877. It is designed to teach students how and why early U.S. political, social, cultural, and economic institutions developed, and to explore the extent to which Early America was a multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic society.

The course will revolve around the study of various cultures which mixed and clashed on the North American continent during a nearly 400 year period. It will focus on the study of various Indian, European, and African peoples who found themselves "sharing" the continent after 1500 and having to adjust to co-habitation in North America. Much of the course will, of necessity, center on the study of international and intercultural relations, imperialism, and culture clash, and there will be a special focus on the development of Anglo-American society in the British North American colonies since that ethnic group came to dominate the Thirteen Colonies and the Early United States.

Covering the entire sweep of this North American cultural history, the assignments will emphasize exploring the role of the frontier in American thought, the continuing American search for a mission in the modern world, and the role which conceptions of race, ethnicity, and gender played in Early U.S. society. The course will entail as broad a coverage of interaction between peoples and cultures as possible, and the student will receive a significant exposure to comparing and contrasting the various Indian, European, and African societies which co-existed in North America. In effect, the instructor will paint portraits of these past societies for the students by describing their different forms of politics, economics, material cultures, sexual divisions of labor, family structures, and means of war and diplomacy. We will then employ these "societal portraits" to explore how people in the past lived, clashed, and, at times, harmonized.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.

Reading Assignments:

Reading assignments should be completed before the designated lecture. Prompt completion of the readings will improve the student's understanding of the lectures and stimulate questions about the material and the assignments. All texts are available at the College Store (313-845-9603). The required texts are:

Colin Calloway, New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997). ISBN: 0-8018-5959-X.

Sylviane Diouf, Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (New York: New York University Press, 1998). ISBN: 0-8147-1905-8.

Edward Countryman, Americans: A Collision of Histories (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996). ISBN: 0-8090-1598-6.


1. There will be 4 examinations throughout the semester, each an exam of either multiple-choice questions or essay questions, depending upon the choice of the student. The first exam will count for 20% of the final grade.  The final three exams will each count for 25% of the final grade.

2. There will also be points assigned for attendance. The attendance grade will count for 5% of the final grade. These points can count enough to change a student's grade from a high plus to a low minus (for example, a C+ grade becoming a B-). Therefore, it pays to show up each and every day!

*****All assignments must be completed in order to receive a passing grade. Missed examinations can be made up within 7 days of the original exam date, but all make-up examinations will be essay format.*****

Evaluation and Grading Standards:

Final grades for the course will be determined in the following manner:

Attendance: = 50 pts. = 5%

1st Examination: = 200 pts. = 20%

(Conducted on September 27th)

2nd Examination: = 250 pts. = 25%

(Conducted on October 29th)

3rd Examination: = 250 pts. = 25%

(Conducted on November 24th)

Final Examination: = 250 pts. = 25%

(Conducted December 15th)


Final Grade: 1000 pts. = 100%

**** Approximate Grading Scale: A = 1000-950

A- = 949-900

B+ = 899-875

B = 874-850

B- = 849-800

C+ = 799-775

C = 774-750

C- = 749-700

D+ = 699-675

D = 674-650

D- = 649-600

E = 599-0


Attendance is absolutely required for successful completion of this course. While about 1/3 of the questions will come from the readings (and readings can obviously be completed at home), the tests will comprise, for the most part, questions derived from lectures conducted in class. Students who are absent a great deal with be at a serious disadvantage on exam days. To add an incentive for attendance, the instructor will be using attendance as 5% of the final grade. Do not miss class if it can be avoided at all. Good attendance can lead to an easy A for 5% of the final grade!

Policy on Academic Dishonesty:

HFCC considers academic dishonesty to be a serious offense to the integrity of the institution. The college's official policy on the matter is that enforcing academic integrity in the college's courses is a professional obligation of the faculty. Therefore, determination of academic dishonesty by a student empowers an instructor to take appropriate action, up to and including failing the guilty student in the particular course. This instructor is fully supportive of the college's policy. Students who are caught cheating on assignments will fail that assignment, and the instructor will determine on an individual basis whether or not failure of the course is also warranted.

Drop Policy:

HFCC's drop policy is that a student can drop on her or his own up until the end of the tenth week of classes, which is November 5th this semester. After that date, student drops are at the discretion of each department and instructor. The History Department's policy is that students should not receive a drop merely because of poor performance in the class. If a student is doing poorly in the course, that student should drop on her or his own by November 5th and not expect a drop from this instructor.

Required Materials:

A three ring binder with loose-leaf paper; a double-pocketed folder for storing notes; a Roget's Thesaurus; and a pocket dictionary are required in addition to the texts. Students should bring these materials to class on a regular basis.

Daily Class Schedule (Subject to Change)

August 27th:

Topics: "Introduction to Course Policies, Procedures, and the Study of History"; and "Introduction to History: Note-Taking Techniques."

August 30th:

Topic: "North American Indian Society to 1492."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, xiii-7.

September 1st:

Topic: "The Norse Frontier: Iceland, Greenland, and the Viking Settlements in North America, 1000-1500."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 8-23.

September 3rd:

Topic: "The European Atlantic Frontier, 1400s-1600s."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 24-41.

September 6th: Labor Day Holiday! No Classes! Classes Resume on September 8th!

Reading Assignment: Calloway, 42-67.

September 8th:

Topic: "The Tropical Frontier: The Caribbean and North American History, 1600-1800." Reading Assignment: Calloway, 68-91.

September 10th:

Topic: "The Spanish Frontier in North America, 1513-1821."

September 13th:

Topic: "The French Frontier in North America, 1534-1803."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 92-114.

September 15th:

Topic: "The Dutch and Swedish Frontiers in North America, 1609-1664."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 115-133.

September 17th:

Topic: "The English Frontier in North America, 1607-1776."

September 20th:

Topic: "The Russian Frontier in North America, 1725-1867."  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 134-151.

September 22nd:

Topic: "Post-1492 North American Indian Society."  Reading Assignment: 152-177.

September 24th:

Topic: Review for 1st Examination.

September 27th:

Topic: ***1st Examination Conducted Today!***  Reading Assignment: Calloway, 178-198.

September 29th:

Topic: Post-Review of 1st Examination.  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 1-15.

October 1st:

Topic: "Indians and Disease: Northwestern New Spain as a Case Study, 1687-1840." Reading Assignment: Diouf, 15-30.

October 4th:

Topic: "Indians and Alcohol, 1650-1775."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 30-48.

October 6th:

Topic: "Indian Women: The Cherokees as a Case Study."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 49-70.

October 8th:

Topic: "Indian Slavery: The Pacific Northwest as a Case Study, 1770-1880."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 71-90.

October 11th:

Topic: "Indians in the North Amercian Fur Trade: The Canadian West as a Case Study, 1660-1870."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 90-106.

October 13th:

Topic: "Behind the Frontier: Indians in Massachusetts, 1676-1775."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 107-134.

October 15th:

Topic: "African Society and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1450-1850."

October 18th:

Topic: "The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Creation of African-American Society, 1450-1850." Reading Assignment: Diouf, 134-163.

October 20th:

Topic: "Slave Work and Slave Life in North America, 1620-1860."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 163-178.

October 22nd:

Topic: "Afro-Baptism and the Creation of African-American Christianity, 1730s-1860s."

October 25th:

Topic: "African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas."  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 179-198.

October 27th:

Topic: Review for 2nd Examination.  Reading Assignment: Diouf, 198-210.

October 29th:

Topic: ***2nd Examination Conducted Today!***

November 1st:

Topic: Post-Review of 2nd Examination.  Reading Assignment: Countryman, xi-xxiii.

November 3rd:

Topic: "Black Women and Slavery in the Americas."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 1-21.

November 5th:

Topic: "The Free Black Community in Spanish New Orleans, 1769-1803." ****Last Day for Students to Drop the Course!****  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 22-31.

November 8th:

Topic: "African-American Slavery in the Caribbean: The Danish West Indies as a Case Study, 1671-1848." Reading Assignment: Countryman, 31-44.

November 10th:

Topic: "The Development of Colonial English and United States Society, 1750s-1790s." Reading Assignment: Countryman, 45-57.

November 12th:

Topic: "The Creation of American National Culture: Parades and Politics in the Early Republic, 1776-1820."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 57-76.

November 15th:

Topic: "European-American Women, 1750-1830: A Case Study in Law."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 76-86.

November 17th:

Topic: "The Free Black Northern Community in the United States, 1700-1860."   Reading Assignment: Countryman, 87-101.

November 19th:

Topic: "Ideas Governing U.S. Expansionism and the Issue of an American 'Imperialism', 1780s-1860s."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 102-122.

November 22nd:

Topic: Review for 3rd Examination.  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 122-136.

November 24th:

Topic: ***3rd Examination Conducted Today!***  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 136-148.

November 25th-November 28th: Thanksgiving Holiday! No Classes! Classes

Resume On November 29th!  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 149-164.

November 29th:

Topic: Post-Review of 3rd Examination.  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 164-183.

December 1st:

Topic: "Life on the European-American Frontier: Sugar Creek, Illinois as a Case Study, 1817-1875."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 183-199.

December 3rd:

Topic: "United States Regionalism and the Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1861." Reading Assignment: Countryman, 199-214.

December 6th:

Topic: "The Civil War, 1861-1865: The Pattern of American Wars to Come."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 215-235.

December 8th:

Topic: "Economic Aspects of the American Civil War: How War Has Molded

Modern American Society."  Reading Assignment: Countryman, 236-241.

December 10th:

Topic: "The Postwar Period: Reconstruction in the American South, 1865-1877."

December 13th:

Topics: Review for Final Examinations and Course Evaluations.

December 15th:

Topic: Final Examination Conducted! Exact Time to be Announced! Have a Safe Winter Break!