Hi 45 - Jacksonian America - Spring 2001

Professor Beth Salerno

Class meets: Tuesday and Thursday 8:30-9:45, Gadbois 205

Professor Information:
Office: 212 Bradley House
Phone: 641-7049
E-mail: bsalerno@anselm.edu
Mail: Box 1753 or outside my office door
Office Hours: Mondays 10-11; Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11

Course Information: This syllabus and other important information for this course can be found at blackboard.anselm.edu. Paper assignments, web links and other information will be posted there regularly throughout the semester.

Course description: This course will explore in some detail the history of America between 1825 and 1850. This period is often called "Jacksonian America" after our seventh President Andrew Jackson, but it is also called the Age of Association, the Age of Reform, the period of the Market Revolution, the Long, Dark Days, and Antebellum America. These varied terms underscore the many aspects of this period. It was an age in which most men and women joined associations of every sort, but particularly those which focused on moral reform - against slavery, against alcohol, against prostitution, against delivering the mail on Sunday. Voting expanded to include all white men, and political parties became central organizing principles in American society. Women began to demand political and economic rights equal to men. The American industrial revolution began during this period and commercial or market relations entered into every American's every-day life, while religion became an even more central influence due to revivals and new religious groups. "Antebellum" means pre-war in Latin, and suggests the importance of this period in setting up many of the issues over which the Civil War would be fought. Slavery is a crucial issue of the period, with a partially successful slave revolt and the hardening of southern lines against the antislavery movements in the north. For Native Americans, this was the period of the long, dark days in which Andrew Jackson removed many of the eastern Indians and set up reservations in the west. The questions of Indians, slavery, land and democracy in the west led to the Mexican-American war, a military conflict during a period of intense social, political and economic conflict.

We will study this period topically, drawing on history books, scholarly essays, lectures, literature and primary documents to help us make sense of the time. We will begin with a study of the economic, social and cultural changes created by the Erie Canal. We will then look at slavery during this time period. The major issues of Andrew Jackson's presidency will come alive through a study of the conflict between Jackson and his main opposition, led by Henry Clay. We will look in depth at the removal of the Cherokee, drawing heavily on primary documents. We will explore the various reform movements of the period, and then look at how industrialization, religion and reform came together in the case of a murder in Fall River Massachusetts. Finally we will look at the impact of American expansion westward, ending with the Mexican-American War.


Work Requirements:

Reading: This course requires an average of 45 pages of reading per class. Some weeks will have less, some substantially more. All reading listed on the syllabus must be done prior to class. You are strongly encouraged to practice "active" reading - this means underlining, highlighting, summarizing in the margins, writing yourself notes, bringing one question to every class, etc.

Short Papers: This course includes 4 short papers. Paper topics will be given out in class. Due dates are: #1 - February 5; #2 - February 21; #3 - March 26; #4 - April 23. Each student will choose THREE of the FOUR possible paper topics. Each student will also complete one detailed website evaluation, due on the day of the paper you choose to skip.

Midterm exam: The midterm exam will have both short answer (multiple choice, chronology, geography) and essay questions. It occurs in class on February 26.

Final exam: The final exam will have both short answer and essay questions. It is cumulative and will occur on Monday, May 6 at 9 a.m.

Class Participation: You will do better in this class if you have done the reading prior to class and are ready to actively participate in the day's work. This can mean bringing a question that occurred to you while reading, being ready to answer questions or talk with your peers, or being willing to take a chance when asked your opinion about something. It also includes your participation in random, unannounced quizzes. I recognize that some students do not like to talk in class and thus base your class participation grade on both your verbal and your written participation in the class. If you find yourself having a problem participating in class, please come talk to me about it.

Course Grading:

Your grade in this course will be based on the point system below:

First short paper: 100 points (11%)
Second short paper: 100 points (11%)
Mid semester exam: 150 points (16%)
Third short paper: 100 points (11%)
Fourth short paper: 100 points (11%)
Class participation: 125 points (13%)
Final Exam: 250 points (27%)
TOTAL: 925 points

I will base my grading of each assignment on the following standards:

A: indicates excellent work. "A" work shows highly original thought, very careful organization, both breadth and depth of effort and very diligent proofreading.
B: indicates above average work. "B" work shows original thought, careful organization, some breadth and depth of work, and good proofreading.
C: indicates average work. "C" work shows a clear grasp of material presented in class but little original thought, is weaker in amount of work or ability to organize and present that work, and/or has multiple proofreading problems.
D: indicates below average work. "D" work does not meet the standards in one or more areas indicated above, but is adequate in other areas.
E: indicates failure. "E" work does not meet the minimum standards in more than one area above, fails to follow directions, or misses the point.

Final grades will be determined by the number of points earned over the course of the semester.

Attendance: Attendance is not formally taken in this course, although absences from class discussion, small group work, or question and answer sessions will be noticed by the professor. You cannot get class participation points if you are not in class participating. The course is designed so that you can miss one or two classes without substantial harm to your grade, but any absence beyond that will sharply affect your final grade. You cannot make up class participation points; this includes quizzes. Please note that regardless of the reason for your absence, you are responsible for any material taught during a class you miss, as well as any assignments or special instructions given during the class. You are welcome to call or come to my office to find out what you missed.

Late work: Late work will be penalized one half grade if it is turned in after the start of class. It will be penalized one full grade for every day thereafter that it is late. If you know you will miss class on the day an assignment is due, you must make arrangements with me in advance. If you find you must miss class unexpectedly the day an assignment is due, call and bring the paper in as soon as possible thereafter (do not wait for the next class day). These papers will usually be marked as late papers.

Cheating: Just in case anyone was wondering, if I find you cheating on an exam, you will fail the exam. Please do not try it.

Plagiarism: Intentionally or unintentionally representing another's work as your own is plagiarism. This includes submitting a paper from another class, submitting someone else's work as your own, and failure to provide a citation for any passages, information or ideas taken from a text. If you are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism, please see me. If you plagiarize on a paper, you will be asked to rewrite the paper, eliminating the plagiarism problems. If you plagiarize a second time, you will fail the assignment. A third offense will mean failing the course. I accept citations in any of the standard forms: Chicago, Turabian, MLA, etc. Once we have discussed this in class, I will assume you know what you are doing, unless you ask.

IRS clause: You are responsible for keeping copies of every thing you turn in to me, just in case I lose them. You are also responsible for keeping the materials I return to you until you get your final grade; otherwise we will not be able to recreate your grade in case of computer meltdown. Think of this as practice for filing complicated tax returns. If the IRS loses your materials, you either have copies or you pay big fines.

Textbooks for the Course:

David Richard Kasserman, Fall River Outrage: Life, Murder, and Justice in Early Industrial New England (Philadelphia: U. Penn Press, 1986).

Theda Purdue and Michael D. Green, The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1995).

Carol Sheriff, The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862 (NY: Hill and Wang, 1996).

Harry L. Watson, Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay: Democracy and Development in Antebellum America (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998).

Sean Wilentz, Major Problems in the Early Republic, 1787-1848 (Lexington: D.C. Heath, 1992).

Reading Schedule:

January 15 - Introductions

January 17 - The Market Revolution in Early America; Read Wilentz, "The Market Revolution" 8-14 in Major Problems; and Introduction and Chapter 1, in The Artificial River.

January 22 - Chapter 2-3 in The Artificial River.

January 24 - Chapters 4-5 in The Artificial River.

January 29 - Chapter 6 and Epilogue in The Artificial River.

January 31 - Other perspectives on the Market Revolution - Read at least 2 of the document selections (not 2 documents) and at least 2 of the essays in Chapter 7, Major Problems.

February 5 - Slavery. FIRST PAPER DUE.

February 7 - Slavery. Read Chapter 8 in Major Problems.

February 12 - Jackson and Clay - a little background ; Read pages 1-59 in Andrew Jackson.

February 14 - The politics of the Jacksonian Era. Read pages 59-118 in Andrew Jackson.

February 19 - Jacksonian politics continued. Read Documents 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17.

February 21 - SECOND PAPER DUE.

February 26 - Midterm Exam

February 28 - Power of the President. Read Documents 19 and 20 in Andrew Jackson.

March 5 - Spring Break

March 7 - Spring Break

March 12 -Cherokee culture. Read Introduction and Chapter 1, The Cherokee Removal.

March 14 - State vs. Federal Policy. Read Chapters 2 and 3, The Cherokee Removal.

March 19 - The Removal. Read Chapters 4 and 5, The Cherokee Removal.

March 21 - St. Benedict's Day

March 26 - Read Documents 12 and 13 in Andrew Jackson, and the Howe essay, pages 414-421 in Major Problems. THIRD PAPER DUE.

March 28 - Easter Recess

April 2 - Reform - Read Johnson and Ryan essays in Chapter 12, Major Problems.

April 4 - Read documents and Davis essay in Chapter 12, Major Problems.

April 9 - Read Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 3 of Fall River Outrage.

April 11 - Read Chapters 4 and 5 of Fall River Outrage.

April 16 - Read chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Fall River Outrage.

April 18 - Read chapters 9 and conclusion of Fall River Outrage.

April 23 - Literature and Art - on reserve/Blackboard. FOURTH PAPER DUE.

April 25 - The West - Read Chapter 9, Major Problems.

April 30 - The West again - Read Chapter 14, Major Problems.

Final Exam Monday May 6 at 9:00 a.m.