You are on page 1of 18

HIST 260 U.S.

History to 1865 Spring 2011 Section 3 TTH 9:30-10:45 in DU 406 Section 4 TTH 3:30-4:45 DU 140 Instructor: Andrea Smalley Zulauf 605 Office Hrs.: TTH 11:00-12:00, T 5:00-5:30 And by appointment Teaching Assistant: Office: Email: asmalley@niu.edu TA Contact Information:

I. Course Materials Johnson, Reading the American Past, Vol. 1, 4th ed. Nash and Schultz, Retracing the Past, Vol. 1, 6th ed. Packet of 3x5 cards II. Course Objectives: An Introduction to Historical Thinking 1. Develop a historical consciousness. This means that students should acquire: --a recognition of how the past shaped the present --a sense of historical contingency --an understanding of how the past was different from the present --an appreciation for the diverse ways in which humans have organized their societies (politically, culturally, economically, ecologically, religiously) as well as the variety of ways people have thought about organizing their societies 2. Learn the basic elements of the discipline of history. This means that students should become familiar with: --the basic questions of history: 1. What happened? 2. Why did it happen? 3. How do we know? 4. Why do we care? --the variety of sources historians use to answer questions about the past --the historical record and historical evidence (primary sources) --the ways historians examine historical evidence (analysis) --the ways historians use historical evidence to answer historical questions (interpretation) --the ways historians present their findings in historical scholarship (argumentation) 3. Realize that there is no single story of the American past. This means students should: --recognize the vastness of the past --understand the ways in which region, class, race/ethnicity, gender, age shaped peoples historical experiences --realize that every historical source is written from a particular perspective --identify the problems with textbook generalizations, archetypes, and popular assumptions about the American past 4. Practice the exchange of ideas. This means that students should sharpen their abilities to: --engage in intellectual dialogue and debate about the past --express their ideas both orally and in writing --imagine historical conditions and conflicts from multiple perspectives III. Requirements

A. Reading and Discussion On most days, class will be taken up with discussion of assigned readings. You should do the reading in the calendar below BEFORE coming to class on the day it is assigned. At least some participation in these discussions is required to pass this part of the class. You do not have to talk all the time, but you must try. See below for more information. About 1/3 of your final grade will be based on daily discussion. B. In-class Reading Summaries Another 1/3 of your grade will come from reading summaries completed at the beginning of class. There are no make-ups for any reason. See below for instructions. C. In-Class Analytical Papers The last 1/3 of your grade will come three analytical papers that you complete in class. See below for instructions. IV. General Information and Policies A. Grades: I consider your final grade to be an evaluation of your overall performance in the class. I do not compute exact numerical grades. Active participation in class can help you in the end if you are on a borderline. Conversely, missing class, sleeping in class, wearing headphones in class, reading the Star in class, and other such activities, will have a negative effect on your grade. I will not discuss specifics of your grade over email. If you want to discuss your grades you must make an appointment to see me in my office. IMPORTANT: TEXT MESSAGING IN CLASS WILL RESULT IN YOUR FAILURE FOR THE SEMESTER. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! B. Teaching Assistants: The TAs will grade much of your written work. You may see me about a TA grade only if it is an F. The TAs may also lead some of the discussions. You must give them the same respect you would give a regular faculty person. C. Commitment: I expect you to be committed to learning. I also expect you to respect each other and what we are doing in a college classroom. Talking while others have the floor in a discussion, packing up your things five minutes before the class is over, or similar activities do not show commitment. Take yourself and your brain seriously! D. Read the Syllabus: Make sure you read the syllabus carefully. Some days you are assigned to read more than one chapter. Some chapters are not assigned. Pay attention to dates. Dont assume you know what youre to read nextCHECK THE SYLLABUS. Many common questions are answered in the syllabus. Look here first and then ask if you need clarification. E. Bring Your Books and Notes to Class: You must bring your books to class for reference during discussion. Make sure they are open to the readings during discussion. F. Name Cards: I will provide cards on which you will write your name. Put these on your desks everyday so we can learn your names. When you want to make a comment, raise your name card so I can see it. If you do not have a name card on your desk, I will not call on you. G. Final Grades: Your final grade is my subjective evaluation of your overall performance in the class. I do not compute numerical grades. I do not consider each assignment separately. In fact, the components of classreading, discussion, reading summaries, and analytical papersare interconnected. In the end, I consider final grades as a measure of three things: 1. Did you complete the assigned work for class? 2. Did you understand the material and the ideas presented in class? 3. Did you demonstrate original, creative, historical thought about the material and ideas presented in the class? General definitions of final grades are: A = Student clearly demonstrates completion of assigned work (reading, written assignments, discussion) AND clearly demonstrates that s/he understands the material and ideas AND clearly demonstrates original and creative historical thought about the material and ideas presented in the course. B = Student clearly demonstrates completion of assigned work (reading, written assignments, discussion) AND clearly demonstrates that s/he understands the material and ideas presented in the course. Student makes some effort to engage in historical thinking. C = Student demonstrates completion of assigned work (reading, written assignments, discussion). Student makes some attempt to understand the material and ideas presented in the course. D/F = Student has not completed some portion of the assigned work.

At the end of the semester, I will assign an average grade for each component of the course discussion, reading summaries, and analytical papers. Your final grade for each component will be measured both quantitatively (what was your completion rate?) and qualitatively (how good was it?). I look at your modal grade (what grade did you get the most?) and at your trajectory (were you improving or declining?). Students must demonstrate competence in all 3 components of the course. For example: Final Average for Course Components Final Grade A A A = A A A B = B or A A B B = B B B B = B B B C = B (or C) B C C = C And so on.

COURSE CALENDAR The calendar below lists reading and the 3 in-class analytical papers. Reading is always to be done before the class period for which it is listed. N/S = Nash, Schultz, Retracing the Past Johnson = Johnson, Reading the American Past 1/18 T 1/20 TH Course introduction Cronon, Only Connect; (attached to the syllabus); Reading Historical Scholarship, (attached to the syllabus); Guidelines for Reading Summaries (attached to the syllabus) Johnson, Introduction for Students (pp. xixvii)

I. INVASION, ENSLAVEMENT, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICA: The Colonial Period FIRST ENCOUNTERS 1/25 T N/S 1: James Axtell, Imagining the Other: First Encounters. 1/27 TH Johnson 2: Europeans Encounter the New World, 1492 1600 BRITISH NORTH AMERICA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 2/1 T N/S 2: T. H. Breen/Stephen Innes, Anthony Johnson: Patriarch on Pungoteague Creek. 2/3 TH N/S 3: Virginia DeJohn Anderson, Migrants and Motives: Religion and the Settlement of New England,1630-1640. 2/8 T Johnson 3-4: The Southern Colonies in The Seventeenth Century, 1601 1700 AND The Northern Colonies in The Seventeenth Century, 1601 1700 BRITISH NORTH AMERICAN IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 2/10 TH N/S 4: Peter H. Wood, Patterns of Slave Resistance. 2/15 T N/S 5: Mary Beth Norton, A Small Circle of Domestic Concerns. 2/17 TH Johnson 5: Colonial America in the Eighteenth Century, 1701 1770 2/22 T First in-class analytical paper

II. PATHS TO INDEPENDENCE: The Revolutionary and Early National Eras THE BREAK WITH BRITAIN 2/24 TH N/S 7 Alfred F. Young, George Robert Twelves Hewes: The Revolution and the Rise of Popular Politics. 3/1 T Johnson 6: The British Empire and the Colonial Crisis, 1754 1775 A REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE AT WAR 3/3 TH N/S 8: James Kirby Martin, A Most Undisciplined, Profligate Crew: Protest and Defiance in the Continental Ranks. 3/8 T Johnson 7: The War for America, 1775 1783 NATIONAL BUILDINGS 3/10 TH N/S 9-10: Carol Berkin, Women in the American Revolution AND Robert E. Shalhope, The Constitution and the Competing Political Cultures of late-EighteenthCentury America. SPRING BREAK

3/22 T Johnson 8-9: Building a Republic, 1775 1789 AND The New Nation Takes Form, 1789 1800 EARLY REPUBLICANS 3/24 TH N/S 11: Gary Nash, Thomas Peters: Millwright and Deliverer. 3/29 T N/S 12: Colin G. Calloway, The Revolution in Indian Country." 3/31 TH Johnson 10: Republicans in Power, 1800 1824 4/5 T Second in-class analytical paper

III. WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR SOME: The Antebellum Period and Civil War THE MARKET REVOLUTION 4/7 TH N/S 13: Robert A. Gross, Culture and Cultivation: Agriculture and Society in Thoreaus Concord. 4/12 T N/S 14: Ronald Schultz, God and Workingmen: Popular Religion and the Formation of Philadelphias Working Class, 1790-1830 4/14 TH N/S 15: Christine Stansell, Women, Children, and the Uses of the Street: Class and Gender Conflict in New York City. 4/19 T Johnson 11-12: The Expanding Republic, 1815 1840 AND The New West and Free North, 1840 1860 AMERICAN SLAVERY, AMERICAN FREEDOM 4/21 TH N/S 16: Elliott J. Gorn, Gouge and Bite, Pull Hair and Scratch: The Social Significance of Fighting in the Southern Backcountry. 4/26 T Johnson 13: The Slave South, 1820 1860 WARS FOR SLAVERY AND FREEDOM 4/28 TH N/S 18: Drew Gilpin Faust, Husbands and Wives: Southern Marriages in the Civil War. 5/3 T Johnson 14: The House Divided, 1846 1861 5/5 TH Johnson 15: The Crucible of War, 1861 1865 Scheduled Final date: Final in-class analytical paper Section 4 TTH 3:30 ClassFinal Date Tues. May 10 @ 4-5:50 in DU 140 Section 3 TTH 9:30 ClassFinal Date Thurs. May12 @ 10-11:50 in DU 406

Instructions for In Class Reading Summaries On every class day you will write about the days assigned reading for about 15 minutes at the start of the period. To prepare for these assignments, you may bring notes on a note card (3x5 or 4x6, but no larger; no notes on notebook paper or computer printouts). On days there are two chapters to read, you may bring two note cards, one for each chapter. These assignments have two parts that vary with the two assigned texts. For Nash and Schultz: Your task here is to summarize the argument of the assigned article. You are NOT simply to summarize the content, but you do need to be specific about time, place, person, and the like. At the beginning of each summary, you MUST identify the author and the date of publication of the piece. On days when you are assigned to read two articles from Nash and Schultz I will ask you to identify author and publication date of each, but write a summary for only 1 of my choosing. For Johnson: Here you have two tasks. 1) For each of chapter section (e.g. 2-1 The King of the Congo Writes to the King of Portugal), provide the author(s)/creator(s) and date of creation. 2) For a chapter section of my choosing, write a more detailed summary of whats happening in the source (s). Be as specific as possible about time, place, and person. Grading of reading summaries: These will be graded with letter grades. There will be no other written comments on them besides the grade. There are no make ups for any reason. If you come late to class, you will have whatever time remains to write your summary. If you miss class and that days reading summary, it will count as a zero. General Guidelines for Reading Summary Grades A = Clearly demonstrates having completed the assigned reading. Clearly demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the main argument or main points of the reading. B = Clearly demonstrates having completed the assigned reading. Demonstrates a basic understanding of the main argument or main points of the reading. C = Demonstrates having completed the assigned reading. D/F = Has not completed the assigned reading. Missing Reading Summaries: If you are absent from class, you will miss that days reading summary. There are no make-ups for any reason. You may not leave class after completing the reading summary unless you have prior permission from me. If you do leave class after the reading summary, it will be counted as a zero. Missing a few reading summaries due to unavoidable absences will not have a negative effect on your final grade. As a general rule, missing up to 10% of the reading summaries will not have an effect on your final grade. Missing between 10% and 25% of the reading summaries might have a negative effect on your grade. Missing between 25% and 50% of the reading summaries will negatively affect your grade. Missing more than 50% of the reading summaries will result in a failing grade for the course. *Important Reminder: You must complete at least the reading summaries to pass the course.

Instructions for Discussion Class discussions constitute an important part of this course. Discussions are meant to help you understand the main arguments and points of the readings and to provide you an opportunity to develop original and creative historical ideas about the material presented. Participation Self-Reporting: To record attendance and participation in discussions, this class uses self-reporting. At the end of each class, you will turn in a card with your name, the date, and a Y or an N to indicate whether you raised your hand and contributed to the discussion. I count you absent if I receive no note card. Be honest in your reporting. If I discover widespread misreporting, I may require students to make a note of what theyve said on their cards. If I discover individual cases of misreporting, I will lower that students participation grade by at least one letter grade. Attendance: Unless you have prior permission, do not leave class early or leave class after completing your reading summary. Doing so will have a significant negative effect on your discussion grade. Cell Phones, Laptops, etc.: Turn off cell phones, laptops and other electronic distraction devices during class. Failure to do so will count as being disruptive in class. Again texting = F. Taking Notes: You should take notes on class discussions. Here you should be writing down ideas, questions, and clarifications that come up during class. These will be invaluable when you write your analytical papers. Discussion Grading: Class discussions represent opportunities to demonstrate that you completed the assigned reading, that you understood the assigned reading, and that you thought about the reading. Participation is graded both quantitatively and qualitatively. Remember that participation includes both talking AND listening. Discussion Grading Guidelines A = Attends and participates in discussion regularly. Clearly demonstrates having completed the assigned readings. Clearly demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the readings. Clearly demonstrates original and creative historical thought. B = Attends and participates in discussion regularly. Clearly demonstrates having completed the assigned readings. Demonstrates understanding of the main ideas and arguments in the assigned readings. Makes some effort to engage in historical thinking. C = Attends and participates in discussion regularly. Demonstrates having completed the assigned reading. D/F = Attends class irregularly, is often tardy, or leaves class early. Infrequently or never participates in discussion. Shows little evidence of having completed the assigned readings. Missing Class: There are no make-ups for missing class discussions. You do not have to provide an excuse or contact me if you must miss class discussions. Missing some class discussions due to unavoidable reasons will not have an effect on your discussion grade. As a general rule, missing 10% or less of the class meetings will not affect your grade. Missing between 10% and 25% of the class meeting might have a negative effect on your grade. Missing between 25% and 50% of the class meetings will negatively affect your grade. Missing more than 50% of the class meetings will result in a failing grade for the course. You can partially make-up for absences by participating actively when you are in class. *Important Reminder: You must attend at least of the class meetings to pass.

Instructions for In-Class Analytical Papers At three points in the semester, you will use your preparation in the reading, reading summaries, and discussion to respond to a historical question of your creation. These papers are meant to demonstrate your completion of the assigned readings, your understanding of the ideas and arguments presented in those readings, and your original and creative historical thought about those readings. For these papers, I want you to identify what you think is the most important historical question raised by the reading we have completed so far. Then you will develop your answer to that question by reference to the other assigned readings. On those days you may bring to class your note cards you used to prepare for the reading summaries. You may also make new note cards for the analytical paper. I will provide paper for this assignment. Here are the directions for the analytical papers: 1. Historical Question: Select a reading (a document in Johnson or an article in Nash/Schultz). What important question does this reading raise? Can that question be asked of other readings? If not, alter your question or pick a different question. If so, proceed. Write your question at the top of the accompanying paper. Note: Be sure the terms of your question are as precise as possible. Your question should be a focused inquiry. That is, it should not seek to consider everything we have studied. Rather, it should seek to study some important question carefully with some reasonable amount of depth (given the obvious time and source constraints). Your question should call for an explanatory answer. That is, it should have a why component. 2. Historical Analysis: Use your question to analyze other pertinent readings. Locate pieces of evidence from the historical documents (i.e. the Johnson reader) that pertain to your question. Consider ideas from historians (i.e. the authors in the Nash/Schultz reader) that pertain to your question. You might need to pose subsidiary questions. 3. Historical Synthesis: Use what you find in the sources to develop an answer to the overall question you have posed. Offer a basic statement of your answer at the outset, and then develop that answer with the evidence you have collected. Be sure to include relevant, accurate details about time, place, and person/groups of people. When referring to historians (authors in N/S), use their names and represent their arguments accurately. Write as clearly and cleanly as possible. Your grade for the analytical papers will be based the quality of your historical question, your historical analysis, and your historical synthesis. Again, you want to show that you have completed the assigned readings, that you understand the arguments and important points in those readings, and that you have thought about those ideas and arguments. In these papers, you are NOT writing simple summaries, but rather using the materials you have read and the concepts we have discussed to offer a historical argument, similar to those you have been reading in Nash and Schultz. In these papers, you MUST draw on materials in both Nash/Schultz and Johnson. You are not required to use all the readings, but you should use as many as possible. While these papers will not be graded formally for spelling, grammar, and the like, you must seek to be as clear and clean as possible in your writing. For the first two analytical papers, I will give you about 45 minutes to complete these. For the other 30 minutes, we will discuss what you have concluded. For the final analytical paper I will give you 1 hour to write, followed by a 30 minute discussion. The discussion portion is important. Think of it as an oral exam. It will represent part of your overall participation grade. Missing Analytical Papers: If you are absent on the day of the analytical paper due to unavoidable reasons, you may, with prior permission, schedule a time to make up the assignment. You must schedule the make-up no later than one week after the date of the analytical paper. You must make up any missed analytical papers. Failure to do so will result in a failing grade for the course. You must complete all 3 of the analytical papers to pass the course. Reading Historical Scholarship

Here are some instructions about how to approach the reading in Nash and Schultz. Some general tips: When reading historical scholarship at the college level, you need to learn to do what historians call reading for the argument. It is not your task to read for whatever details you might find interesting. Rather, you must listen for the authors voice and determine what s/he is saying to you and the rest of the potential readers of the piece. Historical writing often follows a common pattern that makes this task easier. Authors typically begin their discussions with a statement of their historical question and a discussion of its relationship to previous scholarly work. Authors usually state their main argument (thesis) early in the piece and frequently state directly how it relates to what other historians have said about the general topic area or the specific question under consideration. Hence, you should always read the beginnings of articles very carefully (the first several paragraphs of an article). You should be careful when reading to identify when authors are talking about other historians. It is a frequent student error to read a section talking about other historians as if it is the authors voice. Often such sections are there for the purpose of taking issue with another scholar or body of work. Finally, conclusions sometimes restate the argument and often consider the broadest implications of the work. Finding the argument: The main idea is to find the authors argument. You can do this by focusing on four basic questions of historical scholarship. 1. What happened? Who, where, when, and what shape the authors story? It is absolutely critical that you pay attention to these matters. You cannot read a study about a specific time, place, or group of people as if it is a general treatment in a textbook. After attending to the elemental matters of context, has the author identified an important historical change or is the author describing a phenomenon, structure, or basic continuity? 2. Why did it happen? What is the authors explanation for what happened? What are the main ideas, and which ideas are subsidiary? Again, what is the main argument (thesis)? Is the author advancing a single explanation or many explanations? If the latter (which is common), does the author see one as more important than others? 3. How do we know? Here this question involves two elements. First, what are the authors main primary sources, and does this evidence establish the validity of the argument? Second, what methodologies, theoretical foundations, and assumptions (stated and unstated) underlie the authors use of evidence and mode of argumentation? 4. Why do we care? The final question can also be broken into two parts. What is the author adding to (or perhaps subtracting from!) our current understanding of the topic/question under investigation? Usually the author will say this directly. Its up to you to evaluate those claims to the best of your ability. If its not stated, what might be the significance based on what you know from your reading elsewhere? Second, what are the larger implications of the piece? What could it teach us about an important big question?

GUIDELINES FOR READING SUMMARIES

The purpose of the reading summaries and discussion of the readings is to help you to learn how to read historical writingboth scholarly historical essays (secondary sources in the Nash/Schultz reader) and historical documents (primary sources in the Johnson reader). You cannot read these books as you would a standard history textbook. In other words, theres no looking for the boldfaced words to fill in the worksheet with here. Reading historically is a skill and it takes time and practice to develop. Once you develop this skill, however, youll find that youll get much more from reading, not only historical works but other kinds of writing as well. Remember that reading summaries for the scholarly historical essays ask you to summarize the main ARGUMENT of the reading. Generally speaking, historical scholarship can be broken down into two kinds of sentences: argument sentences and evidence sentences. Learn to identify which is which. Argument sentences are ones where the author is making an assertion or claim based on the evidence. Evidence sentences will contain factual details, examples, or information drawn from the historical record (primary sources). The main argument or thesis of an essay is what the author thinks is the most important overall conclusion that can be drawn from all of the evidence. While an essay contains many argument or assertion sentences, there will be one main argument of the whole study. How do you find it? Well, remember, the author wants you to know what their argument isthey are not trying to hide it or confuse you. The author will signal you by using words or phrases to indicate what they think is the most important point. Be careful not to confuse statements made by the author about other historians arguments with the authors thesis. Historians often write about what other historians have said about a topic (this is called the historiography) only to disagree with their arguments. Make sure that youve identified the authors argument, not the arguments that the author is seeking to disprove. Usually, but not always, the authors main argument can be found near the beginning of the article. Usually, but not always, the main argument is restated in the conclusion. Think about what the authors overall point is in the essay. Historical essays are structured argumentatively, so always think about what purpose each paragraph is serving in the whole. Every paragraph is meant to prove something or establish some point that in some way relates back to the main argument. Most importantly, the main argument is going to be a historical argumentit is an argument about the past, not the present. The author is trying to explain or understand something about the time and place he/she is studying. In other words, the author is trying to answer a historical question. Historical questions are usually, but not always, how or why questions. The historical question posed by an essay may be directly stated or implied. If you can identify the central historical question of an essay youre on the right track to finding the main argument. Another way to approach this is to think of historians as similar to lawyers. A historian, like a lawyer, is making a case and using evidence to prove it. You are like the jury and the historian has to convince you by using evidence, reason, and logic that his/her explanation for what happened is the most valid interpretation of the evidence. For primary sources (those found in the Johnson reader), your task is somewhat different. Again this requires that you develop new reading skills and requires that you learn to pay attention to the kinds of clues historians notice. First, you have to figure out who wrote the document and when it was written. Sometimes this is fairly obvious, other times its less clear. The titles and introductions in the Johnson reader, however, usually give you the information you need to figure this out. The author/ creator of a document might be an individual person (e.g. Woodrow Wilson), or it might be a group (e.g. the Chicago Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), or an institution (e.g. the Supreme Court). The next thing you have to determine is what kind of document it is: A letter? Court testimony? A speech? An advertisement? Was this a document meant for the public? Or was it private? Who was meant to read it? Why was it created? Once youve figured that out, you need to read the document carefully. Remember that language and spelling in the past can be different from that in the present. Read difficult passages aloud if

possible. Then ask: What is going on? Is the document describing an event, a problem, an idea? Is it asking for some action to be taken? Is it the point of view of one person or several? Is it written seriously or humorously? Is the author trying to be honest or is s/he tying to mislead? Can you imagine the person or place thats being described? Finally think about what this document reveals to you about the past. Historical documents contain lots of information, but not all of it is necessarily historically significant. Think about what kinds of historical questions these documents could be used to answer. For this you can use Johnsons questions to guide your reading, but you should also try to think of questions of your own. What is striking or surprising to you in these documents? Remember that ALL historical documents are biased, that is, they are written from a particular point of view. That is NOT a drawback or a flaw of primary sources. Instead that is what makes them valuable to historians. Your task is not to adopt the biases of your sources or dismiss them. Rather you must identify the perspective of the document and understand that as one perspective that was operating at that time and place. If you can do that, you are well on your way to developing a historical consciousness. General Dos and Donts DO: 1. Make sure you have a note card for each chapter and that you save your note cards for the analytical papers. 2. For historical essays, write the authors name and the essays publication date at the top of the page. The date of publication for each essay can be found in the footnote at the bottom of the first page of each chapter. For primary sources write the author/creators name for each document and the date of each documents creation. This information can be found in Johnsons titles for each document. 3. For historical essays, state the authors main argument at the beginning of your summary. Try starting your summary this way: The authors main argument is ____________________. He/She proves this argument by _____________________. 4. Specifically identify the time, person, and place that the author is studying in the essays. Identify time, person, and place in the historical documents. 5. For historical essays, think about why the author thinks this is important historically. What does the authors story tell you about this time period? 6. Write in your own words as much as possible. Some quoting or paraphrasing is acceptable, and sometimes necessary, particularly if the authors exact words are crucial for conveying the point. But you should follow any quoted material with an explanation in your own words. If you quote something from the essay or document, you must use quotation marks. DONT 1. DO NOT turn in the cards on which youve taken notes for attendanceuse a separate card for attendance. 2. DO NOT simply summarize the editors introductions or their Implications questions in the conclusions. You can use these sections to help guide your reading, but you must summarize the essay or document itself. 3. DO NOT extract sentences randomly from the essay or document. DO NOT plagiarize. 4. DO NOT say that this historical event is important because it got us to where we are today. Avoid this kind of presentism. You can always make these kinds of statements because they simply say the past led to the present. These may be true in a way, but, in reality, this kind of simplistic assertion is often historically inaccurate. You may see things in the historical essays or historical documents that appear to be similar to things in the present. Be careful about making those comparisons, though. 5. DO NOT use stereotypes or broad assumptions and generalizations about the past. Many of the things people commonly think were traditional are actually misconceptions about the past. For example, dont think that all women in the past were housewives and all men went out to work.

Another example: Dont assume that the U.S. was isolationist in the period between WWI and WWII. 6. DO NOT use we or us or our when talking or writing about the past. Its not our nation. Its the nation. Its not we moved west. Its white settlers moved west. Using we, us, and our is historically inaccurate, obviously. We werent there. It also prevents you from thinking about WHO youre actually talking about. (Same thing goes for using they. Make sure youre clear about WHO is doing what.) Some people may use such language out of habitpatriotic or otherwisebut the historian, as John Quincy Adams said, must have no country. General Guide to Grades for Scholarly Historical Essays (Nash/Schultz Reader) The Superior Reading Summary (A): Correctly lists the author and publication date of essay. Identifies the topic, time, and place of the study. Clearly and correctly summarizes the authors main argument and explains some of the sub-arguments, counterarguments, or the broader historical significance of the study. Makes reference to the historical sources used by the author and provides representative examples that illustrate the main argumentative points. Written in your own words with minimal quoting or paraphrasing from the essay. The Good Reading Summary (B): Correctly lists the author and publication date of the essay. Identifies the topic, time, and place of the study. Clearly and correctly summarizes the authors main argument. Provides enough detail drawn from the essay to demonstrate that youve completed and understood the assigned reading. Written in your own words with minimal quoting or paraphrasing from the essay. The Not Quite There Reading Summary (C): Correctly lists the author and publication date of the essay. Provides enough detail drawn from the essay to demonstrate that youve completed the assigned reading. Does not identify or incorrectly identifies the main argument. Overuses quoted material from the essay or paraphrases excessively. The Poor Reading Summary (D): Does not identify author and publication date or does so incorrectly. Does not clearly demonstrate that youve completed the assigned reading. May summarize the introductory material but fails to convey the main point of the reading. The Unacceptable Reading Summary (F): Summarizes the wrong reading. Contains plagiarized sentences from the essay or from the editors introductions or conclusions. Clearly demonstrates that you have not completed the assigned reading. General Guide to Grades for Historical Documents (Johnson Reader) The Superior Reading Summary (A): Correctly lists the author/creator and date of creation for all the documents in the chapter. Locates the document youre assigned to summarize in time and place. Identifies the type of document (e.g. letter, diary, court testimony, confession, etc.). Clearly summarizes the contents of the document, explaining in your own words what is happening. Specifically identifies striking examples in the document that are particularly illustrative of the time period or reveal significant historical ideas, events, or trends. The summary may make use of quoted material or paraphrasing from the document, but clearly shows that you understand the meaning of the quoted or paraphrased sentences. The Good Reading Summary (B): Correctly lists the author/creator and date of creation for all the documents in the chapter. Locates the document youre assigned to summarize in time and place. Clearly summarizes the content of the document. Written in your own words but may make use of some quoted or paraphrased sentences from the document. Clearly shows that you completed and understood the assigned reading. The Not Quite There Reading Summary (C): Lists the author/creator and date of creation for all

the documents in the chapter with few or no mistakes. Summarizes the assigned document. Demonstrates that youve completed the assigned reading. May overuse quoted or paraphrased sentences from the document or may demonstrate that youve misunderstood the document. The Poor Reading Summary (D): Incorrectly or incompletely lists the author/creator and date of creation for all the documents in the chapter. Does not summarize the document adequately or mainly summarizes the editors introduction. Randomly extracts sentences from the document without showing you understand what youve read. The Unacceptable Reading Summary (F): Does not list author/creator or date of creation. Summarizes the wrong reading. Plagiarizes the document or the editors introductions.

Only Connect The Goals of a Liberal Education


William Cronon What does it mean to be a liberally educated person? It seems such a simple question, especially given the frequency with which colleges and universities genuflect toward this well worn phrase as the central icon of their institutional missions. Mantra-like, the words are endlessly repeated, starting in the glossy admissions brochures that high school students receive by the hundreds in their mailboxes and continuing right down to the last tired invocations they hear on commencement day. It would be surprising indeed if the phrase did not begin to sound at least a little empty after so much repetition, and surely undergraduates can be forgiven if they eventually regard liberal education as either a marketing ploy or a shibboleth. Yet many of us continue to place great stock in these words, believing them to describe one of the ultimate goods that a college or university should serve. So what exactly do we mean by liberal education, and why do we care so much about it? In speaking of liberal education, we certainly do not mean an education that indoctrinates students in the values of political liberalism, at least not in the most obvious sense of the latter phrase. Rather, we use these words to describe an educational tradition that celebrates and nurtures human freedom. These days liberal and liberty have become words so mired in controversy, embraced and reviled as they have been by the far ends of the political spectrum, that we scarcely know how to use them without turning them into slogansbut they can hardly be separated from this educational tradition. Liberal derives from the Latin liberalis, meaning of or relating to the liberal arts, which in turn derives from the Latin word liber, meaning free. But the word actually has much deeper roots, being akin to the Old English word leodan, meaning to grow, and leod, meaning people. It is also related to the Greek word eleutheros, meaning free, and goes all the way back to the Sanskrit word rodhati, meaning one climbs, one grows. Freedom and growth: here, surely, are values that lie at the very core of what we mean when we speak of a liberal education. Liberal education is built on these values: it aspires to nurture the growth of human talent in the service of human freedom. So one very simple answer to my question is that liberally educated people have been liberated by their education to explore and fulfill the promise of their own highest talents. But what might an education for human freedom actually look like? Theres the rub. Our current culture wars, our struggles over educational standards are all ultimately about the concrete embodiment of abstract values like freedom and growth in actual courses and textbooks and curricular requirements. Should students be forced to take courses in American history, and if so, what should those courses contain? Should they be forced to learn a foreign language, encounter a

laboratory science, master calculus, study grammar at the expense of creative writing (or the reverse), read Plato or Shakespeare or Marx or Darwin? Should they be required to take courses that foster ethnic and racial tolerance? Even if we agree about the importance of freedom and growth, we can still disagree quite a lot about which curriculum will best promote these values. That is why, when we argue about education, we usually spend less time talking about core values than about formal standards: what are the subjects that all young people should take to help them become educated adults? This is not an easy question. Maybe that is whyin the spirit of E. D. Hirschs Cultural Literacy and a thousand college course catalogsour answers to it often take the form of lists: lists of mandatory courses, lists of required readings, lists of essential facts, lists of the hundred best novels written in English in the twentieth century, and so on and on. This impulse toward list making has in fact been part of liberal education for a very long time. In their original medieval incarnation, the liberal arts were required courses, more or less, that every student was supposed to learn before attaining the status of a free man. There was nothing vague about the artes liberales. They were a very concrete list of seven subjects: the trivium, which consisted of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and the quadrivium, which consisted of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Together, these were the forms of knowledge worthy of a free man. We should remember the powerful class and gender biases that were built into this vision of freedom. The free men who studied the liberal arts were male aristocrats; these specialized bodies of knowledge were status markers that set them apart from unfree serfs and peasants, as well as from the members of other vulgar and ignoble classes. Our modern sense of liberal education has expanded from this medieval foundation to include a greater range of human talents and a much more inclusive number of human beings, holding out at least the dream that everyone might someday be liberated by an education that stands in the service of human freedom. And yet when we try to figure out what this education for human freedom might look like, we still make lists. We no longer hold up as a required curriculum the seven artes liberales of the medieval university; we no longer expect that the classical nineteenth-century college curriculum in Greek and Latin is enough to make a person learned. But we do offer plenty of other complicated lists with which we try to identify the courses and distribution requirements that constitute a liberal education. Such requirements vary somewhat from institution to institution, but certain elements crop up predictably. However complex the curricular tables and credit formulas may becomeand they can get pretty baroque!more often than not they include a certain number of total credit hours; a basic composition course; at least pre-calculus mathematics; some credits in a foreign language; some credits in the humanities; some credits in the social sciences; some credits in the natural sciences; and concentrated study in at least one major discipline. We have obviously come a long way from the artes liberalesand yet I worry that amid all these requirements we may be tempted to forget the ultimate purpose of this thing we call a liberal education. No matter how deliberately they may have been hammered out in committee meetings, its not clear what these carefully articulated and finely tuned requirements have to do with human freedom. And when we try to state the purpose of such requirements, we often flounder. Here, for instance, is what one institution I know well states as the Objects of a Liberal Education: (1) competency in communication; (2) competency in using the modes of thought characteristic of the major areas of knowledge; (3) a knowledge of our basic cultural heritage; (4) a thorough understanding of at least one subject area. This is the kind of language one expects from an academic committee, I guess, but it is hardly a statement that stirs the heart or inspires the soul. One problem, I think, is that it is much easier to itemize the requirements of a curriculum than to describe the qualities of the human beings we would like that curriculum to produce. All the required courses in the world will fail to give us a liberal education if, in the act of requiring them, we forget that their purpose is to nurture human freedom and growth. I would therefore like to return to my opening question and try to answer it (since I too find lists irresistible) with a list of my own. My list consists not of required courses but of personal qualities: the ten qualities I most admire in the people I know who seem to embody the values of a liberal education. How does one recognize liberally educated people?

1. They listen and they hear. This is so simple that it may not seem worth saying, but in our distracted and over-busy age, I think its worth declaring that educated people know how to pay attentionto others and to the world around them. They work hard to hear what other people say. They can follow an argument, track logical reasoning, detect illogic, hear the emotions that lie behind both the logic and the illogic, and ultimately empathize with the person who is feeling those emotions. 2. They read and they understand. This too is ridiculously simple to say but very difficult to achieve, since there are so many ways of reading in our world. Educated people can appreciate not only the front page of the New York Times but also the arts section, the sports section, the business section, the science section, and the editorials. They can gain insight from not only THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR and the New York Review of Books but also from Scientific American, the Economist, the National Enquirer, Vogue, and Readers Digest. They can enjoy John Milton and John Grisham. But skilled readers know how to read far more than just words. They are moved by what they see in a great art museum and what they hear in a concert hall. They recognize extraordinary athletic achievements; they are engaged by classic and contemporary works of theater and cinema; they find in television a valuable window on popular culture. When they wander through a forest or a wetland or a desert, they can identify the wildlife and interpret the lay of the land. They can glance at a farmers field and tell the difference between soy beans and alfalfa. They recognize fine craftsmanship, whether by a cabinetmaker or an auto mechanic. And they can surf the World Wide Web. All of these are ways in which the eyes and the ears are attuned to the wonders that make up the human and the natural worlds. None of us can possibly master all these forms of reading, but educated people should be competent in many of them and curious about all of them. 3. They can talk with anyone. Educated people know how to talk. They can give a speech, ask thoughtful questions, and make people laugh. They can hold a conversation with a high school dropout or a Nobel laureate, a child or a nursing- home resident, a factory worker or a corporate president. Moreover, they participate in such conversations not because they like to talk about themselves but because they are genuinely interested in others. A friend of mine says one of the most important things his father ever told him was that whenever he had a conversation, his job was to figure out whats so neat about what the other person does. I cannot imagine a more succinct description of this critically important quality. 4. They can write clearly and persuasively and movingly. What goes for talking goes for writing as well: educated people know the craft of putting words on paper. Im not talking about parsing a sentence or composing a paragraph, but about expressing what is in their minds and hearts so as to teach, persuade, and move the person who reads their words. I am talking about writing as a form of touching, akin to the touching that happens in an exhilarating conversation. 5. They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems. The ability to solve puzzles requires many skills, including a basic comfort with numbers, a familiarity with computers, and the recognition that many problems that appear to turn on questions of quality can in fact be reinterpreted as subtle problems of quantity. These are the skills of the analyst, the manager, the engineer, the critic: the ability to look at a complicated reality, break it into pieces, and figure out how it works in order to do practical things in the real world. Part of the challenge in this, of course, is the ability to put reality back together again after having broken it into piecesfor only by so doing can we accomplish practical goals without violating the integrity of the world we are trying to change. 6. They respect rigor not so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth. Truly educated people love learning, but they love wisdom more. They can appreciate a closely

reasoned argument without being unduly impressed by mere logic. They understand that knowledge serves values, and they strive to put these twoknowledge and valuesinto constant dialogue with each other. The ability to recognize true rigor is one of the most important achievements in any education, but it is worthless, even dangerous, if it is not placed in the service of some larger vision that also renders it humane. 7. They practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism. This is another way of saying that they can understand the power of other peoples dreams and nightmares as well as their own. They have the intellectual range and emotional generosity to step outside their own experiences and prejudices, thereby opening themselves to perspectives different from their own. From this commitment to tolerance flow all those aspects of a liberal education that oppose parochialism and celebrate the wider world: studying foreign languages, learning about the cultures of distant peoples, exploring the history of long ago times, discovering the many ways in which men and women have known the sacred and given names to their gods. Without such encounters, we cannot learn how much people differand how much they have in common. 8. They understand how to get things done in the world. In describing the goal of his Rhodes Scholarships, Cecil Rhodes spoke of trying to identify young people who would spend their lives engaged in what he called the worlds fight, by which he meant the struggle to leave the world a better place than they had found it. Learning how to get things done in the world in order to leave it a better place is surely one of the most practical and important lessons we can take from our education. It is fraught with peril because the power to act in the world can so easily be abusedbut we fool ourselves if we think we can avoid acting, avoid exercising power, avoid joining the worlds fight. And so we study power and struggle to use it wisely and well. 9. They nurture and empower the people around them. Nothing is more important in tempering the exercise of power and shaping right action than the recognition that no one ever acts alone. Liberally educated people understand that they belong to a community whose prosperity and well-being are crucial to their own, and they help that community flourish by making the success of others possible. If we speak of education for freedom, then one of the crucial insights of a liberal education must be that the freedom of the individual is possible only in a free community, and vice versa. It is the community that empowers the free individual, just as it is free individuals who lead and empower the community. The fulfillment of high talent, the just exercise of power, the celebration of human diversity: nothing so redeems these things as the recognition that what seem like personal triumphs are in fact the achievements of our common humanity. 10. They follow E. M. Forsters injunction from Howards End: Only connect . . . More than anything else, being an educated person means being able to see connections that allow one to make sense of the world and act within it in creative ways. Every one of the qualities I have described herelistening, reading, talking, writing, puzzle solving, truth seeking, seeing through other peoples eyes, leading, working in a communityis finally about connecting. A liberal education is about gaining the power and the wisdom, the generosity and the freedom to connect. I believe we should measure our educational systemwhether we speak of grade schools or universitiesby how well we succeed in training children and young adults to aspire to these ten qualities. I believe we should judge ourselves and our communities by how well we succeed in fostering and celebrating these qualities in each of us. But I must offer two caveats. The first is that my original questionWhat does it mean to be a liberally educated person?is misleading, deeply so, because it suggests that one can somehow take a group of courses, or accumulate a certain number of credits, or undergo an obligatory set of learning experiences, and emerge liberally educated at the end of the process. Nothing could be further from the truth. A liberal education is not something any of us ever achieve; it is not a state.

Rather, it is a way of living in the face of our own ignorance, a way of groping toward wisdom in full recognition of our own folly, a way of educating ourselves without any illusion that our educations will ever be complete. My second caveat has to do with individualism. It is no accident that an educational philosophy described as liberal is almost always articulated in terms of the individuals who are supposed to benefit from its teachings. I have similarly implied that the ten qualities on my list belong to individual people. I have asserted that liberal education in particular is about nurturing human freedomhelping young people discover and hone their talentsand this too sounds as if education exists for the benefit of individuals. All this is fair enough, and yet it too is deeply misleading in one crucial way. Education for human freedom is also education for human community. The two cannot exist without each other. Each of the qualities I have described is a craft or a skill or a way of being in the world that frees us to act with greater knowledge or power. But each of these qualities also makes us ever more aware of the connections we have with other people and the rest of creation, and so they remind us of the obligations we have to use our knowledge and power responsibly. If I am right that all these qualities are finally about connecting, then we need to confront one further paradox about liberal education. In the act of making us free, it also binds us to the communities that gave us our freedom in the first place; it makes us responsible to those communities in ways that limit our freedom. In the end, it turns out that liberty is not about thinking or saying or doing whatever we want. It is about exercising our freedom in such a way as to make a difference in the world and make a difference for more than just ourselves. And so I keep returning to those two words of E. M. Forsters: Only connect. I have said that they are as good an answer as any I know to the question of what it means to be a liberally educated person; but they are also an equally fine description of that most powerful and generous form of human connection we call love. I do not mean romantic or passionate love, but the love that lies at the heart of all the great religious faiths: not eros, but agape. Liberal education nurtures human freedom in the service of human community, which is to say that in the end it celebrates love. Whether we speak of our schools or our universities or ourselves, I hope we will hold fast to this as our constant practice, in the full depth and richness of its many meanings: Only connect. From The American Scholar, Volume 67, No. 4, Autumn 1998. Copyright !!1998 by William Cronon.