HISTORY 151 :  History of the U.S. to 1877 (HYBRID)
American Civil War Emphasis
This syllabus applies to either an 8 or 16 Week Semester
Check your Course Schedule or the Dean's Office for beginning and ending dates

  CLICK HERE for Registration and Login information


Office: R 215D

Allen Salzman

Off. hours: 10 a.m. TH

Phone: 456-0300

Ext. 3449

email: salzmana@triton.edu

 HISTORY 151 is  "a BlackBoard HYBRID course."

HISTORY 151 is linked concurrently with  RHETORIC 102 - HYBRID.
The reason they are linked is to save you time & effort  (as you will see below),
and because they share the theme of the Americn Civil War.

Both courses make use of  a  text book (indicated below) and extensive use of  a  computer. As for the latter, you will need the following: 
1. Pentium based computer running Win95 or higher with internet connection on Windows Explorer .   You will need PowerPoint and Quicktime (optional), Excel and enable Java. There are computers in many locations on Triton's campus which meet these criteria. 

2.  Instructions for Completing Assignments

  • FIRST READING ASSIGNMENT:     Browse Chapters 1--5 in your textbook, and spend a little time with the corresponding online materials for Ch. 1--5, just to get a little familiar with the earlier history of America. You will NOT be tested on Ch. 1--5. But subsequent chapters starting with Ch. 6 may make direct or indirect reference to the first five. (For example, Chapter 4 is all about slavery in colonial times.) You will be tested in detail on Chapters 6--17.
  • In order to complete Ch. 6--17, we need to cover approx. one  chapter per week ( in a 16 week semester).  You need to be a competent reader,   but I would guess that several hours per week will get you a fairly decent grade. It is really a question of how much time you are able to devote to the course.
  • ONLINE EXERCISES,  Written Assignments and EXAMS:     The History 151 Mainpage will have six icons: 

  1.   The first links to a page with a number of sub-parts. It includes this Syllabus; the  Course Ojectives & Grading Policy; and a Chart showing how this course is related to the Rhetoric 102 class.
  2. "Completion of Short Responses in the Study Guides = 5 %" will help you to construct a pretty decent outline for each chapter by asking you detailed questions. At the end, you will writea short response to a question related to the Civil War, and submit it in a response box to the teacher.
  3.  "5 Timed Exams = 40 %"   is intended to test your basic knowledge  of  the material in the Chapters. To learn when the exam is scheduled and how to take an exam in this course, click on the "5 Timed Exams" icon . Exams are not intended to overwhelm you or keep you up nights, but to help you understand the basics. I drop your lowest score of the 5, and I am pretty lenient on the short-answer parts. Depending on class size, I may allow you to take exams at your own pace, but if I do let you make that decision, please don't procrastinate.
  4.   "Frequent Postings in the 'Bulletins & Discussions' area = 5 %"  is a way for  you to find out  the latest information about the course, and a forum for you  to interact with your fellow students. Its a place to hang out.
  5.  "The Writing of the TERM PAPER = 50%"  is a page with links to assignments in the book by Frakes, and to the  associated  drop boxes where you will  UPLOAD the various components of your TERM PAPER.  The finished product is important. But  I regard the learning process as just as important, and so  you need to give it  your maximum effort and make steady progress towards your goal.
  6.   The Calendar will give you the  latest information updates, schedule changes, deadline alerts, etc.  Find out how the course is structured with respect to due dates for on-campus (required meetings) and for materials to be turned in. Mark your planners or palm pilots accordingly so that you stay on top of things.


  • Make steady progress reading the  chapters in the book  (approx. 1 per week).
  • Make use of  the online  resources indicated above to enhance your understanding of the chapters.
  • Take the exams at regular intervals (if exams are self-paced) or on the assigned days (if teacher-designated).
  • Come to campus on the designated days for the required on-campus classes.
  •  Term Paper:    The term paper, which is the main component of  this course is also the main component in  Rhetoric 102. Make steady progress here too.

  • Be sure that JAVA is enabled.
  • Use the navigation inside the BlackBoard program whenever possible. For example, do not use your browser's "Back" button if the program provides you with one. Similarly, do not use the "X" to close a window if a box marked "Close" has been provided.
  • If you are going to "Maximize" or "Minimize" a window, do it when you first open the window, not later.This is especially important on exams.
  • Begin to familiarise yourself with the online course. First I would click on the "Welcome page" button on the bottom tool bar. Then I would click on the "Information" icon in the main icon area. Then I would click on the "Course Objectives and Grades" icon.  But play around and check things out.
  • This is enough to get you started. You will see in many places that you can email me for any help you might need.


1. To introduce students to different historical perspectives.

2. To demonstrate the uniqueness in history of the U.S., and especially the improbable sequence of events leading up to the Civil War.

3. To examine certain key documents  which elucidate the above.

4. Through examining the unique polity of the U.S., to foster enlightened citizenship.

5.  To achieve the ability to complete a written composition (TERM PAPER) by completing research in history.


1.       Out of Many,   vol. 1 by Faragher (HIS 151)   A CDROM is  on Reserve at the Help Desk in the Computer Lab in the AT Building under "Dr. Salzman's History CD-ROM".  Its use is optional. There is an online edition of the text in the    "Supplementary Course Tools"  page, accessible from the HOME PAGE.

2.         Writing for College History  by Frakes, any edition. This little pamphlet  will be used in composing your expository essays and your term paper in RHT 102, which is also your term paper for this course.

3.       A computer, described above.

4.        Writing Research Papers by Weidenborner  for  RHETORIC 102:  (Note:  It is required that  you register in the associated course, RHT 102. Go back to the Home page  to Find Rhetoric 102: Rhetoric and Composition II ).


  Note:   for information about your grade in RHETORIC 102, you need to go back to HOME; access the RHETORIC 102 Mainpage; and then access "Course Objectives and Grades." Remember, they are two separate courses which overlap because you need the one to complete the objectives for the other.

 1. WHAT IS MY GRADE BASED ON?      Your grade will be based on satisfactory performance (a grade of 60% or better is passing) on 5 multiple-choice, fill-in and/or essay tests to be taken online. There will also be self-paced, online work for you to complete in the "Completion of Short Responses in the Study Guides" area. You need to go into the "Frequent Postings in the  Bulletins & Discussions" area on a regular basis share your thoughts. You must attend the on-campus seminars or classes. Lastly, the TERM PAPER which you write for both History 151 & Rhetoric 102 will also be a major factor.

2.  WHAT IS ON THE TESTS?   How do I prepare?

    You are responsible for everything in each chapter from Ch. 6--17. This is what is known in the academic world as an online reading class. The bottom line is:

   When in doubt, KNOW THE TEXT.  A careful and comprehensive outline of the text, generated by you,  is your best preparation.


 The exam  may or may NOT be taken at your own choice of date and starting time (it depends on class size and other factors).


You may take the test from outside the "M" Building on Triton's main campus if you wish. HOWEVER, I strongly urge you to take tests in the "M"  Building. If anything happens to crash your computer, you can get a note from the tech person on duty there and show it to me, and I may consider your problem after discussing it with the tech person. OR I may not. It is my discretion and my call.  But if you take the exam from outside the "M"  Building, I will not be able to consider technical breakdowns.  (For additional information, scroll up to the white box above.)

5.  THE BOTTOM LINE:      WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF MY GRADE IN HISTORY 151?  (Note:   for information about your grade in RHETORIC 102, you need to go back to HOME; access the RHETORIC 102 Mainpage; and then access "Course Objectives and Grades." Remember, they are two separate courses which do overlap because you need the one to complete the objectives for the other.)
a) 40 per cent of your grade will be based on 5 multiple choice and/or fill in and/or essay tests (taken online either on a day & time you choose or on a teacher-designated day and time) of approximately 25 questions each. I will drop the lowest score of the 5.  (This means you have 4 exams X 25 questions each  =  40 per cent maximum possible).

b)  50 per cent of your grade will be based on the quality of your term paper and the quality of the progress you make through the various processes of producing it, such as finding a topic, submitting and revising the drafts, etc.   I know it sounds scary, but you will be guided through these stages over in the Rhetoric 102 side and on the History 151 side. You will see that it is not as scary as it seems, and you will be well "armed" to take on term papers in all your classes after this!  I intend for you to learn to enjoy it.

c) An additional 10 per cent of your grade will be based on my assessment of the quality your online submissions in the "Study Guides & Written Responses" area (5%) and in the "Bulletins & Discussions" area(50%).  The total available percentage is 100%.


60%--69% = D

70%--79% = C

80%--89% = B

90%--110% = A


 Work at your own pace, but 1  chapter per week will get you to the end on time. (Adjust that to  2 chapters per week if you are enrolled in an 8 week semester course.)  If you need to know what the assignment is, just figure out what week of the term we are in.  Exam dates will be posted in the "Calendar" section on the Main Page, if your class is going to follow a schedule of exams.  (Revised 12 /  2009)