History is an attempt to understand the stories of the past.  We must not ignore dates and facts, but interpretations define the way we view the world around us.


Course Information:


Early American History 


Hist 121.002L


Spring 2024  


Tue/Thr. 11:10 - 12:30 pm


 Virtual - Zoom



John (Kinch) Kincheloe

What is this Course?



What do I need to do?



How do I do assignments?

Office Location:

LC 328           (Loudoun)         

What are the course rules?



Office Hours:  Listed on Home page (link)

Course Schedule:   US1 schedule


What is this Course?


-The history of early America is the history of the search for an American Identity.  The greatest strength of the United States exists in the source of its greatest conflict: diversity.  Economic growth and territorial expansion led to interaction and struggle throughout North American.  Americans developed from a diverse populace, and those who came to form the United States in the nineteenth century were a product of the interaction of these various groups.

-My goal is to complicate, not simplify, your understanding of how the United States of America came to exist.  The United States was not always a secure entity.  In fact, the majority of its history is the story of failure and conflict.  We will look closely at the themes of Identity cultural conflict, and  economic motivation, which created the United States of America.


By the end of the semester you should:

-Be able to discuss the conflicting motivations of the diverse populace that inhabited North America.
-Be able to explain what constitutes an American, and how that conception developed from both positive and negative consequences.

-Be able to devise original arguments about historical trends and events and prove them using both primary and secondary information.


Course Description and Objectives:   Stuff the college makes me include:

Course Description

This course surveys the general history of the United States to 1865 and allows students to reach a basic understanding of the characteristic features of the United States’ early historical development. Students will learn about some of the important political, economic, social, intellectual, cultural and religious changes that shaped the development of the United States from earliest times.

Course Objectives

Upon completion the course, the student will be able to:

-Establish a chronology of historical events in American History before 1865.

-Explain the changing geo-political structures of the United States up until 1865.

-Define the importance of key individuals and developments in American history before 1865.

-Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of early American history.

-Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of early American history.

 -Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations.


        Lectures may contain disturbing content, including, but not limited to: violence, sexual assault, war crimes, genocide, mental or physical illnesses or disabilities, discrimination or         persecution on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or sexual orientation, etc. If you have been personally impacted by one or more of these topics and suffer from             PTSD, please email the professor if you would like prior notification of lectures containing discussions of the effecting topics. 

Recommended Co-requisites:

This is a writing intensive course so an introductory English course is highly recommended.


OER Course Materials:  

There are no books to purchase for this class.  All textbooks and monographs are free Open Online Resources linked below:

-Online Textbook=     -American Yawp: Open online textbook  (link)    (HARD COPY  AVAILABLE through Amazon)

                                                                                      -Additional online materials will be made available via the Course Schedule

Lecture Review Materials (links) 

-Lecture Review Materials:    US1 Chapter Terms         US1 Lecture Slides 1            US1 Lecture Slides 2   --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Spring 2024 His 121 Course Schedule 


Class Date



Face-to-Face Meeting


Discussion Lead



(to be completed before the class)

            Tuesday- Read Textbook                                      
                Thursday- Read primary sources

Section 1 =  Pre-Contact= The first fourteen Thousand Years       13,000 BC – 1492 AD

Week 1
(Jan. 16 & 18)

North American Migration Theories

Introduction Assignment

Week 2

(Jan. 23 & 25)

North American Prehistory:

Native Civilizations & lifeways

Read textbook Ch.  1

Read Primary Documents:
Cartier's Second Voyage 1536
Columbus in Hispaniola 1493

Section 2 = Colonial North America    1492 – 1775

Week 3
(Jan.30 & Feb. 1)

The Settlement of North America

Read textbookCh.  2
Read Primary Documents:
Las Casas, Devastation of the Indies (Read in its entirety)

Week 4
(Feb. 6 & 8)

Chesapeake and the Low Country

Paper 1 Due

Group 1 – Discussion

                           Read textbook Ch.  3  
Read Primary Documents
John Rolfe "a letter"
Declaration by Nathaniel Bacon
Gov. William Berkley on Bacon's Rebellion

Week 5

(Feb. 13 & 15)

New England and Mid Atlantic

Group 2 – Discussion

Research Project Proposal Due

Read textbook: Ch. 4

Read Primary Documents:
Dutch Charter of Freedoms...
Journal of John Winthrop (Excerpts)
Jonathan Edwards: On the Great Awakening

Section 3 = Creating a country of divisiveness 1763 – 1814

Week 6
(Feb. 20 & 22)

Rising Tensions and the
Motivation of Colonial Revolt

Group 3 – Discussion

Read textbook
Ch.  5

Read Primary Documents:
Declaration of Independence
  Townshend Act
  Hutchinson on the Stamp Act

Week 7

(Feb. 27 & 29)

A Floundering Experiment:
The Constitution

Group 4 – Discussion

  Midterm Exam

Read textbook Ch.  6

Read Primary Documents:
English Bill of Rights
Jefferson: Statute of Religious Freedom (1786)
 Debate on Executive Power

Week 8
(Mar. 5 & 7)

Conflict in a weak nation:
The Politics of Stability

Group 5-Discussion

Read textbook Ch.  7

Read Primary Documents:
Bill of Rights
Slavery and the Constitution
George Washington Farewell Address

            Spring Break

Section 4 = The Second Generation and the Making of the United States 1814 -1860

Week 9

(Mar. 19 & 21)

Northern Industry & Reform

Group 1 – Discussion

Bibliography due


Read textbook: Ch. 8 & Ch. 9
Read Primary Documents:
Republican Motherhood (1815)
  Lowell Mill Girls Go on Strike, 1836
American Frugal Housewife (1829)

Week 10
(Mar. 26 & 28)

Southern Agriculture

Group 2-Discussion


Read textbook Ch.  10  & Ch. 11

 Read Primary Documents:
    Slave Narratives
           (Note- this is a long reading)

Week 11

(Apr. 2 & 4)

An Expanding Nation

Group 3 – Discussion
Paper 2 due

Read textbookCh.  12
Read Primary Documents:

Declaration of Sentiments

Memorial to Mass. Legislature
Manifest Destiny

Week 12
(Apr. 9 & 11)

Regional Tensions Build:
A Nation Torn Apart

Group 4 – Discussion

Section 5 = Civil War 1844 -1877

Week 13
(Apr. 16 & 18) 

The Civil War
War Between the States
War for the Union
War of Southern Succession
War of Northern Aggression

Group 5 – Discussion

Read textbook Ch.  14
Read Primary Documents:
  "The Crime Against Kansas."
Preston Brooks: In defense of Attack on Sumner (1856)
A House Divided Speech (1858) Lincoln

Week 14

(Apr. 23 & 25)


Group X – Discussion

Read textbook Ch. 15
Read Primary Documents:
Gettysburg Address 
Emancipation Proclamation

Final Exam = Thr. May 2nd (10:00am)

Final Exam
Review sheet


Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course schedule at any time as he/she deems appropriate.


What do I need to do?

Grading Policy:

All assignments are graded on a 100 point scale and averaged accordingly to the percentages listed below.




Grading Scale


Participation/ Presentations




Argumentative Papers (2)




Midterm & Final Exam   




 Research Project   







59 and below



o   o   Group Presentations
§  You will be assigned a group in Canvas in week 1 of the semester.         

                                o   Failure to appear will result in a “0” grade for this assignment.                   
§ -Discussion lead---Click Here = for detailed instructions. 
                                                Your group will present on and lead a class discussion of the primary sources assigned for the week.               

                    o Participation
§  Attendance
                                                It is each students responsibility to check in every class on "Qwickley."
                                                     Arriving late & Leaving early = Grade reduction

§  Engagement
Grade assessed based on whether or not you talk/type chat on a regular bases.
                                                       Failure to keep Camera on during class = Grade reduction

 o   2- 3pg. argumentative papers

                            o   Utilizing readings from primary sources, books, and the textbook.    
(All papers must be submitted via attachment on Canvas before the assigned due date and time.)

o   Midterm & Final                     
     §  Open Note (essay based) exams completed on  Canvas during the exam weeks.

o  Research Project

                                §  Research Project   Click here fore details


Extra Credit Assignments (due by the end of Week 11) =    Digital History Project- check it out here.

                   Take a look and talk to Kinch if you are interested. 

What is a Virtual Course?

ZOOM Classes

Twice a week we will meet on Zoom.  Attendance is mandatory and you are expected to take an active part in Discussion & Interactive Lecture.
-- You are required to turn on you Camera during class and especially during discussion segments.

-- You will need to log on through Canvas directly, and check in on "Qwickley."

The class will typically consist of:

  -Story time  (15 min.)

    -Lecture  (30 min.)

      -Question?  (15 min.)   
    -Interactive lecture  (20 min.)

 -Skill Session   (10 min.)
    -Business of the week  (10 min.)

    -Lecture  (10 min.)

    -Class discussion (All class & Breakout rooms)  (50  min.)

Minimum Technical Requirements and skills for Virtual Course:

Course includes both classroom (Zoom)  and online meetings. Students must have access to a computer with an operating webcam/microphone and reliable high-speed Internet connection.

-Students must have a version or equivalent of "OfficeSuite," and have a basic working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

-Students must store course work on a cloud server such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  (A computer crash is not a valid excuse for late work.)


How do I do assignments? 

Tree Preservation    This is a paperless course. 

- All additional readings, assignments, and course materials can be found in the schedule above.

-All assignments and quizzes need to be submitted in Canvas.

-All feedback will be given through Canvas.

-To access Canvas = Log in to “My NOVA”  https://www.nvcc.edu/academic-tools/index.html

Guidelines for Written Work 

Formatting: All Papers should be double spaced, using 12 point Calibri font, and one inch margins.  All papers must be word processed and submitted through Canvas as “doc,” “docx,” or “PDF”      E-mail submissions will not be accepted.  

Style and Grammar: You must present your arguments in clear, concise, and grammatically correct English.  Make sure to proofread and use spell-check. For information on writing papers for this class, make sure to read Kinch’s writing guide .  You also might want to consult the following handy websites:

o       NVCC Loudoun's Writing Center

o       Charlie Evans’ History Writing Center

Citations:  You MUST include a formal citation any time you refer to a specific passage in a text, even if you do not quote the text directly.  The required method for citing sources in this class is Chicago Style formatting for footnote citations.  According to this format, you “Insert Footnote” (under references) and enter the citation information as laid out in this link.

What are the course rules?

Late Assignments 

-Late papers will be accepted after the due date and time for half credit, as long as they are submitted before the final class period of the term.

-Discussion, Quizzes, Participation, and Presentation assignments will only be accepted during the week they are due.

-All assignments should be stored on a cloud server and submitted online.  Excuses such as “my dog ate my homework” and “my computer crashed” are no longer valid.

Exams and Make-Up Exams

For exam sessions, make-ups will not be given other than in the case of a genuine emergency with appropriate documentation (ie, emergency room documents, court summons, etc.)  Missing class due to "not feeling well," not being able to get a ride, having to work, and the like are not genuine emergencies.


Presentation/Video will be given in person at the end of class, and the grade will be posted within a week. 

Papers and Exams will be graded and posted within two weeks of their due date, in order to give more detailed feedback.

Attendance Policy: 

Absences, Late arrival, and leaving early will affect a student’s grade due to the student not being able to participate in class/group discussions. Students missing more than thirty percent of the scheduled classes without an excused absence from the professor will receive ZERO points for the class participation grade. Class absence does not excuse a student from meeting assignment due dates

Academic Dishonesty: 

Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students involved in cheating will receive a grade of “0” on the activity during which cheating occurred and particularly flagrant or obviously intentional instances of cheating or plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" for the course.  In addition the student will be reported to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.

**Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  F. Academic Dishonesty in the Student Handbook.


Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

         1.       Cheating on an examination or quiz; including the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials.

        2.      Plagiarism - This is the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own.

-Please note that even copying a sentence or two from another source without citing it is enough to trigger a plagiarism penalty.  Likewise, changing a word here or there from content which you copy is plagiarism.  Your work should be entirely in your own words except for the passages which you quote and appropriately cite. All of your papers for the class will be checked for plagiarism by SafeAssign software.

Be aware of the following:

- Internet-enabled devices, dictionaries and/or calculators are prohibited during testing.

- If you need to leave the room during testing, for whatever reason, your test will be collected immediately for grading without any additional time for more work on the test or quiz.

Use of AI Technology:

In this course tools such as Turnitin and ZeroGPT will be used to detect and flag instances of plagiarism and potential use of AI writing in your assignments.  Students must complete their own work and provide attribution when using the words or ideas from a source.  Unless otherwise explicitly instructed, students must not use AI writing and composition tools. If you are asked or required to use tools like ChatGPT, these must be cited in your submission. 
----Any suspected violations will need to be justified in an oral interview with the professor.

Appropriate Use

Inappropriate Use

Audio-to-text transcription tools

The use of AI programs to generate ideas and brainstorm

Spell check, grammar check, style check, and thesaurus tools, like found in MS Word and Google docs

The use of AI to obtain answers on any assessment

Google Translate for individual words and phrases

Google Translate for entire sentences, paragraphs or assignments

Automatic citation or bibliography generators

Any application or tool that writes or rewrites entire sentences or paragraphs

Online tutoring services linked from the NOVA website

Any application or tool that writes a draft for you


Instructor/Student Communications Policy:

The primary means of communication outside the classroom between the Instructor and the student is via Canvas Announcements and e-mail. Students should check Canvas and their e-mail daily for any Instructor communications. Failure to do so is not an excuse for missed/late assignments or exams. The Instructor turn-around time to respond to e-mails is 24-to-48 hours Monday through Friday.

Instructors receive a significant number of e-mails from students over the course of the semester. To specifically identify the course in which the student is enrolled, all e-mail from the student must include the course and section number (e.g., ACC211-000) in the Subject of the e-mail.


I will email you at the email address on my class list which is your VCCS email address. If you do not check this address frequently, I would recommend you set it up for automatic forwarding to an email address you do check more frequently. When emailing the instructor, always send email from your VCCS email address.


Student Professionalism

Please be considerate. Disruptive behavior, on the ground and online, will not be tolerated.  Private conversations during lecture or class discussions, ringing mobile phones, texting, sleeping, or walking into class late or out of class early all distract and disturb your instructor and your classmates, and will count against your participation grade.  Repeated instances of rude behavior will result your removal from the classroom.  

--All students are considered adults and will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  B. Student Conduct in the Student Handbook.

College Policies =

Refer to the "College Policies" tab on CANVAS Course page for:

Academic Integrity Policy / Closing Information (weather) / Communication (e-mail) / Course Drop/Withdrawal Policy /        Disabilities and Accommodations / Emergency Preparedness / Financial Aid / Wellness and Mental Health


Financial Instability

Everyone was trouble at times, but there is help.  When struggling please reach out to me, a counselor, or click here: https://nvcc.singlestoptechnologies.com/

IT Helpdesk

The IT Help Desk provides first-level technical support to all faculty, staff and students of Northern Virginia Community College. Additional details and resources are located at http://www.nvcc.edu/ithd/.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.






Anyone observing an emergency situation should contact the Campus Police Office or the dean of students.

Loudoun Campus

Campus Police:


Dean of Students:


------Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course and course schedule at any time as he deems appropriate.-------



contact: jkincheloe@nvcc.edu