The American History Level 2 course will concentrate on several
fundamentally significant eras and themes in the history of the
portion of North America that became the United States, covering
the period from first contact between Native Americans and Europeans
in 1492 to the present. These eras and themes include: political
history of the United States, social and cultural history of North
America, and the rise of the United States as a global power.
Class Hour and Location
The American History Level 2 module will meet Mondays, Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Fridays at 4:00 PM. Lectures will be held in the Boyd
Orr Building, Lecture Theatre 2, while seminars will be held in
the rooms arranged by the various seminar tutors.
Students should keep the hour from 4pm to 5pm free, Monday to Friday.
Members of staff involved in teaching the American History Level
2 module include: Dr. Sam Maddra (Course Convenor); Dr. Simon Ball;
Prof. Colin Kidd; Dr. Finn Pollard. The Course Secretary is Mrs.
Alison Peden, Modern History, 2 University Gardens, telephone 330-4509,
Course technical support is provided by Ann Gow, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission and Pathways Onwards (General and Honours)
You will be admitted into this module provided you have completed
any Level 1 module in History or Economic and Social History at
Grade Band D or better, and meet other Faculty requirements for
Admission to Level 2.
This module is a qualifying course for entry into any Honours combination
in History, as follows: The requirement for entry into Single Honours
in History is a minimum of five modules in History and/or Economic
& Social History. Two of these must be the Level 1 core courses
History 1A and 1B, and two more must be at Level 2. You must be
awarded at least a Grade Band D in each qualifying module, and must
acquire a minimum of 1440 grade points over the five qualifying
modules, i.e. achieve an overall average of Band C or better.
The requirement for entry into Joint Honours in History is at least
four modules in History and/or Economic & Social History, of
which at least one must be at Level 2. You must be awarded at least
a Band D in each qualifying module, and must acquire a minimum of
1080 grade points over the four qualifying modules, i.e. achieve
an overall average of Band C or better. Grade points are worked
out as follows. All level 1 modules are worth 20 credits, and all
level 2 modules are worth 30 credits.
To calculate your total grade points for each module, you multiply
its credit rating by 16 if you obtained Band A, by 14 if you obtained
Band B, by 12 if you obtained Band C, by 10 if you obtained Band
D, by 8 if you obtained Band E, by 6 if you obtained Band F, and
by 2 if you obtained Band G. Other candidates may be considered
for admission at the discretion of the Head of the Department of
History. All students should note that they must also meet the Faculty
requirements for Honours (see Calendar).
To give you an understanding of significant eras and themes in
the history of the portion of North America that became the United
States, covering the period between the first contact of Native
Americans and Europeans in 1492 and the present day.
To improve your critical and evaluative skills in the handling
of a variety of primary and secondary sources, enabling you to proceed
with confidence to Honours.
To enhance your independence of judgement in dealing with conflicting
interpretations of major issues.
To improve your presentational and analytical skills through assessed
seminar reports and discussion.
On completion of this module you will be expected:
To demonstrate an understanding of the development of the English
and British colonies in North America, their path to independence,
and the nature of the American republic
To be able to discuss the development of the United States from
a relatively weak nation into a superpower
To be able to analyse the role of race in American history, encompassing
relations between whites and native Americans, the development of
slavery, the move towards civil rights, and the place of other racial
groups such as Hispanic Americans
To be able to interrogate a variety of source materials, explain
the problems and advantages of working with each and their role
in the process of historical explanation
To be able to distinguish narrative from interpretation, and to
appreciate the function of each
To demonstrate critical and analytical skills in the handling of
both primary and secondary sources; and discriminating skills in
deploying such sources in order to sustain clear and valid arguments
both in writing and discussion.
Information Technology in the Department of History: Word Processing,
use of the Web, and PC Access
The Department of History is making an increasing use of IT at
all levels of undergraduate teaching. The Department expects all
students to submit their written work in word-processed form. You
should also check your University e-mail address regularly, for
information on particular courses, on careers talks, and other matters
relevant to your studies.
The University’s IT education unit provides basic training
in word processing, e-mail, and use of the web. All first year students
are expected to complete the basic IT certificate before progressing
to 2nd year. There are no specific training courses for undergraduates
on using IT further, but the Humanities Advanced Technology and
Information Institute (HATII) does have lab assistants in the DISH
and STELLA workrooms who can provide help to students at specific
times. DISH times are: Monday 13.00 - 15.00, Tuesday 15.00 - 17.00,
Wednesday 14.00 - 16.00, Friday 11.00 - 13.00. These times are subject
to change from term to term: students should consult the timetables
and notices in the labs for further information.
This course operates a dedicated website through which you are
expected to access essential teaching and administrative materials.
You may also choose to use material from sites that have not been
recommended by tutors. However, be aware that material published
on the web is not always subject to the same degree of scholarly
scrutiny as applies to published books and journal articles. Unless
a site has been checked and recommended by your tutor, you should
exercise caution and seek advice. In any event you should always
give the website address or website name of any material you cite
so that a marker can check your reference. Please NOTE that, with
websites as with other source material, it is vital that you acknowledge
where your information comes from, to make sure you avoid the pitfalls
of plagiarism. Copying from anywhere, without due acknowledgement,
constitutes academic fraud unacceptable in any University context.
Equally, a “scissors and paste” approach to essay-writing
will reduce your scope for independent judgement and hence reduce
the value of the work in terms of your own learning. This applies
as much to web material as to printed material.
History students are entitled to access PC facilities at a number
of locations in addition to Glasgow University Library. Information
about these locations and the facilities they contain can be found
on the HATII website: http://www.hatii.arts.gla.ac.uk
Access to all these labs is subject to timetable, and students should
check the sheets posted outside individual labs.
The textbook for this course is available in the bookshop.
Tindal and Shi, America: A Narrative History (brief sixth edition)
Access to books in Glasgow University Library (GUL)
The Department of History cooperates closely with GUL to try and
ensure that our students have satisfactory access to key texts.
If you need help finding your way in the Library ask Enquiries Desk
staff for guidance.
Many of the materials to be used for essays are available on-line,
but in addition some volumes will be placed in the GUL Short Loan
Collection (SLC) on Level 2 and can be borrowed for either 1 week,
24 hours, 4 hours or overnight loan. Nevertheless, rising student
numbers and budgetary constraints mean that pressure upon textbooks
is a constant factor.
Library procedures have been devised to help you to access the
Library resources you need: please use these. For instance, if books
are on loan when you need them use the catalogue to ‘Place
a Hold’. Books due for return within the week will be reserved
for you, otherwise books will be recalled from the present borrower
and you will be notified by e-mail when the book/s is/are available.
If someone has already placed a hold don’t give up. Place
a hold because when there are 3 holds, the book/s are recalled,
placed on 24 or 4 hour loan and you will be notified by e-mail.
If books are not on the shelf where they should be and not registered
as on loan, complete a missing slip (available from Lending and
Enquiries Desks) and you will be notified by e-mail when the book
is found. Books not found are replaced. If our copy is missing,
you can borrow from another library and there is no charge for this
If you have difficulty accessing course texts from Level 8, or
the Short Loan Collection on Level 2 , then Level 1-2 students should
contact their seminar tutor in the first instance; or, if the tutor
is not readily available, the Course Convenor. Honours students
should speak directly to their tutor. The appropriate member of
staff will contact the Subject Librarian for History in GUL, so
that action can be taken. If difficulties persist, or are particularly
severe, please ensure that you pass the information on to your representative
on the Staff-Student Committee.
Please note that books on loan to you can be recalled from you
if requested by another reader, and that GUL texts kept in lockers
in Glasgow University Library must be properly issued. Lockers are
checked periodically by GUL staff. Students whose lockers are found
to contain unissued items will receive a warning, and a repeat offence
will result in withdrawal of use of the locker.
You will be allocated to a seminar group at the start of the module,
and this group will meet with a tutor six times during the course
of the module. The first meeting will be introductory, with the
following five covering a broadly defined theme or subject area.
Seminars are not lectures, and it is essential both that you come
well prepared and that you take an active part in the discussions;
seminar contribution will be evaluated and will count toward your
final mark for the module. You must attend the seminar meetings
of the group to which you are allocated. You will be required to
do some reading for each seminar. Each student will be required
to write one seminar paper of 800 words (two copies, word-processed)
and give a short oral presentation based on this paper.
Attendance at seminars is compulsory: if you attend
and participate in fewer than five seminars you are likely to be
refused credit for this course.
- You will actually attend six seminars, an introductory meeting
and then five substantive seminars.
- Attendance at all the seminars and participation in the five
substantive seminars will be marked on a 22 point scale. You will
be awarded 2 points for attending each seminar, and up to 2 points
for participation in each of the substantive seminars.
- For example, attendance at all seminars, but with no participation
in seminar discussions would result in 12 out of a possible 22
- Attendance at all seminars, with some participation in each
would result in 16 out of a possible 22 points.
- Attendance at all five substantive seminars, with a good level
of participation in each would result in 22 out of a possible
- Remember that seminar attendance is a mandatory part of this
course, and if you fail to attend seminars without providing acceptable
medical or other evidence to the Course Convenor, you are likely
to have Credit Refused for this course.
If you are ill or unable to complete your work, you must hand in
a medical certificate or provide an adequate and detailed written
explanation for your failure to comply with the course requirements.
You must inform your tutor and submit a medical certificate (or
other appropriate documentation) to the course administrator Mrs.
Peden in the Modern History Office. If you do not have such evidence,
you may wish to make an appointment to speak with the Course Convenor,
Dr Sam Maddra. Please remember: your tutor and Mrs. Peden in the
Modern History Office are not authorised to excuse your absence
from seminars, so it is vital that you submit the required paperwork
to Mrs. Peden, or you risk failing the course.
Essays and Tutorials
Each student will write one essay of no more than 1,500 words (two
copies, word-processed), to be handed in on one of three due-dates,
to be arranged by your tutor in your Introductory Seminar. Essay
questions are available on this website by following the link in
the upper left hand corner of this page. There will be an individual
tutorial on the essay once it has been marked. Essays are designed
to allow you to explore in greater depth particular areas of your
own choice, using a wide range of background reading. Essays must
be word-processed. Each student will be assigned one of three dates
for the submission of their essay.
The minimum requirement for the award of credits for this module
(except in certified special circumstances) is: attendance at all
seminars, completion of all course work within the time-scale specified,
and attendance at the examination. If you are ill, or otherwise
unable to complete your work, contact either your tutor or the Departmental
office as soon as possible. Late submission of work without good
cause will result in a penalty, and the mark of 0 may be given for
work that is not handed in by a specified time. There will be a
one-and-a-half hour exam, for which you will be required to answer
three questions, at the end of the module; this exam will account
for 60% for you final mark. Your essay will account for 20% of your
final mark for the module. The seminar paper will account for 10%
of your final mark. Also, at the end of the seminar series you will
be given a mark reflecting your participation and contribution to
the group. This mark will account for 10% of your total for the
All written work will be marked anonymously. Therefore, essays
and seminar papers must have the student's matriculation number
on them, but they must not have the student's name.
Faculty Marks Scale
All assessed work will be marked according to this scale: Band
A, Excellent; Band B, Very good; Band C, Good; Band D, Satisfactory;
Band E, Fair; Band F, Poor; Band G, Very poor.
Elections to represent the course on the History Department's
Staff-Student Committee will be announced in the first week of the
course. The SSC meets once each term to facilitate communication
between staff and students, by providing an effective voice to air
views regarding the Department and its courses. Student representatives
include two students from each Level 1 and Level 2 module, three
students in Junior Honours and three in Senior Honours. Both full-time
and part-time students are eligible. Students
receive training from the GUSRC.