General Information - HIST 1376-31245, Spring 2013

The United States to 1877: the social, economic, and political history of the United States to 1877.


Instructor Office Office Hours UH Telephone E-mail Address
Dr. Lawrence Curry AH-643 2:30-3:30 MW 713-743-3117
Teaching Assistants
Mr.Carlos Cantu AH-452 11-12 MW none
Mrs. Katie Valliere Streit AH-452 11-12 MW none


Students successfully completing this course should be able to:


Listed in order of assignment during the semester:

All of these books are available for purchase at the UH bookstore and for reading on faculty reserve in the UH M. D. Anderson Library. All except the collection of document are also available for purchase from some local bookstores and online.


  1. Lectures

    1. Twenty-six meetings during the semester: two meetings each week, except when holidays or examinations are scheduled, on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 until approximately 1:55 in Auditorium 1 of Agnes Arnold Hall (AAA-Aud.1).

    2. Consult the Course Syllabus and Reading Assignments handout for details.

    3. Perfect attendance is not required, but regular attendance is strongly encouraged. TAs will monitor class attendance. To be counted present, arrive on time and stay awake and mentally involved in class activities until the period has ended. Students who arrive in class after the TAs have taken attendance may be counted absent, at the discretion of the TAs. Excellent attendance—no more than two absences—will earn bonus points.

    4. NOTE THIS WELL: if you are absent for any reason from more than five of these 26 lecture class meetings, you will lose one point from your semester average score for each absence above five, no matter whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

  2. Discussion Sessions

    1. There will be 11 meetings of the discussion sessions during the semester: the first will be for administrative purposes; eight will be to discuss assigned readings, and two will be for returning and discussing exam papers. All will occur at various times on Monday and Wednesday afternoons..
    2. Consult the Course Syllabus and Reading Assignments handout for details.

    3. For the eight sessions devoted to discussing assigned readings, you will receive study questions ahead of time to help you focus your attention on points in the readings to be discussed in class.

    4. TAs will conduct all discussion sessions and evaluate each student’s participation during the eight sessions devoted to assigned readings. After each of those eight sessions, the TAs will assign a score to each student in his or her sections, according to the following scale:

      1. Excellent participation: from 90 to 100 points.
      2. Good participation: from 80 to 89 points.
      3. Satisfactory participation: from 70 to 79 points.
      4. Present but no participation: from 60 to 69 points.
      5. Absent: 0 points.

    5. At the end of the semester, the TAs will determine each student’s overall score for the discussion sessions by averaging the six highest scores the student received from the eight sessions devoted to discussing assigned readings. The two lowest score will not be counted.

    6. Perfect attendance is not required, but regular attendance is strongly encouraged. You may earn two bonus points for attending all 11 discussion sessions or one bonus point for missing only one. You also may be penalized for excessive absences. NOTE THIS WELL: if you are absent for any reason from more than three of the eight sessions devoted to discussing assigned readings, you will lose two points from your overall discussion session score for each absence beyond three, no matter whether the absence is excused or unexcused.
    7. Your discussion session score will comprise 25 percent of your overall semester score.

  3. Examinations

    1. There will be three written examinations during the semester, scheduled as follows:

    2. Exam I Wednesday, 13 February 1:00 - 2:15 AAA-Aud. 1
      Exam II Wednesday, 27 March 1:00 - 2:15 AAA-Aud. 1
      Make-up/Optional Exam Monday, 6 May 2:00- 4:50 AAA-Aud. 1
    3. All three exams will include both multiple-choice and essay problems. The essay problems will require you to write short identification essays. On each exam, you will be expected to integrate material from the lectures, assigned readings, and discussions.

    4. Bring a pen with blue or black ink and a No.2 pencil. The Department of History will provide blue books and multiple-choice (scantron) answer sheets for each exam.

    5. The TAs will grade all exam papers under Prof. Curry’s supervision and return Exam I papers at the fourth meeting of their discussion sessions and Exam II papers at the eighth. You may pick up your Final Exam papers from your TA at the beginning of next semester.

    6. Your exam score will comprise 75 percent of your overall semester score.


  1. Procedure for Determining Final Course Grade

    1. At the end of the semester, you will have one score based on your discussion session attendance and participation (explained above) and four exam scores – one for Exam I, one for Exam II, and two for the Final Exam in the range of from 0 to 100+ points.
    2. The lowest of these four exam scores will not be counted. If you do not take Exam I or Exam II, the resulting zero will be your lowest score. There will be no make-up exams.

    3. Your final course letter grade will be based on the sum of your three remaining exam scores plus your overall discussion session score, as follows:

      93 and above = A 80 through 82 = B- 67 through 69 = D+
      90 through 92 = A- 77 through 79 = C+ 63 through 66 = D
      87 through 89 = B+ 73 through 76 = C 60 through 62 = D-
      83 through 86 = B 70 through 72 = C- 59 and below = F

    4. Bonus points for attendance: Your TA may raise your final semester score by up to three points for an excellent record of attendance at the lecture classes (i.e., 3 points for perfect attendance; 2 points for only one absence; 1 point for two absences) no matter whether the absences are excused or unexcused.

      There is no other way to earn additional bonus points in this course

    5. Penalty points for excessive absences: Your TA may lower your final semester score by one point for each absence more than five from the lecture class meetings, no matter whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

    6. If you drop the course between Wednesday, 30 January, and Wednesday, 27 March, you will receive a grade of W (unless you have exceeded the six W-grade limit) no matter what score you received on Exam I.

    7. Your four exam scores, overall discussion session score, bonus/penalty points (if any) for attendance at lecture class meetings, overall semester score, and semester letter grade will be posted on Blackboard.

  2. Administrative Notes FYI:
    1. You may record Prof. Curry’s lecture notes for your own use, but may not make copies of them for any other purpose without his written consent. Selling them or giving them to others to sell or barter without Prof. Curry’s written consent is a violation of his intellectual property rights and may be subject to punishment by law.

    2. Monday, 21 January: Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

    3. Wednesday, 30 January: deadline for dropping a course without receiving a grade or having course count toward (a) the six “W”-grade limit, (b) the “three-peat” rule, or (c) the resident enrollment cap.

      Consult your academic advisor for more information on these three very important university enrollment policies.

    4. Monday – Saturday, 11 – 16 March: UH Spring Break.

    5. Wednesday, 27 March: last day to drop or withdraw with a “W”.

    6. Saturday, 29 April: last day of classes.