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Vermont History
The University of Vermont HST 184/VS 184 Course homepage: http://www.uvm.edu/~psearls Email: psearls@uvm.edu Phone: 656-3180 Description: HST 184 is intended to introduce students to the major historical themes and questions that have shaped the state of Vermont over time. Our goal is to better understand Vermont as a physical entity, as an idea, and as an identity that is both shared and contested. Our course is about not only interactions between people, but also the interactions of people with their landscape, and with their ideological inheritance and traditions. The course is intended to provide students with a personal, usable appreciation of Vermonts past that intimately informs the present. Required Reading: Potash, et al, Freedom and Unity is our basic text. It is available in the bookstore and on reserve in the Bailey-Howe library. In addition, supplementary reserve readings in the form of articles are posted on Blackboard. Papers that use multiple sources are superior to those that use only the textbook. Documents for town meetings will be posted on the course web site at http://www.uvm.edu/~psearls. See below for more information about town meetings. Requirements and Grading: Three assessment papers: 33% each Three town meeting papers: +/- 1, or 0, final grade points The three assessment papers each should be 2-4 pages. You have four opportunities to write the three papers. They are intended to be analytic exercises drawing strong conclusions about the evolution of Vermont both physically and conceptually. Each TWR, 8:30-12 Summer 2012

paper should possess a strong thesis statement that reflects disciplined, critical thinking, supported well by factual information, which needs to be cited (preferably in footnotes). The exact nature of these papers will be described in class. Grades on papers are determined by performance in three areas: form, structure, and content. Your paper must be as grammatically correct as possible. It must have a strong, clear thesis statement in its introduction (which is reiterated in the conclusion), and follow a coherent line of reasoning through logically-structured paragraphs. There will be five town meetings interspersed throughout the semester. These will usually, but not always, occupy the second half of that class session. Town meetings will combine both small-group discussion and class-wide debate. Three times during the semester, students must turn in a 1-to-2 page paper in a class containing a town meeting. These will be short responses to at least two of the primary documents assigned for that town meeting. Further directions, and primary document assignments, will be given in class. These are intended not only to stimulate discussion, but also to force students to think critically about what they have learned in lectures and reading, and not simply take a passive approach to their work. When writing these papers, students will be asked to put themselves in the minds of past Vermonters; you might well be asked to write a paper sympathetic to a position with which you dont necessarily agree. These papers will receive grades indicating whether a point has been added to your final course grade. To gain a +1, papers should not be random speculation, but instead opinions well informed by cited course material, such as our textbook. Also, make them entertaining. Ill give you details in class. In class sessions when both assessment papers and town meeting papers may be submitted, students may certainly submit one of each at the same time. Course Policies: I expect students to complete all of the reading and to attend every class, and will teach the course under that assumption. All assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade. All papers must be submitted in the class specified, in person.

Do not put them in my mailbox or mail them to me. Do not have your friends hand them in for you. Under no circumstances will cheating or plagiarizing of any kind be tolerated in this course. Email policy: if you write me email, I will always get back to you within 48 hours, weekends excluded. This syllabus is a social contract, not a legal document. I reserve the right to make changes to it as the semester progresses. These changes might include, but are not confined to, the assignment of replacement or extra readings, and altering the form or dates of exams. Almost always, whenever possible, these changes will come after consultation with the class. The idea of keeping the syllabus a little flexible is to make the course as productive for you as it can be. Lecture Topics and Text Reading Assignments: Part I: Freedom and Unity on the Frontier (up to 1800) May 25 & 26 Reading: Potash, 1-143 May 26: first town meeting Part II: Vermont in the Age of Capitalist Transformation (1800 to 1850s) May 27 & June 1 Reading: Potash, 143-211 June 1: second town meeting June 1: first assessment paper chance Part III: The Struggle over Vermonts Meaning (1850s-1880s) June 2 & 3

Reading: Potash, 213-330 June 3: third town meeting Part IV: Vermonters in Transition (1880s to 1920s) June 8 & 9 Reading: Potash, 330-432 June 8: second paper chance June 9: fourth town meeting Part V: The Foundation for Contemporary Vermont (1920s to 1960s) June 10 & 15 Reading: Potash, 433-515 June 15: fifth town meeting June 15: third assessment paper chance Part VI: Coming to Terms with the Interstate Age (1960s to present) June 16 & 17 Reading: Potash, 515-623 June 17: fourth paper chance June 17: sixth town meeting