American History Lecture Improvements

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Could say more about the search for the "Northwest Passage."

The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments should be introduced as the "Reconstruction Amendments."

Discussed the Colored Orphan Asylum Riot 1863 [1], and perhaps other New York City riots.

Clara Barton's contributions should be explained.

Too many students thought that the Whig Party was anti-slavery.

Too many students exaggerated the contributions of Abraham Lincoln between 1840 and 1860.

One of the early homework assignments had a redundancy in it, or enabled students to give the same answer twice.

Lecture 7 explained a phonograph as a "record player," but it is not clear that teenagers in 2008 are any more familiar with a record player as they are with a phonograph.

Adams' undeclared naval war with France could be explained more fully.

The quote of Thomas Edison's teacher should be to "addled", and the explanation should be afterward about what that term means.

These phrases should be in the key term list:

  • taxation without representation
  • separation of powers
  • checks and balances
  • dual sovereigns (mention how the Constitution establishes federal and state sovereignty)

Should be an entry in the event list on the Constitution itself.

Should explain the deadly influenza that hit during World War I.

Should explain Nixon and China.

Trivia: Could have mentioned the quirky middle name of Harry Truman: "S" (without a period).

John Winthrop's "City on a Hill" should be emphasized more.

Will need to pull out the class-specific dates, such as the notice of change in the final exam; the reference to the recent or upcoming election; and perhaps a few others.

On midterm exam, students felt there should have been more questions about wars, and more questions about the colonial and pre-colonial eras.

The "draft" could be defined and explained, as many students are not familiar with it.

Could include turning point in Reagan's campaign in 1980 when he blustered, "I paid for this mike!"

The final homework (#13) elicited an overemphasis on the 20s; An early homework (#1 or #2) elicited too much redundancy.

Could mention the Battle of Cowpens using this link

Need to include Reagan's phrase, "trust, but verify."

Should have mentioned Elvis Presley and his impact on culture.

Should have mentioned "Butch" O'Hare and his military achievements.[2]

Should have included mention of Noah Webster's American English dictionary.