History 581
American Constitutional History to 1876

Fall semester, 2007
John E. Semonche
Jordan M. Smith

Students may find these web sites useful during the course.

The assignments listed below are to be read in preparation on the day listed. Although this is a desirable practice generally, it is especially valuable here since our class builds upon the base your reading provides. The text, Urofsky & Finkelman, A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States, Vol. I, 2nd ed. (hereinafter cited as Text), a source book, Hall, ed., Major Problems in American Constitutional History, Vol. I (hereinafter cited as Hall), the simulation coursepack and the other paperbacks listed below can be purchased at the Student Stores.






1. One reiterated word of warning at the outset: read the assignments before the designated class period. Legal material often requires that you establish a base for understanding that which follows. Your predecessors in the course who have had the most difficulty sought to do their reading in large catch-up chucks. Although we hope that you will find the assignments quite readable, and in part they were chosen with this goal in mind, reading them in large segments precludes gaining full value from the class periods. To put all this in more simple language, without the reading you will not know what is going on.

2. The syllabus lists five class simulations and one computer simulation. The class simulations are available for purchase in a coursepack at Student Stores. They require your participation as individuals and as a class. Success in the past with this teaching method has led to an extended use of simulations in the course.

3. The syllabus also lists a computer simulation that you will have to douwnload from Semonche's home page, the address of which is http://www.ibiblio.org/semche/history/jackweb.html. All you have to do is follow the instructions after clicking on "American History Simulations." This home page also provides access to other useful information for the course, including the course syllabus with useful links to Internet sites that you may find useful.

4. One take-home mid-term examination is listed in the syllabus. You will be given the exam approximately one week before the due date listed. If there is class demand an optional quiz can be given sometime in early November. Assuming only the mid-term examination, it will count 30% of your course grade. The paper will also count 30% and the final exam 40%. Good class participation in the simulations and discussion may result in raising your grade in the course. Also improved performance may be con-sidered in awarding your final grade.

5. Troubled in the past by term papers that are onerous in the doing and in the reading, the following options are presented:

6. Office hours will be M & W from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and on W from 2 to 2:45 p.m. Do, however, take the opportunity to schedule times that will be most convenient to you. Also should you wish to get in touch by email, the address is semche@email.unc.edu.

This page was created by John E. Semonche. It was last updated August 2007. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to contact Semonche here.