History 113HN: Western Civilization since 1500

Spring Semester 2013

12:15 – 1:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Instructor:

 

Dr. John Moser
119 Andrews
(419) 289-5231

E-mail

Office Hours: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment
 

 

Required Reading:

 

Mark C. Carnes and Gary Kates, Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, 1791. New York: Pearson, 2005. ISBN: 0321332296

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract. New York: Penguin, 1968. ISBN: 0140442014

 

Megan Squire and John Burney, Rage against the Machine: Technology, Rebellion, and the Industrial Revolution (Course packet, 2012).


Other readings online, on reserve, or to be supplied by the instructor. 

 

 

Recommended Texts:

 

In addition to the above required texts, most of you will be required to obtain and consult one or more of the following, depending on what roles you are assigned in the class simulations.

 

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France. New York: Penguin, 1982. ISBN: 0140432043

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse on Inequality.  New York: Penguin, 1985. ISBN: 0140444394

 

 

Course Description:

 

This course will study the political history of Western Civilization since 1500, by focusing on two critical episodes of that period—the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.  We will examine both of these in considerable detail through the use of role-playing simulations from the Reacting to the Past series.  This means that you will actually take on the role of someone in Paris in the late 18th century, and a resident of Manchester, England in the early 19th.

 

 

Course Policies:

 

Although this is a face-to-face course, we will be using the learning management software ANGEL for many of its features.  A site has been created within ANGEL for this course, and all students enrolled will have access to it.  Certain course readings have been uploaded to it, as have your role descriptions.  You will be expected to upload your written work there as well.  If you have never used ANGEL before, you should familiarize yourself with its operation by visiting http://angel.ashland.edu and downloading the Student Quickstart guide, located on the right-hand side of the page.

 

The following factors will make up your final grade—

 

Papers (40%)

 

The number of written assignments, as well as their length, their subject matter, and when they are due, will depend on the role that you play in each simulation.  You may expect to write roughly 4,250 words (that is, about 12-14 pages) over the course of the semester, and each paper must be written in character; that is, it is to be written as the person you are portraying would have written. 

 

Each of your papers will receive a score out of 20, broken down as follows:

I. Logic (5 pts). This rubric assesses the structural soundness of your argument. Is your paper well-organized? Does it lead the reader/audience through a series of logical steps, each well-supported by appropriate evidence, to your conclusion? Do you use logically appropriate “transition words” (and, yet, but, because, whereas, nevertheless, furthermore, however, therefore, etc.) to connect each sentence to the next, and each paragraph to the next? If you have resorted to any logical fallacies in the hope of bamboozling your audience, have you correctly labeled these in your footnotes? (If I find a logical fallacy that you have not labeled, I will assume it is a mistake and deduct points.)

II. Content (5 pts). This rubric assesses whether or not you have “done your homework” on the issues your speech addresses. Your role sheet does not contain everything you need to know in order to make an argument for your position; it only tells you what you want to happen and (broadly) why. This is not enough material with which to persuade someone else to share your opinion – especially if that person has done her homework and knows that you are talking nonsense! Remember that you are dealing with real historical places, people and events; while you are free to suggest a different course of action from that which was historically taken, you must know what the range of plausible possibilities for such action was – which you can only find out by undertaking historical research. Therefore, you should take your role description only as a starting-point – a blueprint to help you generate good questions about the material, which you will then try to answer through your research. Ask yourself, “What kind of information would I need to include in this paragraph in order to convince a stranger that the point I am making is valid?” Once you have your questions, use the Game Book and the other primary sources, as well as the rich resources of the Internet and the library, to track down the information you need. (Hint: if I can find out that one of the "facts" or assumptions in your paper is wrong merely by performing a simple Google search, you haven't done your homework.)

III. Style (5 pts). Under this rubric, I consider all the things that make your paper rhetorically effective: clarity and concision, word choice, appropriate use of metaphor and/or other figurative language, freedom from cliché, and most of all, impeccable grammar and usage.  “My character wouldn’t have been educated enough to use proper grammar” is not an acceptable excuse.

 

IV. Authenticity (5 pts). This rubric addresses the extent to which the paper represents something that your character would write.  Not only should your character be obvious in the arguments you are making (in other words, you should not be arguing a position contrary to what your role description dictates), as well as your overall style.  For example, a Crowd Leader in the French Revolution game should have a simple, but forceful manner of writing.

In most cases, papers will be due not during class, but rather by noon on the day before the class when the issue on which you are writing will be discussed in class.  If you are writing for one of the in-game newspapers (and most of you will be) the editor of that paper may designate an even earlier deadline in order to provide him or her with sufficient time for formatting.  Papers should be uploaded to designated drop boxes located at the course’s ANGEL site. 

 

Speeches (40%)

 

Most of you will be expected to make at least four speeches to the class over the course of the semester, two during each simulation.  In the French Revolution game, most students will play members of the National Assembly in Paris, and their speeches will be formal addresses before those bodies.  Crowd leaders, however, have the option of either asking to be allowed to speak in the Assembly, or addressing fellow members of the crowd.  After all, some of the most stirring oratory of the age could be heard on city streets.  In the Industrial Revolution game your speeches will come in the form of public addresses on the village green, or perhaps statements to the Magistrate in the Town Hall.

 

It is likely that your speeches will address the same subjects as your papers.  While it is certainly acceptable in this case to refer to notes during your in-class speeches, you absolutely may not read your speech from a prepared text.  In other words, simply reading aloud from your paper will not satisfy your speech requirements—nor are your fellow students likely to appreciate it.

 

Speeches will be graded according to the criteria defined above for papers.  However, in place of authenticity speeches will be assessed on:

 

IV. Delivery (5 pts). This rubric assesses the effectiveness of your speech as an oral performance: do you establish contact with your audience, use appropriate vocal emphasis, and speak with expression? Do you avoid stumbling over words, misplacing the emphasis in sentences, and losing momentum between high points?

 

Attendance and Participation (20%)

 

As you have probably gathered by now, this is not a typical university course.  There will be very few lectures.  The course will succeed or fail based on the willingness and ability of every student to participate meaningfully in class discussions, both in and out of character.

 

Of course, the first requirement is that students attend class diligently.  No student may miss more than two class sessions without his or her grade being adversely affected.  In addition, keep in mind that during the game’s public meetings—in other words, those class sessions when students will be “in character” (February 7 – March 5 and April 4-30)—an absence could seriously affect the ability of your particular faction (your team, so to speak) to accomplish its objectives.

 

Also, because the simulations depend on having a precise number of students involved, opportunities for withdrawal from the course will be limited.  Roles will be assigned for the first simulation during the third week of class; therefore, anyone who wishes to drop the course immediately must indicate their intention to me by noon on Friday, January 25.  Those who remain in the class beyond that must participate in the first interactive (Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France) or receive a WF.  After the March 5 class session students who would like to drop the course may do so, provided that they inform me of their intention no later than noon on Wednesday, March 22.  Students who drop after that date will receive a WF.

 

Attendance is a necessary, but not sufficient, aspect of the course.  To receive a grade higher than a C in this course you must participate fully in class discussions and in the role-playing simulations, above and beyond the speeches you will be required to give.  Even when you are not addressing the group, you should be questioning those who are.  At the very least you should—during the simulations—make a habit of expressing your support for arguments of which you approve, and your hostility to those of which you do not!  Remember, for the character that you portray this would not have simply been an academic exercise; these would have been questions—often literally—of life or death.

 

 

Academic Integrity:

 

I strongly advise you to examine the university’s academic integrity policy, which may be found here.  All students are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity in every phase of their academic careers.  The penalties for academic dishonesty are severe, and ignorance is not an acceptable defense. 

 

Course Calendar, with assignments:

January

15

Course Introduction

 

17

Discussion of the French Enlightenment

Reading Assignment:

“Readings on the French Enlightenment” (available on ANGEL)

 

22

Discussion of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Reading Assignment:

Karnes and Cates, pp. 68-80

Rousseau, pp. 49-100

 

24

Discussion of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, continued

Reading Assignment:

Rousseau, pp. 101-188

 

29

Introduction to the French Revolution

Reading Assignment:

Carnes and Kates, pp. 1-46, 119-169

 

31

Discussion of Edmund Burke

Reading Assignment:

Karnes and Cates, pp. 81-118

February

5

Quiz and Faction Meetings

 

7

First Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #1

 

12

Second Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #2

First issues of newspapers due.

 

14

Third Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #3

 

19

Fourth Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #4

Second issues of newspapers due.

 

21

Fifth Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #5

 

26

Sixth Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #6

Third issues of newspapers due.

 

28

Seventh Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #7

March

5

Eighth Public Meeting:

National Assembly Session #8

Fourth issues of newspapers due.

 

7

Post-Mortem for Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France

Reading Assignment:

“The French Revolution—What Really Happened” (available on ANGEL)

“Readings on the French Revolution, 1793-94” (available on ANGEL)

 

12

Spring Break—NO CLASS

 

14

Spring Break—NO CLASS

 

19

Discussion of Adam Smith

Reading Assignment: Squire and Burney, Appendix A

 

21

Introduction to the Industrial Revolution

Reading Assignment:

Squire and Burney, pp. 3-18

 

26

Discussion of Ricardo, Owen, and Colquhoun

Reading Assignment: Squire and Burney, Appendices D-H

 

28

Easter Break—No Class

April

2

Quiz and Faction Meetings

 

4

Game Day One

Appointment Day

 

9

Ashbrook Luncheon—CLASS CANCELED

 

11

Game Day Two

Wage Negotiations

First issues of newspapers due.

 

16

Game Day Three

Market Day

 

18

Ashbrook Luncheon—CLASS CANCELED

 

23

Game Day Four

Market Day

Second issues of newspapers due.

 

25

Game Day Five

A Wedding!     

 

30

Game Day Six

Market Day

Third issues of newspapers due.

May

2

Game Day Seven

Market Day

May

7

(1:30-2:30) Game Day Eight

Market Day

Fourth issues of newspapers due.

(2:30-3:30) Post-Mortem for Rage against the Machine