Weekly Projects


Students will be required to submit 12 Weekly Projects during the semester. The goal of the Weekly Project requirement is to encourage curiosity about the past, to develop the skill of connecting individual pieces of history to broader historical processes, and to practice research, writing, and presentation skills.

Weekly Projects will be submitted through Canvas.
Projects are due on Fridays by 11:59pm.


Unit Projects

Click on the buttons below for instructions and access to required assignment materials

unit 1 project
Whose Side Are You On?
DUE: Friday, February 5
unit 2 project
Civil War Letters
DUE: Friday, March 4
unit 3 project
Virtual Historic Tour of New York City
DUE: Friday, April 8

Final Essay

Students are required to complete a Final Essay summarizing what they have learned throughout the semester. Essays involve writing a 1,500-word paper on how the idea of freedom has changed in American since the time of the American Revolution.

Essays will be submitted through Canvas.

The Final Essay is DUE: Tuesday, May 3 by 11:59pm




Exams & Quizzes

Students are required to take an Introductory Quiz, several textbook quizzes, and four Unit Exams using Canvas.

Quizzes will be announced in class.

Exams are open book. Exams will be open for four days and students may take the test at a time of their own choosing during that period. Students may take their exams from any location.

All exam answers must be in the student’s own words.

No late or makeup quizzes or exams will be allowed

exam dates



Grades are a mechanism for communicating the level of academic achievement students have attained in relation to the learning objectives of this course. Grades are not an assessment of student potential, individual character, or effort. Grades in USU 1300 will be based on the instructor’s evaluation of student performance on the required assignments and exams.

Students can see their grades for all assignments and exams in the Canvas gradebook.

Students who have questions about grades are encouraged to talk with the instructor during her scheduled office hours.


The syllabus for USU 1300 describes the course objectives, requirements and policies. The syllabus also sets out the schedule for all course activities such as the schedule of reading, the due dates for assignments, and when exams will be held.

In order to understand what we will be doing over the next sixteen weeks and what will be required of you as a student in the course, it is important that you read over the syllabus carefully at the beginning of the semester and consult it often as the term proceedes.

You may read the syllabus online or print off a copy to have close at hand when you need it.

online syllabus
syllabus PDF


Welcome to USU 1300! American Institutions is a sixteen-week, general education course providing an overview of United States history. The course is divided into four units, each covering a key era in America’s past.

The required textbook is Give Me Liberty!: A American History (Seagull Edition) by Eric Foner.

During the first week of the course, students should read the syllabus and familiarize themselves with this web site. Please purchase the required textbook at the USU Bookstore.

WEEK 1 (January 12 - 14)
* Give Me Liberty, "Preface"
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Students will take an Introductory Quiz worth 55 pts.



Unit 1

Freedom’s Foundations
January 19 - February 4

(Click on film clips to view)
WEEK 2 (January 19 - 21)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 4 and 5
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #6 and #7
WEEK 3 (January 26 - 28)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 6, 7, 8
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #8 and #9
WEEK 4 (February 2 - 4)
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #10, #11, and #12
* "Making the Constitution" film clips #1, #2, and #3

Unit 2

A New Birth of Freedom
February 9 - March 3

(Click on film clips to view)
WEEK 5 (February 9 - 11)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 11 and 12
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #13, #14 and #15
* "Fanny Kemble," film clips #1, #2, #3
WEEK 6 (February 16 - 18)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 13
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #16, #17, #18, and #19
WEEK 7 (February 23 - 25)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 14-15
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #20, and #21
WEEK 8 (March 1 - 3)
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips#22 and #23
WEEK 9 (March 8 - 10) SPRING BREAK
Unit 3

Facing Freedom’s Boundaries
March 8 - April 7

(Click on film clips to view)
WEEK 10 (March 15 - 17)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 16 and 17
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #24 and #25
* "Coney Island." film (shown in class)
WEEK 11 (March 22 - 24)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 18
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #26, #27 and #28
WEEK 12 (March 29 - 31)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 19
WEEK 12 (April 5 - 7)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 20
* "The Triangle Fire," film clip #1

Unit 4

Fighting for Freedom
April 12 -29

(Click on film clips to view)
WEEK 14 (APEIL 12 - 14)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 22
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #29 and #30
WEEK 15 (April 12 - 21)
* Give Me Liberty, Chp. 23
* "Questioning Freedom," film clips #31 and #32
* "World War II and Jazz," film clips #1 and #2
* "Eyes on the Prize," film clips #1 , #2, and #3

WEEK 16 (April 26 - 29)
* Give Me Liberty, Chps. 24 & 25
* "Eyes on the Prize," film clips #4, #5, and #6
* "Crisis," film clips #1, #2, and #3

study guide


Unit 1 Study Guide

Unit 2 Study Guide

Unit 3 Study Guide

Unit 4 Study Guide

Film List and Guide

background image
backgroun image
Unit Projects
Final Essay
exams and quizzes
Unit 1
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4

Utah State University
Instructor: Dr. Susan Rhoades Neel

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