Seminar in New England History

Granite State College
Hist. 602: History of New England
Fall 2011


Instructor: Prof. J. Parr
Dates: 11 Sept – 29 Nov.
Meetings: Tues. 6-9 pm (Concord Campus)

Course Description

The course is a survey of New England’s history and focuses on New England’s role in the economic, political, and military history of our nation. In addition there is a focus on local New England communities and important historical events and forces that contributed to their development. The course spans a time period from the late 1600s to present.

Course Introduction

Welcome to History 602, the History of New England. Over the course of this semester, we will attempt to understand how New Englanders have defined themselves over four centuries. In many cases, we will not only be discussing the historic events themselves, but also examining their legacies. Due to the length of the semester, the scope of the course will be necessarily selective. We will focus on the major points of conjuncture in New England history from Early Settlement to the twentieth century. Each week, our explorations will be segmented with activities designed to develop your critical thinking, reading and analytical skills.

Paying college tuition is much like paying for a gym membership. The end result in both cases depends on what you put into it! If you don’t put in the time at the gym, you won’t see results. If you don’t put sufficient time into the class, you won’t see results either. Since this is an upper level history class, you will be expected to give a higher level of commitment than at the introductory level. This semester, I have put the emphasis on reading and discussion, so there will be a considerable amount of reading. To help you focus on what I would like you to get out of these readings, I have posted some reading questions on Blackboard. We will discuss the readings, and particularly these questions each week for a portion of the class. I will help to moderate discussion, but 2 students will serve as discussion leaders   Sign-ups for discussion leader will take place at the first class meeting. Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion at each course meeting, so you are strongly encouraged to take notes on the questions as you read. You will also complete two papers.


ENG 500 The Writing Process

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Identify and explain major events of New England history.
  2. Analyze these events in light of the political, economic, and social forces that shaped New England’s history.
  3. Discuss and evaluate the role of New England in our nation’s history.
  4. Relate historical developments, themes, and issues to contemporary regional developments and issues.
  5. Demonstrate research skills using primary and secondary sources and apply knowledge to successfully complete historical research.

Course Resources

Readings (All books are available through the GSC Bookstore. Books may be supplemented by readings posted on Blackboard):

  1. Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma (NY: Pearson-Longman, 2006). ISBN: 978-0321478061
  2. Richard Godbeer, The Salem Witch Hunt: a Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011) ISBN: 978-0312484552
  3. Alfred A. Cave, Pequot War (Amherst: University of MA Press, 1996). ISBN: 978-1558490307
  4. Robert Allison, The Boston Massacre: New England Remembers (NY: W.W. Norton, 1995). ISBN: 978-1400075324
  5. Joanne Pope Melish, Disowning Slavery: Graduate Emancipation and Race in New England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000). ISBN: 978-0801484377
  6. Thomas Dublin. Farm to Factory (NY: Columbia University Press, 1993). ISBN: 978-0231081573
  7. Michael M. Topp, ed, The Sacco and Vanzetti Case: a Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007). ISBN: 978-0312400880
  8. Michael David McDonald, All Souls: a Family Story from Southie (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007). ISBN: 978-0807072134

Textbooks are available via GSC’s online bookstore, MBS Direct at: Textbooks can also be purchased from MBS via phone, mail or fax. For additional information, visit the Online Bookstore section of the college web site.


Course Policies
1a. Computer Problems and Saving Work: Computer problems do happen, and often at the least convenient time possible. As such, it is highly recommended that you create and save back up files for every piece of work you complete for this class. Computer issues will not be accepted as an excuse for late work. Saving duplicate copies of your work to an external source will ensure that you do not lose your hard work. If you have trouble accessing Blackboard or your GSC email during the semester, you should contact Technical Services immediately for help. You can find their contact information below.


2a.     Paper Submission and Late Assignment Policy: All papers are to be submitted through the course’s drop box. Please do not submit assignments via e-mail. This protects us all against lost assignments and also allows me to provide timely feedback on your papers. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the assignment schedule outlined in the syllabus below. Each student may have one (and only) one 24-hour grace period over the semester for written work only. If you are invoking your grace period, you must email me before the start of the class in which the assignment is due to let me know. The assignment should then be submitted via drop box no later than 24 hours after the original due date. Late papers will be docked ¼ grade per day late.


2b.       If you have a written assignment due, are not invoking your grace period and cannot be in class, you should submit your assignment through the drop box before the start of the class. If a significant problem arises, or if you will be unable to attend class the day you are supposed to lead discussion, you should email me immediately. I will typically not accept late assignments or consider requests for extensions unless contacted before the assignment is due. Please note: contacting me in advance does not automatically guarantee an extension.

3. Classroom Citizenship: The classroom is a professional environment. I do not anticipate any problems, but antagonism, name-calling and other such behaviors interfere with the learning process. As such, uncivil conduct toward other students or the instructor will not be tolerated.   Remember: “Play hard, but play nice.”

4. Communication: I will respond to all messages within 24 hours of receipt, except those received after 5 PM on Friday, which will not be answered until after 5 PM on Sunday. Please allow me sufficient time to respond before emailing me again. Due to privacy concerns and Granite State College policy, please note that I can only respond to e-mails from your Granite State email account.

5. Grades: Grades will be updated regularly on Blackboard as assignments are graded. Granite State College’s grade scale appears below. Please allow a week for me to grade the paper assignments. As a general rule, grades are only changed in the event of a mathematical error. When graded assignments are returned, please take the time to read your feedback before emailing me with questions or concerns about grades. Grades are typically changed only if there is an error in calculating the grade.   Grade changes are exceedingly rare and grades are not subject to negotiation. For genuine grade concerns, students should write a paragraph for each concern, responding to specific comments and explaining why they think their answer merits a re-grade. I will consider your comments, but make no guarantees that the grade will improve. Please note: I cannot take “effort,” scholarships or other outside factors into consideration when assigning grades. I have no doubt you’ve worked hard, but in fairness to all students, I can only grade based on the quality of the assignment I have received.

6. Academic Honesty: Academic honesty is a core value at Granite State College and one I take very seriously. We all need to do our utmost to protect the reputation and integrity of the degree that you are working hard to earn. Students are expected to submit only their own work and it may not be work that has been recycled from another course. Any quotes or paraphrasing of the work of others must be properly cited. Chicago is the preferred citation format for history, but you may use MLA, APA or another recognized form of citation.   If you have any questions regarding proper citation, please contact me in advance of submitting your assignment. I prefer to help students avoid problems. Any instance of cheating or plagiarism, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, will result in your failure for the course and a letter being placed in your GSC file, which could lead to your expulsion. Please do not cheat or plagiarize; I am certain each of you can earn an excellent grade on your own.

Description of Course Activities and Requirements

Course Assignments: The following assignments will be used to assess learner performance in this course: 1) Discussion Leader 2.) Participation 3.) Mini Essay and 4) New England Identity Essay. The percentage values for each is as follows:

Participation: (10%)

Discussion Leader: (15% each, 30% total) Each of you will lead discussion twice. During one of your stints as discussion leader, you will submit a mini-essay as described in the next section.

Mini-Essay: (25%) In one of the two weeks you are discussion leader, you will write a 5-page essay elaborating on one of the reading questions. You may pick either of your discussion leader sessions to submit your essay. I recommend completing this paper earlier in the semester so that you can focus on your main paper toward the end of the term.

New England Identity Essay: (35%) The major assignment of the semester is the New England Identity Essay, due during the week of final exams. This 8-10 page essay will ask you to examine one element of New England history that you did not explore in your mini-essay and answer the following question: How has [your element] helped to shape identity in New England over the past six centuries? Your essay will draw only from and incorporate all of the course readings.

Granite State College Standard Grading Scale

Grade  Percentage     Grade Points  Level of Achievement



  A   95-100 4.0
  A-   90-94 3.67



  B+   87-89 3.33
  B   84-86 3.0
  B-   80-83 2.67



  C+   77-79 2.33
  C   74-76 2.0
  C-   70-73 1.67



  D+    67-69 1.33
  D    64-66 1.0
  D-    60-63 0.67





No credit

*A grade of C or better is required to fulfill requirements in the major, minor, or general education core at GSC. Please consult the GSC catalog for details.
† A grade of C- or below generally does not transfer to other academic institutions.
° As a general rule, you must score above the minimum grade level (95% or 3.671 for an A) to earn a particular grade.


Course Schedule & Topics

 Note: Blackboard is abbreviated as Bb.


Week 1: Course Introduction/Identity and New England

13 September 2011


Week 2: Puritan New England

20 September 2011


Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma


Week 3: Hysteria in Salem

27 September 2011


Adams, “The Specter of Salem in American Culture,” (on Bb) and Godbeer, The Salem Witch Hunt, Please begin with the chronology of events on pp. 185-186, then read pp. 1-28, 61 (bottom)-63, 66-110, 128 (bottom)–140 (top), 150–151 (top), 152-156 (top), 167-184.


Week 4: Pequot Wars

4 October 2011


Cave, The Pequot War, chapters 1-5


Week 5: Revolutionary New England

11 October 2011

We watch Mary Silliman’s War in class.


Allison, The Boston Massacre; Begin reading Dublin, Farm to Factory for next week.


Week 6: Industrial New England

18 October 2011


Finish Dublin, Farm to Factory for today’s discussion.


Week 7: Amistad

25 October 2011

As part of class, we will be watching and evaluating the film Amistad.


Read Roberts-Miller, “John Quincy Adams’s Amistad Argument,” Lipkin “When Victims Speak” and Hadden, “How Accurate is the Film.” (All on Bb.) Please begin reading Melish, Disowning Slavery for the next week.


Week 8: Slavery and Abolition: New England’s Complex Legacy

1 November 2011


Finish Melish, Disowning Slavery for this week’s discussion.


Week 9: Justice Denied?: The Sacco and Vanzetti Case

8 November 2011


Topp, The Sacco and Vanzetti Case. Start with the chronology on pp.185-188, then please read pp. 1-50, 53-56 (top), 68 (bottom)-128, 140-160, 172-176 (top), 180-184


Week 10: New England Family Dynasties: The Bulgers and the Kennedys

15 November 2011


Finish McDonald, All Souls: A Family Story from Southie; Excerpts (on Bb), Fitzpatrick, Letters to Jackie


Week 11: Happy Thanksgiving – No Class Meeting

22 November 2011


Week 12: Research Project Day

29 November 2011


No additional readings due for class this week. We will be sharing research projects in class, and will also spend part of this meeting peer-reviewing your final paper. Please bring a rough draft of your paper to class.


Week 13: A New England Identity?

6 December 2011

Depending on interest, we may do a potluck dinner of New England foods to accompany our discussion.


No additional readings due for class this week. Your New England Essay is Due at the Beginning of Class. Most of this week’s class will revolve around discussing whether you think there is a New England identity.


Note: The syllabus and schedule are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.


Library Resources

Granite State College has a Virtual Library available 24/7 with access to the full-text of thousands of journals and professional periodicals, an online Reference Room, selected Internet resources, writer’s resources, research and citation help, and a collection of tutorials. The databases are password protected. See GSC Library tab in MyGranite for username and password. In addition, the GSC Library link in the course menu provides direct links to research databases, Research FAQs and more.


Academic Coaching Services

Academic assistance to students is available at GSC Campuses at no additional cost. Basic skills preparation in reading, writing and math; study and research skills, time management tips and help in identifying online resources, are just a few of the specific resources available to all students at the institution. Academic Coaches work closely with faculty and the entire Student Success teams at the campuses, in working with students to ensure academic success. A whole range of support services are available at the campus locations throughout the state and through the online Academic Toolkit, and Smart Thinking, a new resource available at the college. To contact an Academic Coach, see the Academic Resource Link on the Resources page in the course menu or go directly to
 To access the online Academic Toolkit sign into Blackboard and click on “Academic Toolkit” under GSC Organizations.


Technical Assistance

For assistance with issues related to accessing the MyGranite portal, GSC email, Webrock, online courses or other technical issues related to any of the Blackboard tools, please visit the GSC Technical Assistance Center ( for answers to the most frequently asked questions or to submit an online help request form. Or call 1-888-372-4270 (Hours: M-F, 8:30-5:00, messages checked twice daily on weekends. Extended hours for the week before start of the term and first week of the term: M-Th, 8:00-7:00.)


Documented Disabilities / Americans with Disabilities Act

Granite State College will provide qualified individuals with disabilities the same educational opportunities available to persons without disabilities. When an individual’s documented disability creates a barrier to educational opportunities, the College will attempt reasonable accommodation to remove the barrier. If you need assistance, we recommend that you make contact early to ensure that your requests can be reviewed prior to the start of each term. If you wish to apply for accommodations, contact your academic advisor or the Dean of Learner Services in Concord. See the complete Granite State College policy in the current college catalog for further details.


Academic Honesty

An academic community is based on honesty and integrity. Plagiarism, cheating, or other forms of academic dishonesty are not acceptable at Granite State College. Faculty and students have a joint responsibility to ensure the integrity of learning. All work that you submit must be your own except in those instances when your instructor gives specific permission to collaborate. When quoting, summarizing or explaining ideas that are based on another’s work, whether in print or online, make sure to cite references appropriately. Plagiarism is using another’s words or even paraphrasing another’s work without giving proper credit through the use of citations. For Granite State College’s complete academic honesty policy, see the current college catalog. Any instance of plagiarism or cheating will result in failure for the course.


Conduct in Classroom

Membership in society implies minimal norms for civil behavior towards one another. It is Granite State College’s expectation that all members of our college community treat faculty, staff, and fellow learners with respect. Learners need to be knowledgeable of and comply with college policies. Each individual is accountable for his/her actions and for the consequences of any behavior that is inconsistent with these values and expectations.


Institutional Assessment

Assessment is an ongoing process that enables the College to improve its programs, courses, and teaching methods. Institutional evaluation may be embedded in tests, exams, and other measurements of student learning. As members of a learning community, students, faculty, and staff will be expected to participate in the important process of assessment on occasion. Confidentiality of any data that identify participants is maintained.