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Main Campus · Richards College of Business · Economics

Econ History of the US

  • Fall 2020
  • Section 01
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/12/2020 to 12/05/2020
  • Modified 08/10/2020


Examines the historical foundation of American economic growth and development from the colonial period to the twentieth century. Focuses on institutional and structural changes and processes of growth.


ECON 2105 and ECON 2106 and Richards Col Upper Division RCUD

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Mary Kassis

For course-related questions, please email me through the CourseDen email.

Office Hours

  • Monday, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Online Office Hours

Online office hours in Collaborate Ultra.  To enter the Collaborate Classroom use the following link:

Collaborate Ultra Office Hours Link

These are group office hours, so more than one student may attend at a time.  If you want to discuss your grade, you will need to make an individual appointment.

  • Wednesday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Online Office Hours

Online office hours in Collaborate Ultra.  To enter the Collaborate Classroom use the following link:

Collaborate Ultra Office Hours Link

These are group office hours, so more than one student may attend at a time.  If you want to discuss your grade, you will need to make an individual appointment.

Wednesday online office hours will begin August 19.

  • Individual Office Hours by Appointment

Please email me using CourseDen email to schedule an appointment to meet the Blackboard Collaborate Classroom for an individual meeting. We can also schedule an individual face-to-face meeting if needed. 

Meeting Times

Face-to-Face Class

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM

Students will be assigned to come to class one day a week.  You may only come to class on your assigned day. You will be assigned online material for the day you are not in class.

  • Adamson 227


A New Economic View of American History from Colonial Times to 1940

  • Author: Jeremy Atack and Peter Passell
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company
  • Edition: 2nd
  • ISBN: 978-0393963151


This course will focus on the growth and development of the U.S. Economy from the colonial era through the Great Depression and the New Deal.  To this end, students are expected to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Students will learn how to use economic theory to analyze historical trends and events such as industrialization and the Great Depression (LG4, LG7, LG8)
  • Students will gain an appreciation of how economic history can help us understand current economic problems (LG4, LG7, LG8)
  • The student’s communication, research and computer skills will be improved through discussion and writing assignments (LG1, LG3)

Note: The Economics Department’s website has a complete list of the Economics Department's Learning Goals.


You will be graded based on your performance on three exams, online homework, LibraryDen assignments, and a paper as described below.  Extra credit is not an option in this course.


Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Exams 60%

There will be three open book/open note online exams. The exams will be 75 minutes long and will contain a combination of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essays.  The questions will be based on reading assignments (both the textbook and any assigned articles), lectures, homework, and class discussions.  Although you will have access to your book and notes, you will not have a lot of time to look up answers, so you still need to master the material and study just like you would for a closed book exam. Each exam is worth 20% of your grade.  

Examination Schedule: (Exams #1 and #2 will be scheduled for Tuesday or Thursday based on your assigned class day)

Exam #1 – Tuesday, September 15 (9:30 - 10:45am) or Thursday, September 17 (9:30 - 10:45am)

Exam #2 – Tuesday, October 20 (9:30 - 10:45am) or Thursday, October 22 (9:30 - 10:45am)

Exam #3 – Thursday, December 3 (8:45-10:00am)


Online Homework 20%

Completing all assigned reading and online assignments is extremely important for this dual modality course. Online homework will be assigned in CourseDen each week. The two lowest online homework assignment scores will be dropped when calculating your final grade.

LibraryDen 5%

As the first step to your research paper, you will complete the LibraryDen Course in CourseDen. You have been enrolled in this as a separate course, and it should show up in the list of your CourseDen courses. LibraryDen consists of eight modules that will prepare you to do the research for your research paper. Once you complete each module, you will take the module quiz.  Once you complete all the modules, you will take a final assessment quiz.  It is estimated that the LibraryDen course will take you about 5-6 hours. You must complete all the LibraryDen modules (and the associated quizzes) as well as the final assessment by Sunday, September 20, at 11:59 pm.

U.S. Economic History Issue Research Paper 15

Each student will select an economic history issue or event to research and analyze.  Students are required to read three articles from professional economic journals on their topic (articles we already read for class cannot be used as one of the required articles for your paper).  Professional Economic journals can be found in the ECONLIT database in Galileo. The paper should contain an introduction with a brief description of the economic issue or event being analyzed, a summary of each article discussing the research question, data sources and conclusions, and a concluding discussion of how these articles add to our understanding of the event or topic.  Your topic and an annotated bibliography (with one paragraph summary of each of the three required articles) are due as an assignment in CourseDen on Sunday, October 11 by 11:59pm.  The paper should be 3-4 pages in length (typed, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font) and is due on Sunday, November 8 by 11:59pm. The paper will be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment as an Assignment in CourseDen. The paper will not be accepted late.  The paper must be original for this class – a paper written for another class is not acceptable.


Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 59 and below


Weekly assignments will be available in the content section of CourseDen and will be listed in the CourseDen calendar.


Week 1 – Course Introduction

Week 2 – Why Study Economic History & Introduction to the Colonial Period

Week 3 – The Colonial Economy

Week 4 – The American Revolution and the Constitution

Week 5 – Money and Banking before the Civil War

Week 6 – Test 1

Week 7 - The Antebellum Transportation Revolution

Week 8 – Early Industrialization and the Antebellum South

Week 9 – The Economics of Slavery and the Economic Impact of the Civil War

Week 10 – The Post Civil War South & Northern Agricultural Development after the Civil War

Week 11 – Test 2

Week 12 – Railroads and Economic Growth and Post Civil War Banking

Week 13 – The Changing Structure of American Industry

Week 14 – The Development of the American Labor Market

Week 15 – The Great Depression

Week 16 – The New Deal

Week 17 – Final Exam

The schedule for each week (chapters covered, articles assigned, online material and videos, discussion assignments, and homework quizzes) can be found in CourseDen under the content link.


This course syllabus provides a general plan for the course. However, deviations may be necessary.

Course Policies and Resources

Academic Honesty Guidelines

Any quiz or exam, given online or in class, is an individual assignment where collaboration is not allowed.  Online exams will be open book/open note, but use of internet sources is not allowed. All written assignments should be written in the student’s own words and all sources should be cited.  Using another person’s words or ideas without citing them is plagiarism.  If you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please review the information about plagiarism from the UWG Writing Center.

Netiquette Policy

Netiquette is online etiquette. It is important that all participants in online courses be aware of proper online behavior and show respect to each other.

Use appropriate language for an educational environment:

  • Use complete sentences
  • Use proper spelling and grammar
  • Avoid slang and uncommon abbreviations
  • Do not use obscene or threatening language
  • Avoid using all capital letters AS IT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS SHOUTING

Help! I can't get CourseDen to work!

If you experience problems using CourseDen, don't panic! Please use the D2L Help center support link.

UWG strives to solve all CourseDen related problems within 48 hours. While UWG will do their part to help you resolve problems and other situations regarding CourseDen, you do have some responsibilities.

  1. You must seek help. See the link above.
  2. Don't wait 2-3 days to report a problem. Do it immediately!
  3. Notify me if your problems haven't been resolved within 2 business days.
  4. Have an alternate computer access plan.  If your ISP suddenly goes out of business, or your disk crashes, or your puppy chews up your modem, or you experience some other personal hardware issue, you are responsible for having an emergency alternative computer access plan. Know in advance where you can go (library, Internet cafe, friend's house, workplace) if your primary system fails!
  5. If you are experiencing technical issues with D2L/CourseDen (not your computer /ISP) that are preventing you from turning in an assignment, responding to mail/discussions, or taking an assessment you have 2 responsibilities:
  1. Contact the helpdesk by phone: 678-839-6248, or by e-mail: [email protected] You can also use the Live Chat link on the main UWG CourseDen homepage. If it's after hours you can go to the D2L Help center support link or call 1-855-772-0423 (toll free) for additional support.
  2. Notify me via email or phone after you contact the helpdesk.

Makeup Exams

Students who miss an exam will only be allowed to makeup the missed exam in the case of a DOCUMENTED medical emergency. Students should contact the professor as soon as possible after missing the assignment to make arrangements for a makeup exam.  Students who do not contact the professor within one week of missing an exam will not be allowed to makeup the assignment.

College/School Policies

Wolf Pact

Having read the Honor Code for the University of West Georgia, I understand and accept my responsibility to uphold the values described therein and to conduct myself in a manner that will reflect the values of UWG and the Richards College of Business so as to respect the rights of all UWG community members. As a UWG student, I will represent myself truthfully and complete all academic assignments honestly and within the parameters set by my instructor.

I understand and accept that if I am found guilty of violations (through processes due me as a UWG student and outlined in the UWG Student Handbook), penalties will be imposed.

I also recognize that my responsibility includes a willingness to confront members of the UWG community if I feel there has been a violation of the Honor Code.  

Ultimately, I will conduct myself in a manner that promotes UWG as the best place to work, learn, and succeed for my generation, and those to come!

About the Richards College of Business

To become a globally recognized college of business preparing forward-thinking, responsible leaders.

We are in the business of transforming lives through education, engagement, and experiences.

Strategic Goals and Values

Student Success
Admit quality students and provide them with an education that is rich in experiences and engagement opportunities to prepare them to be effective and ethical professionals.

Academic Success
Recruit, retain and develop faculty and staff by providing sufficient resources to support dynamic and up-to-date bachelor and master-level curricula, to conduct research and other professional activities, and to support engagement with all stakeholders.

Operational Success
Recruit, retain and develop administrative management and staff personnel to manage, develop and support infrastructure and those activities that build internal and external partnerships while working in an ever-changing environment.

Ethical Values
The Richards College of Business community (administrators, faculty, staff, students, and business partners) share a commitment to the principles of honesty and integrity in interactions and undertakings, accountability for personal behavior, and respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others. In addition, we strive to continuously improve our abilities to recognize unethical behavior and to make ethical and moral decisions.

Institutional Policies

Academic Support

Accessibility Services: Students with a documented disability may work with UWG Accessibility Services to receive essential services specific to their disability. All entitlements to accommodations are based on documentation and USG Board of Regents standards. If a student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if he/she needs to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, the student should notify his/her instructor in writing and provide a copy of his/her Student Accommodations Report (SAR), which is available only from Accessibility Services. Faculty cannot offer accommodations without timely receipt of the SAR; further, no retroactive accommodations will be given. For more information, please contact Accessibility Services.

Center for Academic Success: The Center for Academic Success provides services, programs, and opportunities to help all undergraduate students succeed academically. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6280 or [email protected]

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center assists students with all areas of the writing process. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6513 or [email protected]

Online Courses

UWG takes students’ privacy concerns seriously: technology-enhanced and partially and fully online courses use sites and entities beyond UWG and students have the right to know the privacy policies of these entities. For more information on privacy and accessibility for the most commonly used sites, as well as technology requirements visit the UWG Online site.

Students enrolled in online courses can find answers to many of their questions in the Online/Off-Campus Student Guide.

If a student is experiencing distress and needs help, please see the resources available at the UWG Cares site. Online counseling is also available for online students.

Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia, we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. 

The University of West Georgia maintains and monitors a confidential Academic Dishonesty Tracking System. This database collects and reports patterns of repeated student violations across all the Colleges, the Ingram Library, and the School of Nursing. Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. Student conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Additionally, the student is responsible for safeguarding his/her computer account. The student’s account and network connection are for his/her individual use. A computer account is to be used only by the person to whom it has been issued. The student is responsible for all actions originating through his/her account or network connection. Students must not impersonate others or misrepresent or conceal their identities in electronic messages and actions. For more information on the University of West Georgia Honor Code, please see the Student Handbook.

UWG Email Policy

University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important university related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

Credit Hour Policy

The University of West Georgia grants one semester hour of credit for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks. For each course, the course syllabus will document the amount of in-class (or other direct faculty instruction) and out-of-class work required to earn the credit hour(s) assigned to the course. Out-of-class work will include all forms of credit-bearing activity, including but not limited to assignments, readings, observations, and musical practice. Where available, the university grants academic credit for students who verify via competency-based testing, that they have accomplished the learning outcomes associated with a course that would normally meet the requirements outlined above (e.g. AP credit, CLEP, and departmental exams).

HB 280 (Campus Carry)

UWG follows University System of Georgia (USG) guidance:

You may also visit our website for help with USG Guidance:

Mental Health Support

If you or another student find that you are experiencing a mental health issue, free confidential services are available on campus in the Counseling Center. Students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence may receive confidential medical and advocacy services with the Patient Advocates in Health Services. To report a concern anonymously, please go to UWGcares.

ELL Resources

If you are a student having difficulty with English language skills, and / or U.S. culture is not your home culture, specialized resources are available to help you succeed. Please visit the E.L.L. resource page for more information.


Proctored Exams/Online Instruction: Students should be aware and plan ahead for the possibility of having to complete all courses and/or exams online or in a proctored environment. This means talking with your instructors about what minimum technical requirements (software and hardware) will be required should your class move online or a student's personal needs dictate. This also includes making plans for internet access at whatever location participation may occur.

Virtual or in-person proctored exams, if your instructor should require them, may result in an additional cost to the student. Please discuss these details with your instructor or see the information provided here.

Face Coverings: Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of West Georgia, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Student FAQs: For more information about UWG COVID-19 guidance for students visit the Student FAQ webpage


Additional Items