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Virginia History

HIST 331

Virginia History

Description and Objectives

The pedestals supporting the statues in front of our National Archives adjure us to “Study the Past”, because “What is Past is Prologue” (The Tempest, Act III, Scene 1).  With that in mind, this class will focus on developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the unique and historical contribution  that Virginia, the Old Dominion State, has made to the United States of America.  We will begin our study of Virginia by reading Virginius Dabney’s text, Virginia: The New Dominion.

As we study American History through the lens of Virginia, we will closely examine the causes, characters, dates, places and events that have shaped Virginia from its founding in 1607 to the present day.  Along the way we will examine the Presidents that have come from Virginia, and will delve into the life story of George Washington, who has been called “the indispensable man” for the American experiment.


Virginia: The New Dominion, by Virginius Dabney

Washington: The Indespensable Man, by James Thomas Flexner

Course Requirements

Quarter grades for the 1st and 2nd will be determined by the following formula:

Quizzes (30%) + Tests/essays/in-class writing (60%) + oral presentation (10%) = Quarter Grade

Students can expect to be quizzed at least once weekly on the assigned reading material. Although all quizzes will be announced (no pop quizzes), past experience indicates that cursory, last-minute attempts to complete assigned reading, or to replace actual text reading with Cliff Notes-type supplements, invariably will result in a poor quiz average.

Successful Students

Students are encouraged to seek help early and often if academic difficulty is encountered.

Students are encouraged to read with a colored pen or highlighter in-hand so that pertinent passages or puzzling lines can be marked for discussion in class.

Students who miss a scheduled quiz or test due to illness, an athletic event, or for any other reason will be expected to make-up that quiz or test on the day of their return to class. Students who take graded events after the scheduled date will not receive any possible curve-points or be allowed access to extra credit points for that quiz or test.

All homework is due at the beginning of class. Late work will be penalized one letter grade down for each day that the assignment is late. Do not ask to leave class to print-out a paper in the library. Plan ahead. If you anticipate a conflict or a have a problem that will influence your timeliness, talk to me ahead of time.

Each class will begin with prayer and be followed by a quick check of student grooming. Unless otherwise indicated, jackets may be removed without requesting permission once the word to “take-seats” has been given.