Nelson Piercey

Welcome to the American History Page!


It is my privilege and honor to teach American History to FHST students this year.  I have an undergraduate degree in history from Union and a Masters in educational administration from the University of Memphis.  After 40 years in public education and another 8 years in private schools, I have been associated with the tutorial for the past 4 years–and in many ways, my best years in education!  And believe it or not, beginning a new year still fills me with anticipation, and yes, maybe even a few ‘butterflies’.

Students need to acquire knowledge of the people and events from our past, to learn about mistakes that have been made, and to celebrate our nation’s array of accomplishments.  Beyond the facts of history, however, students should recognize just how greatly they have been blessed by simply living in the United States.  Moreover, young people must understand that the freedom we enjoy in America is NEVER free, and that their generation will be responsible for maintaining this freedom that is frequently taken for granted.  A major goal will be to sow seeds of patriotism in this particular group of young people that will motivate them as adults to become involved citizens who THINK for themselves and actively work to safeguard all that is precious to Americans WHO LOVE THEIR COUNTRY.

At times during the year class discussions will occasionally deviate from specifically assigned material.  For example, the presidential election in November merits a portion of our time.  While we will generally avoid party politics, this approaching election provides a great opportunity for students to learn about our electoral system and how the ballot box rather than violence provides for peaceful political change.  In the second semester we will examine events that led to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and explore the issue of race from the perspective of truth rather than emotion.  We will also monitor current events of a potentially important historical nature.

Occasionally throughout the year, students will be asked to discuss with adults various issues pertinent to our study.  These discussions will NEVER require research on the part of parents (or other trusted adults) but will provide opportunities for parental input and for general dialogue about the class.  In fact, our first assignment might very well inspire parent-student dialogue even before the first class meeting.



  • Typically, we will cover a half to a full chapter of history per session, but the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the U.S. Constitution, westward expansion, slavery and the Civil War will require extra time
  • Detailed class notes will be provided for each class session; notes will be accessible on this page.
  • Homework will normally be based on reading assignments and material covered in class; a limited number of assignments will include research information on selected topics which students will be expected to share with their classmates
  • Homework including reading and written work, extra materials not included in the book or class notes, and selected videos will be accessible on this page
  • Quizzes will be prepared weekly over material previously covered in class but occasionally on assigned material*
  • Unit tests will be administered periodically (a study guide is usually provided prior to administration of unit tests)*

*Vocabulary will be included on all assessments.  Building vocabulary is critically important in the advancement of individual educational progress; therefore, building vocabulary will be one of the primary academic goals for this American History class.

I look forward to meeting a great group of new students on August 13.  Until then, stay safe and healthy.  And if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at the address found at the top of this page.

Mr. P


August 13, 2020 History Assignment