the history of the United States from its earliest settlement through the Civil War
Examining the history of the United States from its earliest settlement through the Civil War, this
course focuses on the origins and development of issues relevant to Americans today.
Learners study themes and events ranging from pre-Columbian Native American cultures
through early European settlements; the triumph of British over French and Spanish settlers; the
upheavals of the Revolution; the establishment of the United States; its expansion westward;
and the threat to the country presented by the problem of slavery which culminated in the Civil
Please note: Since the summer is condensed to 8 weeks, instead of the usual 12, the
weekly workload will necessarily be a bit higher than in the fall, winter and spring terms.
You should read through the syllabus carefully to make sure that you understand the
expectations of this course.
1. Develop familiarity with the sequence and import of key historical events and key figures
in early American history and use that knowledge as a foundation for analysis and
interpretation of the historical themes listed below.
2. Explicate major historical themes of the 16
centuries such as European
expansion, decimation of American native peoples, resource exploitation, ethnic and
religious conflicts, the African diaspora, the rise of European imperialism and the first
waves of European immigration.
3. Explicate major historical themes of the 18
century before the American Revolution
such as the Enlightenment in America, the Great Awakening, nascent capitalism, the
slave trade, the movement westward and northward of the frontier and the rise of an
4. Explicate major historical themes from the Revolution to the Civil War, including
American expansion across the continent and American trade across the oceans, early
industrialization, urbanization, and capitalism, the rise of King Cotton, the great waves of
European immigration, the advent of reform movements and populist political parties,
and the growth of human freedoms and democracy between the wars.
5. Discuss the shaping roles of climate, geography, disease and food sources in early
6. Evaluate and use primary and secondary sources and material culture to develop
patterns and themes in history.
7. Analyze modern presentations of historical events for evidence of accuracy or bias,
motivation and agenda.
8. Develop appropriate theses and narratives from an assemblage of historical evidence.
1. Michael Schaller, et al., American Horizons, Concise: U.S. History in a Global Context,
Volume I: To 1877(NY: Oxford University Press, 2012). [ISBN: 978-0199739912]
2. Michael Schaller, et al., Reading American Horizons, Concise: U.S. History in a Global
Context, Volume I: To 1877(NY: Oxford University Press, 2012). [ISBN: 978-0199768509]
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