History | American History I
H105 | 3848 | Gamber
Above class open to freshmen and sophomores only
This course introduces students to major developments in American
history from European contact to the Civil War. Our study will cover
early exploration and settlement; the making of the American
Revolution and the creation of a nation in the decades following it;
early nineteenth-century changes such as westward movement, the
expansion of slavery, industrialization, immigration, and
urbanization; antebellum reform movements; and the disunion of the
nation that led to Civil War. While we will cover key events and
discuss famous figures, we will also explore how ordinary Americans
lived and experienced life.
We will place particular emphasis on how various peoples
defined “America,” first as a “New World,” eventually as a new
nation. What was “America,” who counted as “Americans,” and how did
those definitions change over time?
This course also serves as an introduction to historical inquiry and
analysis. We will focus on learning to read primary sources
critically and using evidence to make historical arguments.
Requirements: regular attendance and participation; weekly
pass/fail quizzes on lectures and readings; four examinations
(choice of in-class or take-home formats).
William Bruce Wheeler and Susan D. Becker, "Discovering the American
Past: A Look at the Evidence," Volume I: To 1877, 6th Edition
James E. Seaver, "A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison"
Kenneth S. Greenberg, ed., "The Confessions of Nat Turner"
Alan Brinkley, "The Unfinished Nation"