History | American History I
H105 | 16930 | Myers


Above section open to undergraduates only

This course is designed to provide students with a broad, working
knowledge of American history from the days of European colonization
to the advent of the Civil War. Over the course of the semester we
will examine the political, economic, and social forces that shaped
the United States during these years, critically examining those
forces through the interactive lenses of race, class, gender, and
religion. Thus, our readings and discussions will place an emphasis
on understanding the contentious diversity of the “American
Experience,” since this diverse, American past has left us, as its
legacy, the American present.

To this end, our readings will be based on both primary documents
(written in the past by those who lived through the events in
question) and secondary sources (written by modern historians
studying past events). In this fashion we will not only learn about
the past through the words of those who lived through it, but we
will also sharpen our ability to evaluate, analyze, and critically
interpret both secondary and original source material.

Topics for discussion will include: contact and colonization; the
cultural, religious, and economic diversity of early America; the
development of unfree systems of labor; the American Revolution and
Early Republic; the creation of the American political system;
industrialization and the emergence of a market economy; the impact
of religious and social revivals; antebellum reform movements;
westward expansion; the growth of chattel slavery; and the
dissolution of the Union.

Lecture attendance is mandatory and the course will require 75-100
pages of reading per week from a survey textbook and other
materials. Students will be evaluated through class discussions,
short written assignments, a 5-7 page paper, and two, in-class
examinations