History | American History I
H105 | 5474 | S. Bennett


Above class open to undergraduates and EDUC MA's only

This course will explore themes in U.S. history from the age of
European exploration to the American Civil War. Our topics will
include conceptions of the “New World,” revolution and nation-
building, geographic and economic expansion, the rise of slavery as
a labor system, industrialization, immigration, and the tensions
that led to war. How did people think of freedom, for themselves and
for others? Who was considered to be an “American” and why? Who was
included or excluded from various concepts of equality? We will
discuss key events, the roles of famous figures, and the experiences
of ordinary Americans.

This course is also an introduction to the ways historians apply
evidence to think about the past. We will discuss not just what
happened in the past, but how we ask questions and interpret those
events. The class will help students learn to think historically, to
understand how the past influences the present and the future, to
critically analyze documents and images, and to build and evaluate
arguments.

Required readings include a textbook and OnCourse readings. Students
will be evaluated through exams, short written assignments, and
active class participation.