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History of the United States to 1870 - 3rd year

A survey of political, economic, social and cultural history of the United States from early settlement through the Civil War. An analysis of the foundation of the federal Constitution, e.g., early court activities, the development of democracy, causes of the Civil War, and an examination of Reconstruction will be included.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

1. Recognize and define the political, social, economic and cultural institutions of the United States;

2. Recognize and recall important events and people of American History from the dominant as well as minority cultures within the United State;

3. Compare and contrast the cultures which comprise American society by examining the impact of diverse ethnic groups such as Native American, European, and African immigrants on the culture of the United States;

4. Identify political, social, economic and religious values, analyze the impact of these values on U.S. institutions, and recognize the difficulties inherent in applying ideologies to practical government;

5. Identify assumptions about American culture and institutions;

6. Identify stereotypes and biases, recognize facts, opinions and generalizations, separate fact from opinion;

7. Synthesize historical data in order to draw conclusions about American society and ideals;

8. Evaluate American values as they are applied (or not applied) in historical situations and show how they were synthesized from many cultures by the various peoples who settled in the United States.


Course topics will include the following:

1. Native Americans

2. European immigrants

3. American colonial development

4. Movement toward independence

5. The American Revolution

6. Development of the U.S. Constitution

7. Early National Period

8. Jeffersonian democracy

9. Jacksonian democracy

10. Expansion and Slavery

11. Civil War

12. Reconstruction

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Discussion

3. Small Group Activities

4. Library

5. Research

6. Debate

7. Role Playing

8. Audio Visual

Types of Assignments:

1. Chapter length assignments

2. Appropriate assignments may include library research in preparation for debates

3. Role-playing presentations

4. Short papers

5. Book reports

6. Term papers or individual projects

7. Note-taking from reading and lecture materials

8. Well-organized essays and/or reports reasonably free of major errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation

9. Debates, speeches, and class discussions.

Sample Text:

1. The American Nation, Vol. 1 (John A. Garraty, Harper Collins College Publishers, 1995)

2. Study Guide to accompany The American Nation, Vol. 1: To 1877 (Ken C. Weatherbie, Harper Collins College Publishers, 1995)