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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Camille L Walsh
BIS 323
Bothell Campus

United States History to 1865

Examines key events and problems in U.S. history from European-Native American contact to the end of the Civil War. Focuses on the practice of "doing history" by applying historical thinking skills to a wide range of primary documents.

Class description

This course offers a broad introduction to the history, politics and culture of the United States from the earliest contact between Europeans and Native Americans to the end of the Civil War. The course’s main themes include the formation of national identity, the struggle for citizenship, and the institutionalization of slavery. We will examine the major arguments in the field through history workshop class sessions to allow full participation in the practice of “doing history? and the development of historical thinking skills. The class will discuss important developments from multiple perspectives, including free and enslaved African Americans, women, Native Americans, laborers and immigrants, in order to understand the role of power and privilege in national formation. Finally, we will focus on specific documents for analysis and debate in order to allow students to delve deeper into the experiences of those who lived through this period.

Student learning goals

Understand key problems and points of debate in U.S. history and effectively communicate these ideas in both verbal and written form

Critically analyze primary historical documents and formulate arguments that position them within the major discussions in the field

Synthesize multiple pieces of historical information about U.S. politics and culture into a broad analysis

Understand how to locate, situate and interpret information about U.S. history and actively engage in ongoing education

General method of instruction

Discussion-focused lecture along with a team-based history workshop "game" allowing students to delve deeply into a particular event and present analysis and arguments

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites necessary

Class assignments and grading

Team based participation and presentations, discussion, written reactions and exams.

Evidence of active engagement with assignments and materials, clear arguments and analysis, accurate understanding of historical context and change over time.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Camille L Walsh
Date: 07/25/2011