Supplies the knowledge of American history that any intelligent and educated American citizen should have. Objective is to make the student aware of his or her heritage of the past and more intelligently conscious of the present.
Students who complete this course will have a solid basic knowledge of the history of the U.S., from the colonial era to the present. The class will focus on a number of overlapping roughly chronological periods, including the Colonial and Revolutionary Era, 1830s reform, westward expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression and WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the rise of liberalism and the conservative backlash. Throughout these periods Americans have debated the best way to promote democracy, freedom, and equality, the true meaning of these terms, and sometimes even their desirability. In addition to gaining a basic factual knowledge of U.S. history, students should be able to use what they learn in the class assess these debates and formulate their own opinions.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Regular lectures and regular class discussions of course materials.
None, although a commitment to regular attendance and participation will be essential to success in the course.
Class assignments and grading
Class participation, two in-class exams, and two or three two-page papers. In class discussion and written work will ask students to construct arguments, based on class materials and lectures, answering questions about the development of various course themes.