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American History

"American history is longer, larger, more various, more


beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever
said about it.”
-James A. Baldwin
The focus of this course is the study of the historical development of American ideas and institutions
from the Age of Exploration to the present. Students will learn fundamental concepts in civics,
economics, and geography. They will obtain a basic knowledge of American culture through a
chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in United States.

Why This Is Your Most Important Class


It Helps Us Understand Our Place in The World. The study of the past helps lead to greater
personal insight and comprehension of each person’s place in the grand sweep of the human
story. Historical study instructs how societies came to be and examines cultural, political, social,
and economic influences across time and space. It also builds the personal understanding of how we
as individuals are the sum of a vast range of past experience and actors ourselves in the process of
historical change.

It Teaches Us To Look More Deeply at Events. The process of historical inquiry—and what it
teaches students along the way—is history’s greatest reward. Studying history teaches that society is
not stagnant. It encourages us to question how and why things change, who drives those changes,
whose interests are served by them and who gets left out of the equation.

It Teaches Us To Be More Self-Reflective. Analyzing historic documents teaches us to be careful


readers. To be skeptical of one side of the story. To be aware of our own biases. To be more
independent-minded analysts, and more compassionate human beings. The best reason to study
history is not to memorize facts, but rather to experience the historical process and learn to interpret
facts in a thoughtful, independent and meaningful manner.

What's In This Class?


This class focuses on events in American history from the discovery and colonization of the
Americas to the end of the Second World War. It attempts to explain to esplain the social, political,
and economic reasons for events such as the Indian Wars, the Revolutinary War, American slavery,
the Civil War, the eugenics movement, and our involvement in the two greatest wars in world
histrory.

The class is lecture and discussion-based, with opportunities for students to work collaboratively on
long-term assignments and projects. Use of the Soctatic Seminar model will be used to eplore
important historical issues, and how they still affect us in our modern world. Additionally, we will be
looking at historical documents as supplementary material to aid our critical thinking.
The first nine weeks of the course will cover the colonial era through the Civil War. It will explore
the reasoning behind coloinization, explain the Clash of Civilizations concept vis-a-vis the native
population, the arguements for and against American independence, the institution of American
slavery, The Mexican-American War, the events that lead the United States to Civil War, and
finally, the war itself.

The second nine weks of this class covers the Industrail Revolution through the end of World War II.
Students will explore the Spanish-American War, the Rise of Progessivism, the eugenics movement,
Prohibition and the era of organized crime, the reasons behind Americ'a choice to enter the First
World War, the Roaring 20's, the Great Depression, the New Deal, our reasons for entering World
War 2, and finally, the war itself.