Welcome to H270 Spring 2017!
See Moodle for full Syllabus.
Class Purpose and Goals:
Welcome to the lower Division Survey of U.S. History, from the beginnings up through the Civil War. This course is a survey of U.S. economic, social, political, and cultural history. Your task is to comprehend and to find patterns in the broad sweep of our past, and as with most introductory courses, you will be challenged by the work required. Toward a general understanding of American history up through the Civil War, serious students should work for the accomplishment of four important goals:
1-knowledge of the significant events, people, and trends;
2-understanding of major interpretations and different perspectives;
3-development of your own opinions, and an awareness of the way in which you yourself interpret history. Do you find the economy to be the most defining of changes and continuities in the American past, or politics? On the other hand, is the American past best characterized by social changes from the bottom up, or by the ways in which mass culture is constructed in the twentieth century? I urge you to consider your own approach to the past, to be aware of your own interpretation, and to understand why you think some events, people, institutions, or movements are more important than others.
The best way to accomplish these goals is to spend thoughtful time with lectures, readings, and assignments, and then to ask your own questions and to outline answers. You will be asked to use class lectures and readings to interpret a variety of documents, and while doing so, you will develop your own ideas based on historical accounts and evidence.
In this class, there will be three kinds of reading:
1-Class Text: James Henretta et al, America Concise, Sixth Edition, Volume 1
2-Additional Secondary Electronic Library Reading, linked on Moodle (For example,chapters in Theda Perdue and Michael Green's Native North America: A short Introduction.
3-Moodle Documents (Primary Sources)
You will use the Henretta Textbook and Additional Secondary Readings to interpret the documents. We will discuss this in more detail on Thursday (and the first weeks) when you have read the first documents.
h or without the text, write a sentence for each document that you feel best explains why it is important. Bring those sentences to class on Thursday.