This course will explore the early history of the United States including its colonial origins. We will examine the American Revolution, the creation of republican governments and the union of the states, and the strains on that union which led to the Civil War of the 1860s. In addition to politics, we will consider the economy, culture, and society of early America, with an emphasis on the role of common people, the enslaved, and Native Americans – as well as the national leaders.
The reading will be a mix of histories and historical documents, with a weekly commitment of approximately 80 pages. The course will include 2 lectures and 1 discussion section per week. The discussion sections will focus on interpreting historical documents and preparing for exams and papers. The course emphasizes improving your skills at analytical and persuasive writing based on historical evidence.
There will be a mid-term exam, a final exam, a core paper developed through 3 installments, and a couple of quizzes.