At the end of the course, the student will:
- have a basic knowledge and understanding of the events, developments, people, and ideas that shaped American history to 1865:
- be able to identify and describe events, people, and ideas relevant to American history;
- be able to explain how specific people, social groups, political parties, and ethnicities have interacted at specific moments in American history;
- be able to explain the origins and legacies of major developments such as European colonization, the development of a slave society; the American Civil War; etcetera.
- have a basic understanding of how the methods and approaches of 'history' as an academic discipline differ from those of other disciplines within the larger field of American Studies.
- be aware that historical processes are shaped by specific actors and processes rather than anonymous forces;
- be able to construct an argument based on historical facts;
- be able to reflect on the importance of a text or an image as a primary historical source rather than a cultural artefact.
- have a basic understanding of and training in research skills.
- be able to relate primary sources to their historical context;
- be able to find online information and to assess its relevance to your research.
This course will introduce you to the history of the United States from colonial times to the late 19th century. It will deal with the most important issues and developments in the social, economic, and political history of the United States such as colonial times, religious awakenings, the American Revolution, continental expansion and its consequences, slavery, immigration and diversity, foreign relations, the Civil War and reconstruction, and the industrialization of America.