American History I: Colonial Through 1865

Taught by Robyn Blum

  • Pre-colonial Native American culture through Civil War and Reconstruction

  • Primary sources used throughout to help students develop an authentic sense of the times

  • Developing the ability to use primary sources in a series of well-argued essays throughout the year

Course Description

History is a circular thing.  It is made up of the events of the time, but formed and recorded by the people who lived through them.  In this course, we will examine American history from colonial times to 1865 with a special eye to examining the cultural, political and societal effects of historical events on America as a whole, as well as specific subsets of the population.  Students will, through independent study, examine additional material to help them better understand the individual point of view, how the same events of history can be felt differently by different individuals of the same society.  We will add the individual voice to the canonical narrative of American history.

This is history through the lens of the people who lived it.  This personal approach to history will allow students to develop a deeper understanding of what it was like to live in each era as well as understanding the flow of change in the culture, politics, society, and intellectual life of early Americans. Lively discussion, debate, role-play and seminar presentations enable students to delve into these eras at a deep level. Students will learn how to do the work of historians by decoding primary sources, developing substantiated arguments, and writing solid historical essays. Outside of class students will examine how the events of American history affected various subsections of the population, such as Native Americans, women, African-Americans and others.  

Textbooks

There will be additional books assigned, but we will use the following as our core textbook:

America: A Narrative History (Brief Ninth Edition) (Vol. 1) Brief Ninth Edition Edition
by George Brown Tindall and David E. Shi (co authors)
Here is link to the text on Amazon.
ISBN-13: 978-0393912630