Summer 2024 Schedule of Classes and Syllabi are now available! Registration Begins May 1st!

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American History to 1877

The course introduces the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the United States to 1877.  The course is designed to help students understand and evaluate their society in the context of the historical experience.


  • Describing America prior to Columbus’ arrival.
  • Identifying the origins and consequences of European exploration and conquest of the New World and contrasting settlement patterns of the Spanish, French, Dutch, and English.
  • Describing the development of colonial institutions, life, and culture.
  • Describing how colonial American resistance to British imperial policy evolved into the War of Independence.
  • Discussing the course of the War for Independence including its effects on American economy, politics, and culture.
  • Describing the development of representative government (and federalism) from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
  • Identifying the development and practice of American political institutions including the presidency, the judiciary, and the government’s role in the economy.
  • Describing the development of American foreign policy from Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation to the Monroe Doctrine.
  • Comparing and contrasting the commercial economies that developed in the North and South prior to the Civil War.
  • Discussing the growth of democracy during the Age of Jackson.
  • Describing the development of the distinctive culture of the Old South including the cotton culture, slavery, and relations between planters and yeomen.
  • Describing the spirit of reform from 1830-1860 that led to the secession of the Southern Confederacy.
  • Understanding the military, political, economic, and social features of the Civil War in the North and South.
  • Discussing the strategies used to implement Reconstruction and analyzing their effects on black and white racial groups in the North and the South.


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