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Early American History

Course NumberHIS 221W
Lab Hours0
Lecture Hours45
Course DescriptionPrerequisites: LEVEL 4 READING or LEVEL 2 WRITING. Introduces American history from its immediate European background through the Civil War Era. Emphasizes the growth of institutions and ideas. Also examines the political, economic, and social experiences of the young Republic, and their influence on contemporary America. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate an understanding of the causes of the American Revolution.
  1. Explain the economic and religious reasons for initial English colonization.
  2. Explain the origins of the use of African slavery by the English colonists.
  3. Explain the basic tenets of the Eighteenth century intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment.
  4. Relate the basic tenets of Enlightened thought to Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello and Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.
  5. Define the economic theory of Mercantilism and relate it to economic relationship between Britain and the English colonists.
  6. Discuss the development of the two differing perspectives of the events between 1765 and 1776 between the mother country and the English colonists, including the roles of "salutary neglect," the Seven Years War, the seventeenth century English "Glorious Revolution," John Locke, English "Country" writers, the Colonial intellectual understanding of the British Constitution, and the phenomenon of Anglicization.
  7. Trace the pre-Revolution events from 1765-1776 emphasize the differing perspectives.

Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution and the intellectual journey taken in the political thought of the founders, in the development of these principles.
  1. Explain the goals and fears of revolutionary republicanism.
  2. Apply the ideology of revolutionary republicanism to the first attempt to create the new republic: the Articles of Confederation.
  3. Discuss the National government created under the Articles of Confederation.
  4. Explain the failure of the Articles of Confederation.
  5. Explain how the principles of the U.S. Constitution address the goals and fears of revolutionary republicanism.

The student will be able to: Demonstrate an understanding of economic, social and constitutional and foreign policy issues that lead to the rise of political parties in the 1790's culminating in the election of 1800.
  1. Contrast Hamilton's vision of the future of the new republic with Thomas Jefferson's and James Madison's vision.
  2. Discuss the different interpretations of the Constitution and the domestic policy issues and events around which these interpretations develop.
  3. Discuss the foreign policy issues and events facing the young republic around which division widens and solidifies.

The student will be able to: Demonstrate an understanding of causes of the American Civil War.
  1. With the end of the War of 1812, there is a new confidence that the Republic, under the U.S. Constitution, will survive. However, the young republic faces deep issues that will ultimately lead to the Civil War. Discuss these issues and the role of westward expansion in inflaming these issues.
  2. Explain the phenomenon of sectionalism and the role of the unresolved issues and westward expansion in inflaming sectionalism.
  3. Discuss the development of the "pro-slave" arguments that develop in the first half of the nineteenth century that help intensify racism in the northern states.
  4. Discuss the life of a slave, as seen through Frederick Douglass's autobiography.
  5. Through the theme of the causes of the American Civil War, trace the events between 1846 through 1860 that lead to the secession of 11 southern states and the beginning of the war.

Trace the events of the Civil War, in the process explaining how and why the Civil War is the first "modern war."
  1. Discuss the Union advantages.
  2. Discuss why, despite these advantages, the rebelling states believed they could win independence.
  3. Explain the changing goals of the war.
  4. Define modern war and explain how the Civil War fits into this definition.
  5. Explain the objectives and tactics used by Union generals to finally win the war or the Union.
  6. Explain why the end of the war did not cure the nation's ills and a long terrible struggle for equal rights is just beginning for the African American.
  7. Explain how, with the conclusion of the Civil War, and thus the resolution of two very divisive issues, we can say that the United States is finally a true, unified nation.

Perform writing tasks to promote learning of concepts.
  1. Document attainment of skills learned.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the subject.

Demonstrate the learning of concepts through writing.
  1. Analyze course content in written form.
  2. Explain the subject matter in a coherent writing style.

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