The United States: Colonial Era Through the Civil War This course examines the dynamics of American history from the era of exploration and contact to the Revolution and the Civil War. Exploring key themes and events in American history reveals a rich and diverse nation, one filled with triumph and despair. Through the use of primary source documents and a broadly conceived secondary text, this class looks at history from the evidence and from the historian’s viewpoint. Recognizing history as a dialogue between the past and the present provides an important look into the practice of history and better prepares students to investigate the role of evidence, the interplay of history and memory, and to see how history is fashioned by historians, curators, filmmakers, and many others.
Requirements: To enable engaging weekly sessions students are required to attend all meetings prepared and willing to participate in discussion (class sessions revolve around the primary source readings). Class participation represents a significant percentage of your grade—more than three unexcused absences earns an “F” for class participation. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor regarding missed classes.
There are five short—250-500 word—blog responses due at various points in the semester. The blog is available only to class members and after each posting session I will respond to four or five posts on the blog. Some weeks a general theme will be provided to guide your post, but if your class readings frustrated, discouraged, or enlivened, then please write about it. Your post must not only address your thoughts on the issue at hand, but interact with one of your classmate’s posts as well (question, agree, or disagree with another’s post). The blog also holds the class syllabus and other related documents. Web address: http://trinity201.blogspot.com/