HIS 315K • United States, 1492-1865
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
This is a general survey of American history from early European expansion through the end of the civil war. Because the class covers almost 400 years of history in North America, we have to focus our attention on certain subjects, and of course leave other things out. The course is broken up into three major events: imperial Europe and colonial America, the first industrial revolution, and the crisis over slavery. Although these events may be familiar to most of you, I hope that our perspective on them will be new (those who arent familiar with the basic political narrative from American high schools are encouraged to come see me during office hours to discuss other places to get information). We will compare these events by investigating similar themes in each. We will look at American history from the ground up, focusing on how every-day Americans lived, worked, and made their own history. We will also investigate how larger structuresthe development of capitalism and the growth of the federal governmentimpacted American history. Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American History.
Class Discussion Participation 20% In-Class Exam 25% Paper 30% Take-Home Exam 25%
William Cronon, CHANGES IN THE LAND: INDIANS, COLONISTS, AND THE ECOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND. (1983). Frederick Douglass, NARRATIVE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE. (1845; reprint 1993) Eric Foner, FREE SOIL, FREE LABOR, FREE MEN : THE IDEOLOGY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. (1970; reprint 1995) William Harris, PLAIN FOLK AND GENTRY IN A SLAVE SOCIETY: WHITE LIBERTY AND BLACK SLAVERY IN AUGUSTAS HINTERLANDS. (1985) Pauline Maier, FROM RESISTANCE TO REVOLUTION: COLONIAL RADICALS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN OPPOSITION TO BRITAIN, 1765-1776. (1974). James Ronda, THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE CHANGING WEST FROM CONQUEST TO CONSERVATION. (1997). Carol Sherif. THE ARTIFICIAL RIVER: THE ERIE CANAL AND THE PARADOX OF PROGRESS, 1817-1862. (1996). Sean Wilentz, THE KINGDOM OF MATHIAS: A STORY OF SEX AND SALVATION IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICA. (1994). Course Packet.