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Course Description

Academic Year 2020-2021 • Grade 10 and above • History Sequence

United States History from 1500 to the Present

In this course, students will engage with American history by sampling a wide array of readings drawn from both primary and secondary sources. Readings will be focused primarily on three periods, although the entirety of US history will ultimately be covered in the course: 1. Colonial and Revolutionary America; 2. Civil War & Reconstruction; & 3. the World Wars. The assigned reading materials will be used as a springboard for productive in-class discussions and for writing an analytical essay that will give students an opportunity to grapple with major historical problems in an informed and rational manner, and which will encourage them to engage in constructive and civil arguments with their colleagues and the course instructor. Students will therefore be deliberately confronted by competing historical narratives and viewpoints throughout the course, whether from eyewitness accounts or in the supplementary books. This approach is intended to not only impart a deep knowledge of the broader context of significant events, figures, and processes in American history to participating students, but to also enable students to understand how rational and intelligent people can approach the same factual evidence and yet reach startlingly different conclusions. As such, students *should* expect controversial topics to be covered in this course, not in the spirit of controversy for its own sake, but rather as means for developing a mature and thoughtful perspective on the United States and its history.

Course Website: United States History from 1500 to the Present

Sections and Teachers

Section 1:

Instructor: Trevor Davis

Starts: August 31, 2020
Ends: June 11, 2021

Tuesday 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM ET • Thursday 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM ET

Tuition: $500.00



Prerequisites

Students will not be required to have met any specific prerequisites before taking this course.

Recommended background

World History I is recommended, but not required.

Teacher's notes:

This is not an AP certified course. However, the instructor hopes that the distinctive approach and content of the course will be sufficient compensation for participating students, and the course content will cover many of the same bases that an AP-certified course would. All students will read Dr. Wilfred McClay's "Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story" as the primary textbook for the course. Students will also choose two books (out of six possible choices) that the instructor has chosen in advance and arrange in topical pairs. Students will need to work in consultation with the instructor to choose a pairing that most fits with their interests, otherwise they will be assigned a pair during the semester by the course instructor. The paired reading topics 1. Colonial and Revolutionary America (Gordon Wood and Guy Chet), 2. the Civil War and Reconstruction (Gary Gallagher + Joan Waugh and Eric Foner), and 3. the United States in the World Wars (Michael S. Neiberg and David M. Kennedy).

Textbooks and Materials

This textbook is required:

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story [Edition 1], Authors: Wilfred McClay

ISBN: 1594039372

Publisher's website: Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore, Publisher's Website

Other information: This is the primary textbook that all students will be required to read for this course. Students may purchase either a physical or digital edition.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

A Short History of Reconstruction. New York: Harper, 2015. [Edition 2], Authors: Eric Foner

ISBN: 0060964316

Publisher's website: A Short History of Reconstruction. New York: Harper, 2015.

Best sources: Harper (publisher website), Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh's "The American War: A History of the Civil War Era," 2nd. Edition.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The American People in World War II: Freedom From Fear, Part II. Oxford University Press, 2003. [Edition 1], Authors: David M. Kennedy

ISBN: 0195144031

Publisher's website: The American People in World War II: Freedom From Fear, Part II. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Best sources: Oxford University Press (publisher's website), Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of Michael S. Neiberg's "The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America."


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The American Revolution: A History. New York: Modern Library, 2003. [Edition 1], Authors: Gordon S. Wood

ISBN: 0812970411

Publisher's website: The American Revolution: A History. New York: Modern Library, 2003.

Best sources: Penguin (publisher's website), Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of Guy Chet's "The Colonists' American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783."


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The American War: A History of the Civil War Era, 2nd edition. State College, PA: Flip Learning, 2019. [Edition 2], Authors: Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh

ISBN: 0991037537

Publisher's website: The American War: A History of the Civil War Era, 2nd edition. State College, PA: Flip Learning, 2019.

Best sources: Flip Learning (publisher's website), Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of Eric Foner's "A Short History of Reconstruction," updated 2015 edition.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Colonists' American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. [Edition 1], Authors: Guy Chet

ISBN: 1119591864

Publisher's website: The Colonists' American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019.

Best sources: Wiley-Blackwell (publisher), Scholars Online

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of Gordon Wood's "The American Revolution: A History).


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America. Oxford University Press, 2016. [Edition 1], Authors: Michael S. Neiberg

ISBN: 0190464968

Publisher's website: The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Best sources: Oxford University Press (publisher's website), Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This book is part of a thematic or topical pairing for an end-of-semester assignment. Students who purchase this book (whether digital or physical) will also want to get a copy of David M. Kennedy's "The American People in WWII: Freedom From Fear, Vol. 2."


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Classes start August 31, 2020. Enroll by August 20 to attend orientation to avoid late enrollment fees.


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