We take a chronological tour of our nation’s past, following the general curriculum of the Advanced Placement examination in American history. In the fall semester, we begin with a study of the first English settlements in the New World and end with a study of the Civil War. In the spring semester, we start with an overview of American life from 1860-1920, emphasizing industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and other major cultural forces of the period. During the second half of the spring semester, we explore American history in the twentieth century. (Note: Because the spring semester does not begin until late January, the course does not cover Reconstruction, the New South, or the settlement of the West.)
Analytical writing, public speaking, critical reading, and discussion skills are emphasized. Readings in both primary and secondary source materials support lecture and discussion formats. Students regularly write essays.