America Divided: Sectionalism to the Gay Nineties






The course will emphasize social history, with particular attention to areas traditionally ignored: race, class, gender, and ethnicity.
-- The National Economy, 1790-1860
-- The Ferment of Reform and Culture, 1790-1860
-- The South and Slavery, 1793-1860
-- Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841-1848
-- Sectionalism, 1848-1861
-- The Civil War
-- Reconstruction
-- The Gilded Age
-- Industry Comes of Age, 1865-1900
-- The Rise of Cities, 1865-1900
-- The American West and The Agricultural Revolution, 1865-1890
-- The Revolt of the Debtor, 1889-1900


-- Practice critical reading and outlining skills
-- Develop critical thinking skills through the comparative-history approach
-- Listen and participate actively in discussion, debate, presentation, and cooperative activities
-- Construct historical arguments based on complex (and potentially conflicting) data
-- Relate the impact of geography on political, social, and economic developments
-- Examine and interpret primary source materials
-- Construct and interpret timelines and charts
-- Identify the role of individuals in historical events


Major Texts
-- The American Pageant, 11th ed, by Houghton-Mifflin
-- A People's History by Howard Zinn

Instructional Strategies

-- Discussion
-- Lecture
-- Group Work
-- Role Playing
-- Skits
-- Guided Practice, (e.g. How to set up a DBQ essay)
-- Review Drills


-- Discussions
-- Outlines
-- Quizzes
-- Exams, both multiple choice and essay
-- DBQ's
-- Simulations and projects
-- Review Activities
-- Civil War Tribunal


-- Students will demonstrate an understanding that history is an argument. This will be accomplished through the use of traditional and revisionist texts taught in a comparative approach.
-- Students will develop successful strategies for reading difficult texts, e.g. marginal notes, flashcards, outlining, etc.
-- Students will develop critical thinking skills by analyzing complex and contradictory historical data to arrive at original thesis statements.
-- Students will sharpen writing skills through the practice of writing clear, persuasive essays.
-- Students will improve oral presentations skills by wrestling with difficult questions of national identity both in socratic discussions and organized debates.
-- Students will successfully demonstrate their knowledge and writing skills by scoring a three or higher on the AP US History Exam in May
-- Students will be able to examine the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction and of the industrial revolution, including demographic shifts and the emergence in the late nineteenth century of the United States as a world power.