The New World: Columbus to Jacksonian Democracy






The course will emphasize social history, with particular attention to areas traditionally ignored: race, class, gender, and ethnicity.
-- New World Beginnings
-- Settling the Southern Colonies
-- The Northern Colonies
-- American Life in the 17th Century
-- Colonial Life before the Revolution
-- The Duel for North America (European powers & the Seven Years War)
-- The Road to Revolution (1763-1775)
-- The War for Independence
-- Confederation & Constitution
-- The New Nation & the 1790's
-- Jeffersonian Democracy
-- The War of 1812 and Nationalism
-- Jacksonian Democracy and Its Legacy


-- 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

-- PBS's Liberty
-- Ken Burns: Lewis and Clark Expedition

Instructional Strategies

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


-- Discussions
-- Weekly Flashcards
-- Quizzes
-- Exams, both multiple choice and essay
-- DBQ's
-- Tribunals and Skits
-- Simulations and projects
-- Review Activities


-- 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 describe the Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas as the context in which the nation was founded.
-- Students will be able to analyze the ideological origins of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers' philosophy of divinely bestowed unalienable natural rights, the debates on the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and the addition of the Bill of Rights.
-- Students will be able to understand the history of the Constitution after 1787 with emphasis on federal versus state authority and growing democratization.