American History 1607-1877

Course Details
& Course Number
History 151
Class Number
Course Type
Undergraduate (College of General Studies)
Meets Requirements
Social Science (SS)
Rachel Ida Buff
Course Dates
May 31-June 25, 2022 (4 weeks)

Open-source textbook; no additional cost.

Does United States history begin in 1607, when English colonist land in Jamestown, as advertised by the title of this course?  Might the far earlier founding of the Iroquois Confederacy, a key influence on the framing of the Constitution in 1789, be as significant a date?  What about the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, who subsequently built most of the nation’s infrastructure, in 1619?

This course takes up such questions of history and representation.  Moving through time, the course surveys political and cultural developments during the colonial, revolutionary, new republic and Civil War periods.  Weekly textbook readings are supplemented by discussion of videos, podcasts and television programs; students will take a deep dive into primary documents: sources surviving from the period in question.

Course Syllabus (.pdf)