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Advanced American History
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Dual Credit with Southwestern Illinois College
2500 Carlyle Avenue
Belleville, IL

Course Number: History 180
Course Title:  United States History to 1865
Semester Hours: 3
Lecture Hours:

Prerequisite: Reading and writing assessment scores above the ENG 101 level or completion of all reading and writing developmental requirements.

Course Description

The development of American civilization starting with the European background and ending with the Civil War.  Includes the Age of Discovery; the period of colonization of the Spanish, French, Dutch and English; the American Revolution; the early years of the Republic; the development of the Constitution; the War of 1812; the growth of nationalism and manifest destiny; and the American Civil War.

Course Objectives

Students will be able to identify the key people in American history from the Pre-Columbian era to the American Civil War.
Students will be able to explain the significance of crucial events during this period of history.
Students will be able to critically analyze the main economic, political and foreign policy trends that have shaped American history from the Pre-Columbian era to the American Civil War.
Students will be able to discuss how American society and culture has changed and developed through this period in history.
Students will be able to evaluate the influence of the United States on world events.
Students will be able to interpret areas of success and failure in American history from the Pre-Columbian era to the American Civil War.

Course Outline

•Section One—Early American History

  1. Pre History Cultures and Peoples of the “New World”
  2. North American Cultures
  3. Mesoamerican Cultures
  4. European Exploration
  5. Factors encouraging the Age of Exploration
  6. Early European Exploration
  7. Colonization of the “New World”
  8. Spanish
    1. Conquistadors
    2. Columbian Exchange
  9. French
  10. English
    1. Southern Colonies
    2. New England Colonies
    3. Middle Colonies
  11. Dutch

•Section Two—Colonial American

  1. Clash of Cultures
  2. Native  American Interaction with the Europeans
  3. Introduction of African Slavery
  4. Quest for Empire
  5. New France and the American Colonies
    1. European Wars of Empire and their Impact
    2. French and Indian War
  6. British Administration of the Empire
  7. Growing Pains in the American Colonies
  8.  Issues of Mercantilism
  9. Colonial Culture, Religion and Education
  10. Taxes and Control
  11. American Resistance
    1. Stamp Act Congress
    2. Boycotts and Upheaval
  12. First Continental Congress
  13. The American War for Independence
  14. Background and Events to 1776
    1. Campaigns
    2. Declaration of Independence
  15. War 1777 to 1781
    1. Campaigns
    2. Treaty of Paris

•Section Three—The Early Republic

  1. The Critical Period, 1777-1787
  2. Articles of Confederation
  3. Successes and Failures
  4. The New Constitution
  5. Background
  6. The Document
  7. Ratification
  8. Tests of the New Government
  9. Domestic Problems
  10. Foreign Affairs
  11. Conflicting Vision: Hamilton v. Jefferson
  12. War of 1812
  13. New Nationalism
  14. New Transportation Networks
  15. Sectionalism
  16. American Literature and Culture
  17. American Religion and Social Crusades

•Section Four—The Growth and Disunion

  1. Age of Jackson
  2. American Manifest Destiny
  3. Westward Expansion and Conflict
  4. Mexican War
  5. Fiery Fifties
  6. The “Peculiar Institution”
  7. The Anti-Slavery Movement
  8. Compromise of 1850 and its Impact
  9. Kansas-Nebraska Act and Bleeding Kansas
  10. Final Straws
  11. The American Civil War
  12. The Formation of the Confederacy
  13. Attempts to Restore the Union
  14. The War Between the States
    1. 1861-1862
    2. The Home Front
    3. 1863-1865
    4. Aftermath

Methods of Presentation

Lectures, classroom discussion, outside readings, videos, and primary sources

Methods of Student Evaluation

•Four major exams composed of short answer and essay questions covering the lectures and readings.
•A research paper, a series of book reviews, or a series of essays on topics related to this course.
•All students must take the semester exam as a final assessment.

History 180 Term Paper Topics

•The Middle Passage
•Slavery in the Constitution
•Southern Slave Communities
•Trail of Tears
•Mormon War
•Dorthea Dix
•Mountain Men/ Jim Bridger
•Seneca Falls Convention
•Nat Turner
•Civil War Prison Camps (Pick One or Two)
•Military Tactics of the Revolutionary War
•Early Republic Customs (1790s-1830s—holidays, family life, religion, medicine)
•Uncle Tom’s Cabin
•William Lloyd Garrison
•Zebulon Pike
•Rose O’Neal Greenhow
•James Otis

The term paper will be an 8 page paper, consisting of MLA Citation and an annotated bibliography.
The due date for this paper is Monday, November 23.

Academic Rigor Statement

This is an academically rigorous course.  According to the Administrative Rules of the Illinois Community College Board (section 1501.309), it is assumed that the student will invest two hours of outside study time for each hour of classroom lecture time.This is supported by the following evaluation of outside of class work: Term Paper work.  It is estimated that for a 10-12 page paper an average of 20 hours would be required for the collection of resources and the research of the topic.  Then an additional 20 hours for analysis, writing and revising of the paper. (40 hours)

  1. Reading the textbook.  The textbook for this class is 424 pages in length.  According to data from reading speed charts it is estimated that it will take an average college reader 26 hours to read the textbook. (26 hours)
  1. Study for tests.  Preparation for the test, including study of notes, review of textbook readings, examination of study guide materials 8 hours per test X four test = 32 hours average (32 hours)


Conlin, Joseph. (2013) The American Past. Vol. I (10th ed.). New York: Thomson.

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