The Purpose of this course is to introduce students to the history of the United States from the colonial period through the Civil War. In this course our examination of history will include the perspectives of populations and people that are often relegated to the margins of history books such as Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, westerners, and women of diverse class backgrounds. Adding the experiences of these often-ignored historical figures to the more traditional voices of politicians, generals, and other influential men provides a more balanced and accurate view of America during this period. Through lively lectures and discussions and readings, film, and essays students will become engaged in the study of the early history of this nation.
In accordance with Saint Leo University’s mission and goals, our class will recognize the “dignity, value and gifts” of all peoples and cultures. And, as members of this class students will be expected to “examine and express their own values, listen respectfully to and respond to the opinions of others,” and learn about the world in which they live. Within our classroom we will strive to exemplify Saint Leo University’s core value of “community” by fostering “a spirit of belonging, unity, and interdependence based on mutual trust and respect.” Successful students will be active members of this classroom community by getting to know each other, supporting each other, and participating with each other in classroom discussions about the required readings, assignments, lectures, and films.