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HSTAA 301 A: Colonial North America

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
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McNally photo
Debbie McNally

Syllabus Description:

Course Description

HSTAA 301 surveys the history of the land and peoples that became the United States of America from the time of the first human settlement to the ratification of the Federal Constitution of 1787.  As we explore this diverse and formative period of American history, some of the more important themes and events we will discuss are: the interactions between Europeans, Africans, and Indigenous peoples in a “New World” environment; the legacy of New England’s puritans; the forces that shaped economic growth in the colonies; the institutionalization of race-based slavery; the growth of religion in colonial life; the War of Independence and its aftermath; and the ideological and constitutional transition from American colonies to nationhood.

Successful completion of this course satisfies the W (Writing) requirement.

Learning Goals

  • To gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the history of colonial North America
  • To develop the habit of historical thinking by identifying and evaluating an argument for its persuasiveness and validity in both primary and secondary sources
  • To develop an awareness of the complexity, contingency, ambiguity, and foreignness of events and people in the past
  • To practice historical thinking through reading and writing about primary source materials
  • To formulate your own arguments about events in the past
  • To improve writing skills through the production of three short analytical papers
  • To apply historical knowledge and thinking to contemporary issues

Course Structure

This is an asynchronous online lecture course, which means that in place of live lectures and in-person discussions, everything you need to progress through the course on a week by week basis can be found on the “Pages” section of Canvas for HSTAA 301.  Each week’s “Page” contains links for the assigned readings, links for any assignments that are due, such as Discussion Board Posts, and links for the lecture outlines and the lectures.  Although you will be able to access the readings and lectures at a time that is convenient for you, this is not a self-paced class, and you will have due dates that you’ll have to meet, so don’t let yourself fall behind. 

Please Note: You won't have access to any of the Canvas content until the course goes live on the first day of the quarter, at 8:00 A.M. on September 30, 2020.

Assignments and Grading

Grading in this class will be based on four elements: Discussion Board Posts (20%), an open-book Midterm (10%), an open-book Final (10%) and three short Analytical Papers (60%). 

The complete Course Syllabus is available on Pages, week 1, September 30, 2020

Catalog Description: 
Surveys the land and peoples that became the United States from the sixteenth century to 1787. Themes include: interactions between Europeans, Africans, and indigenous peoples, regional and economic growth, the development of racial slavery, religious growth, the War of Independence, and the transition from colonies to nationhood. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
April 21, 2020 - 2:10am