HSTAA 301 A: Colonial North America

Autumn 2022
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm / PAR 160
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Columbus.jpgPocahontas.jpgRev War.jpg


Please Note: A complete Course Syllabus will be handed out on the first day  of class

Course Description

Welcome to HSTAA 301!  This course 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

HSTAA 301 is an interactive lecture-based class, which means that I will pause at lest once during every lecture so that you can write about, and we can then discuss, the day's assigned reading(s).  We will also pause periodically during lectures to reflect on and discuss lecture content (usually a document or image, for example, relating to the lecture.)

Assignments and Grading

Grading will be based on four elements: Class participation (15%), a Mid-term (20%), a Final (20%), and three short Analytical Papers (45%). 

Required Texts

     Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, ed. Neal Salisbury (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1997).

     Carol Berkin, First Generations: Women in Colonial America (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996).

     HSTAA 301 Course Pack - Will be available on Canvas >> Files >> Course Pack Readings one week prior to the start of the quarter


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 Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Writing (W)
Last updated:
February 24, 2024 - 10:39 pm