This course analyzes the interaction among individuals, communities, states, the nation, and the world, considering how these interactions have contributed to the development of the United States and its global role. As required by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee, with the guidance of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, this course fulfills the Coordinating Board’s Exemplary Educational Objectives and Core Objectives (Texas Core Curriculum Code 060) for U.S. History. Following the Core Objectives, this course examines past events and ideas relative to the United States. Lectures, readings, written assignments, and discussions in this course will address four Core Objectives: Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Personal Responsibility, and Social Responsibility. The Texas Common Course Number (TCCN) for this course is HIST 1301.

    This course is organized around five Big Ideas, or recurrent historical themes. As you study American history with us, will see them in different forms again and again throughout the year, from the earliest days of colonial America to the Civil War. They are:

    • American Identities: Since its colonial beginnings, the American identity has been formed by sometimes uneasy and evolving relationships among many people.

    • Labor and Technology: New machines and technologies have expanded America’s agricultural and industrial productivity, but often at the expense of workers, both free and enslaved.

    • America and the World: America’s role in the world began on the periphery and has moved to take a central place.

    • Reforms and Renewals: The Puritan mission to create a City on a Hill has been adopted in many forms throughout America’s history, resulting in social and political movements that reinvigorate and often challenge Americans to reflect on their future.

    • Self and Society: Our increasingly participatory democracy reflects a changing and carefully negotiated balance between individual freedoms and the social and political structures intended to protect the best interests of community and nation.

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