1. Ancient Africa, Europe, and America Essay Question: This course began with an exploration of African, Native American, and European cultures. Why is it important for courses in U.S. history to begin here? How does studying the histories of these three parts of the world help you to understand their later contributions to American history? Considerations: – origins of humans in Africa – the rich cultures of Africa and early North America – religious, political, and economic changes in early modern Europe – the long-term impact of the Columbian Exchange 2. Colonization in Early America Essay Question: Although ultimately part of a common colonial system, early English settlements in the Chesapeake region were significantly different from those of Puritan New England. What features distinguished settlements in these two regions during the seventeenth century, what did they have in common, and what was the nature of the relationship between them? Considerations: -environmental characteristics, motivations for settlement, and economic differences -social patterns and changes in population -the character of village life and religious beliefs -relationships with Native Americans -the beginnings of slavery Readings: Ch. 2-4 3. Eighteenth-Century Colonial Society Essay Question:3 Much more than a religious revival, the Great Awakening influenced patterns of thought and behavior among many different groups in colonial America, often in unintended ways. Discuss the social and political effects of the Great Awakening, including its impact in urban New England, in the rural South, and among both white and black populations. Considerations: -the growth of thoughts and behaviors that threatened established authority -the ability of the Great Awakening to cross regional, racial, and class divisions -the different ways in which the religious revival was experienced by different groups -the relationship of the Great Awakening to the Enlightenment Readings: Ch. 4 4. The Revolutionary Era Essay Question: How â€œrevolutionaryâ€ was the American Revolution? Did the Revolution truly change social and economic relationships in American society, or did it essentially preserve them? In your discussion, include the effects of the Revolution on male and female patriots, slaves, free blacks, Loyalists, and Native Americans. Considerations: -the causes of the American Revolution and divergent understandings of its meaning -the social groups that led the Revolution -the participation of women in the Revolution -the roles of slaves and free blacks on both sides of the conflict -political changes resulting from the separation of the United States from Britain Readings: Ch. 5-6 5. A Post-Revolutionary People Essay Question: How does the U.S. Constitution reflect the political and economic atmosphere of the United States in the late eighteenth century? What domestic and international concerns prompted the Constitutional Convention of 1787, how were these addressed by the debates of the framers, and to what extent did the final document successfully meet the political challenges of the period? Considerations: -weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation -arguments for and against strengthening the federal government -the international vulnerability of the new nation
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