LSTD 1153 – A History of the United States
The word history encompasses very broad-ranging, multi-dimensional topics. But, the word itself is very narrow. Think about it. History. Break that down—his story. For millennia, history has largely been recorded, recounted and even taught by the region’s dominant, ruling class of men. Of course, not just a gendered portion of the population has a history, or even represents the accurate account. There are innumerable perspectives from the past, all contributing to a broader historical narrative and offering valuable points-of-view that should not be ignored. Not one singular perspective can give an exclusively accurate account of 500 years of history. In A History of the United States, your study will primarily concentrate on the roles of ordinary people, as well as some efforts of “great” men and women.
A study of the United States may appear to you at first to be an impossible task. You recognize the geographic diversity of the country, the 500 years of history that have shaped the nation, the intricacies of representative government, the peculiarities of American capitalism and the broad mixture of races and cultures that make up the American population. This large and complex nation can be studied from any one of the perspectives suggested here. You might focus on the geographic base and natural resources, trace the development of political theory, examine economic models, or develop sociological paradigms. This course will guide you through a study of the United States by emphasizing the people of this country and the relationship of American citizens to the institutions they have created.
By the end of the course, you will successfully be able to identify major political, economic and social forces that shape American history. You’ll be able to examine periods of conflict in American history and interpret the consequences. You can evaluate the racial and cultural diversity of the American experience, as well as formulate the links between ideas, people and events. In the spirit of continuing education, this course will enable you to apply your historical understanding to everyday, contemporary life.
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