No admission requirements
This course offers a survey of American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present, and thus provides a basis for the study of the United States. The weekly lectures will focus on a particular theme, for example New England Puritanism and its cultural legacies, the emergence of a political party system, the reform tradition, slavery and the Civil War, an introduction to the history of Native Americans, African Americans’ struggle for political and civil rights, women’s history, immigration and ethnicity, the New Deal, and the emergence of the U.S. as superpower. To prepare for the weekly lectures students are required to read relevant primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and various other historical documents and classic texts in American culture.
General learning objectives
The student can:
1) organise and use relatively large amounts of information
2) reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature
Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation
- 3) The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically;
in the specialisation General History of the place of European history from 1500 in a worldwide perspective; with a focus on the development and role of political institutions;
in the track American History of American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;
Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific lecture course
4) has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of
-in the track American History American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;
5) has knowledge of:
-American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present.
-the American political system and to a number of central themes and concepts in U.S. history, such as republicanism, Manifest Destiny, and the ideology of domesticity.
-historical debates about a.o. slavery, multiculturalism, and American exceptionalism
6) The student has knowledge of basic research skills.
Mode of instruction
Independant study of literature
The course will be assessed through two subtests, covering all course objectives:
Midterm examination: take-home assignment; brief essay
Final examination: multiple choice questions and open essay questions
Midterm examination: 40%
Final examination: 60%
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Both midterm and final examination can be retaken.
The resit exam will take place in one single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.
inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Assigned primary sources will be available on the blackboard site
Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (W.W. Norton 2018; available Bol.com and Amazon.com).
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte
This introductory course can be followed as a BA lecture course for 2nd-year History students (5EC) and as part of the BA-minor American Studies (10EC).
Students who take the course as 5EC BA lecture course will be required to take a written exam on lecture notes and assigned primary sources and a take-home exam;
Students who take the course as part of the minor in American Studies or as an elective course (10EC) are required to read both primary sources and the textbook (Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States) and to take a written exam on lecture notes, assigned primary sources and textbook and a take-home exam.
International students can opt for either the 5EC or 10EC option.