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to read relevant primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and various other historical documents and classic texts in American culture.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.
The timetables are available through MyTimetable.
Mode of instruction
Tutorials (attendance required)
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
Additionally, students taking the course for 10 EC will be required to complete 3 additional required readings, write 3 short responses, and attend 3 tutorial sessions.
Midterm examination: 40%
Final examination: 50%
Attendance & Participation (including a written response to the readings) in Tutorial Sessions: 10%
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
The resit consists of a single exam, covering the entire material for the course. The mark will replace the midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
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.
Elizabeth Cobbs and Edward J. Blum, eds., Major Problems in American History, Vol. I, 4th ed. (New York: Cengage, 2017), ISBN: 9781305585294.*
Elizabeth Cobbs and Edward J. Blum, eds., Major Problems in American History, Vol. II, 4th ed. (New York: Cengage, 2017), ISBN: 9781305585300.*
Michael Kazin, American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation (New York: Vintage, 2012).
Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States (New York: Vintage, 2019)
Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
Take note: Make sure you purchase the 4th edition of Cobbs and Blum eds, since earlier editions have different material. Copies of these books should be available from Studystore.nl. You can also purchase the e-version via the publisher’s website – here is the direct link to the pack: https://www.cengage.uk/c/major-problems-in-american-history-volume-i-ii-4e-cobbs-blum/9781473756489/?searchIsbn=9781473756489
Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.
Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange
Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga.
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). This prospectus lists the information for the 10EC version of the course; there is a separate online prospectus for the 5EC version of the course. International students can opt for either the 5EC or 10EC option.