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. In this presidential election year, we will pay special attention to American politics in general and the U.S. elections in particular in a short series of guest lectures. 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to read relevant primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and various other historical documents and classic texts in American culture.
This course provides
- a survey of American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present,
- an introduction to 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
- an introduction to historical debates about a.o. slavery, multiculturalism, and American exceptionalism
- practising basic research skills
See timetable History
Mode of instruction
- Take-home assignment (40%);
- final exam (60%; final exam consists of multiple choice questions and open essay questions)
Syllabus, some primary source materials, handouts, and test materials available on blackboard site, which will be open for self-enrolment about two weeks before classes start.
5 ECTS: 3 anthologies of primary sources:
- An Early American Reader (AR1),
- A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2) and
- A Twentieth-Century American Reader (AR3).
Note: some of the assigned primary sources are not in the readers, but can also be downloaded from the Blackboard site for the course.
10 ECTS, Minor and elective students:
- textbook Paul Boyer, et al, The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Concise 7th ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 2012).
- 3 anthologies of primary sources: An Early American Reader (AR1), A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2) and A Twentieth-Century American Reader (AR3).
Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van A la carte onderwijs willen volgen (zonder tentamen) vinden hier informatie over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden etc.
Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van Contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen) vinden hier informatie over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden etc.
This introductory course can be followed as BA lecture course for 2nd-year history students (5 or 10 ects) and as part of the BA-minor American Studies (minor Amerikanistiek, 5 + 5 = 10 ects). Students who take the course as 5 ects 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 (10 ects) are required to read both primary sources and the textbook (Boyer, The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Concise 6th ed.) 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 5 or 10 ects option.