Survey of U.S. History
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Discussion for Survey of U.S. History
Frank Kelderman (Student)
"Survey of U.S. History" is designed to accompany a 100-level U.S. history course, and offers 27 exercises that deepen student's engament with 17th- through 20th-century North American history. The emphasis is mostly on 19th- and 20th century history, and the exercises devote much attention to cultural representations of the past (art, music, television).
The exercises prompt students to think about a series of written and visual primary sources available on the website. In these exercises students engage both contextual and interpretive questions that form an excellent basis for class discussion. Moreover, "Survey of U.S. History" invites students to explore some well-known events (such as the Boston Massacre), but also experiences and themes that might be less familiar to students: the lives of indentured servants in the 17th century, Native American creation stories, and 19th-century anti-immigration cartoons. One particular exercise prompts students to draw out their own vision of a utopian community during Jackson's presidency.
"Survey of U.S. History" offers plenty of usable case studies for U.S. history survey classes, as well as a good model for how to integrate primary source analysis into a class syllabus.
The presentation is basic but well-organized, functional, and easy to navigate.