American history University courses from slavery to nowadays

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Discover how America has built his empire through struggle and innovations

The establishment of the North American colonies had very different meanings for colonists, native peoples, and enslaved Africans. The late nineteenth century saw industrial expansion, appalling conditions, and an exploited labor force.

The twentieth-century emergence of a suburban society of consumer abundance meant a better life for many, yet left behind crime-ridden inner cities and spawned a stultifying mass culture.

While American popular culture has demonstrated global appeal, the projection of U.S. military power abroad has sometimes failed in its purpose and damaged the nation's international standing

From the colonial to the modern era, we examine the key events, actors and themes of the American past. You can study the American Revolution, the Civil War, expansion across the continent and abroad, the New Deal and WWII, the civil rights movement, and the Cold War. Our aim is not only to understand the complex historical forces which have shaped the United States, but also the history of a world which continues to be decisively affected by American influence and power.

Why Study History ?

People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? Given all the desirable and available branches of knowledge, why insist—as most American educational programs do—on a good bit of history? And why urge many students to study even more history than they are required to?

Any subject of study needs justification: its advocates must explain why it is worth attention. Most widely accepted subjects—and history is certainly one of them—attract some people who simply like the information and modes of thought involved. But audiences less spontaneously drawn to the subject and more doubtful about why to bother need to know what the purpose is.

Historians do not perform heart transplants, improve highway design, or arrest criminals. In a society that quite correctly expects education to serve useful purposes, the functions of history can seem more difficult to define than those of engineering or medicine. History is in fact very useful, actually indispensable, but the products of historical study are less tangible, sometimes less immediate, than those that stem from some other disciplines

The key to remember is that if you study history that does not automatically mean you are only prepared to become a professional historian or teacher. Far from it! Studying history (whether as a major, a minor, or as something you are interested in) teaches students a number of important transferable skills that are extremely useful for today's world. These include research and reasoning, writing, and critical thinking. In history classes, students are exposed to a wide array of historical questions to try to answer.

You will be challenged to seek out relevant sources, assess these sources, contextualize them, and make an argument based on the evidence presented in those sources. You will learn how to convince others that your interpretation has value and merit. You will also, crucially, learn how to articulate your argument through writing as an effective communication tool. In other words, you learn how to acquire and assess information, contextualize it, organize it, and present it to a wider audience.

These are extraordinarily useful skills that an increasing number of professions require, including technology, medicine, public policy, law, communications, and business. In addition, having the experience of writing papers based on original research can help you stand out when applying for jobs and professional schools.

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