Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of important public figures, social, economic, cultural, political and intellectual developments in early American history.
  • Develop a historical analysis and support it using details and examples.
  • Relate important historical events and patterns to current events and patterns and identify significant similarities and differences


History of North America and the United States up to 1815. Survey of the political, economic, intellectual, and social antecedents of United States culture with emphasis on the interactions of peoples and ideas that led to the creation and evolution of the early United States.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad factual knowledge of important social, economic, cultural, political, and intellectual movements and events in early American history
  2. Analyze issues which have a direct bearing and influence on American life today
  3. Explain the principal historical debates and problems within the field of American historiography concerning the sources and verification of historical evidence
  4. Recognize the impact of different ethnic groups and other minorities on the evolution of early American society
  5. Utilize the skills of historiographical analysis and interpretative exposition to explain and evaluate important developments in American history
  6. Use primary and secondary sources effectively to articulate sound historical analysis

Course Content

  1. How do we know what we know—primary and secondary sources and their importance and use
  2. Pre-Columbian world
    1. Earliest migrations and simple societies
    2. Major complex native societies in North America
    3. Native American political situation on the eve of contact
    4. European societies at the end of the 15th century
    5. Exploration of the Americas by Spain, France, and England
  3. Impact of exploration on the native peoples of North and Central America and the Caribbean
    1. Comparative analysis of the Aztec and Spanish empires
    2. New Spain and continental Spanish exploration
    3. Early French, Dutch, and English settlement
    4. Native interaction with European colonies
  4. Maturation of the colonies and wars for empire
    1. Class division, servitude, and slavery in the Chesapeake
    2. Puritanism and community in New England
    3. Dutch influence and diversity in the middle colonies
    4. Institutionalized slavery in the Southern colonies
    5. Colonial economic systems
    6. Mercantilism and the Atlantic trade
  5. Great Britain's changing relationship with her American colonies
    1. Britain and France fight for hegemony
    2. Reasserting British control over the colonies
    3. Colonial resistance and arguments over liberty
    4. Assessment of impact of Enlightenment ideas and religious revivalism
  6. The American Revolution
    1. Evaluation of events and arguments that led to open revolution
    2. Analysis of key ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence
    3. Tactics and strategies of Britain, the colonies, and their European allies
    4. Civil war in the colonies
    5. Evaluation of revolutionary expectations of women, Africans, and other minorities
  7. The Early Republic
    1. Assessing the Articles of Confederation as the United States' first government
    2. Resolving conflict over the western territories
    3. Relations with the European and Indian nations
    4. Class, race, and gender divisions in the new republic
  8. Creation of the Constitution
    1. Comparing the arguments of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists
    2. The Constitutional Convention
    3. The Bill of Rights and ratification
  9. The Federalist Era and strains of early nationhood
    1. Washington's precedents and establishment of a national government
    2. Hamilton and financial reform
    3. Development of political parties
    4. Foreign affairs under Washington and Adams
    5. Evolution of relations with Native American tribes in the West
  10. Jeffersonian Republicanism
    1. Election of 1800 and transfer of power
    2. Rise of the Supreme Court
    3. Expansion west and the Louisiana Purchase
    4. War with the Barbary states
    5. Madison and the War of 1812

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, none.
2. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Midterm exams featuring written essays
Final examination featuring written essays
Research paper based on in-depth analysis of primary or secondary historical sources
Class discussion and participation
Short in-class written assignments or quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Electronic discussions
Multimedia presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Faragher, John Mack, et al.. Out of Many: A History of the American People, Vol. I, 9th ed.. 2019.

Henretta, James A., et al.. America's History Vol. I, 10th ed.. 2021.

Schultz, Kevin M.. HIST, 5th ed.. 2017.

Additional wide-ranging use of web-based primary sources.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Midterm exams consisting of objective questions requiring understanding and assessment of important people, events, and concepts, and written essays asking for explanation and analysis of major themes and periods
  2. One two-hour long final examination with written and objective questions in the style noted above
  3. Research paper requiring development of a thesis, collection and analysis of primary and/or secondary sources, and organization and presentation of a quality written product
  4. Class discussion and participation focusing on understanding content, analyzing point of view and competency of sources, and identifying important thematic connections to present day topics and events
  5. Written questions and assignments requiring evaluation of particular documents, ideas or incidents from the period

HISTORY PROGRAM LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to critically analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources and draw valid historical interpretations from them.