American Studies considers our Constitutional and institutional history from the seventeenth century to the present. It begins with the origins of the Constitution as its precepts were forged in the colonial period and the Revolution. The course then looks at the challenges to the compromises that shaped the Constitution and eventually result in Civil
War. The final section of the course considers historical legacies that in
form contemporary American politics including issues of race, gender, and immigration. While the course may be structured around the Constitution and contain some civics, the course itself is historical and contains a progressive arc that is not merely thematic. A composition component also runs through the curriculum and will teach expository writing.
Submissions from 2008
The Illinois History Documents Project, Claiborne A. Skinner Jr.