The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors—experienced college-level instructors—volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.
The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community, who have either authored the materials themselves, or who have discovered the materials, found them useful, and wished to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the teaching and learning community.
The American Revolution entailed some remarkable transformations–converting British colonists into American revolutionaries, and a cluster of colonies into a confederation of states with a common cause–but it was far more complex and enduring than the fighting of a war. As John Adams put it, “The Revolution was in the Minds of the people… before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington”–and it continued long past America’s victory at Yorktown. This course will examine the Revolution from this broad perspective, tracing the participants’ shifting sense of themselves as British subjects, colonial settlers, revolutionaries, and Americans.
This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction.
As Donald Trump takes office as the forty-fifth president of the United States, this course explores presidential elections in historical perspective, via five case studies. It tells the story of key campaigns in US history, and by doing so it investigates how politics changed over time—and how understanding the past sheds light on the current campaign. From the arrival of "dirty politics" to the impact of the "digital revolution," the course looks at the historical background to some of the key phenomena that shaped the controversy-laden campaign of 2016.
The five elections that we'll investigate are among the most significant in American political history. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson won the presidency in a contest that encouraged politicians to reform the electoral college, the system by which presidents are still chosen. The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 prompted the outbreak of the Civil War. It's an election that helps us to understand the development of political parties. In 1968, the Vietnam War was a dominant concern for Americans, and yet foreign policy played a secondary role in Richard Nixon's victory. Twelve years later, in 1980, Ronald Reagan won an election that initiated a new era of conservatism. Finally, we'll turn our attention to the election that took Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, to the White House in 2008. Many saw the Obama's success not only as revealing the impact of the digital revolution on campaign politics, but also as signaling a turn to progressivism.
Learners will deepen their understanding and appreciation of ways in which race, ethnicity and cultural diversity have shaped American institutions, ideology, law, and social relationships from the colonial era to the present. Race and ethnicity are ideological and cultural categories that include all groups and individuals. Hence, this course is designed in significant part to take a broad look at the ideology of race and cultural diversity in America’s past and present. The primary focus is on the historical and social relationships among European Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, Latino/as, and Asian/Pacific Americans. Issues of race and ethnicity are examined across different ethno-cultural traditions in order to interweave diverse experiences into a larger synthesis of the meaning of race and ethnicity in American life. In this course, we conceive of “race” and “diversity” as references to the entire American population, even as we recognize that different groups have unique historical experiences resulting in distinctive and even fundamental cultural differences. We treat race and ethnicity as dynamic, complex ideological and cultural processes that shape all social institutions, belief systems, inter-group relationships, and individual experiences.
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