This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

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American History, Part One: Age of Exploration through the Civil War and Reconstruction

In this college-preparatory American history course, you will learn about the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Pre-Civil War times, as well as the Civil War and Reconstruction period with a dynamic “guest” who may “appear in person” — possibly Patrick Henry.

Total classes: 12

Prerequisite: None

Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade (or advanced 9th and 10th grade)

Suggested credit: One full semester American History


This course will cover American history from the late 15th century through the American Civil War and postwar reconstruction. We will cover colonial development, the road to the American Revolution, the revolutionary war and its aftermath, constitution building, the early national period, the War of 1812, the Jacksonian era, the pre-Civil War reform movements, the road to the Civil War, wartime issues, and postwar reconstruction. Along the way, there may be a few guest appearances by figures from American history, including Patrick Henry.


Week One: Exploration and Early Colonization

Week Two: The Shaping of British North America

Week Three: The Road to the American Revolution

Week Four: The American Revolution and Its Aftermath

Week Five: The Experiment Begins

Week Six: From Jefferson to Jackson

Week Seven: The Culture of Democracy

Week Eight: The Old South and Slavery

Week Nine: The Gathering Storm

Week Ten: Secession and the Onset of the Civil War

Week Eleven: The Civil War

Week Twelve: Reconstruction

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: The Land of Hope by Wilfred McClay. ISBN 978-1594039379 (https://amzn.to/37YfKxp)

Homework: Students will read approximately a chapter per week. There will be weekly quizzes based on both the reading and the lectures, auto-graded by the computer for immediate feedback. For upper-level students or students who want to go the extra mile, Dr. Chalberg will assign an additional five writing assignments of 500 to 600 words each. Expect to spend three to four hours per week on reading and homework outside of class lectures. There will be an optional final exam, mainly essays and short answers, for interested students.

Important Dates

Class Dates: Thursdays, September 12 to December 12, 2024. (No class Oct. 17 & Nov. 28)

Starting Time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)

Duration: 55 minutes per class

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