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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Lands of Hope and Promise: American History (Catholic Textbook Project), Part One

Join this course for a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of North American history. From the monumental 1492 discovery to the transformative events of the early 1970s, students will explore the fascinating narratives of major civilizations, cultural movements, and influential ideas that shaped both the United States and Latin America. We’ll also examine the pivotal role of the Catholic Church and its faithful.

Total classes: 14

Prerequisite: None

Suggested grade level: 8th to 11th grade 

Suggested credit: One full semester of American History 

Special notes: This course starts before Labor Day. This is Part One of a two-part course. Students are expected to also sign up for Part Two offered in the Spring semester.


This course examines the history of the major civilizations of North America from the discovery of America in 1492 to the early 1970s. We will discuss the events, cultural movements, and ideas that led to the founding of the United States and contributed to its development as both a major power and influence both in North America and the world as a whole. The course examines the development of Latin America after the 18th century by examining concurrently the history of Mexico – and thus provides a counterpoint to U.S. history by looking at how the ideas that predominated in Anglo-America worked themselves out in a very different social and cultural context. In addition to the common themes discussed in standard American history courses, this course highlights the role of the Catholic Church and the Catholic faithful in U.S. and Latin American history and how Catholics adjusted themselves to a civilization that in many respects was very different from what they had known in Europe. The course is divided into two parts. Part I (first semester) begins with Columbus’ discovery of America to the beginning of the Civil War in the United States. Part II (second semester) continues the story, beginning with the Civil War and concluding with the beginnings of our contemporary world in the early 1970s.


Explorers and Conquistadors

France Settles the New World

England Comes to America

The Struggle for a Continent

Spanish America (17th -18th Centuries)

Causes of the American Revolution

The American Revolution

Midterm Review

A New Nation

The First Test of the Union

Revolution in New Spain

Revolution in the Caribbean

Good Feelings and Hard Times

Final Review


Materials and Homework

Materials: The text for the course (both Part One and Part Two) is Lands of Hope and Promise, A History of North America, published by and available from www.catholictextbookproject.com.

Homework: Students read assigned portions of the text. Lectures focus on those events and ideas that are the keys to understanding the historical periods under consideration. There will be weekly short quizzes to demonstrate comprehension of the material.

Important Dates

Class dates: Wednesdays, August 28th to December 11, 2024 (No class Oct. 30 & Nov. 27) (Rain Day December 18th)

Starting time: 2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 Central; 12:30 Mountain; 11:30 Pacific)

Duration: 55 minutes

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