American History I - Notes

American History I - Notes - American History I January 8...

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American History I January 8, 2008 Road Maps History is: What we care to know and what we care to know about what happened in the  past A conversation between past and present A story about the past based on surviving evidence A study of change over time History to society :: memory to individual Popular historical “memory” not usually sound scholarly history College level history about: Arguing from evidence Using this skill to understand and evaluate stories you learn about the past Creating a Nation American history as civic education Especially emphasized in Unit II: From Empire to Republic What defines a nation? Group of people joined together to find a common attribute Principles? Space/territory? People? A Nation Among Nations and World America as part of global historical processes, rather than an expectation 1
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American History I Thomas Bender Monarchy to Democracy Household Government to Individual Citizenship Rise and Fall of Racial Slavery January 10, 2008 Looking East from Indian Country Unit I Question What made 1492 a significant historical turning point? Contact between the Americas and Europe – Columbian exchange What do national histories forget? 15,000+ years of “Pre-Columbian” history Diversity and size of Native American population 375 language groups Around 50 million people in 1492 Social organization ranging from semi-sedentary to vast empires All conflated as “Indian” – “savage,” more recently environmental saints Stories about “Civilization” Implicit question: Why did European conquest proceed as it did? Assumption: “progress” of “civilization” Stages: Hunter-gatherer – nomadic Horticultural – semi-sedentary to sedentary Civilization – City States/Nations/Empires 2
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American History I History doesn’t go in a straight line Hunter-gatherers/semi-sedentary people Leisure Women supply 70% of food, usually have considerable say in group decisions Horticultural Greater population/worse overall nutrition Specialization encourages hierarchy Usually bad for women – “reproductive” labor become source of group power Harder on environment and more vulnerable to environmental change Impetus for building January 15, 2008 1492 – Islands, Oceans, and Demographic Catastrophe 1492: Island Worlds, Ocean Worlds “Indian Country” – recap What makes 1492 a significant historical turning point? Island to Ocean Worlds
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American History I - Notes - American History I January 8...

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