Advanced Topics in U.S. History

Upper School

Grade 11, Grade 12

History and Social Science

Credits: 1

Prerequisite: Departmental Approval

Open to Juniors and Seniors who have not yet taken U.S. History.
Students may not take this course after having taken U.S. History or Honors U.S. History

Advanced Topics in U.S. History requires the ability to read a wide variety of texts closely, write incisively, and argue persuasively. Political and economic forces are viewed through the lens of social movements. Students explore extensive primary and secondary sources, consider the conflict and unity underlying these movements, and draw conclusions. Instead of interpreting issues and evaluating people solely through their 21st-century lens, students are encouraged to consider the question: What did the people they are studying know and what could they have known? Students compare themes across time, identifying forces of change and of continuity at work. A close examination of the changing ways historians interpret the past illuminates how philosophical leanings affect historiography. Students write four research papers during the year on topics of their choosing. The final paper is presented to an external audience and submitted for publication.