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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Mark Peel


The unit provides an overview of the main themes and events in the history of the United States before 1850 and detailed examinations of particular events and issues in American history. It focuses on the America invented by a series of revolutions and on the revolutionary ideas and enthusiasms that produced and sustained them. The unit is broken into three parts. Part One traces the history of American colonies to 1850, laying the groundwork of events and themes, in Part Two students participate in one of several conventions which reconstruct and examine key historical debates and Part Three provides detailed case studies of recent themes such as indigenous societies and slave culture.


Students successfully completing HSY2995 will be expected to demonstrate

  • a comprehensive historical understanding of the origins, nature and development of the major political, cultural and social institutions of the North American colonies and the United States before 1850;
  • a thorough knowledge of the context, European origins and subsequent impact of the most significant ideas, debates and principles that shaped the discovery, exploitation and settling of early America, the American enlightenment, the American Revolution and Constitution, and the development of national and sectional institutions;
  • and a critical understanding of the various interpretations and representations that inform early American history, and of the ways in which that history has been contested and shaped from different perspectives.
In addition, they will be expected to show enhanced skills in the critical and analytical reading of a variety of texts, including contemporary documents, religious and polemical literature, historical scholarship and visual representations; the capacity to work with others in a collaborative research project and presentation; and enhanced skills in the critical use of on-line resources, especially the various forms of historical data and documentary evidence available on the web.


Source criticism exercise (500 words): 10%
Class test (1 hour): 20%
Collaborative project report (500 words): 20%
Research essay (2500 words): 50%

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study