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Online American History Course Overviews

Individuals interested in studying American historical events and the people who influenced them may benefit from online undergraduate and graduate American history courses.

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Online Courses in American History

The following course descriptions provide an overview of some online American history courses.

  • The American Revolutionary Era Course: This course focuses on the events leading up to the American Revolution and the resulting effects on the birth of American government and politics. Students explore English, French and Spanish involvement in the rising conflict, resistance movements in the colonies, major battles and leading figures, and the development of the American constitution.
  • Civil War and Reconstruction Course: Typically this course focuses on comprehending national, racial and societal effects of the Civil War. Classes include a review of the economic and racial conflicts between the Northern and Southern states, the national issue of emancipation and the challenges of post-war reconstruction.
  • The Great Depression and World War II Course: This course provides an analysis of the events leading up to and through the Great Depression and World War II, examining how these two major historical events altered American society and political structure. Class themes include the stock market crash of 1929, President Roosevelt's New Deal, and America's political and economic reasons for entering the Second World War. Students explore topics like the Normandy invasion and the development and use of the atomic bomb, viewing these events through newspapers, film clips and other documents from the era.
  • Women in United States History Course: This class focuses on the emerging role of women and their contributions to the American social, political, economic and educational scenes. Topics include the suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment, women in the slavery emancipation movement of the Civil War era, and the entrance of women into the manufacturing workplace during wartime.
  • American History to 1865 Course: This course usually surveys major historical events, beginning with the first known European settlements and leading up to the Civil War's conclusion. Topics include the growth of the colonies, the development of states, American-Indian relations, national identity and the Revolutionary War. Students analyze the central political, social and economic events that led from the founding of a nation to the discord between states.
  • American History 1865 to Present Course: Typically this course reviews the major political and economic milestones dating from the Reconstruction era through current events, including an examination of the effect that significant events such as emancipation, suffrage, war and immigration have had on America's cultural and sociopolitical landscape.
  • History of Mexican Americans in U.S. Course: This course examines the historical development of the Mexican community in the United States from 1848 until the present. Emphasis is on race, social relations, trans-border relations, social causes and themes in U.S. history such as wars, sectional differences, industrialization, reform, labor and civil rights.
  • American Environmental History Course: Students in this course cover influences on the environment with regard to European settlement of North America. Topics include industrialization, pollution, urbanization, and energy.
  • American Slavery Course: This course will explore African history and slavery in the Caribbean and southern U.S. Free blacks in the northern states during the 19th century and slave-trading in early American history will also be covered.

Program Information

American history courses can provide both general and in-depth perspectives on American society, economics and politics. Courses generally highlight major events that shaped the country's development and discuss the personalities influencing these events. History courses are available online as part of bachelor's or master's programs in history, as well as through elective liberal arts and general education curricula.

Basic requirements for an online American history course usually include a computer with Internet access and word processing software; some schools may also use printed textbooks to supplement online resources. Both real-time or on an asynchronous schedules may be available.

Online American history courses are offered through bachelor's and master's degree programs. Students can explore areas like slavery, war, women's rights, and the American revolution, among numerous other topics.

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