James Joyce once said, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
Many people, both living in the United States and around the world, are interested in the history of America. A knowledge of history helps answer questions about how our country ended up where it is today, reveals the source of our diversity, and clarifies our current role and place in this vast world. Ultimately, someone who understands American history understands America, and by extension themselves.
This general survey course is intended to give participants a broad understanding of US History from the arrival of native peoples to the end of the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War.
The course is divided into 11 thematic sections that are chronologically ordered. Each covers the people, places, ideas, and events that were most influential to our nations development. Each of these sections includes;
This course is comparable to a full semester of college-level U.S. History, but is simplified to ensure it remains relevant to the widest audience possible. It can also be completed at your own pace, so you can breeze through it in a few weeks, or carefully analyze it over a few months.
Amateur historians, AP students looking for review material, people getting ready for vacation, and anyone else with a genuine interest in the presidents, military conflicts, social movements, locations, and everything else that is a part of our nation's story will find this course to be especially rewarding.
If you've ever wished you had a better understanding of our nation's origins, but don't want to suffer through a dry, boring textbook, this is the course for you!
This presentation discusses the arrival of people in North America and the factors that led to the formation of eight distinct cultural regions.
In this lecture you will learn how the New World was "discovered" by Spain and their efforts to both conquor and explore what will become the United States.
The early colonization efforts of England, France, and the Netherlands are at the forefront of this lecture. We will look at the challeneges each of these nations faced in carving our their own New World Empires.
This brief assessment will test your knowledge of Section one topics.
New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. All three of these regions had unique environments, economies, people, and cultures. This lecture will explore all three to help you better understand colonial America's cultural landscape.
The roots of America's great democratic tradition, beginning with the Magna Carta of 1215, are traced by this breif lecture.
Work, Food, Social Class, Family, and Education. Learn about what all of them were like in the 1700's.
The assessment will test your knowledge of life in the English colonies.
The French and Indian War seemingly gave Britain control of North America, but actually set up the circumstances which eventually robbed them of their American empire.
The lectures outlines the major causes of the American Revolution and looks at them from both an American and British point of view.
What happened between the Battle of Lexington and the invasion of New York City by the British? This presentations clarifies the period of time where there was a lull in the fighting.
Learn all about the importance and deeper meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
This two-part lecture on the Revolutionary War follows the major events of the war up to the Battle of Saratoga.
The second part of our Revolutionary War lectures chronicles the conclusion of the war and the peace that followed.
This short quiz covers the causes and course of the Revolutionary War.
Why was the Constitutional Convention called for? Learn about the catalysts that created our national government in this lecture.
The discussions, compromises, and debates that occurred during the Constitutional Convention come alive in this lecture.
How did the Bill of Rights help ensure the ratification of the Constitution? This lecture tells all about the events which led to the adoption of the Constitution.
The convention, ratification, and Bill of Rights take center stage in this assessment.
The beginning years of our government are outlined in this lecture. It also descibes the differences between America's first two political parties.
The contest between Federalists and Republicans is the subject of this lecture.
This lecture discusses the events that occured outside of the United States during the Washington and Adams administration and how they were dealt with.
This lecture discusses the causes, course, and conclusion of the War of 1812.
Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison star in this short quiz on our Early Republic section.
How did the economic and judicial reforms of the Era of Good Feelings help solidify our national identy? This lecture explains just that!
How did art, literature, symbols, and music all help contribute to an American identity?
Andrew Jackson was both a heroic and villious figure. Learn how this president helped guide the country forward with a style all his own.
Test your knowledge of Monroe, Jackson, and the emerging American identity with this quiz.
America doubles in size in a few short years thanks to the aquisition of two territories. Find out how we got them both in this lecture.
Texas was the only independent republic to be willingly annexed by the U.S. The story of how it gained its independence and joined our nation is outlined in this lesson.
The challeneges of settling Oregon take center stage in this lecture.
The battle for control of California and the war that determined the future of the west is the subject of this this presentation.
Who were the people who traveled west to settle it? Find out by watching this lecture.
The growth of the U.S. takes center stage in this quiz.
Abolition, Temperence, Asylums, and Transcendentalism are all focuses of this quiz.
The factors which set the North and South worlds apart is the subject of this lecture.
Exploring the evolution and economics of slavery is what this lecture does.
How did slave masters control their slaves? How did slaves fight back against impossible odd? Find out in this presentation.
What caused the Union to fall to pieces? This presentation explores this topic up to the year 1852.
How did the Civil War begin? In this lecture we will trace the origins of the war right up to its explosive beginnings.
This quiz is an excellent way to test your knowledge of slavery and other causes of the American Civil War.
James Fester earned a B.A. in history from Cal State Long Beach and holds a teaching certificates in California. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he has taught history to people of all ages for over 16 years. For the last 10 years he has taught U.S. History as a public school teacher. Currently, he works as a teacher coach helping teachers who are new to the profession begin their career successfully. In addition to teaching and developing blended-learning curriculum for K-12 schools, he has volunteered as an interpreter for both California State Parks, National Parks, and the County of San Diego.
In addition to his work in the classroom, he is a technology trainer and consultant who has presented to educators across the United States on topics ranging from Google Apps, Project-Based Learning, and many other topics. He is Google Certified, a Common Sense Media Digital Ambassador, an Apple Teacher, and is currently service as president of the NorthBay chapter of CUE.
When he's not in the classroom, James works as a guide for a company specializing in using our nation's national parks as science classrooms. He's led students from multiple states into parks like Yellowstone, Shenandoah, and Grand Teton.
He also writes on a number of topics relating to history and technology. Currently, he is developing a podcast on historic landmarks in California and across the U.S.