This is your first REAL course in US History. We will begin with the
outcome of the French and Indian War, events leading to the American
Revolution, followed by the building of the country. By the end of the
year, we will cover a wide variety of topics, concluding with the
Reconstruction period after the Civil War. While I do not teach dates,
some dates are essential to understanding the “story” of our country. We
will get into the stuff you never heard of and try to connect the dots,
both visible and invisible. As an example, we will cover the remarkable
story of Dr. Thomas Evans, a renowned dentist from Philadelphia, who
became the dentist of Napoleon III. As such, we will discover the real
reason why France (and ultimately Great Britian) decided against
supporting the Confederacy even though the loss of cotton from the South
devastated the French economy. It really revolved around Dr. Evans.
Think about it: when you’re in the dentist’s chair and he has his hand
down your mouth looking and prodding, who does all the talking? Well,
it’s a great story. Then there is the story of Peggy Shippen Arnold and
her part in her husband’s treason. Did you know her father’s manor is in
NJ and is used today for concerts and the like?
The US Constitution of the United States will receive a great deal of study.
We will have a project on the Bill of Rights and even work on designing our
own constitution. We will look at what some others countries have developed
over the years, and compare them with our Constitution.
We will study the sacrifice of Veterans in your family or neighborhood, or
the story of a Medal of Honor Awardee. The purpose, in the case of a family
member, is to capture their story and make it part of your family’s personal
history. In the case of a MOH Awardee, it is to recognize their sacrifice
for their country and fellow soldiers, usually at the cost of their own life.
Near the end of the year, we will conduct research on a portion of the Civil War.
This will be a way to help you understand the mechanics behind conducting
detailed research on a narrow topic.
Throughout the year, we will focus our attention on the Cause and Effect model,
which will be presented at the beginning of the year and used for every element
of our history.
I hope you find it worth your time and effort because I am going to ask a
lot of you this year.