Fall 2022 - HIST 212 D100

The United States to 1877 (3)

Class Number: 3979

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5008, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Recommended: HIST 104.



The emergence and development of American civilization from the establishment of the colonies through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Breadth-Humanities.


Overview: This course surveys events from the founding of British America at Jamestown, Virginia to the end of the Reconstruction period. Lectures and readings trace key social, cultural, and environmental developments. The goal is to develop temporal reasoning skills, knowing not only what happened and why, but how broader contexts shaped events. Life was less inevitable than contingent. The challenge is to master the personal and specific as well as the general and conceptual. The goal is to understand the past on its terms. Students will engage lectures, primary documents, and secondary texts. Discussions and exams will focus on big themes. The two five-page papers will analyze pre-selected sets of documents available through Canvas.

Mode: In-class lectures will be for the lecture and discussion of readings; there will not be separate tutorial sections. Weekly quizzes, papers, and exams will be administered through the Canvas “assignments” platform.

Topics: Colonialism, environment, industrialism, nationalism, political culture, racialism and racism, religion.

Image credit: Camp Meeting of the Methodists in N. America by M. Dubourg (1819).


  • Weekly Quizzes 10%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Papers (15% each) 30%
  • Final Exam 30%



Strother Roberts, Colonial Ecology, Atlantic Economy Hard copy
Thomas Paine, Common Sense Digital
Sojourner Truth, Narrative of Sojourner Truth Digital
James McPherson, What They Fought For Hard copy

Weekly readings available on Canvas or through the internet


Recommended Text:

John Locke & Ben Wright, The American Yawp

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html