Master Syllabus
U.S. History 2341
American Indians


The purpose of the History Department is threefold. First we provide excellent instruction in the discipline of history. Second, we provide each student with six semester hours of U.S. History instruction to meet the requirements of the Texas Education Code (51.303). Third, we provide history majors with fifteen semester hours of history instruction to prepare them to successfully pursue a bachelor's or higher degree in history at a four-year college or university.


Course Description: A survey of the societies and cultures of American Indians and how they changed through time.

Course Rationale: This course partially fulfills the legislative requirement of 6 hours of American history. Students taking this course will develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Indian cultures and societies. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their reading and critical thinking skills as we examine the complexities of  Indian societies and their creative adaptations to historical change.

Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes: upon completion of the A.A. degree in History students will be able to:

1. Use critical thinking in the analysis of historical facts
2. Demonstrate civic awareness in the appraisal of historical contexts
3. Demonstrate cultural awareness in the assessment of historical situations

Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes: upon completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Use critical thinking in the analysis of historical facts
2. Demonstrate civic awareness in the appraisal of historical contexts
3. Demonstrate cultural awareness in the assessment of historical situations

Common Course Objectives: After completing this course students should be able to:

1. Discuss the different images and attitudes Americans have about Native Americans and describe how and why these images changed over time.

2. Describe Native and Western theories as to how people first populated the Americas.

3. Compare and contrast Indian and European views of nature, time, and history. Also note how oral traditions and written traditions employ these concepts differently.

4. Describe the origins of agriculture in the Old World and the New World.

5. Describe the different culture areas in North America and identify them on a map. Describe the main characteristics and subsistence patterns of the pre-Columbian peoples that lived in each culture area.

6. Discuss the trade networks of pre-Columbian people. Describe the most important products and ideas that were traded.

7. Discuss the biological consequences of the "Columbian Exchange." In particular, describe impact of European diseases on Native populations.

8. Compare and contrast Spanish, English, and French relations with Indians in the New World.

9. Compare and contrast Indian relations with English colonists in Virginia and New England. Describe the causes and results of the major conflicts.

10. Assess the impact of the fur trade on Native Americans. Describe the results of the Natives growing dependence on European goods. Describe how this trade altered inter- and intra-tribal rivalries.

11. Describe the impact of the colonial wars on Native America

12. Assess the impact of the American Revolution on Natives. Who sided with whom? Why? Describe the results for the main Indian participants.

13. Describe the origins and results of American treaty making policy with Indians

14. Discuss the origins of the Indian Removal Policy and describe Native resistance to these policies.

15. Compare and contrast the different revitalization movements that developed among Native Americans. Discuss the messages and results of each.

16. Describe the cultural patterns, major ceremonies, and political organizations of Plains Indians before the arrival of Europeans.

17. Discuss how contact with Europeans and European goods affect the economy, trade patterns, warfare, and culture of Plains Indians.

18. Describe the government policies that were designed to "civilize" the Indians. Evaluate the efforts and results of these policies. Describe the Indian resistance to white assimilation efforts

19. Discuss the impact of reservation life on tribal unity, and traditional culture.

20. Describe and evaluate the policies of the "Indian New Deal."

21. Discuss the impact of World War II on Native Americans on and off the reservations.

22. Discuss the reasons for and the results of the "Termination Policy

23. Describe the origins of Red Power. Evaluate the goals, leaders, and tactics of Indian organizations in the 1960s and 1970s.
Describe the most important conflicts between Indians and the government during this period.

24. Describe the controversies between Indians, the government, and corporations over water rights, mineral resources, the preservation of sacred lands, and religious freedoms.

25. Discuss the continuing social problems that exist on reservations and Indian efforts to assert their self-determination.

Syllabi requirements are found HERE.