History of Women in the U.S.: Pre-colonial to 1877

Course Number: HST 204
Transcript Title: US Women: Pre-colonial to 1877
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Examines the lives of women in terms of family relations, religion, culture, sexuality and reproduction, and work roles, as well as educational opportunities and social reform activities. Explores diversity in terms of class, race, ethnicity, legal status, and region. History courses are non-sequential and may be taken in any term and in any order. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate an understanding of the key events in US history from pre European settlement to 1877 and use critical thinking to evaluate how they particularly impact women.
  2. Identify and explain the variety of cultural influences on North American women including ethnicity, race, class, ideology, spirituality, legal status, geographical region and the culturally based assumptions that have influenced the perception and behavior regarding women in the past.
  3. Evaluate the contributions that various groups of women have made to the American culture.
  4. Communicate effectively using historical analysis.
  5. Connect the past with the present to enhance understanding of modern gender roles and to promote civic and global engagement.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources.
  • Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation.
  • Think critically about the relationships between past and present events and issues.
  • Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in American society.
  • Demonstrate college-level communications skills: listening, speaking, and writing.
  • Use a variety of assessment methods such as written work (research papers, book critiques, journals), oral presentations, small and large group discussions.

Course Activities and Design

  • Lecture
  • Small group discussion
  • Class discussion
  • Oral presentation
  • Essay Exams
  • Research Paper

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills

  • Think critically.
  • Analyze and evaluate the position of women in American society.
  • Analyze, evaluate, and connect issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and class as they apply to women.
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence in its historical context.
  • Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues.
  • Listen to and appreciate the experience of students from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Assess the contributions and experiences of various groups in American society.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing an understanding of a variety of historical topics and the historical process.
  • Evaluate how concepts or values change over time.

Themes, Concepts, and Issues

  • Contrasting gender-based roles in a variety of cultures (American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American)
  • Relationships between indigenous peoples and Euro-American women
  • Patriarchal family system
  • Matrilineal family system
  • Sexuality and reproduction
  • Gender-based work roles
  • Religion (Shakers, Salem witch trials)
  • Variations in women’s lives based upon race, class, ethnicity, region, religion, ideology
  • Racism, nativism, ethnocentrism
  • Expanding educational opportunities
  • Technological developments
  • Influence of individual rights philosophy on women
  • Impact of Revolutionary War and developing new republic on women
  • Political and economic changes on family relationships and work roles
  • African Diaspora
  • Social, religious, and political movements