The history curriculum strives to develop awareness and an understanding of the past as a prerequisite to a full understanding of the present. History is the third dimension; it gives depth and perspective to the great issues of today. Above all, classroom techniques and the organization of the program attempt to encourage intellectual and cultural curiosity and a genuine interest in history.
Select a course below for a detailed description...
The U.S. History course begins where Foundations ends, leading students through the 19th and 20th centuries to the present. The course stresses political, social, and economic issues, with special emphasis on people, causality, and the underlying trends and movements that link past to present. Students are thrust into a history that lives and breathes. Confronting the problems of historical objectivity and varying interpretations, the student develops the ability to judge the past for himself.
International Relations is the study of the world and the people whose behaviors shape history and our current times. In this course, students will learn about the major theories of international relations; about different influential bodies such as state governments, multi-national corporations, and non-governmental organizations; and about powerful forces and conditions that exist in the world, such as globalization and environmental issues. There will be a special focus on the United Nations and the subject of diplomacy, culminating in a trip to a Model United Nations conference.
The Microeconomics course analyzes the economic choices, decisions, and issues facing individuals and individual business enterprises. After an introduction to basic economic concepts, the course presents topics including theory of markets for products, the nature of demand, costs of production, and decisions regarding pricing and output of competitive firms, monopolies, and oligopolies. Issues relating to markets for products are also introduced. The theory of factor markets is addressed, looking at markets for labor, land, and borrowed and equity capital. Issues such as taxation and welfare are examined in the microeconomic context. Finally, issues surrounding international trade, finance, and development are presented.
U. S. Government
The U. S. Government course explores the workings of the government in less intensive fashion than is required in the Advanced Placement U. S. Government course. The course leads the student to understand the principles and the mechanics of American democracy, toward the purpose of higher citizenship. Students explore philosophical and cultural factors underlying our form of government, constitutional issues, major institutions of both federal and state government, the separation of powers among branches, the creation of laws, the court system, and the federal budget. Students learn to appreciate and articulate differing sides of controversial questions related to government.
Ancient Greece & Rome
This semester course will explore the history of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The course will examine how the experience of Greece and Rome connect with modern Western Civilization. The course will begin with an examination of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and the origins of Western literature. Then the course will explore the different forms of government the Greeks developed, and evaluate their successes and failures. The Roman Empire will be reviewed in detail, from the origin of Rome through the demise of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Empire. In addition to the political systems, the literary, artistic, linguistic, economic, architectural, legal and religious influence of the Greeks and Romans will be major focal points of this course.
The Middle East
The Middle East is a survey semester course which will help students better understand this region of the world that dominates the international political landscape. The first half of the course will concentrate on the history of the Middle East, including, but not limited to the history of Islam, the rise and fall of Muslim empires, the impact of European imperialism, and the lasting effects of nationalism. The second half of the course will zero in on the Modern Middle East. We will begin with the creation of the “nation-state” in the region after World War I. Next, we will discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict and the role of the United States in its pursuit of Middle Eastern peace. Finally, we will talk about the impact of oil and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Special attention will be paid to the Gulf War, the Iran-Iraq conflict, 9/11, and the current United States invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Modern World History
This semester course covers the period in history from the end of the Napoleonic Wars through World War II. This course can be seen as a follow up to the Western Civilizations course. The students will begin the course analyzing the aftermath of the Congress of Vienna and the rise of industrialization in Europe. Special attention will be paid to imperialism and modernization in Africa and Asia during the nineteenth century. The second part of the class is dedicated to the first half of the twentieth century. Topics discussed will include World Wars I and II and the effects of the Great Depression. Students will also be asked to complete a research paper assignment.
Western Civilizations will introduce the social movements in Europe from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution. Students will be asked to evaluate critically the evolution of expression, religion, science, law and government. Major topics include: Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, Age of Exploration, Age of Absolutism, Enlightenment and French Revolution. By the end of the semester, students will be able to outline an understanding of essential questions from each unit, while they learn to analyze, articulate and write about history through primary and secondary sources.
Early U.S. History
This semester course takes a chronological and thematic approach to the study of United States history and offers a survey of major topics from colonial cultures and identities, the revolution and its causes, the constitutional convention and government it created, and the major topics facing the country from 1789 to the country’s expansionism with the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican Cession. Political, social, economic and diplomatic issues will be examined with the intention of understanding interpretation and its application in the study of the past.
Early U.S. History—Honors
This semester course is intended for sophomores who plan to take Advanced Placement U.S. History in the junior year. This survey course begins with the colonial era and finishes with the Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Political, economic, and cultural themes are stressed throughout the term. Special attention is devoted to the formation of the U.S. Government, the Constitution, and the office of the President. Although most reading assignments are from the text, there are readings in primary and secondary sources. A research paper is also a requirement.
America in the Age of Genocide
During the 20th Century the "civilized" world experienced mass killing on an unprecedented level. Man's Inhumanity to fellow man seemed to know no bounds. Armenia, "The Final Solution", Nanking, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur are but a few of the names associated with these actions. The term "Genocide" was created to legally define the criminal behavior of the Holocaust. Using primary and secondary sources as well as film the students will study, in depth, the genocides of this century, their causes, and the individuals who took part as perpetrators, victims, and resistors. The focus will also be on the moral and ethical questions raised by our study.
The Roman Revolution
This will be an intensive look at Roman History covering the years 133 BC to 69 AD. This period is a critical time in the history of the Roman Empire. During this period the republican form of government in Rome crumbles and eventually falls. There is a succession of crises culminating in the civil war between Octavian and Anthony. Once Octavian wins (and becomes Augustus) a new form of government is established, the Principate, which forms the foundation of the Imperial government of Rome lasting for hundreds of years.
This period produced some of the greatest historical figures of antiquity: the Gracchi brothers, Marius, Sulla, Catiline, Cicero, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Cato, Octavian, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, Caligula and Nero. Leading the Roman Legions in conquest are great generals like Marius, Sulla, Pompey,
Julius Caesar, Agrippa and Corbulo. This was the Golden Age of Roman literature, with Catullus, Caesar, Lucretius, Vergil, Horace, Livy, Propertius and Ovid all contributing works that are still studied today.
Cicero, the great politician and orator, also writes philosophical treatises that guide western thought for over a thousand years. His court cases and speeches serve as pristine examples of the art of rhetoric.
The political turmoil of the period, the violent upheavals and civil wars that accompanied the demise of the republican form of government, served as a vivid warning to America's Founding Fathers. The formation and structure of the U.S. Constitution was heavily influenced by the classical education received by the Founding Fathers. Their knowledge of what had happened in Rome during this period guided them as they crafted a new government for the U.S.
Post ’45 World History
This semester course will examine the major events, movements, and social conditions that helped define the post-WWII era around the world. Topics will include: the Cold War, decolonization, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of technology, globalization, modern terrorism and the Arab Spring. Course work will rely on a variety of media, individual and group projects, and more traditional methods of assessment. Upon completion of the course, students will be widely versed in those events that helped shape the modern era.
Comparative Government is a semester course that aims to acquaint students with the study of comparative politics and the institutions of government for six core countries (U.K., Mexico, Iran, Russia, China, and Nigeria). Special attention is paid to the operation of each nation’s government, differences between the various types of government systems and the ideologies that guide their development, the relationship between each nation’s government and its people, modes of representation, and political participation and citizen behavior. A successful student in this course will be able to recognize patterns in each of these areas and derive intellectual connections based on information gathered across the core nations in addition to analyzing, interpreting, and applying basic data relevant to comparative politics.
WWI and WWII
Following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in on June 28, 1914, the world changed forever. Thirty-one years later, the mighty British Empire had fallen, Germany rose and was defeated twice, the Far East became a central part of world politics, and the USSR and the US emerged as the world's only super powers. How did so much change take place in three decades? This semester course will explore the people and events that helped tear down the ruling structures of Europe, Asia, and North America and created the modern world. Special focus will be given to military and diplomatic history.
Advanced Placement U.S. History
Advanced Placement U.S. History provides a college-level approach to the American past from colonial beginnings to the present. The student is required to handle primary source and documentary materials and to grapple with the problems of conflicting historical interpretation. The underlying objectives of the course are to develop the necessary tools for critical historical analysis and to stimulate an appreciation for the genuine vitality and color of our national experience.
Advanced Placement European History
The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of A.P. European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principle themes in modern European history, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing.
Advanced Placement Microeconomics
The Advanced Placement Microeconomics course focuses on providing students with a thorough knowledge of the principles of economics and preparing them for them for the Advanced Placement exam. At the heart of the course is basic decision making skills. This includes the concepts of scarcity, choice and tradeoffs, opportunity costs, basis for trade, marginal analysis, and more. Students also learn extensively about the concepts of supply and demand, and about both the product market and the market for factors of production. The course also explores the causes of market failure, the role of government intervention in a market economy, and the concept of international trade.
Advanced Placement U.S. Government
This course gives students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. It examines the various institutions, interest groups, political ideas, and beliefs that together constitute the political life of the United States. Topics include constitutional underpinnings, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, pressure groups and the mass media, the presidency, Congress, the federal courts, bureaucracy, public policy, civil rights, and civil liberties. The course addresses both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific political issues.
Advanced Placement World History
The AP World History course is designed to help students develop a deeper knowledge of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. Students gain a greater understanding of past world events by examining diverse cultures from around the world beginning in 8000 BCE and working their way to the present. Throughout the year students are challenged with a variety of readings from primary source documents, as well as response papers, projects, and presentations. The course emphasizes the development of political and cultural systems and explores their relevance to the modern world.