Students entering grades 10 - 12
June 13 - July 1 (3 weeks)
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
This half-credit, semester-equivalent offering fulfills the first half of Hawken’s US History graduation requirement. Mission statements, charters, treaties, and contracts are designed to create a sense of direction, a shared purpose for human action, and define relational expectations as well as articulate ideological beliefs. Ideals such as freedom, equality, liberty, fairness and justice often form the cornerstone of democratic institutions, but what happens when humanity fails to live up to those lofty ideals? In our course of study, we will examine founding documents, contracts, charters, treaties, and speeches that establish the ideological framework of the American democratic experiment. We will learn where in the cultural and political fabric these ideals were realized, and why, in many cases, Americans fell short in living up to these ideals. Through our course of study we will examine a variety of perspectives to gain a deep understanding of the impact upon individuals when Americans succeeded and failed in realizing these stated and written principles. For example, we will read portions of “The Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory” as well as “Covered With Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America.” These secondary sources, coupled with primary sources like The Mayflower Compact, The Great Treaty of 1722, The Constitution, Dartmouth College v. Woodward and many others, will form the basis for lively discussions, writing assignments, and collaborative projects. Students may take only U.S. History 1 or U.S. History 2 in the summer.