United States History 1: Through 1877

Welcome to United States History I

U.S. History I covers United States history through 1877, taking students from pre-Columbian events through the Civil War. The course introduces students to the major themes that have defined the United States as a nation and culture, and shows students how these times remain relevant in their everyday lives.

This is a self-paced online course. It contains 14 modules, each with multiple lessons that support varied approaches to help a student learn and engage with the topic, including readings, video, and a knowledge-check quiz. This is a graded course, each student will receive a course transcript that reflects a final grade based on 14 module quizzes,14 module evidence activities, a mid-term exam, and a final exam.


Before you start the course

  • Review the Course Learning Outcomes, located in the the tab above
  • Download and review the Course Requirements Document, located in the Documents tab above.
  • Review the Technology Requirements, located in the Technology tab above.

To complete this course and receive a final grade

  • Study all of the lessons within each module and complete the Check Your Knowledge activity at the bottom of each Lesson to receive participation credit.
  • Complete each module quiz.
  • Complete each module evidence activity.
  • Complete the mid-term examination.
  • Complete the final examination.


If you have a technical issue or feedback for this course, contact our support team at support@tellibary.org.


Ready to learn more about United States History?

If you are enrolled Click on the Modules below to get started.

To enroll in this course, click “Take this Course” below.

This course focuses on the following learning outcomes. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Interpret timelines of key historical periods, events, people, and locations related to U.S. History from the pre-Columbian era through 1877.
  • Analyze the importance of context and point of view in historical interpretation; recognize that historians interpret the same events differently due to personal values and societal norms.
  • Identify, analyze, and understand elements of historical cause and effect; recognize and understand patterns of change and continuity in history.
  • Develop journal entries or other written evidence of learning that address open-ended historical questions that can be addressed through historical research and interpretation.
  • Apply terms relevant to the content appropriately and accurately.


You can download a readable PDF of the Course Syllabus

Course Requirements

You can download a readable PDF of the Course Requirements.


Planning Your Course

To help you plan out your studies, here are two schedules you can follow to complete this course.


Course Outline

Download a complete course outline, including lesson topics and outcomes (PDF).

Module 1 – First Americans

Early American Civilizations “North America

  • Human Migratory Paths
  • North American tribes
  • The Three Agricultural Sisters
  • Matrilineal kinship
  • Aztecs
  • Mayas
  • Incas

European Crusades: A Desire for Trade “Luxuries

  • The Crusades
  • The Outcomes of the Crusades
  • The Renaissance
  • Humanism
  • The Silk Road
  • The appeal of exploration

European Trade and Exploration

  • Portuguese navigational advances
  • Portuguese Exploration
  • The Spice Trade
  • Spanish Reconquista
  • The African Kingdoms
  • Treaty of Tordesillas
  • African Slave Trade

Columbus in the Americas

  • Columbus Travels to “The New World”
  • Columbus’ Subsequent Trips
  • Spanish Conquest of Central and South America
  • The Exchange of Crops
  • The Exchange of Diseases
  • The Exchange of Animals

Module 2 – Colonization in North America

Spanish and Portuguese Plantation Colonies

  • Spanish colonies
  • Viceroyalties
  • Encomiendo systems
  • Portuguese settlements
  • Plantation-style economy
  • Plantation colonies in the Caribbean
  • Slave trade

Neo-European Influence in the Colonies

  • The French in the Americas
  • The Dutch in the Americas
  • Neo-European Colonies
  • Our Cultural DNA

English Settlements in North America

  • Jamestown
  • Roanoke
  • The Tobacco Colonies – Virginia and Maryland
  • The Myth and Reality of Pocahontas
  • Early Colonial Labor
  • Indentured servitude

The Growing African Slave Trade

  • The Transition to Slavery
  • The Growth of Slavery
  • The Middle Passage
  • Chattel Slavery
  • Slave Roles
  • Slave Life on the Farm and in the Town

Module 3 – A Clash of Cultures: Conflicts with the Native Americans

Interactions with the Native Americans

  • The Anglo-Powhatan Wars
  • Puritan Relationships with Native Peoples
  • Early Conflicts
  • Missionaries
  • Metacom’s War

English Colonies: Politically and Economically

  • Politically Differentiated Colonies
  • New England
  • The Middle Colonies
  • The Southern Colonies
  • Restoration Colonies
  • Tobacco Colonies
  • Slavery’s Eccentricities

Mercantilism and Imperial Dominion

  • Trade Barriers
  • Regulations
  • Tariffs
  • Subsidies
  • The Navigation Acts
  • The Dominion of New England
  • Restoration of Charles II

The Glorious Revolution

  • James II
  • The Glorious Revolution
  • The Social Contract
  • English Liberty
  • Colonists’ Response to the Glorious Revolution
  • British Bill of Rights
  • Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
  • Aftermath of the Glorious Revolution
  • The Province of Massachusetts Bay


Module 4 – The Colonies: A New People and a New Identity

The First Great Awakening and the Enlightenment

  • Spiritual Revival
  • New Political Beliefs
  • The Enlightenment
  • Religion in America

Northern Colonies Culture and Climate

  • The Upper Class
  • The Middle Class
  • The Lower Class
  • Massachusetts Bay
  • Connecticut

Middle Colonies Culture and Climate

  • Population and Economic Growth
  • Labor Patterns
  • The Church of England
  • The Wesley Brothers
  • George Whitefield
  • The Great Awakening
  • Jonathan Edwards

Southern Colonies Culture and Climate

  • Life in the Plantation South
  • Plantation Owners
  • The Middle Class
  • The Lower Class
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Carolinas

Pre-Revolution Slave Ecology

  • The Triangle Slave Trade
  • Molasses to Slaves
  • Rum
  • A Slave Ecology
  • Royal African Company
  • The Stono Rebellion

Women’s Roles and Women’s Rights

  • Rights and Roles Across the Colonies
  • The Role of Housewife
  • Real Women in the Colonial World
  • The Beginning of the Hysteria


Module 5 – A Growing Competition: England and France

The Seven Years’ War

  • Conflict Between Empires
  • The Seven Years War
  • Treaty of Paris
  • George Washington

British Efforts at Peace with Native Americans

  • Great Britians War Strategies
  • Pontiac’s Rebellion
  • The Paxton Boys
  • The Royal Proclamation of 1763

Change in Great Britain’s National Finances

  • The British National Debt
  • Imperial Reforms
  • The Currency Act
  • The Sugar Act
  • The British Constitution
  • The Problems
  • “Virtual Representation”
  • Newton’s Third Law

British Control and Colonial Resistance

  • The Quartering Act of 1765
  • Resistance to the Act
  • The Quartering Act of 1774
  • The Third Amendment
  • The Stamp Act of 1765
  • The Townshend Acts

Boston Rebels and the British Response

  • The Boston Massacre
  • The Massacre
  • The Boston Tea Party
  • The Coercive Acts
  • The Quebec Act

British Coercion and the Continental Congress

  • First Continental Congress
  • Declaration of Rights
  • Lexington
  • Concord
  • Benedict Arnold
  • Second Continental Congress
  • The Declaration of Independence


Module 6 – The American Revolution

The Early War in New England and the Mid-Atlantic

  • Battle of Bunker/Breed’s Hill
  • Quebec
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • British Blockade
  • The Revolution on the Home Front
  • The Economic Consequences of the War

Women and the Revolution

  • Colonial Women
  • The Homespun Movement
  • The Republican Motherhood
  • Women’s Organizations
  • Women in the Army
  • Benefits of Republican Motherhood
  • Native American Women
  • African American Women

The South: Diplomatic and Military Alliances

  • Valley Forge
  • Treaty of Alliance
  • French and Spanish Join the War
  • British Southern Strategy
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • Battle of Pensacola
  • Battle of Charleston
  • Battle of Camden
  • Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Yorktown and an American Victory

  • The Siege of Yorktown
  • The Treaty of Paris
  • Keys to the Colonial Victory


Module 7 – A New Nation and a New Government

The Impact of the Revolution

  • The Loyalists
  • The Slaves
  • The Women
  • The Native Americans
  • Replacing the Charters
  • State Constitutions

The Articles of Confederation

  • The Articles of Confederation
  • A Partial Solution to Inflation
  • Bank of North America
  • The Economic Crisis of the 1780s
  • Shay’s Rebellion

The Constitutional Convention

  • Constitutional Convention
  • Virginia Plan
  • New Jersey Plan
  • The Great (Connecticut) Compromise
  • The Three-Fifths Slavery Compromise
  • The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
  • A Constitution of Compromises

Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

  • The Federalists
  • The Anti-Federalists
  • The Effect of the Constitution


Module 8 – A New Nation: Growing Pains and Internal Changes

The First Election and the Federalist Government

  • President George Washington
  • The First Congress
  • The Bill of Rights
  • Ten Amendments
  • Rights and Protections Guaranteed in the Bill of Rights

Divided Government

  • Jefferson vs. Hamilton’s Fiscal Policies
  • Bank of the United States
  • Whiskey Rebellion
  • Federalist vs. Anti-federalist
  • The Election of 1796

The Birth of Political Parties

  • Two Party System
  • Federalist Party
  • Democractic – Republican Party
  • The Quasi War
  • The XYZ Affair
  • Alien and Sedition Acts
  • Adams and Jefferson

The Adams Years

  • The Whiskey Rebellion
  • Washington’s Response
  • The Western Confederacy
  • The French Revolution
  • The Citizen Genêt Affair
  • The British Response
  • Jay’s Treaty

Anti-Federalists and Expansionism

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Era of Good Feelings
  • Washington, D.C.


Module 9 – Madison, Monroe, and JQA: The Triumph of Personalities

Conflict with Europe: The War of 1812

  • The “Left-Handed Slapdash” War of 1812
  • The Hartford Convention
  • The Embargo Act of 1807
  • Dolley Madison
  • British Burn DC
  • Treaty of Ghent
  • Battle of New Orleans

Republicanism: Social Consciousness

  • Expanding Voting Rights
  • Republicanism
  • Egalitarianism
  • New Roles for Women
  • The Domestic Slave Trade
  • The Slave Experience

Westward Growth

  • Westward Expansion
  • Tallmadge Amendment
  • The Missouri Compromise
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Denmark Vesey
  • King Cotton

Industrial and Transportation Revolutions

  • American Textile Industry
  • Factory Systems
  • Boston Associates
  • Lowell Girls
  • Market Revolution
  • Transportation Infrastructure


Module 10 – A Jacksonian Democracy and Political Expansion

The Election of 1824

  • “The Era of Good Feelings”
  • President John Quincy Adams

Rise of Federal and Party Politics

  • Jacksonian Democracy
  • The Jackson Kitchen Cabinet
  • The Adultery Allegation
  • The Spoils System
  • Pendelton Act
  • Second Party System
  • Whig Party
  • The Petticoat Affair

The Tariff Wars and the Nullification Crisis

  • Tariffs
  • Nullification Proclamation
  • Compromise Tariff of 1833
  • The Great Schism

The Darkside of Jackson’s Impact

  • The 1830 Indian Removal Act
  • Trail of Tears
  • Black Hawk’s War
  • Chief Justice Taney’s Supreme Court
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

Southern Traditions and Slavery

  • Life in Antebellum South
  • Southern Code
  • Southern Economies and Hierarchy
  • Slave Uprisings
  • Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey
  • Slave Codes
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Southerner’s Defense of Slavery

The Mexican-American War and the West

  • Texas
  • The Compromise Oregon
  • Manifest Destiny
  • President Polk
  • Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
  • California Gold Rush

Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska

  • The Compromise of 1850
  • Sectionalism
  • Popular Sovereignty
  • Wilmot Proviso
  • Free Soil Party
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
  • Bloody Kansas


Module 11 – Alterations to the American Psyche

The Changing Role of Women

  • Seneca Falls Convention
  • The Temperance Movement
  • Abolition Movement
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • The Grimké Sisters
  • The Declaration of Rights And Sentiments
  • Feminism

Utopianism and Transcendentalism

  • Religious Utopian Communities
  • Rappites
  • Shakers
  • Oneida Community
  • Secular Utopian Societies
  • Brook Farm
  • Owenites
  • Fourierists
  • Transcendentalism

Reforms for the Body and the Soul

  • The Second Great Awakening
  • Abolitionism
  • Sylvester Graham
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Phrenology

Immigration, Economic Classes, and Entertainment

  • The Economic Elite
  • The Middle Class
  • The Working Class
  • The Great Famine
  • The First Wave of Immigration
  • Entertainment in America

Module 12 – The Irreconcilable Divide: Causes/Issues and Secession

Sectionalism and the Fugitive Slave Act

  • The Fugitive Slave
  • Slave Power
  • Sectionalism
  • Slavery-related violence

Abolitionists and Politics: Lincoln-Douglas Debates

  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
  • The Freeport Doctrine
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford
  • Know-Nothing Party

The Election of 1860

  • The Election of 1860
  • Constitutional Union Party
  • Democratic Party
  • The Lincoln Myth
  • John Brown’s Raid

The South Secedes

  • Crittenden Compromise
  • The Corwin Amendment
  • Lincoln’s Inauguration
  • Southern States Secede
  • Border States
  • Fort Sumter


Module 13 – The War Between the States

Military Conflict: North vs. South

  • The First Battle Of Bull Run/Manassas
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Major General McClellan
  • Confederate Advantages
  • Union Advantages

Total War at Home and on the Battlefield

  • Total War
  • Confederate Mobilization
  • Union Mobilization
  • Women’s Mobilization
  • The Confederates
  • The Union

From Confederate Success to Union Momentum

  • Military Stalemate in the East
  • The Battle of Antietam
  • Union Success in the West
  • Vicksburg
  • Gettysburg
  • Emancipation Proclamation

Final Battles: Climax and Conclusion

  • It’s the End of the War
  • Anaconda Plan
  • Appotmattox Courthouse
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

Module 14 – Rebuilding the New South

Reconstruction: The Beginning

  • Lincoln’s Ten Precent Plan
  • Radical Republicans
  • Ironclad Oath
  • The 13th Amendment
  • Lincoln’s Assassination
  • President Johnson
  • Freedman’s Bureau
  • Black Codes
  • 1866 Civil Rights Act

Reconstruction: A Constitution Amended and a President Impeached

  • The Reconstruction Acts
  • The 15th Amendment
  • The 14th Amendment
  • The Impeachment of President Johnson

Reconstruction: African American Successes

  • Union Leagues
  • African American Political Achievements
  • Indian Wars in 1876
  • Women’s Suffrage

Reconstruction: The KKK and the End of Reconstruction

  • The Ku Klux Klan
  • The Enforcement Acts
  • Redeemers
  • President Grant
  • The End Of Reconstruction
  • The Rise of Sharecropping


This course is delivered fully online and you will be required to have access to a computer, laptop, or web-capable mobile device – along with consistent access to the internet – to access course material and complete assignments. Review the information below to ensure your system meets the minimum requirements necessary to complete a course for credit.  

PC Requirements


  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled


  • Windows 7 or above

Macintosh Requirements


  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled


  • Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or above

Tablet or Smartphone

NOTICE:  Though you can view and interact with all of the available course content on a tablet or smartphone, you MUST USE A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP computer to complete the proctored midterm and final examinations.


  • 2 GHz process or faster
  • 1 GB RAM or greater
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • Microphone and speakers
  • Wireless internet connection

The midterm and final exams for this course are taken online and proctored through a service called Examity. The cost of the exam proctoring is covered in the cost you pay for the course.

Exams must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance, and must be completed within 2 hours of starting the examination. If you miss a scheduled exam, you will be responsible for the cost of the make-up exam proctoring. You must have a government issued photo id to take a proctored examination.

Examity® system requirements are:

  • Desktop computer or laptop (not tablet, Chromebook or cell phone).
  • A working built-in or external webcam and microphone
  • Internet speed must be at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled

Make sure to log into Examity to setup your profile before you take you midterm.

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Take this Course

Course Content

Modules Status

Module 1 - First Americans


Module 2 - Colonization in North America


Module 3 - A Clash of Cultures - Conflicts with the Native Americans


Module 4 - The Colonies - A New People and a New Identity


Module 5 - A Growing Competition: England and France


Module 6 - The American Revolution


Module 7 - A New Nation and a New Government


US History I - Mid-Term Examination


Module 8 - A New Nation: Growing Pains and Internal Changes


Module 9 - Madison, Monroe and John Quincy Adams: The Triumph of Personalities


Module 10 - A Jacksonian Democracy and Political Expansion


Module 11 - Alterations to the American Psyche


Module 12 - The Irreconcilable Divide: Causes/Issues and Secession


Module 13 - The War Between the States


Module 14 - Rebuilding the New South


US History I - Final Examination


US History I - Course Survey