1 Module Introduction

Module Introduction: Pre-Contact: America, Africa, and Europe

We begin our journey through American history by getting to know the three broad groups of people who provide the foundation of our country’s history: Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans. Each group made valuable contributions to our unique American culture. In Module 1, we will learn about the history of each group before they came together in America.

We will begin with an exploration of Native American history and culture before 1492, including politics, society, and religion. We will then move on to the medieval and Renaissance-era Europeans, and will examine the changes in Europe that led to exploration and colonization. Following our trip to Europe, we will journey to West Africa, where we will visit the great kingdoms that dominated this region in the medieval period. Module 1 concludes with an introduction to slavery in the New World. 1

Learning Outcomes

This module addresses the following Course Learning Outcomes listed in the Syllabus for this course

  • Students will understand the social, political, and economic development of the United States.
  • Students will integrate U.S. history into global history. 1

Module Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Locate on a map the major American civilizations before the arrival of the Spanish
  • Discuss the cultural achievements of these civilizations
  • Discuss the differences and similarities between lifestyles, religious practices, and customs among the native peoples 1

Readings and Resources

  • Module 1 Learning Unit (see below)


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U.S. History I: Pre-Colonial to 1865 Copyright © by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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