Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
HST 204
Course Title:
History of Women in the U.S.: Pre-colonial to 1877
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

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: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events in U.S. History from pre-European settlement to 1877, and their particular impact on women.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral Presentations
  • Research projects
  • Book critiques
  • Journals
  • Class participation and discussion in small and large groups
  • Other creative assignments

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills:

  • 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           
  • Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in American society
  • 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
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing an understanding of a variety of historical topics, the historical process
  • Evaluate how concepts or values change over time
  • 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
  • Demonstrate college-level communications skills with an emphasis on writing (and may include listening and speaking)

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 with 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