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Pedagogical foundation

Throughout the OpenStax version of U.S. History, you will find featured material that engage the students in historical inquiry by taking selected topics a step further. Our features include:

  • Americana : This feature explores the significance of artifacts from American pop culture and considers what values, views, and philosophies are reflected in these objects.
  • Defining “American” : This feature analyzes primary sources, including documents, speeches, and other writings, to consider important issues of the day and present varying points of view on them, while keeping a focus on the theme of what it means to be American.
  • My Story : This feature presents first-person accounts (diaries, interviews, letters) of significant or exceptional events from the American experience.
  • Link It Up : This feature is a very brief introduction to a website with an interactive experience, video, or primary sources that help improve student understanding of the material.

Questions for each level of learning

The OpenStax version of U.S. History offers two types of end-of-module questions for students.

  • Review Questions are simple recall questions from each module in the chapter and are in either multiple-choice or open-response format. The answers can be looked up in the text.
  • Critical Thinking Questions are higher-level, conceptual questions that ask students to demonstrate their understanding by applying what they have learned in each module to the whole of the chapter. They ask for outside-the-box thinking, for reasoning about the concepts. They push the student to places they wouldn’t have thought of going themselves.

About our team

Our team is a diverse mix of historians representing various institutions across the nation. We’d like to extend a special thanks to our senior contributors who worked tirelessly to ensure the coverage and level is appropriate for students.

Senior contributing authors

P. scott corbett, phd—ventura college

Dr. Corbett’s major fields of study are recent American history and American diplomatic history. He teaches a variety of courses at Ventura College, and he serves as an instructor at California State University’s Channel Islands campus. A passionate educator, Scott has also taught history to university students in Singapore and China.

Volker janssen, phd—california state university–fullerton

Born and raised in Germany, Dr. Janssen received his BA from the University of Hamburg and his MA and PhD from the University of California, San Diego. He is a former Fulbright scholar and an active member of Germany's advanced studies foundation "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes." Volker currently serves as Associate Professor at California State University’s Fullerton campus, where he specializes in the social, economic, and institutional history of California, and more recently, the history of technology.

John m. lund, phd—keene state college

Dr. Lund’s primary research focuses on early American history, with a special interest in oaths, Colonial New England, and Atlantic legal cultures. John has over 20 years of teaching experience. In addition to working with students at Keene State College, he lectures at Franklin Pierce University, and serves the online learning community at Southern New Hampshire University.

Todd pfannestiel, phd—clarion university

Dr. Pfannestiel is a Professor in the history department of Clarion University in Pennsylvania, where he also holds the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Todd has a strong history of service to his institution, its students, and the community that surrounds it.

Paul vickery, phd—oral roberts university

Educating others is one of Dr. Vickery’s delights, whether in the classroom, through authoring books and articles, or via informal teaching during his travels. He is currently Professor of History at Oral Roberts University, where his emphasis is on the history of ideas, ethics, and the role of the church and theology in national development. Paul reads Portuguese, Italian, French, and Hebrew, and has taught on five continents.

Sylvie waskiewicz, phd—lead editor

Dr. Waskiewicz received her BSBA from Georgetown University and her MA and PhD from the Institute of French Studies at New York University. With over 10 years of teaching experience in English and French history and language, Sylvie left academia to join the ranks of higher education publishing. She has spent the last eight years editing college textbooks and academic journals.


Amy Bix Iowa State University
Edward Bond Alabama A&M University
Tammy Byron Dalton State College
Benjamin Carp Brooklyn College, CUNY
Sharon Deubreau Rhodes State College
Gene Fein Fordham University
Joel Franks San Jose State University
Raymond Frey Centenary College
Richard Gianni Indiana University Northwest
Larry Gragg Missouri University of Science and Technology
Laura Graves South Plains College
Elisa Guernsey Monroe Community College
Thomas Chase Hagood University of Georgia
Charlotte Haller Worcester State University
David Head Spring Hill College
Tamora Hoskisson Salt Lake Community College
Jean Keller Palomar College
Kathleen Kennedy Missouri State University
Mark Klobas Scottsdale Community College
Ann Kordas Johnson&Wales University
Stephanie Laffer Miami International University of Art and Design
Jennifer Lang Delgado Community College
Jennifer Lawrence Tarrant County College
Wendy Maier-Sarti Oakton Community College
Jim McIntyre Moraine Valley Community College
Marianne McKnight Salt Lake Community College
Brandon Morgan Central New Mexico Community College
Caryn Neumann Miami University of Ohio
Michelle Novak Houston Community College
Lisa Ossian Des Moines Area Community College
Paul Ringel High Point University
Jason Ripper Everett Community College
Silvana Siddali Saint Louis University
Brooks Simpson Arizona State University
Steven Smith California State University, Fullerton
David Trowbridge Marshall University
Eugene Van Sickle University of North Georgia
Hubert van Tuyll Augusta State University


OpenStax projects offer an array of ancillaries for students and instructors. Please visit http://openstaxcollege.org and view the learning resources for this title.

Questions & Answers

I don't understand the meaning of human event
Raw Reply
why this bridge name
because the nucleotides are larger than the RNA produced during meosi
What does chasquis mean?
mary Reply
i need help
chasquis (also chaskis) were the messengers of the Inca empire. Agile, highly trained and physically fit, they were in charge of carrying the quipus, messages and gifts, up to 240 km per day through the chasquis relay system.
How did imperialism Effect America
Melinda Reply
Good question
when did the most distinguished leaders meet
Osvaldo Reply
Maytember 17th, 2056
what is the main idea of the passage
The Reply
what major industries emerged in the decades after the Civil war
ComicHickory Reply
Does militia men still exist in U.S.A?
Shakeel Reply
To contrast the steamboat of the antebellum to today’s technology?
Nyrah Reply
contrast the steamboats of the antebellum years with technologies today.
I love reading books about history.
I reading what happened earlier so much
I meant I love to read a lot
omg I never noticed this until now.
what advantages did people in urban areas have over rural areas?
what factors helped cause the dust bowl
They had easy availability of food water. They had more comfortable life style as compare to people in rural areas. Better education was at there disposal
why did northerners lose thier resolve to pursue reconstruction
bambi Reply
what is taring and feathering?
Dominic Reply
Isnt there any laws in place for gun control?
Ryan Reply
How would you characterize the former president’s reaction? What do you think he means by writing that the Missouri Compromise line “is a reprieve only, not a final sentence”?
Tonda Reply
Compare and contrast the steamboats of the antebellum years with technologies today. In your estimation, what modern technology compares to steamboats in its transformative power?
Tonda Reply
airplanes to jets. Another would be electric trains.
I would say the Internal Combustion engine was as if not more transformative the the Steam power which it replaced. The ability of the Steamboat to rapidly move large amounts of goods through the water ways that weave there way from town to town increased our fledgling country's economy. I can draw direct coraleris with the National highway system built during the 1950's that were soon clogged with Transport trucks using I.C.E.
what are the impact of the missionaries on indigenous knowledge of black communities
Don Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, U.s. history. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11740/1.3
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