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One of the most enduring symbols of early American
history is the colonial militiaman, who supposedly used
his experience fighting Indians to defeat British
redcoats and win independence. Historians have
challenged that popular image by presenting a much more
complex narrative about the clash between Native and
colonial peoples in early America. In this course, we
will explore the evolution of warfare in North America
from the earliest contact between Native Americans and
Europeans through the early nineteenth century. Our
focus will be on the cultural values and gender roles
that shaped armed violence in various forms, including
Indian wars, slave rebellions, and international
conflicts. We will trace the development of an American
way of war that influenced the formation of national
identity and left important legacies for modern
- Twelve lectures
Primary source readings that complement the lectures
A certificate of completion for 15 hours of
professional development credit
Readings: The suggested readings for
each session will be listed on the course content
“Resources” link in the online learning system. You are
not required to read or purchase any print materials.
Quizzes are based on the lectures.
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LEAD SCHOLAR: Timothy Shannon
Timothy Shannon is a professor of history at Gettysburg
College and teaches early American, Native American, and
British history. He is the author of
Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier (2008) and
Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire:
The Albany Congress of 1754 (2000), which won the Dixon Ryan Fox Prize from the New
York State Historical Association and the Distinguished
Book Award from the Society of Colonial Wars.