I divide my class into four units and try to focus on the larger questions of why these periods/themes are central to the history of the United States. The longest chronological unit I have is the first (which spans over one hundred and seventy years) and considers the early political philosophy and settlement of the United States and how these things were influenced by the European world-view. Chronologically, my second and third units overlap, both running from roughly the early 1780s to 1850. The second unit deals largely with both the political thought from Jefferson through Jackson and the problems that come when a country moves from being agrarian to industrial. The third unit focuses on the country's relationship with other countries and physical and emotional growth, from both different wars (the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812) and "Manifest Destiny" (and all the connotations this supports) and westward settlement. Eighteen fifty is an appropriate stopping point for both units because I use the last fourth of the class to cover slavery and other sectional concerns, culminating in the Civil War.