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History Classroom

Department Chair: Mr. Jim McDougal

Regular Sequence Of Courses

  • The Creation of the Modern World
  • The Modern World 
  • United States History 

Honors Sequence Of Courses

An honors sequence is available to students who have demonstrated strong interest and high achievement in history.

  • The Creation of the Modern World - Honors
  • The Modern World - Honors 
  • Advanced Placement American History

Core History Courses 

The Creation of the Modern World (Grade 9) 
The course is designed to be an introduction to World Civilization from approximately 400 b.c. to the Era of Revolution at the end of the 18th century. Students trace the gradual development of a World Interacting Zone, which included China, Africa, the Americas, as well as Europe. The course's central themes revolve around the uniqueness of cultural importance of contact with strangers. As part of the development of their intellectual skills, students are introduced to historical research methods using a variety of mediums, essay writing, and careful reading of textual materials. There is an honors section.

The Modern World (Grade 10) 
Beginning with the Age of Revolution at the end of the 18th century, this course proceeds in a chronological and thematic manner through the Cold War to the present. The entire spring term will be devoted to the period after the dropping of the atomic bomb and an examination of global problems which confront us at the beginning of the 21st century. Sections are tracked with appropriate skill development goals for each level. There is an honors section for students who may wish to take Advanced Placement American History in their junior year.

United States History (Grade 11) 
This course is required for graduation. American history is examined from the early days of European exploration and colonization to the present. The course uses many basic skills: close reading of a text supplemented by studying significant primary and secondary sources; taking lecture notes; writing historical essays; and analyzing sociological and geographical data. Students also write a number of research papers.

Advanced Placement American History (Grade 11) 
This course is designed for students with a strong interest in, and aptitude for, history. Equivalent to an introductory college course, it examines the major interpretations of noted historians and analyzes a variety of political, economic and social themes as they relate to the American experience. In addition to providing factual material, students learn to read analytically and critically in order to weigh historical evidence soundly. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement American History examination in the spring. 

Additional Advanced Placement History Courses 

Advanced Placement Economics (Grade 12) 
The Advanced Placement course in economics gives high ability students the opportunity to earn college credit in economics while still in high school. The content of the course helps students develop critical thinking skills through the understanding, application and analysis of fundamental economic concepts. Through AP Economics, students learn to apply quantitative and mathematical skills to the discipline of economics, test economic propositions, improve their decision-making skills and apply economic logic to a wide variety of real world and hypothetical situations. The students will study both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles in preparation for the AP Exam.

Advanced Placement European History (Grade 12) 
This course is an in-depth analysis of the historical forces, which led to the development of Europe as it is today. Heavy emphasis is placed on the reading of primary source materials, relevant literature and interpretive historical essays. Careful attention is paid to writing skills and analytical tools in preparation for the Advanced Placement examination in the spring.

Elective History Courses (Prerequisite - United States History)

The American Experience (Grades 11 & 12)
The American Experience is a two period interdisciplinary course under the auspices of both the English and History Departments. Events in American History from 1945 to the present are complemented by literary texts. Students are challenged to synthesize material from both sections, raising their awareness of what we may term "the American Experience". This is a double credit course offered to seniors and some juniors.

Asia and U.S. Relations in the 21st Century (Grades 11 & 12) 
This one term elective will examine the interaction of the countries of Asia with the United States. The course will examine how these countries have impacted the political and economic landscape of the United States.

Asian History (Grade 11 & 12) 
This one term elective will study the roots, religions and impact of this region on the world. The course will focus on China, Japan, Korea and the countries of Southeast Asia. The course will study how this region has become one of the fasting growing areas in the world and the effect this has had on the rest of the world.

Business of Baseball (Grades 11 & 12) 
This course looks at the rise of the labor movement in Major League Baseball. The students learn about the Major League Baseball Players Association evolution from a one desk office with an old broken filing cabinet into one of the most powerful unions in the world. Using the book Lords of the Realm, the students learn about the evolution of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and learn about collective bargaining, arbitration and free agency. The class has guest speakers including agents, players and front office personnel.The students reenact an arbitration case using an actual player.  Half the class represents the team and the other half the player. Over the semester students research their case utilizing excel and put together an arbitration brief.  At the end of the term the two sides present their cases before three arbitrators who then tender an opinion. This arbitration reenactment follows the rules as outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

United States Government & Politics (Grades 11 & 12) 
U.S. Government & Politics is a full year course that involves an intensive study of the formal and informal structures of government and the processes of the American political system. The major emphasis is on policy-making and implementation.

Current Issues in International Relations
Based on the award winning Choices program developed by the Watson Institute of International Studies at Brown University, this course is designed to introduce students to current problems in international relations using an approach that emphasizes student interaction with the materials of the course and each other. Each unit contains simulations and activities that push students to consider multiple perspectives, work with primary sources, weigh conflicting priorities, test the reliability of evidence, and formulate rational conclusions. In addition to print materials, students will have access to the Choices website which includes real time current events coverage that relates directly to the curriculum and access to the "scholars online" resource. Beyond thinking skills and a broader content base, it is hoped that the format of the course will encourage the participatory habits necessary for active global citizenship in the 21st century.

Economics in Our Times 
Economics in Our Times is a full-year introduction to economic theory and practice focusing on "real world"applications. In addition to micro and macro economic theory, students are exposed to case studies involving free enterprise, and the role revenues, costs, and competition play in the everyday life of American Business. The role of government is also explored in relation to taxation, inflation, deficits and debt. Students have the opportunity to explore the stock market and chart the progress of their investments. The goal of the course is to develop the students' skills and enable them to continue the study of economics in college. (6 credits)

The History of United States Diplomacy 
The History of U.S. Diplomacy will trace the evolution of the US from its origins as a young country struggling to remain unentangled in the political affairs of the world to its emergence in the 20th century as a great power. The course will also trace America's transition from an isolationist power in 1914 to global hegemon in the post WWII era. Finally, an assessment of contemporary events in the backdrop of the post-Cold War world will familiarize the students with the issues facing policy makers in Washington at present.

Model UN: Independent Study 
This is an independent study course in which the students gain an understanding of the history and importance of the United Nations in international politics. The students read newspapers, scholarly journals and work on the Internet to gain a strong awareness of world issues that involve the United Nations. Students are expected to attend the Model UN Conference in mid winter, meet weekly as a group to discuss issues, and write weekly position papers on international issues. (2 credits)

Public Speaking 
Through this term course, students develop self-confidence and poise in speaking before an audience by learning and practicing a variety of techniques that enhance the effectiveness of oral communication. The course includes several types of speeches and reinforce research, bibliography and organizational skills. Students progress from making short, impromptu-type speeches into a longer, final speech lasting 10-15 minutes. (2 credits) 

Race and Sports 

Sports provide a window through which we can examine broader socio-economic issues.  By using examples of race and racism in sports, we can provide a broader context to examine racial issues in the United States.  Recent events have demonstrated that while great progress has been made in race relations, more needs to be done.  As a result of the course, the student will be able to analyze and synthesize complex racial issues in sports and, as an extension, American society.

Fundamental Questions addressed in the course: What is the significance of the athlete/sport in modern society?  How has the history of race and sports influenced the relative power of the modern sports athlete?  How can modern society solve problems of racism in the United States?  What role do athletes play in this process?  What role if any should athletes play in this process? 

World Geography
What was the issue with water related events at the Olympics in Brazil?  How many acres are being lost in the Brazilian rainforest everyday? Why was it a big deal that Cecil the Lion was hunted and killed in the summer of 2015?  What is the environmental link to the Syrian refugee crisis?  Why did Russia invade the Ukraine?

The answer to all of these questions lies in some way is human societies and their interaction with the environment.  This course will begin by looking at what is the study of human geography and then will focus on specific issues relating to human geography in South America (in the fall), Africa (in the winter), and Eastern Europe (in the spring).  Focusing on a relatively small number of issues will allow us to gain a decent understanding of the various sides of the issues while also allowing us to continue to work on our skills as students: research and communication in both aural and written formats.  Along the way we will take all of this to the next level and identify an issue that we think we can have an impact on and then we will figure out as a class how best to have that impact to make the world a better place because we were there.

A Commitment to Character

As we prepare young men for the world beyond Trinity-Pawling, we seek to convey this fundamental lesson: Character is the single most influential force to propel us forward - whether academically, physically, socially, or spiritually.

Trinity-Pawling has so much to offer!

Check out everything you can do and be in the pages on our site.  And if you'd like to contact us, we'd be happy to hear from you.  You can reach the admission office at 845-855-4825 or by email at

Not Just In the Classroom

What makes Trinity-Pawling unique? The Effort System is at the heart of everything we do.

The Pride

At Trinity-Pawling, every boy is a three-season athlete.  Whether he is learning the basics or has been excelling for years, he is part of the School's century-old athletic tradition.  T-P competes in the Founders' League, a highly competitive arena showcasing some of the nation's best prep school talent. T-P offers 13 interscholastic sports with 30 teams.

We're Seriously Creative

The Arts are an integral part of every Trinity-Pawling student's education. Whether they wish to develop existing talents or experiment with an entirely new form of expression, each student will have at least one year of music, theater, visual art or art history.


As a parent or guardian of a Trinity-Pawling student, you are a welcome member of the community. Your involvement through event attendance, participation in the Parents' Association, or simply staying connected is appreciated.

This could be you!

Over 100 years ago, Frederick Luther Gamage, Trinity-Pawling's Founding Headmaster, said, "Whether a boy succeeds or fails in the first instance at everything he tries is irrelevant.  The only boy who truly fails is the boy who fails to try."  Today, a century later, 315 boys live learn and grow together in an environment that fosters commitment, effort and character across the board.

Stay Connected!

Trinity-Pawling has a rich tradition of alumni connectivity. We want you to participate in the life and vitality of the School. Through this engagement, alumni will help Trinity-Pawling propel forward.

Stay Connected!

Trinity-Pawling has a rich tradition of alumni connectivity. We want you to participate in the life and vitality of the School. Through this engagement, alumni will help Trinity-Pawling propel forward.

As a convenience, Trinity-Pawling School links to Google Translation which provides an automated translation of our website. The tool is not perfect, and the context of the copy may not be precise when it is translated. As a result, sometimes the translation may lose some of its intended meaning. Therefore, Trinity-Pawling School cannot guarantee the accuracy of the converted text. Where there is any question, the English version is always the authoritative version of the website.

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