Early America Study Program

The Early America program covers United States history from the founding of British colonies in America to the progressive era following the Civil War. It includes stories of interest about explorers, settlers, inventors, military heroes, Indian leaders, and presidents, and Indian leaders, as well as political developments.

The Early America program is part of the Heritage Classical Curriculum and includes:

See the Heritage Curriculum FAQs page for more information.

Because the Heritage History library features story-based histories and biographies rather than textbooks, its Early American curriculum is somewhat unusual. Most students learn American history from textbooks that cover important events and concepts. These textbooks generally cover political and constitutional issues and focus on governmental issues instead of culture.

The Early America study program covers all major milestones in American history, but most books in the collection focus on personalities, American heroes and adventure stories rather than politics. The stories are generally patriotic but there is little emphasis on constitutional issues or reflection on political philosophy.

The collection does include short biographies of many American heroes. Some books focus on the deeds of Presidents and statesmen, but others tell the stories of inventors, educators, soldiers, settlers, frontiersmen, and businessmen. Our collection of American Indian history is especially good, and the stories of many native American chiefs and warriors are told.

Reading Recommendations

The early history of America is closely related to that of England and American history can best be understood if a student is aware of the major events and political movements in Great Britain that preceded the founding of the United States. For that reason, we use the same authors, Marshall and Guerber, as our sources for American History.

The first three units of Early America cover early exploration of North America to the revolutionary period. Our core reading recommendations are:

The second three units (4 to 6) of Early America cover early exploration of North America to the Revolutionary Period. Our core reading recommendations are:

The final two chapters of Early America are Western Expansion and American Indian History. There is much overlap, but the former is reported from the point of view of western frontiersmen and settlers, and the latter feature native American heroes. Much history of this period is anecdotal, since tribes and settlers alike were isolated. One of the best authors of the period is Edward Sabin. Francis Drake's comprehensive history of American Indians is also worthwhile.

The following pages provide additional information about reading options for Early America.


Heritage History provides Study Aids to compliment the reading selections. These pages include maps, timelines, and other resources to help students review British History. Page links below refer to Study aids organized by Historical Division.

Early America Study Aids

Historical Maps Outline Maps
Timeline Major Characters
Wars and Battles Era Summaries

Historical Divisions