The purpose of this course is to investigate the United States, its people, institutions, and heritage. The course emphasizes: political, cultural, and social issues; the role of the United States as a world leader; and the issues confronting the United States today. Since you are an American (or, at least, you are living here presently), you must understand what it means to BE an American. We will do that by studying the United States. The best way to study our nation is by studying its history. We are the way we are because of our past. Those who do not understand the past are doomed to repeat it.