Learning History with Hillsdale … For Free

If you’ve been listening to the Ricochet Podcast recently (or any of our other shows, for that matter), you’ve heard us talking about Hillsdale College and their online courses. In the last year, Hillsdale has started a series of online courses on the Constitution and Western Civilization. They now have over 500,000 people who have registered to participate. That’s pretty incredible for a small school of 1,400 in rural Michigan.

The lectures, including a number from Hillsdale’s president, Dr. Larry Arnn, are outstanding. Plus, they’re all archived so you can go through them at your convenience.

Now, Hillsdale has a brand new online history course called “American Heritage.” You can register – for FREE – at Ricochet.com/Hillsdale.  

I probably don’t need to tell our readers just how valuable these courses are. If you need any more convincing, however, let me leave you with a quote from Dr. Arnn, from his introductory lecture to the course:

We’re living right now at one of the key moments in American history, one of the pivots.  We’ve got a nation that can’t continue…being organized in two different ways…How are you going figure out what the right way is? The answer is to learn the story of the country and learn the principles and institutions that have guided us.

I don’t know the last time you took an American history course … but we could all use a refresher. Register here. For your further edification, I’ve included the course schedule below: 1.”Introduction: How to Think About American History”Larry P. ArnnLecture Available February 25 2.”Colonial Settlement”Mark KalthoffLecture Available March 4 3.”Enlightenment and Natural Rights”Terrence MooreLecture Available March 11 4.”The American Founding”Paul RaheLecture Available March 18 5.”Democracy: American Promise and its Dangers”Paul RaheLecture Available March 25 6.”The Crisis of the Union”David RaneyLecture Available April 1 7.”The Gilded Age and the Robber Barons”Burt FolsomLecture Available April 8 8.”Progressivism”Paul MorenoLecture Available April 15 9.”America as a World Power”Tom ConnerLecture Available April 22 10.”The Reagan Revolution”Terrence MooreLecture Available April 29

  1. Bereket Kelile

    I started the Constitution 101 months back but didn’t follow through with it. Now I’m going back and retaking the course. I’m going to do a marathon and go through them all until I’m up to date.

    The best thing, for me, about the course is that I don’t have to do any of the homework. If only real universities were like that my grades would’ve been much better. 

  2. Crow

    I was going to post on this, but since you have, Peter, I’ll simply paraphrase from the center of Dr. Arnn’s first lecture:

    …We don’t say this here at Hillsdale College, but we confront this claim…that all principles evolve….What they meant back then, is not what we mean today. So the point would be, for any scholar or thinking person, what did they mean back then, and what do we mean today, and which of them is better?

    But that won’t quite work….because the point about the beginning of the United States is that it claims to be speaking in terms that are applicable to all men and all times

    .And so Lincoln said of Jefferson…”all honor to Jefferson–to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence, by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times”

    Is there such a truth? Because if there isn’t, it means that the Founders were wrong even for their own time.

    A concise, yet capacious (Claremont-influenced) summary of present discontents.

  3. Spin

    As a point of discontent, I am now stuck with whether I should come to Ricochet, or the forums at Hillsdale.  Nice going Rob.  Yeah, I blame Rob.  

  4. Britanicus
    Arkansas Dan: Speaking of history, someone should write a thorough, engaging book on the Cold War. I wonder if Mr. Robinson could recommend such a book? I’d love to read it. · 3 minutes ago

    I too have been looking for such a tome. Scouring Amazon.com (using the handy Ricochet Amazon link on the  bottom right), checking Audible.com, pillaging my local library…all in vain!

    It is with despair that I fear I may never find the object of my desire. If only, such a tome existed*.

    *and if only the author would narrate it for Audible….

  5. The King Prawn
    Spin: Though I am wishing someone would publish the Federalist Papers in NIV format.  

    Beck did. I don’t think it’s all of them, but it’s a pretty good start.

  6. Spin

    Incidentally, the Hillsdale forums have a really nice spell check.  Just sayin’….

  7. Spin

    Well my birthday is coming up, and you didn’t get me anything last year, nor the year before.  I’m not feeling the love.  

    The King Prawn

    Spin: Though I am wishing someone would publish the Federalist Papers in NIV format.  

    Beck did. I don’t think it’s all of them, but it’s a pretty good start. · 13 minutes ago

  8. Bill Nelson

    A nice offering but one must be aware that this course offering may contain bias. History is a large and complex topic and not one single course or book will bring you the complete view.

    I studied the Northern Ireland conflict for a period of time (1996-2008) and found that the “histories” tended to very by quite a bit. As much as the founding has been written about there is always still more. A new volume titled “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution ” added a lot of information, specifically on the issue of slavery and the Consitution. Take the course but continue to read other sources.

  9. smp16

    Reading that lineup makes me nostalgic for my days hanging out in Hillsdale’s history department.

  10. The King Prawn
    Bill Nelson: As much as the founding has been written about there is always still more. A new volume titled “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution ” added a lot of information, specifically on the issue of slavery and the Consitution.

    The description makes that book sound perfect for a read and discuss here.

  11. captainpower

    Direct link: History 102: American Heritage—From Colonial Settlement to the Reagan Revolution

    “The Gilded Age and the Robber Barons”

    Burt Folsom Lecture Available April 8

    I read a book by Burt Folsom and the Young Americas Foundation a year or two ago called Myth of the Robber Barons, and was greatly pleased.

  12. Tim Sweeney

    This is amazing. I was about to come onto Ricochet to ask the best online learning method for a Canadian interested in really knowing about the history and founding of the US of A. Thanks for answering my question before I could even ask it. I am guessing I should start with Constitution 101?

  13. Tim Sweeney

    I’m mostly interested in the founders, any Richocheti suggestions for reading material of the non academic variety (ie. interesting reading)?

  14. RushBabe49

    Tim, I’m betting that Ricochet contributor Dr. Paul Rahe of Hillsdale would have something to suggest.  Interesting that Churchill is your avatar, as Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale, has written a book on him, and there is a bust of the man in the Hillsdale Library.  Churchill is well-loved and respected at Hillsdale.  You can send a personal message to Dr. Rahe, I believe, from the main page here at Ricochet.

    Hubby and I will certainly take History 102.  He has taken both Constitution courses, and I took History 101.

  15. Spin

    Tim, “His Excellency”, a biography of Washington.

  16. Tim Sweeney

    Thanks much. And I’m sure Churchill is also well loved in the White House these days or…oh wait…

  17. Sister

    I love these courses, and am looking forward to this newest offering. I’ve complete the first three – just listening to the lectures and the Q&A sessions.

  18. Spin

    Started this course Monday evening.  Great.  Really a lot to think about.  Though I am wishing someone would publish the Federalist Papers in NIV format.  I have to read paragraph’s over and over again to understand what is being said, and even then I am not sure I got it.  

  19. Arkansas Dan

    Speaking of history, someone should write a thorough, engaging book on the Cold War. I wonder if Mr. Robinson could recommend such a book? I’d love to read it.

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