Skip to main content

Unit information: History of the USA Before 1865 in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name History of the USA Before 1865
Unit code MODL23009
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Brian Miller
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

An introduction to the recent history of the United States, for non-specialist students.

Aims:

  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to second year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level C.
  • Some options may prepare students for the experience of the Year Abroad.

Intended learning outcomes

This 10-week weekly unit covers American history from Native American and early colonial times c. 17th century to the end of the American Civil War 1861-65. The range of lectures is as follows:

  • History and destiny of the Indians of North America
  • Colonial British America and origins of the Revolution
  • American Revolution or War of Independence 1775-1783
  • Foundation of the American republic: US Constitution past & present
  • Three Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison
  • The Age of Andrew Jackson and Jacksonian democracy 1828-48
  • Foreign relations of the young republic: 1775-1865
  • Nature of slavery and the coming of the American Civil War 1850-60
  • Lincoln and the American Civil War 1861-65 (two lectures)

Teaching details

Normally one lecture hour and one seminar hour per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours), often with student presentations. In units with a smaller number of students the lecture hour may be replaced by a second seminar or a workshop. Units involving film may require students to view films outside the timetabled contact hours.

Assessment Details

4000 word essay 85%, class test 15%

Reading and References

Preliminary reading:

Bailyn, Bernard: The GreatRepublic

Boyer, Paul: The Enduring Vision

Brogan, Hugh: Penguin History of the United States of America

Deloria, Philip: This Land vol. I

Feedback