American Presidents – The First Hundred Years

Ref: C3747609

If you want to understand America today you have to understand its past. Never more so than its first 100 years. This course does so through the lives of 6 extraordinary individuals. It looks at how they helped shape America from the early days of Independence, through the Civil War to the populist movement at the end of the 19th Century. 4 of them are Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln. Plus Jefferson Davis, President of the breakaway Confederacy. And William Jennings Bryan, who, although he failed three times to become President, had a major impact on American politics and society. The impact of all six echoes down through history. And no event more so than the seminal Civil War and the shadow it threw on the next 100 years. The course will look in detail at that and also how earlier the Constitution was created with its complicated electoral system. 2022 sees crucial mid -term elections. So there will also be a chance to discuss contemporary American politics.

Course aim

Provide an overall understanding of American politics in its first hundred years, with a particular focus on two crucial events: the birth of the Republic and the Civil War

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • provide an overview of American History in the hundred years after Independence
  • explain the crucial role the Civil War had on American History and politics
  • explain the role and limitations of individuals in historical events
  • explain how the American Constitution was constructed and have a basic understanding of the American electoral system

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No prior knowledge required.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

American Presidents – The First Hundred Years


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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