USA - From Sleeping Giant to Superpower

Ref: C2224309

Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, the United States emerged from isolation and the disruption of the Civil War to become the dominant world power of the Twentieth Century. This was based on immense natural resources, the leadership of influential presidents and a critical military contribution in two world wars. The course also considers social changes, particularly the issue of Civil Rights.

Course aim

To give an understanding of the events that shaped the modern world in the years 1945 to c.1973.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No previous study is necessary, although any knowledge which you have on the broad outlines of twentieth century history will, of course, be useful. The main requirement is to adopt a thoughtful and questioning approach to the issues raised.

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

  • List and briefly describe the key events of world history in the period 1945- c.1973
  • Outline some of the main causes of the Cold War, the Middle East conflict and the withdrawal from empire of European powers
  • Evaluate a variety of different kinds of historical source material

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All learning materials will be provided. Most students find it useful to bring a pen and pad for personal note-taking.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A list of suggested reading will be provided at the commencement of the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course outline

USA - From Sleeping Giant to Superpower Course Outline

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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