America: The Making of a Nation (1)

Ref: C2419166

The course will chart the events from independence to the Civil War , looking at particular social, economic, political and cultural episodes. Students will study key events like the War of Independence, but will have the opportunity to study other topics, depending on their preference. This might be the politics of Thomas Jefferson, the third President, or some other politician like the Federalist, Alexander Hamilton. It might cover events such as the Whiskey Rebellion, and it will include wars like those of 1812 and in the 1840s against the Mexicans. It will also touch on religious ideas and movements, dealings with the Indians and probably Manifest Destiny, the quasi-religious approach to westward expansion. A survey of students' preferences will be taken at the first session and built on subsequently.

Course aim

The course is aimed at giving students a thorough introduction to American history in the years from independence to the Civil War, although it will build on knowledge already gained.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Students will be able to place the sequence of events in the order that they happened.
  • Students will understand that there was a Federalist and Whig party in America, as well as Republicans and Democrats and will understand the eclipse of the former by the latter two.
  • Students will be able to identify key players and their roles in the period between independence and the Civil War.
  • Students will be able to evaluate the reasons for independence.
  • Students will be able to name the important figures of the period.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Pens and paper to make notes are needed.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course outline

America: The Making of a Nation (1) Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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