How Wild was the Wild, Wild, West? – The American West (1835-1895)

Ref: C3675765

A study of settlement and conflict on the plains, the Civil War, the Gold Rush of 1849 and how the lives of all Americans changed during this epic half-century of change. A fascinating and exciting historical enquiry into a time and place that will forever conjure up romantic images and larger than life figures, like Custer, Sitting Bull and Lincoln. This Study in Depth concentrates on the way in which the American West was settled and developed by various groups of people between 1840 and 1895, and the impact of this settlement on the Plains Indians. It encourages candidates to explore the key features and characteristics of the period. Emphasis should be placed on the reasons for the settlement of the American West and the conflicts, which resulted from the clash of different cultures and life-styles, and the consequences of these conflicts. The study also offers a contrast between the people and ideas of the American West during this period and those of today.

Course aim

A study of the American West from 1835-95. What was the ‘Manifest Destiny’ of the Europeans that travelled to ‘The New World? How did that idea affect those that were already there, the guardians of the plains? How wild was the 'Wild West'?

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:

  • To understand the significance of the phrase 'Manifest Destiny'.
  • To be able to understand the problems of expansion through the eyes of the Westerners and the Native Americans.
  • To develop a chronological list of events from 1835-1895.
  • To understand the paramount importance of the buffalo to both the Westerners and the Native Americans.

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • Please bring a notebook and a pen or pencil to all tutorials.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

How Wild was the Wild, Wild, West? – The American West (1835-1895)

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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