HST118: American History: From Settlements to Superpower
20 credits (semester 1) (semester 2 2013-14)
Module Leader: Dr Mike Foley (2012-13). (TBC 2013-14)
This module examines the formation, development and influence of North America, and the United States in particular, from European colonisation after 1492 to the present day. The module begins by exploring colonial North America, and we cover the development of Mexico and New France (now part of Canada) as well as the colonies that eventually came together to form the United States. Thereafter, we will focus on the political, economic, and cultural development of the U.S., focusing especially on conflicts over national identity, race, class and gender, and the global reach of American military power and culture.
Lectures provide an efficient way of providing information, encouraging ideas and guiding students’ private study. They will be used to outline the key themes of the course. Seminars will focus on more specific issues, providing opportunities for students to present their ideas and interpretations to the wider group, and to work cooperatively in groups.
The module will be assessed in part by two formative essays, which will allow students to advance their understanding of aspects of the module in more detail, to develop skills of analysis and argument, and to improve their writing skills. An unseen written examination will require candidates to demonstrate that they have absorbed and understood the material and that they can express this in clear prose and a structured argument. Oral skills will be assessed by continuous monitoring of seminar performance.
There is no single textbook for this module. We prefer that you read the books and articles recommended in the course reading lists, which you will find on MOLE. But if you find that you do need an introductory text to get you started, particularly in the first few weeks of the course, we recommend:
- Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! 3rd edition (2010)
Good alternatives, multiple copies of which are available in the University libraries (IC and Western Bank), include:
- Maldwyn Jones, The Limits of Liberty: American History 1607-1992 (Oxford University Press, 1995)
- Hugh Brogan, The Penguin History of the United States of America (Penguin, 2001)
Intended Learning Outcomes