This course examines the political, economic and social developments taking place in the United States of America in the period from the American Revolution that began in 1776 to the Civil War ending in 1865. The early modules of the course include the revolutionary war, the declaration of independence, the Articles of Confederation and the drafting of a permanent constitution and are largely political and constitutional in nature. These modules focus on the experiences of the young American nation taking shape and forging its identity. The middle section examines the leadership styles and policies of the Presidents who succeeded George Washington such as Thomas Jeffereson and his style of democracy, John Adams and his second ‘war of independence’ with Great Britian better known as the War of 1812 and James Monroe and
the so called ‘Era of Good Feelings’. In the third quarter of the course students will investigate the threats that undermined the new Union. Topics such as Jacksonian democracy and the treatment of the Native American people, the Bank of the United States, patronage and tariffs will take centre stage. The last modules include the American anti-slavery movement, northern and southern economy and society and the great compromises of mid-nineteenth century America that led to the catastrophe of the Civil War. It is an exciting course which transforms students from a pedestrian knowledge of episodes in American history popularized by television to a scholarly understanding of these topics.