Minor in American Studies - Creation of an American Republic: The United States, to 1865 HIST 2331   Creation of an American Republic: The United States, to 1865
This course studies the first example of a major theme of modern history: how colonial societies become nations. When British colonization of the Americas began at the turn of the seventeenth century, no one involved in the process intended or expected the result to include an independent republic on the other side of the Atlantic. Yet during the following two centuries of colonial history many of the crucial and distinctive features of what became the United States took shape: aggressive displacement of Indigenous peoples, thoroughgoing privatization of economic resources, racial slavery, ethnic diversity, popular sovereignty, and religious pluralism. The revolution of 1776-1783 institutionalized these features in the new United States of America. But migration and growth, new technologies, ongoing conflict with First Nations and European states, western expansion and a new middle class culture of commerce, industry and reform and a rapid growth in racial slavery increasingly strained the Union. By the mid-nineteenth century the United States faced the fate of so many post-colonial nations: irreconcilable sectional divisions. Fierce debates over slavery erupted in 1861 in a bloody civil war.
FORMAT: Lecture