Colonial America: European settlement 1560 – 1815
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HAH50
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
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What is the course about?
The course covers the history of North America from settlement by Europeans until the end of the last credible British threat to the United States in 1815. It starts by surveying the colonial processes of the Spanish, French, Russians, Swedes, and English/British in North America but focuses on the British involvement.
It examines the settlement of Virginia, the settlement of the New England colonies and then the division of these territories into the other colonies leading to the establishment of thirteen English colonies. It will place the 13 colonies in the wider context of British North America (later Canada) including the seizure of New France and Acadia and the development of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and later the seizure of Quebec.
It will examine the economic, social, religious, administrative and political systems in each colony pointing out the many differences between them which help to explain the wide range of approaches to the revolution It will look a political moves to bring the various colonies into union over time such as the Dominion of New England and later conferences, like the Albany conference and the development of local political conflicts.
It will show how these tendencies developed as a result of the Seven Years War and resulted in the War of Independence. The phenomenon of Loyalism (and its later impact on the development of Canada) also the writing of the US Constitution the early development of the new state and ends with the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
-Early European Settlement
-Economic, social, religious, political, differences between colonies
-Unionist political movements leading to the idea of a political nation
-Seven Years War
-Development of British-American political divide
-War of Independence
-US Constitution Federalists and Republicans
-War of 1812.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Identify four key events 1560-1815
-Describe the development of the English colonies
-Identify two major economic changes in the period 1560-1815
-Describe the concept of’ liberty’
-Discuss some movements in ideas and culture from the period 1560-1815, ie the development of American political ideas
-Approach an analysis of Primary Source documents and images.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an ‘introductory’ course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a reasonable standard of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree, are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online, through a mixture of lectures and class discussion, using a range of writings; visual evidence including maps, photographs, paintings; statistics and graphs; excerpts of literature, poems; and film clips. Evidence will include primary sources as well as secondary sources (subsequent reflections).
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs are involved. You might want to bring pen and paper for any voluntary note-taking.
If you want background reading you might consider buying Maldwyn Jones' The Limits of Liberty.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please explore our other history courses on the US and South America in this section.
Dafydd Townley is a lecturer in American History at the University of Reading where he teaches courses to undergraduates and graduates on the FBI, protest groups in 1960s America, and race and ethnicity in the United States, as well as broad survey modules on US history. His research interests include American national security policy, the US intelligence community, cybersecurity policy, US grand strategy and US domestic counterintelligence operations. His research has been supported by University of Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, Columbia University, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, the Institute for Historical Research and the Royal Historical Society. His work has been published in History, the Journal of Intelligence History and his monograph, The Year of Intelligence in the United States: Public Opinion, National Security and the 1975 Church Committee will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in June, 2021. His current research focuses on the long-term development of US cybersecurity policy.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.