Slavery and the Civil War: The United States from 1815 to 1865
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.
This course has now finished
Course Code: HAH09
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
This online course will look at American history from 1815 to 1865. Much of the course will focus on how regional divisions developed, how the topic of slavery divided the nation, and how that ultimately culminated in The Civil War. However, we will also look at other political, economic, social, and cultural developments during that half century.
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?
- The U.S. Civil War
- How slavery evolved during the period from 1815 to 1865
- How the abolitionist movement developed in the United States
- The early industrial era
- Manifest Destiny and westward expansion
- The rise and fall of the Second Party System in politics
- Changing patterns of immigration to the United States.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand how and why the American Civil War developed
- Understand why the North won
- Comprehend some of the ways, both subtle and overt, that slavery impacted American society.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Having done HAH50 Colonial America: European Settlement 1560 – 1815 before will give you a good foundatio, but this course is an introductory-level course. No prior knowledge is necessary, only curiosity.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- The tutor will use a combination of lecture, discussion, and group activities to teach the course.
- You do not need to do work outside of class, but reading materials will be available if you wish to learn more.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- Be prepared to take notes. It is suggested you bring a pen and paper or a laptop/tablet.
If you would like to read up on this topic in advance of the class, the following books are suggested:
- Daniel Walker Howe - What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
- James M. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
[This is the follow up to Howe’s book and covers 1848-1865]
- Walter A. McDougall - Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829-1877.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course is part of a course series on US history. The follow-on course is HAH10 The emergence of modern America: the United States from 1865 to 1900. Please see the course website for more details and other courses.
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.