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HIST212 Democratic Promise: The USA to 1900

A survey of the history of the United States during the earliest years of its development. The paper examines the role groups and individuals played in pushing the nation to live up to the democratic ideals of its creation. It will consider both the country’s successes and its failures.

This paper introduces students to the history of the United States from initial settlement through the 19th century. In addition to familiarising students with the important people, places and events of the period, certain major themes/developments will be stressed. Several questions can, perhaps, broadly summarise this first portion of American history: In what ways is the image of American exceptionalism justified? In what ways does that image fail? What effect did the conquest and settlement of the North American continent have on the development of American national character, as well as on its history? What did it mean for national character and history when the agricultural republic increasingly gave way to industrialisation? And, most broadly, in what ways did the United States meet - and fail to meet - the democratic promise of its founding?

Paper title Democratic Promise: The USA to 1900
Paper code HIST212
Subject History
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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One 100-level HIST paper or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

To be advised

Course materials will be made available electronically.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Understanding the course of development of the United States to 1900
  • Gaining an appreciation for the diversity of experience of different groups in the period - men/women, whites/blacks/natives, slaves/free labourers, workers/capitalists, etc.
  • Learning the significance - if any - of the frontier in American history
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of the defining event in US history - the Civil War

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system