Module Catalogue 2014/15

HIS2131 : American Slavery, American Freedom: Black and White America in the Age of Revolutions, 1776-1876

  • Offered for Year: 2014/15
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Susan-Mary Grant
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

The foundation of European colonies in North America marked the birth of a society that would eventually become the United State of America. Integral to this process was the simultaneous rise of Atlantic slavery and the forced transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas. At first slavery was simply an economic system, but as it developed it infected the political, social, and intellectual life of the newly independent nation, leading to the traumatic rupture of the Civil War in 1861.

This module explores the origins of the many race, class and gender issues that America still grapples with today by placing these in the broader context of the revolutionary upheavals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular it explores the contradictory concepts of slavery and freedom in a nation supposedly devoted to the principle of equality for all.

This module aims:
•       To introduce students to historical research and to guide them in the analysis of primary documents and texts.
•       To provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for independent study.
•       To enable students to develop their own interpretation of the politics, society and culture of North America/the USA from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only.

Colonial foundations
The rise of Atlantic slavery
Ideas of race and ethnic conflict
Colonial societies
The revolutionary Atlantic
Westward Expansion
The Cotton Kingdom
Abolitionists v. Proslavery
The Civil War

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will gain knowledge of the political, social, and intellectual history of North America through the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.

They will explore concepts of geography, nation, and government: investigating the connections of North America to the wider Atlantic World.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module will have had the opportunity to develop the following key skills: written, electronic and interpersonal communication, planning and organisation, problem solving, bibliographic initiative, and computer literacy.

Development of associated skills in research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained argumentation and appropriate presentation of results.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Assessed
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Assessed
      • Initiative : Assessed
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Negotiation : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Drop-in/surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:0020% of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire; raise questions for students to consider in private study, and stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills. These sessions will also at certain points during the module be used for group work, encouraging teamwork and self-directed work.

Seminars encourage independent and group study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A75Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M252,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes and develops key skills in research, reading and writing. Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.

ERASMUS students at Newcastle have the option of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of domestic students. If they wish to take up this option, they need to discuss it with the module leader. It remains the case that, if an ERASMUS student wishes to do the same assessment as the domestic students, that option remains open to them. No variation of the deadlines will be allowed except on production of medical or equivalent evidence.

Study Abroad students (i.e. non-EU exchange students) are required to complete the normal assessment under all circumstances.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 14/15. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.