19c USA Westward expansion and Civil War 1803-1890


A Level


15 tutorials available 15 tutorials total

For all it was called the ‘United States of America’, the USA in the Nineteenth Century was in fact a country divided. The ‘perfect union’ announced in the preamble to the constitution was anything but. There were huge debates about what that union should look like and who even constituted the ‘people’ whom the constitution was there to serve. Although ‘liberty’ was apparently valued above all else, it seemed that the liberty of some could only be achieved by enslaving and excluding others. This series, which covers the years from 1803 to about 1890, will explore the growth and expansion of the United States and some of the tensions and contradictions it created. This series is designed to support students studying OCR History A, and it covers the four main key topics contained in the AS and A-Level specifications: Westward Expansion, its causes and impacts; Native Americans; The Growth of Sectional Tension in the years 1850 to 1861; and the Civil War of 1861 to 1865. It is written by Siobhan Dickens, an experienced History teacher and A-Level examiner, and renowned historian Professor Richard Carwadine of the University of Oxford, whose research centres on the United States between 1776 and the Civil War, with a particular focus on the life, presidency and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Tutors for this module

Siobhan Dickens

History Teacher and Head of Academic Development
The Perse School, Cambridge

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Recommended Reading List

  1. Access to History: America: Civil War and Westward Expansion 1803-1890 (Fifth Edition), Alan Farmer
  2. Flagship History - United States 1740-1919, Murphy, Waldron and Cooper
  3. American History: A Very Short Introduction, Paul Boyer
  4. The Enduring Vision, Paul Boyer (out of print but obtainable second hand – included as highly recommended)
  5. The Penguin History of the United States, Hugh Brogan
  6. America – Empire of Liberty, David Reynolds
  7. The Limits of Liberty, Maldwyn Jones
  8. A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
  9. What Hath God Wrought, Daniel Walker Howe
  10. Battle Cry of Freedom: The American Civil War, James M. McPherson
  11. Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
  12. American Indians/American Presidents: A History, Clifford E Trafzer

Audio Tutorials

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