Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
America: From Colony to Superpower
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 5 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   1.5 hour exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   1.5 hour exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of key developments in American history between 1492 and the present.

Demonstrate an understanding of the key historiographical debates in American history between 1492 and the present

Evaluate the significance of the key factors involved in the transformation of ‘America’ from colony to superpower from 1492 to the present

Evaluate a range of primary sources relating to American history between 1492 and the present.


This module will provide students on all history degree schemes with a fast-paced introduction to the history of America from its ‘discovery’ in 1492 to its emergence as a global superpower in the twentieth century. The module will enrich the department’s existing suite of part one modules.

Brief description

This module will consider large themes in the history of colonial America and the United States, from the first European encounter with the New World to the contemporary period, such as political development, territorial expansion and conflict, the place of religion in American life, economic, social and demographic changes, and America’s widening role in the world.


1. 1492 and the Columbian Encounter with the ‘New World’
2. New Spain & New France
3. The Chesapeake Colonies
4. ‘A city set on a hill’: New England
5. The Middle Colonies and the South
6. Africa, Africans and the New World
7. The ‘British’ Thirteen Colonies
8. Indian America
9. The American Revolution
10. Ante-bellum Slavery and Abolitionism
11. Territorial Expansion
12. Secession, Civil War and Reconstruction
13. The Changing Face of the United States
14. The United States on the World Stage (1890s-1920)
15. Crisis, Reform and War (1920-1945)
16. The United States in the World (post 1945)
17. The Transformation of the Democratic Party
18. The Contemporary Republican Party

1. The Columbian Encounter
2. Was early America ‘A City set on a Hill’?
3. Slavery and African America
4. Immigration and Civil Rights
5. The United States as a Global Power

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number NA
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop knowledge of sources and historical literature relating to the history of the American colonies and the United States of America.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 4