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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Frontier in American History, 1763-1890 (HIST10031)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course considers the impact of the 'frontier' on the settlement of the United States and its antecedents. It looks at westward settlement as a process, and the frontier as a historiographical and theoretical concept. It considers the impact of westward settlement on American culture and politics and considers the degree to which Frederick Jackson Turner's 'frontier thesis' is useful for studying the development of the United States.
Course description The course aims to consider the significance of the frontier as a concept and a reality in the historical development of the United States from 1763 until the 'closing' of the frontier in 1890. Additionally the course aims to consider the impact of American
expansion across North America on the indigenous peoples of the continent and to consider the impact of that expansion on American culture and society. Among the issues to be considered: the contribution of the frontier to American democracy; the connection between the frontier past and violence in America; the degree to which frontier settlement affected gender relations in the United States and placing the settlement of the American west in international perspective. This is a representative seminar schedule:

1. Frederick Jackson Turner and his Thesis
2. Colonial Frontiers
3. The Revolutionary Frontier
4. Indian Removal
5. Manifest Destiny
6. The Gold Rush and the Mining Frontiers
7. Frontier Violence
8. Cowboys & Farmers
9. The Last Indian Wars, 1860-1890
10. Gender and the Frontier
11. The American Frontier in Comparative Perspective
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Anne M. Butler, Gendered Justice in the American West (Urbana, 1997).

John Mack Faragher, Women and Men on the Overland Trail (New Haven, 1979).

Patrick Griffin, American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier (new
York, 2007).

Robert V. Hine and John Mack Faragher, The American West: A New Interpretative
History (London, 2000).

Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York, 1987).

Patricia Nelson Limerick and Charles Rankin, eds., Trails: Toward a New Western History (Lawrence,Ks, 1994).

Clyde A. Milner, ed., The Oxford History of the American West (New York, 1994).

Gregory H. Nobles, American Frontiers: Cultural Encounters and Continental Conquest (London, 1998).

Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America
(Cambridge, 2001).

Glenda Riley, The Female Frontier: A Comparative View of Women on the Prairie and
the Plains (Lawrence, Ks., 1988).

Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers and the Northern Borderland of the
American Revolution (New York, 2006).

Alan Taylor, William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early
American Republic (New York, 1996).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Frank Cogliano
Tel: (0131 6)50 3774
Course secretaryMrs Richa Okhandiar
Tel: (0131 6)50 2647
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