School of History

HST6740 – We the People: Democracy in America, 1787-1861

Module code: HST6740

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr Daniel Peart

'We the People'. These opening words to the US Constitution symbolise a political system established on the principle that 'the People' must rule. But who are 'the People'? And what role should they actually play in governing? These questions were not resolved by the founders of the United States; as Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign demonstrate they remain controversial today. This module explores the transformation of American democracy through the development of mass political parties, the emergence of leaders such as Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, the struggle of antislavery reformers, and contests fought out at the ballot box and on the streets. It concludes with the outbreak of the Civil War, 'the greatest single failure of American democracy.'

This is a QMUL Model module that will encourage you to apply a critically reflective approach to developing research and analytical skills that will be of value both within an academic setting and in your future careers. 

This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation. Students will be supported to research and write dissertations on any topic relating to American democracy, broadly-defined, during this period.

Assessment: Dissertation Progress Report (1,000 words) [10%], Essay (3,000 words) [40%] and Exam [50%]
Level: 6