HI5006 - Slavery, Sectionalism and Manifest Destiny

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will assess the importance of slavery and Manifest Destiny in the rise of American sectionalism from the end of the American War of Independence (1783) to 1850. This sectionalism created a political, social, and cultural atmosphere in the US which laid the basis for the crises of the 1850s and the Civil War. Slavery was the major issue which the Founders left unsolved in the aftermath of independence from Great Britain. As a result, it continued to divide the United States through the early republic and antebellum periods. Manifest Destiny was supposed to bring the sections together by uniting them in a quest to expand the United States westward. Ironically, Manifest Destiny exasperated the slavery issue and divisions between the North and the South. You will also study historiography of this period throughout the semester and you will be expected to become familiar with it. Students are expected to study relevant primary documents. This module will build specifically on the basic information learned in the early sections of the level-4 From Sea to Shining Sea. It will equip you to think critically about academic literature, primary sources, and historical interpretation.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module by attending lectures that examine the various historical events influenced by slavery, sectionalism and manifest destiny, as well as a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying American history between 1783 and 1850. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you will a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically analyse the way in which scholars understand the key issues of slavery, sectionalism and manifest destiny in the development of the United States between 1783 and 1850.
2. Critically discuss and consider the role of slavery and manifest destiny of in creating and exacerbating sectional tensions in the United States.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critically engage with historical theories and methodologies to investigate and analyse slavery and manifest destiny in specific case studies of section crisis.
4. Apply knowledge and communicate your informed opinions about the major issues in U.S. history between 1783 and 1850

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness of the connections between historical evidence around subjects such as race, labour, class, and their impact on concepts of nationalism, democracy, and freedom in an international context.

How will I be assessed?

Your knowledge and understanding of slavery, sectionalism and Manifest Destiny and your ability to analyse and critically discuss historiographical theories, their assumptions and application, and present a variety of primary evidence will be tested in one 2,500 word essay and one exam which will span the breadth and depth of the module’s coverage. (MLOs 1-5)

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions and tutorial sessions. Formative assessment through your lecturer will be written and verbal, and you will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers who will enable you to test your explanations and understanding of slavery, sectionalism and manifest destiny.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code T720

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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