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[Past Event] American Expansion with Dr. Bell | Livestream Zoom

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Course Description:

Oct. 3: Native Expulsion and Manifest Destiny

Even though the phrase “manifest destiny” was not used in print until 1845, the spirit of American expansionism that it referred to was very apparent long before the 1840s. Americans had been talking about pushing westward as if it was their manifest destiny ever since folks in Jamestown in the 1600s had started eyeing the land that Natives were settled on. In this session, we'll track the story of Native expulsion and westward expansion from the Revolution era up through the 1850s, paying particular attention in the second half to the ways in which the West and Westward Expansion came to be romanticized in the American imagination.

Oct. 10: Canals, Rails, and the Dawn of the Electronic Age

The thirty years between 1815 and 1845 witnessed the greatest transformation in American infrastructure and information technology before the internet. Investment and experimentation in those fields helped to facilitate the creation of an American economy capable of challenging European countries for supremacy. By 1845, America had begun to look more like an industrialized, developed nation than an agricultural, developing nation. In this session, we’ll examine five of the most important new technologies that seeded that change: canals, roads, rails, post offices, and the telegraph.


Tuition: $30.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

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Tuesdays, Oct. 3, 10 *2:00 - 3:30 pm* (2 sessions)


Course will meet via Zoom and will NOT be recorded or available for viewing later. A Zoom link will be emailed to each participant prior to the class session.


Richard Bell, Ph.D., is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He received his doctorate from Harvard University and has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge and the Library of Congress.