Manifest Destiny: West Expansion and its Consequences

GENINT 741.501

In this course, we track the story of westward expansion from the Revolution up through the 1850s

Live Online
As few as 1 day

About this course:

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. Prior to 1815, the most advanced industrial technology most Americans had ever seen was a windmill. But all that was about to change and, by 1845 America had begun to look more like an industrialized, developed nation than an agricultural, developing nation. In this course, we track the story of westward expansion from the Revolution up through the 1850s, paying particular attention to the ways in which the West and westward expansion came to be romanticized in the American imagination and how the transportation revolution made that western expansion possible. We focus on the thirty years between 1815 and 1845, which witnessed the greatest transformation in American infrastructure and information technology before the internet. We examine five of the most important new technologies that seeded that change: canals, roads, rails, post offices and the telegraph. Investment and experimentation in those fields helped to facilitate the creation of a single national American economy—an economy capable of challenging European countries for economic supremacy. This course will be recorded. Students will have access to the video for 30 days.

Spring 2024 Schedule

Date & Time
Friday 1:00AM - 4:00PM PT
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Instructor: Richard Bell
Live Onlineformat icon
Location: UCLA X Open
ENROLL BY: Jun 7, 2024
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This course is free and open to the public. Please download a free version of zoom at to participate in this course.
Fri Jun 7, 2024
1:00AM PT - 4:00PM PT

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