After the US Senate ratified the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, which ended the War of 1812, the United States embarked on a new direction in her domestic and foreign affairs. There was a new national pride, patriotism, and confidence that had not hitherto existed. Yet the country’s original sin of slavery, sanctioned by the US Constitution, still existed in the South. In this course we will examine the cultural, political, economic, racial, and social forces that drove the United States during the period of 1815-1860. We will parse the different regions of the country and the politicians that represented them, like Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, John Calhoun of South Carolina, and Henry Clay of Kentucky. We will also closely examine major events like the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the nullification crisis in South Carolina, the populist presidency of Andrew Jackson, Texan independence, the Trail of Tears, the Mexican War, the Compromise of 1850, and the tumultuous, divisive decade that preceded the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. This course will serve as a brush-up for history buffs, and as a source of knowledge and analysis for curious individuals trying to gain insight into perhaps the most fractured and divided period in American history.
Andrew Chatfield received his Ph.D. in US diplomatic history 2018 from American University in Washington, DC. He wrote his dissertation about the Americans who supported India’s national self-determination from 1915-1920. During his time in Washington, Andrew worked for organizations such as the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), the Foreign Policy Research Insittute, Humanitites DC, and the Streit Council. At Lexington, he hopes to create a history class from which everyone will learn new material and gain new perspectives on American history.