American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Manifest Destiny

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Manifest Destiny


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

Our subject in this Conversation will be Westward Expansion. 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. In fact, Americans had been talking about pushing westward as if it was their manifest destiny ever since folks in Jamestown had started eyeing the land that Indians were settled on. In this Conversation, we will 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.

Dr. Richard Bell is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is the author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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