This colloquium will focus on the ideological, political, economic, and cultural legacies of American expansion into the Trans-Mississippi West from the early 19th century until the 1890s. The focus will be on the ideology of expansion, the conquering of western territory and its settlement, and the role of the railroads in opening up the West and transforming it into a modern industrial power by the turn of the century. The impact of such a development on the indigenous people, and the role of industrialization will be explored as we meet in the capital of western railroad expansion–Omaha, Nebraska, the home of the Union Pacific Railroad.
What better way to learn about American history is there than by reading the primary sources, and discussing them with talented colleagues? What better place to learn about American history than in the places it was made? Participating teachers will read a set of primary source documents (150-200 pages), travel to a relevant historic site, and engage in conversation with up to 20 colleagues over the course of a weekend. In addition, participants will receive a stipend of $225 to defray the cost of travel to and from the program site.