Studying American history will help you to understand why the United States rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential superpowers on earth in less than two hundred years. The big themes explored in this degree (democracy, immigration, race and imperialism) define our world today. There is also a dark side of the American past: the stories of slavery and the Civil War waged to end it, and the treatment of the Native Americans. By studying the colonial history you can consider what made settlers different from their European contemporaries. If you want to understand why America has such a powerful hold across the world despite the nation's troubled past, then this degree is for you. You will also have the opportunity to spend a year abroad studying in the United States.