Last updated: March 17, 2017

Date Topic Reading Assignment
Tues., Jan. 17 Course Introduction

“The world turned upside down:” The American Revolution

Fri., Jan. 20 “It’s much harder when it’s all your call:” The Revolutionary Settlement
Tues., Jan. 24 “Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?” Debating Ratification
Fri., Jan. 27 “If we’re aggressive and competitive:” Local and National Politics
  • Hamilton, Report on Public Credit, excerpt (Blackboard)
  • Brian Phillips Murphy, Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), ch. 3. (Blackboard)
Tues., Jan. 31 “Just like my country, I’m young, scrappy, and hungry:” Creating a Nation of Citizens
  • Jeffrey L. Pasley, “The Cheese and the Words,” in Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early Republic, ed. Jeffrey L. Pasley, Andrew W. Robertson, David Waldstreicher (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 31-56 (Blackboard)
  • Joanne B. Freeman, “Explaining the Unexplainable: The Cultural Context of the Sedition Act,” in The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History, ed. Meg Jacobs, William J. Novak, Julian E Zelizer (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 20-49 (Blackboard)
Fri., Feb. 3 “If you had to choose:” Politics and Voting in the Early United States
  • (ALL) Caroline F. Sloat, “A New Nation Votes and the Study of American Politics, 1789-1824,” Journal of the Early Republic 33, no. 2 (2013): 183-86
  • (ALL) Andrew W. Robertson, “Afterword: Reconceptualizing Jeffersonian Democracy,” JER 33, no. 2 (2013): 317-34
  • Each person will also read two of the articles in the special issue of the Journal of the Early Republic on the “New Nation Votes” database. We will distribute them in class on Jan. 27.
Tues., Feb. 7 “I changed parties to seize the opportunity I saw:” Researching Elections I Browse databases:

  • A New Nation Votes
  • America’s Historical Newspapers
Fri., Feb. 10 “Your debts are paid because you don’t pay for labor:” An Empire for Liberty? Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, Introduction, chs. 1-3
Tues., Feb. 14 “You’re openly campaigning?” Researching Elections II Bring laptop to class
Fri., Feb. 17 “We won the war, what was it all for?” Society and Culture in Post-Revolutionary America Paper on elections due
Tues., Feb. 21 “You deserve a chance to meet your son:” Ordinary Lives in the Early Republic Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale, introduction, chs. 1-5
Fri., Feb. 24 “Best of wives and best of women:” Ordinary Lives in the Early Republic Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale, chs. 6-10
Tues., Feb. 28 “Your fellow Fed’ralists would like to know how you’ll be voting:” Researching Elections III Bring your laptop and your paper to class
Fri., Mar. 3 “Readin’ every treatise on the shelf:” A Nation of Readers Washington Irving, “Rip Van Winkle,” in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (New York: C.S. Van Winkle, 1819), 57-94. (Blackboard)

Amelia: or the Faithless Briton (1787).

Tues., Mar. 7 “Can we get back to politics?” Elections Presentations Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, ch. 4-5
Fri., Mar. 10 “Will they know what you overcame?” Hamilton’s America Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, ch. 6
Tues., Mar. 14-Fri., Mar. 17 Spring Break – no class meeting
Tues., Mar. 21 “I will send a fully armed battalion:” The War of 1812 Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, chs. 7-8
Fri., Mar. 24 “I established the first private orphanage in New York City:” Revolutions in Associations and Activism Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume I, ch. 11; Volume II, Part 1, ch. 5; Part 2, ch. 4, ch. 5, ch. 6 500-word response about de Tocqueville due via dropitto.me by 5pm
Tues., Mar. 28 “A civics lesson from a slaver:” A Slaveholders’ Republic? Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, chs. 9-10, Afterword
Fri., Mar. 31 “They say he walks the length of the city:” Revolutions in Markets and Transportation David Schley, “Tracks in the Streets: Railroads, Infrastructure, and Urban Space in Baltimore, 1828-1840,” Journal of Urban History 39 (2013): 1062-1084. (Blackboard)
Tues., Apr. 4 “These Virginians are birds of a feather:” Masters and Slaves
Fri., Apr. 7 “I take my children to church on Sunday:” Religion in America
  • Charles Grandison Finney, “Sinners Bound to Change Their Own Hearts” (Blackboard)
  • Emily Conroy-Krutz, “Engaged in the Same Glorious Cause:’ Anglo-American Connections in the American Missionary Entrance into India, 1790-1815,” Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 34, No.1 (Spring 2014): 21-44.
Tues., Apr. 11 “The challenge: demand satisfaction:” Andrew Jackson’s America
Fri., Apr. 14 “History has its eyes on you:” Research Day: Historiography of the Field Due: Response to The Half Has Never Been Told
Tues., Apr. 18 “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” Revolutions in Communications
Fri., Apr. 21 “Who tells your story?” Research Day: Historiography of the Field
Tues., Apr. 25 “Lookin’ at the rolling fields I can’t believe we are free:” Manifest Destiny
Fri., Apr. 28 “So we let Congress get held hostage by the South?” Politics and Society in Antebellum America Historiography Paper due
Tues., May 2 “Here’s an itemized list of thirty years of disagreements:” A Dividing Nation
Fri., May 5 “You could have done so much more if you only had time:” Conclusion
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