American Revolution Paper

Due date: Tuesday, April 17 by 11:59 p.m.

Submit the assignment via Dropbox

This assignment focuses on the era of the American Revolution and the early American republic, roughly from 1750 to 1820. You will craft an essay makes an argument in response to a historical question about the time period.

Select one of the following questions:

  1. How did the ideology of republicanism shape American politics and society between 1750 and 1820? In your answer, you should define the major characteristics of republicanism and discuss at least two specific historical examples to demonstrate your argument.
  2. How did Americans’ views of the role of government shift in the early United States? In your answer, give a one-sentence summary (thesis) characterizing the nature of the change. Support your argument using at least one example from late colonial and Revolutionary America (1700-1783) and one from the early Republic (1783-1815).

In your essay, you should include the following:

  • Discuss both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
  • Discuss at least four sources from Reading the American Past
  • Make at least two references to course lectures and discussions (including slide shows)
  • Make at least two references to material from the American Yawp
  • Make at least one reference to Pasley, “The Cheese and the Words”


  • Your essay should be between 1,000-1,500 words, excluding citations and notes.
  • You must cite all of your sources, quotations, and references. You may use a citation system of your choice (Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, or another), but you must be consistent.
  • You may not use any outside sources for reference or evidence. However, you should include a note at the end of the essay indicating any sources you used to look up the definitions of words or the identities of people or places with which you are unfamiliar.
  • The essay must represent your own work.
  • I will not read full drafts of essays, but I would be happy to discuss a thesis statement, outline, or brief paragraph.