HSTY 306 Final Essay

This semester has not gone as any of us had planned, not least because our work has been interrupted in an unprecedented way (world-historical calamities are like that). So in lieu of a formal assignment, you should write a reflection on the early American republic and the themes we’ve discussed in the course. You can therefore take this as an opportunity to consider what was most meaningful to you from the course. You may want to write using one or more of the following questions as prompts:

  • What are the major themes of the history of the early American republic, and how did they develop from the American Revolution to the Mexican War?
  • What were the most important things you learned during the semester?
  • What questions about the early American republic do you still feel are unanswered?
  • What readings did you find particularly compelling?
  • With what readings did you most disagree?

This list is not meant to be exhaustive but merely a set of starting points for you. The idea is to be reflective and engage with the course material in a meaningful way.


This is a relatively informal assignment, but you should still write it in paragraphs as an essay. In terms of grading I am most interested in what you have to say rather than the technicalities. That said, here are some guidelines:

  • The essay is due by Thursday, May 14 at 11:00 a.m. This is the end of the exam period assigned to the course by the Registrar’s office.
  • Please submit your essay via Dropbox.
  • Aim for at least 1,000 words.
  • Refer to course readings when appropriate. When you do, use Chicago Manual of Style format for your citations. (Please consult the Whittemore Library website or the History Department’s skills module if you have any questions about how to cite a particular source.)
  • You should only need to use course readings. The assignment is about reflecting on what we’ve done rather than researching something new.
  • The essay should reflect your own thinking and work. This is important: we still abide by the standards of the university’s academic honesty policy.