History 313: The American Revolution

Fall 2006

 

Dr. Thomas Humphrey

RT 1943

216.523.7183

tom.humphrey@csuohio.edu

Office Hours:  MW 11.00 am to Noon , and by appt.

 

Course Goals: 

           

This course is designed to prepare students for independent historical analysis of a complex range of primary and secondary material.  In doing so, students will develop intellectual skills that will prove helpful in almost any career.  By investigating a wide range problems often associated with sources and historical interpretations, students will learn how professional historians work, analyze evidence, and develop their conclusions.  Students who complete the course will be able to demonstrate thorough knowledge of the American Revolutionary era.  They will be familiar with the ideological, political, and economic origins of the American Revolution, and how those themes shaped the emerging nation.  Finally, they will be able to demonstrate an understanding the historiography of the American Revolution. 

This course examines the various causes and results of the American Revolution.  It starts with an overview of eighteenth-century society in British North America, and moves to an exploration of the role of both the Great Awakening and the Seven Years' War in the coming of the American Revolution; British attempts to reform imperial policy in the 1760s and 1770s; the forms of American resistance to these reforms and their social and political origins and significance; the ideology of rebellion and the forms of government that it inspired; the war for independence; the social and the political revolutions; and finishes with a study of the struggle toward a more powerful and centralized government that culminated in the ratification of the Federal Constitution.  Issues of race, class, and gender will emerge throughout the course to, in the end, provide students with a more comprehensive view of the American Revolution from the ground up. 

The American Revolution, as you may know, inspires hot debate, and those historical disputes have raged for nearly a century.  Thus, you will read very controversial material.  The literature on the American Revolution does far more than tell us about people such as Benedict Arnold and John André or events such as the Boston Massacre or the Federal Constitution of 1789.  It influences how Americans view themselves, perceive the country in which they live, and see the world around them.  The material you will read will sometimes support your assumptions, and will often challenge them.  We will discuss the readings in this light.  As a result, students need to attend class.  Students’ success in class will depend on attendance and participation.  Although there is no attendance policy, professors expect students to come to class fully prepared.

Assignments: Each week students will hand in a two page, double-spaced, typed synopsis of that week's readings. They are due on Friday of each week. Late papers will be accepted in only the most extreme circumstances. I will not accept any papers via email, in my mailbox, or handed to a department administrative assistant. Each paper is worth 20 points.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT:  Write a ten page, double-spaced paper that addresses this question:  How radical was the American Revolution? This is due 13 December 2006 between 8.30 am and 8.45 am in the classroom. We will discuss this assignment throughout the semester. The final is worth 100 points, and failure to hand in a final paper will result in failure for the course.

Attendance: Students will have their marks lowered by one letter grade for every 6 absences regardless of the circumstances. 

For the purposes of this course, plagiarism is:  Using someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. "Ideas or phrasing" includes written or spoken material, of course — from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases — but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc. "Someone else" can mean a professional source, such as a published writer or critic in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, or journal; an electronic resource such as material we discover on the World Wide Web; another student at our school or anywhere else; a paper-writing "service" (online or otherwise) which offers to sell written papers for a fee.

 

Source: Capitol Community College 's guide to plagiarism (based on the MLA style): http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/plagiarism.shtml

Readings:

Books :

Nash, The Unknown American Revolution .

Taylor, The Divided Ground .

Pybus, Epic Journeys of Freedom .

O'Shaughnessy, Empire Divided .

Branson , Those Fiery Frenchified Dames .  

Students
will also be responsible for reading a number of articles throughout the course. They are highlighted on the syllabus, and are available through JSTOR at the CSU Library's website. I f you are accessing this syllabus on line, you may click on the link for the relevant article. These are, however, links that must be accessed from the CSU server. If you wish, you may look up the JSTOR site on the CSU's library website. Then use the journal title, date, and page numbers to fi nd the article. Students should be prepared to d iscuss all readings on the Friday of the week they are assigned.

GENERAL SYLLABUS


WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION
Nash, Introduction; Taylor, Introduction.
Edmund S. Morgan, "The American Revolution: Revisions in Need of Revising," William and Mary Quarterly 14 (1957), 3-15.

WEEK 2: COLONIAL SOCIETY.

Nash, ch. 1; Taylor, ch. 1.
Allan Kulikoff, "The Progress of Inequality in Revolutionary Boston," WMQ 28 (July 1971) 375-412.
Billy G. Smith, "The Material Lives of Laboring Philadelphians, 1750 to 1800," WMQ 38 (April 1981), 163-202.

WEEK 3: THE GREAT AWAKENING

Nash, ch. 2.
Rhys Isaac, "Religion and Authority: Problems of the Anglican Establishment in Virginia in the Era of the Great Awakening and the Parsons' Cause." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 30, No. 1, Chesapeake Society. (Jan., 1973), pp. 3-36.
Jon Butler, "Enthusiasm Described and Decried: The Great Awakening as Interpretative Fiction." The Journal of American History, Vol. 69, No. 2. (Sep., 1982), pp. 305-325.

WEEK 4: THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR

Taylor, ch. 1, 2.
Fred Anderson, "A People's Army: Provincial Military Service in Massachusetts During the Seven Years' War," WMQ, 3rd ser., 40 (1983), 499-527.

WEEK 5: CROWD VIOLENCE AND RESISTANCE

Nash, ch. 3
Gordon S. Wood, "A Note on Mobs in the American Revolution," 23 (1966), 635-642.
Pauline Maier, "Popular Uprisings and Civil Authority in Eighteenth-Century America," William & Mary Quarterly 27 (1970), 3-35.

WEEK 6: POPULAR POLITICS

Nash, ch. 4.
Gary B. Nash, "The Transformation of Urban Politics 1700-1765." The Journal of American History, Vol. 60, No. 3. (Dec., 1973), pp. 605-632.
Richard Beeman, "Deference, Republicanism, and the Emergence of Popular Politics in Eighteenth-Century America," William & Mary Quarterly 49 (July 1992), 401-430.

WEEK 6: INDEPENDENCE

Nash, ch.5.
R. A. Ryerson, "Political Mobilization and the American Revolution: The Resistance Movement in Philadelphia, 1765 to 1776." William and Mary Quarterly 31(Oct., 1974), pp. 565-588.
Jackson Turner Main, "Government by the People: The American Revolution and the Democratization of the Legislatures," WMQ (July 1966), 391-407.
Barbara Clark Smith, "Food Rioters and the American Revolution," WMQ 51 (Jan. 1994), 3-38.

WEEK 8: THE WAR

Taylor, ch. 3, 4.
Pybus, ch. 1, 2, 3, 4.

WEEK 9: THE NEW COUNTRY

Nash, ch. 6, 7.
Taylor, ch. 5, 6.
Pybus, ch. 5, 6, 7.

WEEK 10: INDIANS AND REVOLUTION

Taylor, ch. 7, 8, 9.

WEEK 11: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND REVOLUTION

Pybus, ch. 8 through 12.

WEEK 12: WOMEN AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Linda Kerber, "The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment-An American Perspective," American Quarterly 28 (Summer 1976), 187-205.
Branson, Introduction, ch. 1, 3, 4.

WEEK 13: THE CONSTITUTIONAL SETTLEMENT

Nash, ch. 8.
Taylor, 10, 11, 12.

WEEK 14: 13 OR 26

O'Shaughnessy, An Empire Divided.

WEEK 15: THE AFTERMATH OF REVOLUTION.

Nash, Epilogue.
Branson, Conclusion.
Pybus, Epilogue.