This course covers the opening segment of the traditional American history survey. Its major themes are the character of colonial society; the origins and consequences of the American Revolution, from the Stamp Act controversy to the adoption of the Federal Constitution; the impact of the Revolution on the general population and culture; and (implicitly) the long-term significance of the social and political history of this era for our conceptions of American nationhood, society, and citizenship.
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Colonial and Revolutionary America Course Syllabus
1-2. Two Paradigms of Colonial History (September 24, 2008)
Professor Rakove discusses two interpretive frameworks for thinking about American history: conventional (the strict timeframe of colonization) and Atlantic history, the dominant paradigm. (September 24, 2008)
3. Republican Constitutionalism in the Age of the Democratic Revolution...or Not (September 26, 2008)
Professor Rakove discusses the several aspects of Atlanticism and the way they enable historians to think comparatively about the two major sources of imperial settlement in the new world. (September 26, 2008)
4. The Godly Commonwealths of New England (September 29, 2008)
Professor Rakove discusses how the colonization of British North America was different from any other colonization efforts. This was done by creating a society that resembles it's parent society demographically. (September 29, 2008)
5. Southern Plantations (October 3, 2008)
Professor Rakove discusses how the southern colonies relied heavily on indentured labor, and created a system of gentry where cousins married cousins, women married very young, and families had extremely large numbers of children. (October 3, 2008)
6. Slavery And The Plantation Complex (October 6, 2008)
Professor Rakove discusses the idea that slavery, as a status, has existed far longer than has the notion of liberty and equality, and that contemporary thought about slavery is foreign to historical viewpoints. (October 6, 2008)