• Academic Credits: 3
  • Focus area for the major: Theoretical Approaches to Politics
  • Course for Minor: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • 20209-01-790-375-01.pdf
  • Syllabus Disclaimer: The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

Course Description:

What are the foundational ideas that inform American political history –and who are its most influential thinkers? In this course we will explore the origins, development, and complexities of American political thought through the Civil War. We will pay particular attention to conceptualizations of freedom and national identity, including those expressed in American literature, religion, political speech, and film. Students will be asked to become familiar with the historic paradoxes and ongoing debates about the nation’s foundational documents and their meaning. Over the course of the semester we will grapple with the diversity, changes,and continuities found in American political thought from the Puritan founding to 1865.