History | Revolutionary Lives
J400 | 3889 | Sword

Above class open to majors only
Above class open to undergraduates only
J400: P-HIST J300

What can studying individual lives tell us about larger patterns of
social and political change?  In this course we will read a few
exciting recent histories of early America, which experiment with
ways to chart “a world in a life, and a life in the world.”  We will
also examine a few first person primary sources - accounts of life
in America during the centuries before the Civil War by people on
the ground.   The readings will allow us to survey a range of
important topics, including the American colonies’ place in the
British empire, slavery, the American Revolution, and the wider set
of social transformations that characterized the Atlantic “Age of
Revolutions.”  The main written assignment will be a 15-20 page
research paper, the primary requirement for the capstone J400
course.   You will have broad leeway in choosing your topic for this
paper.   There will also be a few short exercises designed to
promote discussion and to guide you through the process of writing
your final paper.