Department of History and Social Sciences
Choate Rosemary Hall
Fall 1998 term
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
Goals of the Course
Texts and Course Materials
Program and Workload
Schedule of Meetings and Assignments
Free Day: Friday
Jasper Johns, "Three Flags" (1938)
"Each age will re-write the history of the
past anew . . ."
- Frederick Jackson Turner
Goals of History 375
History 375 is--in conjunction with its companion course, English 375--an interdisciplinary exploration of the history and culture of the United States and the various people who have called themselves Americans in the last four centuries. As befits an honors-level course, American Studies aspires to be rigorous in its treatment of the American past. The course is centrally organized around the question of mythology--how Americans have viewed themselves through time and how accurate (or not) that vision may actually be.
History is, by definition, a personal reckoning with the past.
Course credo #1:
There is no certain truth about history.
Students sometimes find this statement difficult to understand. Yet history is a dynamic discipline; our perspectives on the past are constantly changing, yet forever woefully incomplete. As historians we are fundamentally limited by one simple circumstance: we weren't there. We really can't say we know what happened, say, on Lexington Green in 1775, simply because we were not present to observe events for ourselves. We inevitably are dependent upon the observations of others, and therefore we always must be careful of the biases and limitations of their vantage points, as well as our own. The very uncertainty about history makes it a challenging and stimulating, if often frustrating discipline. We will consider historiography--the study of the study of history, if you will--regularly as the course progresses.
Propositional Knowledge ("Content"): History 375 is a survey of United States history from the earliest explorations of the North American continent by Europeans through the 1980s. It investigates the following dimensions of historical understanding--definitions which you should remember:
Moreover, because this course aspires to be truly interdisciplinary, we are especially concerned with examining how American history both shaped and was reflected in its culture--in the nation's literature, art, film, and music, in particular.
Methodological Knowledge ("Skills"): This course represents an intensive effort to explore the historical legacies of this Republic and its peoples. The primary aim of the course is not merely to accumulate knowledge of American history, in the sense of learning a narrative of events. Knowledge of people, places, ideas, and happenings will be an important part of our undertaking, but only a part. What we are seeking is to begin to understand the nature of American society and how and why historical change took place in this nation. In order to achieve such an understanding, we also must seek to develop certain intellectual skills of reading, researching, thinking, writing, listening, and oral articulation to enable us to go about this, or any other, analytical task. The course, then, as a year-long undertaking, has two primary aims:
(2) to develop the general intellectual skills of:
The course is designed with these aims in mind to be a coöperative learning experience in appreciating and understanding the rich tapestry of American history. Needless to say, no such understanding can be taught by someone else; it can only be learned for oneself.
Assigned Reading: This is the main input of factual material, as well as various interpretations and analyses of that material. Clearly you cannot learn much in the classroom without doing the reading first. Much of our discussion in class will be conducted by the Socratic method; that is, you will complete certain assignments and will be expected to answer questions based on them. It is therefore important that you learn how to understand the material before you come to class. Looking at it another way, we will not have enough time in class to cover all the things that might appear on tests, so you had better learn them by yourself.
Course credo #2:
I hear, and I forget;
I see, and I remember;
I do, and I understand.
- Chinese proverb
Like athletes in training, young scholars must be sure they are properly nourished. As the reading you do for this course will be your primary "food for thought," you should pay close attention to how this nourishment is being ingested. You may find--like the decathlete weaned on junk food--that easy shortcuts will undermine your efforts when the moment of truth arrives. Assigned reading will provide focal points for daily discussion. I will try to give you pointers in advance of what to look for in the reading to enable you to get more out of it. Get into the habit of reading the syllabus carefully each night before you begin the assignment.
Lectures: This method will be used sparingly, as generally it removes the burden of active learning from the student, emphasizing a more passive role instead. Because, however, much of the information in the course will be new to you, I will provide background information when relevant to highlight material and to fill in gaps left by the reading. For the most part, however, I will "lecture" only in the sense of guiding class discussion.
Discussions: The core of the course consists of the
Socratic discussions in class, in which we will explore the reading and the topic(s) at
hand. Productive discussions are frequently contradictory and ambiguous, producing
different perspectives to chew on rather than kernels of truth to swallow whole. Asking
seemingly stupid questions may well be a way of overcoming confusion and beginning to
understand. Each person will be expected to come to his or her own understanding of the
processes involved. Such activity is not without a considerable degree of intellectual
risk, but it is hoped that in the discussions you will be willing to take such risks for
the very real intellectual gains which will accrue both to you and to the group as a
Since the main learning in the course comes from the reading and discussions, you should attend class and be prepared to discuss the reading. If you do neither, do not be surprised to feel you are learning little, wasting your time, or receiving a poor or failing grade, for you are not--in any meaningful sense--taking the course. You cannot learn much simply by writing the papers and taking the exams. Nor can you pass the course; final grades will be based on a combination of class and written work.
Oral Presentations: There will be regular opportunities in this course to share your ideas about the subject matter with the rest of the class on a more formal basis. While academia emphasizes the written word, most "real world" situations are centered on oral/aural interaction; hence the emphasis on developing skills in face-to-face communication. Debates, reports, role playing, and other activities will be evaluated in a manner similar to the grading of written work.
It is in your writing that you have the chance to work out your ideas most rigorously and to communicate these to others. I will give you some general notes on writing, but I also encourage students who would like to work on their writing to see me, to submit drafts of their papers for criticism in advance of their due dates, or to consider rewriting papers. In the meantime, the following are some general guidelines regarding written work in the course.
Quizzes: These serve two primary purposes. They are, of course, an insurance policy of sorts, whereby I, the teacher, can better expect you to have put in the requisite effort on assigned reading. More importantly, however, they are also a channel of feedback on how well you understand the material presented in the reading and in class. You can expect quizzes frequently, often unannounced.
Exams: These are reflective and integrative, designed to help you pull together main themes in the course. Depending on length, exams generally include objective questions, separate short definition or identification questions, and longer interpretive essays. All tests will demand not only that you know what has been studied just recently, but that you be able to connect that material in a general thematic way with what was studied earlier in the year. Each exam will be an important opportunity for me to assess your mastery of the knowledge and the skills the course seeks to develop. More importantly, an exam should be considered a worthwhile educational experience in its own right. A comprehensive final examination will be administered at the end of the term.
Make-up tests: In the event of an excused absence on the day of a scheduled exam, a mutually convenient date for a make-up test will be determined by the teacher and the student. It is the student's responsibility to reschedule and take the make-up exam within seven (7) days of the original scheduled test date. Make-up exams usually are given in essay form.
Short Papers: Papers on set topics keyed to assigned reading are designed to encourage you to work out your understanding of a given problem. As such, there are no 'right' answers, only how well you think your way through the problem as evidenced by the clarity and logic of your analysis, argumentation, and writing. All papers should include footnotes and bibliography when appropriate, and be presented in standard form, all of which is discussed in the guidelines I'll make available in class and online. Word processing is highly recommended if possible; if not, typed papers are always appreciated, though not required.
Position Papers: Each term, some students express an interest in "extra credit" work. While I generally discourage this approach--I would prefer you to concentrate on doing your best work on the scheduled quizzes, tests, and papers--I will welcome brief position papers, dealing with anything related to the course, in consideration for "brownie points." I will not put a firm grade or value on such work, which will be returned to you with my comments, but I can state that submission of position papers only can help in the determination of your final term grade.
Submission of Papers: Due dates for all major written assignments are announced in the syllabus at the outset of the term; time is allowed for working on them whenever possible and you should program your time accordingly (e.g., writing a paper before it is due if necessary to avoid conflicts with other work). Late work will be accepted, but, in the interest of fairness to all, it will be penalized one notch ("A-" to "B+") for the first 24-hour period it is overdue, two notches for the second, and so on. Late term papers will be penalized one full letter grade ("A-" to "B-") every 24 hours. Only in extreme cases will late work be accepted more than five days after it is due. School policy dictates that late work accepted after the last day of classes in the term can receive a grade of no more than 50%.
Grading and Criticism: Grading of papers and exams
will be based on the quality and thoroughness of your research (where appropriate), the
originality and coherence of your analysis and argumentation, and the clarity of your
writing. While all written work should be your own, in accord with the school expectations
regarding academic honesty, you are encouraged to discuss your work with me and with each
other if you wish. You are also encouraged to respond to my criticisms of your work and to
discuss ways in which you might improve your writing with me, including rewriting and
resubmitting papers where appropriate.
More important than the actual grade you receive is my written commentary on your paper. I hope you will pay close attention to the comments made on the evaluation sheet and in the body of the text; they are written in hopes of improving both your writing and your thinking. These comments can refer to your specific strengths and weaknesses as a historian and as a writer in ways that a simple number or letter grade cannot.
I hope you will feel free to share with me any questions or concerns about any particular grade; I also hope, however, that you are genuinely concerned with what you learn in the course rather than the mark (or other such superficial feedback) you get. For the sake of uniformity, the school has established a guide to converting scores on a 100-point scale to grades ranging from A+ to F:
|A+: 97-100||B+: 87-89||C+: 77-79||D+: 67-69|
|A: 93-96||B: 83-86||C: 73-76||D: 63-66||F: 0-59|
|A-: 90-92||B-: 80-82||C-: 70-72||D-: 60-62|
These texts for the course--available at the school bookstore--should be purchased by all students immediately:
Program and Workload
This course will be orthodox in its presentation: in general, you'll read something before each class meeting, and in class we'll discuss what you've read--what I call "Socratic discussion." You'll be expected to write short yet demanding papers, take period tests and a departmental final examination, and participate regularly in class.
Every effort has been made to keep the length of daily assignments manageable. Many worthwhile assignments were abbreviated or scrapped from the syllabus altogether. It's important, therefore, that you commit yourself now to keeping up with what is included among the assignments below; you'll be expected to complete the assigned homework before each class.
What follows is what we'll try to cover during the term. It may be adjusted from time to time for any number of reasons. The homework for the next class is always the next assignment unless you are told differently. You'll find each entry on the schedule below contains some instructive questions and ideas you should consider in preparing for class; get into the habit reading the syllabus carefully each night as you begin your homework.
Schedule of Meetings and Assignments
1. Course Organization. No assignment. We'll spend the time in this class getting to know one another.
PART I: "THE EMERGENCE OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC"
The goals of the "history side" of the first part of this American Studies course are essentially twofold: (1) to acquire broadly-based survey knowledge of the history of the Republic from its colonial beginnings through the end of Reconstruction; and (2) to explore in some depth a thematic understanding of U.S. history in this period as the emergence of a federal republic.
2. Terra Nova. Read Davidson, pp. 1-23. Some things to ponder as you read: What accounts for the economic, social, and political diversity of the occupants of the land mass now known as America after about 5500 BC? What cultural circumstances made the Native Americans poor competition for the Europeans? Note the differences between "egalitarian" and "hierarchical" Indian tribes. How did European rivalries encourage and/or retard exploration? What is the myth of the "island paradise" as it was envisioned by Europeans? Be prepared to distinguish among the various colonies.
3. European North America. Read Davidson, pp. 23-36. Also read the online excerpt from the works of John Locke. What ideas and forces lay at the heart of the thinking of Martin Luther and John Calvin? How did these ideas affect the lack of interest in exploration on the part of the British and French in the 16th century? What changed? What was Locke's central contribution to Western political philosophy--a development that later would have a tremendous influence on the founders of the United States?
4. Colonial Culture I: Southern Colonies. Read Davidson, pp. 42-58. This is the first chapter in which you'll see so much data on related but different items. But here, your notes really have to work to make sense out of the material. The best way is to do them in the form of a matrix chart. Down the side: general headings, according to your judgment. Along the top: some form of who, what, where, and when, then why, how, and so what?
5. Colonial Culture II: Southern Colonies Continued. Read Davidson, pp. 58-73. Derive your own queries from your experience so far; remember: wwww/whsw. There will be a period test at #11, below.
6. Colonial Culture III: Northen Colonies. Read Davidson, pp. 76-94.Were there human, geographic, and institutional differences between the northern and southern colonies from the beginning? If so, do you think these differences still exist? Since many of these colonies were founded by a "company," is it correct to think of the early settlers as "employees"? Remembering that all of Europe was ruled by despotic kings at the time, what precursors of American freedom and democracy do you see in the colonies in these 17th-century events?
7. Colonial Culture IV: The Puritans. Read pp. 50-71 in G&B. Who were the Puritans? How were they different from the Separatist "Pilgrims" who founded Plymouth Colony? Of what significance is the Mayflower Compact? How did the Massachusetts Bay Colony establish political institutions independent of England? How were both of these colonies different from those in the Chesapeake? Is Winthrop's "city on a hill" the same as the myth of the "island paradise," or is it different? Be thinking about Anne Bradstreet as you read this history.
8. Colonial Culture V: Middle Colonies. Read Davidson, pp. 94-104. Make a list of the essential characteristics of 17th century Virginia and Maryland. What were mercantilism and indentured servitude? Note the map as a reference for the places mentioned. Also note the early political independence of Virginia's elected assembly. Is there a system of class privilege developing on the Chesapeake? What are the internal and external sources of tension that contribute to Bacon's Rebellion? What led to the increase in importation of slaves after 1680?
9. Eighteenth Century America. Read Davidson, pp. 106-119. Most of this reading is about the factors that divided colonial America. Make sure that your notebook reflects a careful list of these developments. Was slavery a benign influence on colonial life? What was the Stono Rebellion and why is it significant?
10. The Great Awakening. Read Davidson, pp. 119-136. The section on the Great Awakening is the first of many we'll study on reform movements. Look up "the Enlightenment" in an encyclopedia or some other text, and distinguish it from the Great Awakening. To some degree, don't the values at the heart of both movements conflict? Does the Jonathan Edwards sermon reflect your understanding of this historical period? How did the colonial governmental systems mirror and contrast with English political institutions and practices? Note the Albany Congress as a quixotic early attempt at colonial unity. Certainly we are still at a point of political decentralization in colonial development. Why? Could it have anything to do with the social divisions that still exist between and within the colonies?
11. Period Test #1. Covering all the material studied from the beginning of the term. The most basic skill you'll acquire is to learn what is important enough to study, so don't ask me what's going to be on the test. Instead, study everything you think is important. Read "Answering Historical Identification Questions" and "Writing Essays on History Tests" before you begin studying. The night before the test, I will be available in Memorial House from 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. to answer any questions you may have. You may bring an unmarked paperback dictionary into this and all other exams in the course, but you may not share it with anyone else.
12. Imperial Zenith. Read Davidson, pp. 138-155. This is the first time a major European conflict draws Americans into war; it won't be the last. Make a matrix chart listing the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors. Which of the characteristics seemed most important at the outset? Which turned out to be the most important? What do you think will be the main outcome of this great British military victory? Does the French surrender open up the possibility for concentrated dislike by the colonists of the British? And vice versa? In both cases, why? What were Grenville's actions at the war's end? Why did he feel he needed to act? How did European politics affect the settlement known as the Treaty of Paris (1763)? (By the way, this is the first Treaty of Paris; don't get it mixed up with the treaty of the same name that, ironically, settled England's capitulation to the colonies after the Revolution in 1783.) Look at the Proclamation of 1763 and the Stamp Act together. Can you explain why the Stamp Act generated so much hostility on the part of the American colonists? Why did Parliament initiate the legislation in the first place? Try to understand the mixed feelings the American colonists had about their relationship with the Britain. What were the advantages of the relationship? Disadvantages? Also, pay attention to some of the important names, terms, and concepts introduced, such as the Navigation Acts. How does this relate to John Locke's notion of property? Try to understand how the British thought they were being reasonable in governing byvirtual representation.
13. Mounting Tensions. Read Davidson, pp. 155-169. Be sure you understand the essential data--the who, what, where, and when--about the controversial legislation so you can frame an analysis--the how, why, and so what-of what happened between Britain and her colonies across the Atlantic; for best results, use a matrix chart to keep track of the major issues and events of the period: the Quartering Act, the Boston Massacre, the Tea Act, the Gaspee Commission, the Boston Tea Party, the Coercive (or Intolerable) Acts, and the Québec Act. From the perspective of the colonists, there was something dramatically different about the Townshend Acts from previous Crown action. Explain. What institutions are at stake, from the colonists' viewpoint? Interesting question: if you were in charge of imperial policy in the 1760s, what would you have done differently to prevent the American Revolution? Would the colonists have accepted your policy? Would the English?
14. Philadelphia Freedom. Read Davidson, pp. 172-186. Also read the Declaration of Independence. How did the war go in its early stages? What were the basic strategies of each side? What factors helped/hindered each side? Pay attention to the mismatching of British military power and British political wisdom. Are you surprised that it took so long for the Declaration to be issued? What are the two parts of the Declaration? We'll have discussed the motives of the founders by this point, but analyze the words here. Is this essentially a political or an economic document? Note the tone and substance of Trumbull's paintings accompanying the text. Why were loyalist sentiments stronger in the South? Prepare for a possible debate on this resolution: The British colonial policy from 1763 to 1775 was unreasonable, repressive, and seems almost to have been designed to unify the colonists in revolt.
15. Winning Independence. Read Davidson, pp. 186-200. The British Empire represented the most powerful military force the world had seen until that point in time; how, then, was a ragtag organization of colonial militiamen eventually able to claim victory at the Treaty of Paris in 1783? What do you think of Washington's leadership during the fighting? How competent was the Continental Congress? How could the British have quelled the rebellion after 1775? What was the significance of the alliance with the French and what were France's motives? Can you identify turning points in the Revolution? Can you find more examples of the mismatch between military might and political wisdom? Keep track of how each side was faring in different regions. Know the Battles of Lexington (1775), Trenton (1776), Saratoga (1777), and Yorktown (1781). Ultimately, why were the Americans successful?
16. Paper #1 Due. Topic to be announced.
17. You Say You Want A Revolution? Read pp. 111-135 in G&B. This article is classic historiography; it's about what historians of various eras have written about the Revolution, and not about the Revolution itself. Recall that each age writes its history anew, and make the connections between the various views--or schools of history--and the eras when written. There are about a half-dozen mentioned here.
18. Interpretation: Revolution or Revolt? Read pp. 136-158 in G&B. We'll break down this period in American history with some attention to the historiographical context. Consider these essays with the last assignment on the "schools" of history in mind.
19. The Critical Period. Read Davidson, pp. 202-216. You may disagree with me over the history of the period, so do the reading especially well. What was the nature of the government during the Revolution? Why, after the galvanizing effort of fighting these heroic battles on the field of war, was it so difficult for the country to unite politically after the fighting stopped? What were the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? What specific quarrels cropped up among the colonies? What was the solution? Were these political or economic arguments--and what social divisions did they reflect? Was the Confederation government compatible with the goals of the 1776 patriots? Compare the content of the Declaration with the characteristics of the Articles. What did the Confederation do well? What did it do poorly? Would you have liked to live under the Confederation? Why or why not? Think carefully.
20. Lecture. Mr. Generous of the Choate history department will deliver an evening lecture on the Constitution to all students enrolled in U.S. History or American Srudies. In advance of the lecture, please read pp. 159-181 in G&B. You will be released from our scheduled class meeting the day of the lecture to compensate for this required evening commitment.
21. Founding Fathers. Read Davidson, pp. 216-231. Were the Founding Fathers conservative or radical? What do you mean by those terms? Look up the word reactionary in a dictionary before coming to class. Was the adoption of the Constitution a rejection of the principles of 1776?
22. The Constitution. Note the powers of Congress; what surprises you? What has been the effect of the two amendments? Locate the Connecticut Compromise (also called "the Great Compromise"), the 3/5 Compromise, and the 1808 Compromise in the text. What checks and balances can you find? What separate powers? Does anything in here remind you of the British imperial policy of 1763-1775? Why is treason the only crime specifically detailed in the Constitution? If you can locate Richard II's very different treason statute, adopted by Parliament in 1397, you get a 10/10 quiz grade. No other treason law will do. What oversight of the Founding Fathers did the XIIth Amendment seek to cure? What separate powers does the President enjoy? How does the Constitution cope with the resignation of a President? Of a Vice-President? Find out how these things were used in the case of Nixon and Agnew, Ford, and Rockefeller. Did any problems arise? What had been the system before the XXVth Amendment? Many people in 1787 thought a bill of rights unnecessary; why? Many citizens have no idea of the contents of Amendments I-VIII, and we are a less democratic people as a result, so take advantage of this chance to learn them.
23. Constitutional Historiography. Read pp. 182-202 in G&B. In class, we will consider this topic: The Constitution was designed to protect a small minority of rich Americans. It was drafted by representatives of the rich, and ratified by forces in the states loyal to the rich. The lecture Mr. Generous delivered should provide suitable grist for this discussion, too.
24. The Federalist Era. Read Davidson, pp. 236-250. Can you explain why President Washington appointed such disparate political figures as Hamilton and Jefferson to the same Cabinet? Were Hamilton's proposals economically sound? Were they constitutionally sound? Were they nationalistic? Keep in mind the fact that the Bank debate was taking place within the most rarefied levels of government. It symbolized, on the other hand, some basic differences in attitudes about "the people" and different views of whether the national government ought to be acting directly on the people to influence their affairs. Are there sectional interests involved here?
25. Debate: Hamilton vs.Jefferson. All students prepare to debate this resolution: If I were President Washington in the 1790s, I'd have followed the advice I was getting from Jefferson. Keep in mind the likely unhappy consequences of your advice. I will play Washington in class, so be prepared to defend your choice. Remember the details of this theme for the rest of the year, because it is one that will recur repeatedly.
26. The Late Federal Period. Read Davidson, pp. 251-266. How does Washington's response to the Whiskey Rebellion differ from the central government's response to Shays' Rebellion in 1786? What was the most important political consequence of Hamilton's economic program? How did Adams cope with it? What was the philosophy underlying Adams' foreign policy? Why did the opposition disagree? Did Adams treat the opposition constitutionally? Did he treat it even wisely? Why is the Election of 1800 sometimes referred to as a miracle?
27. Paper #2 Due. Topic to be announced.
28. The Sage of Monticello in Office. Read Davidson, pp. 268-288. How did Jefferson as President cope with the legacies of Hamilton's economic program? How did he cope with the legacies of Adams' foreign policy? In each case, was he contradicting his own pre-1800 philosophy? Can we learn from his performance anything about more recent presidents? What of the following is more ironic: (a) Jefferson acting more like a Federalist than a Republican through much of his presidency, or (b) the most powerful branch of government from 1800-1828 turning out to be the judiciary! Pay attention to the evidence on both sides of this little debate in this assignment and the next. Is John Marshall trying to move the country forward on Hamilton's terms? Be sure you understand the emergence of the principle of judicial review. Think beyond the political/philosophical reasons for acquiring Louisiana. What were the practical reasons? What were Jefferson's views toward the Native Americans?
29. The War of 1812. Read Davidson, pp. 288-299. Prepare a matrix chart listing the English and French actions, 1807-1812, and the American responses to them. For extra credit be prepared to dispute the analysis that Madison was a dupe, and instead show that his policy was the prudent one. And remember that the U.S. went to war three times in the twentieth century over "freedom of the seas," so don't think that this is ancient history and of no relevance. Why is the War of 1812 called "the second war for American independence"? How do sectional interests control the debate on the wisdom of intervention? Here are some terms/names that you should know well: impressment, neutrality, nationalism, Embargo Act, Tecumseh, Jackson, and the Hartford Convention. The events of the war are less crucial than the political/international consequences that flowed from it.
30. The New Nationalism: Era of Good Feelings? Read Davidson, pp. 306-322. Compare Hamilton's programs of the 1790s with the Madison program of 1815-1817, and then with Henry Clay's "American System" of the 1820s and 1830s. Get the data. Did the Republicans adopt the old Hamiltonian policies? These were the "good old days" when government stayed out of business and the "free market" was allowed to do its thing. Right? Or is the government deeply involved in the economic growth of this period? Note John Marshall's role, again. Do you believe that the frontier experience made America unique? Be sure you have a firm understanding of all the components of the Monroe Doctrine. What's the theme of this reading?
31. Period Test #2. Covering specifically any and all material covered since class #10-the last period test-and at least generally all the material since the beginning of the term. There will be no essay on this test, but see #34, below.
32. The Roots of Industrial America. Read Davidson, pp. 323-340. How much of American progress was due to gains in technology? How much of it was due to exporting cash crops? How much of it was due to governmental policies? How much of it was just a mirage? What are the characteristics and consequences of factory life?
33. The Age of Jackson I: The New Party Politics. Read Davidson, pp. 342-363. Make a matrix chart of the following events: election of 1824, the Tariff of Abominations, the Eaton scandal, and Marshall's Cherokee decisions.
34. Paper #3 Due. Topic to be announced.
35. The Age of Jackson II: B.U.S. and Other Crises. Read Davidson, pp. 363-376. Continue the matrix chart on the Jackson Era: the Tariff of 1832, Texas Revolution, Whig Party, and the Panic of 1837. Be sure you can articulate the perspectives on both sides of the following confrontations: (a) Calhoun vs. Jackson on state nullification; (b) Webster vs. Hayne on the nature of the Union; and (c) Jackson vs. Biddle on the Bank of the U.S. How much was Jackson to blame for the depression of 1837?
36. The Age of Jackson III: Interpretation. Read pp. 254-269 in G&B. How was Andrew Jackson able to be all things to all people?
37. The Age of Jackson IV: More Interpretation. Read pp. 270-292 in G&B. Do you agree with this analysis of the period and of the man? Try to get a feeling for the changes that were occurring in American society at the time.
38. Early 19th-Century Reform Movements. Read Davidson, pp. 378-400. Connect colonial Puritanism to the reform ideas of this period. Which of these reforms would you have supported? Rejected? Do a matrix chart of the five or six most important movements. Which was the most important of them all?
Albert Bierstadt, "Among the Sierras"
39. Fall Term Final Examination. A final examination covering the work of the fall term will be scheduled during the exam period in late November. Stay tuned for details. Read "Preparing for Your Final Examination" and "How to Prepare for an Examination Essay." Ask me in class about review session details.
Last revised: 12 December 1998
Syllabus copyright © 1998 Ned Gallagher. All rights reserved.