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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 370 • The New American Republic, 1780-1830-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30465 M
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
BUR 232

Course Description

Upper-division standing required. Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Even after the United States won the Revolution, this victory did not immediately guarantee national unity or a clear sense of what it meant to be "American." The period that came to be known as the early republic was marked by intense strugglesfor political stability, in acquiring new territories and conquering wildernesses, in developing new industries and economic markets, and in creating American arts and letters. Throughout these struggles, new kinds of social groups fought over participation in the new nationSouthern planters, female intellectuals, small farmers, enslaved peoples, displaced native peoples, Jeffersonian democrats, and Hamiltonian federalists, to name a few. This class will examine all of the competing voices and debates in this crucial era by focusing on the shared concern to create a new nation and a new culture. We will examine extensively the rise of new kinds of public documents (such as sheet music, political pamphlets, personal diaries and letters, novels, and public art) as a way of plumbing the contested ideas about what it meant to participate in the culture of the time. Overall, we will see that despite their impulses to find a common ground of identity and culture, the United States was a multivalent, complex society by 1830one that still worried about the possibility of falling apart, perhaps even by a civil war.

Grading Policy

Students will write a 12- to 15-page research paper oriented around a single original document from this time period. They will complete the long paper in three different drafts, which will give them the opportunity to revise and expand on their ideas as they progress throughout the semester.


Stephen Burroughs, Memoirs of the Notorious Stephen Burroughs James Fenimore Cooper, Last of the Mohicans Saul Cornell, The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer Douglas Egerton, Gabriel's Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Rebellions of 1800 and 1802 Hannah Foster, The Coquette Rodney Hessigner, Seduced, Abandoned, and Reborn: Visions of Youth in Middle-Class America The Journals of Lewis and Clark David Walker, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World Sean Wilentz, Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the Working Class Alfred Young, Beyond the American Revolution


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