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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2008

GOV 335M • Intellectual World of the American Founders-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39290 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
PAR 302

Course Description

Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Government field: Political Theory. Also recommended by UT's Program on Western Civilization and American Institutions, . Students who have taken this course previously, under a different number, are not eligible to take it again under this one. We often read what the Founders of the country wrote. But what were they reading themselves? What were the intellectual influences on thinkers like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton? The answers shed an unusual light on what they were trying to do when they initiated the American experiment in self-government. Fifteen brief readings for this course are selected mostly from James Madison's famous reading suggestions to the Continental Congress (the "Report on Books.") I have also drawn from the favorites of John Witherspoon, "the schoolmaster of the republic," who was a university mentor to several of the Founders, as well as from political sermons which the Founders were known to admire. These controversial readings about politics, history, economics, ethics, religion, and law provide an intriguing way to enter into the minds of the men who began the new nation.

Grading Policy

Short-answer quizzes (25%). Three take-home essays (75%). Extra credit for analytical outlines.


Eleven of the readings are online. Four are in a short readings packet available from te UT Copy Center, MCCombs 3.136, phone: 471-8281.


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