Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Syllabus Archive

The following syllabi come from a variety of different terms. They illustrate the evolution of this course over time, and are intended to provide alternate views into the instruction of this course.

Spring 2011, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Spring 2010, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Spring 2009, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Spring 2007, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Spring 2006, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Spring 2005, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Fall 2003, Pauline Maier (PDF)

Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation

Class attendance and participation in discussions, which will focus upon the readings assigned for the week is required.


You will be expected to complete a research paper of about 15 pages in length. Papers should answer a carefully posed historical question and be based to a considerable extent upon primary sources, that is, documents that for most topics will be from the eighteenth century. The papers can focus upon any aspect of the Revolution, but must go beyond work done in class. All topics must be approved on or before Week 9. The final papers must include footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography composed in a correct and comprehensible form. They are due during Week 13.


A midterm in-class examination during Week 7 and a scheduled final examination.


Week # Topics KEY DATES
1 Introduction and Historiography

Background: Society, Economy, Politics and Government, America and Britain
2 Background (cont.) and Ideology  
3 Overview of the Independence Movement  
4 Arguments and Actions, 1764-1770  
5 From Resistance to Revolution, 1770-1776  
6 Declarations of Independence; Loyalism  
7 The British View; Review Midterm Exam
8 The Revolutionary War and the Peace of Paris  
9 The First State Constitutions Paper topic due
10 "Liberty!": A Sample of PBS's Series on the American Revolution  
11 The Confederation and the 1780s  
12 The Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the Constitution  
13 Ratification Final paper due
14 Conclusion: The Revolutionary Transformation  
  Final Exam