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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jack Turner Iii
POL S 318
Seattle Campus

American Political Thought I

Major thinkers and themes in American political and cultural development from Puritan origins to the Civil War.

Class description

This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the Civil War. Topics covered include the meaning and consequences of the first encounters between American Indians and Europeans; Puritan concepts of mission, community, and liberty; the rise of the idea of the "self-made" man; the ideological origins of the American revolution; debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists over the Constitution; Jeffersonian republicanism and Jacksonian democracy; the emergence of democratic culture; the question of women's equality; the conflict over slavery; and the relationship between freedom, equality, the rule of law, and popular sovereignty.

Student learning goals

To obtain a basic knowledge of the history of American political thought from the seventeenth century to the Civil War, and acquire a sense of the historical trajectory of American ideas about freedom and democracy during that period.

To enlarge our political vocabularies, so that we may engage each other in political argument with greater force, flexibility, intelligence, and exactitude.

To conduct political dialogue with sympathy, critical attention, passion, and respect.

To strengthen our command of English prose through careful writing.

General method of instruction

Class will consist largely of lecture, but the instructor will dedicate substantial class time to large-group discussion. Participation is strongly encouraged. Students are expected to complete the assigned reading prior to the class for which it is assigned.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Two papers and a final exam.

Paper 1: 25% Paper 2: 25% Final Exam: 25% Participation: 25%

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jack Turner Iii
Date: 11/22/2011