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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Intellectual History of the American Revolution (PGHC11275)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course considers the American Revolution from the perspective of intellectual history. The major debates and ideas which emerged during the conflict will be considered through a close reading of primary sources. Among the major themes considered are: the nature and limits of British rule in America; the emergence of republicanism; and constitution-making; and the limits of the American Revolution.
Course description This course considers the intellectual history of the American Revolution (c. 1763-1791). Owing to wealth of pamphlets, letters, and other primary sources that have survived from the period, the American Revolution provides a unique study opportunity. Among the themes to be considered are the ideological origins of the revolution; the Declaration of Independence; the debate over republicanism; constitution-making at the state and federal levels; the meaning of citizenship, including the place of women, slaves, Native Americans in the new republican polity; concepts of representation; the origin of the Bill of Rights; and the development of religious freedom. The revolution will be considered in the context of broader transatlantic intellectual, political and cultural developments. The course will also consider the American Revolution as a subject within intellectual history through a close reading of primary and secondary sources.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in writing a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the intellectual history of the American Revolution
  2. Demonstrate in seminar discussions and presentation an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the intellectual history of the American Revolution, primary source materials concerning the American Revolution and conceptual discussions about the nature of revolution and transatlantic history during the eighteenth century.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate in seminar discussions, presentations, originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Bernard Bailyn, ed., The Debate on the Constitution, 2 vols. (1993)

Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967)

Francis D. Cogliano, Revolutionary America: A Political History, 1763-1815, 2nd ed. (2009)

David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (1975, revised ed. 1999)

Charles S. Hyneman and Donald S. Lutz, eds., American Political Writing of the Founding Era, 1760-1805, 2 vols. (1983)

Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1980)

Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (1969)

Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsIntellectual History American Revolution
Course organiserProf Frank Cogliano
Tel: (0131 6)50 3774
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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