Spring 2024

Early American Debates

Listed in: History, as HIST-269


Jen Manion (Section 01)


[US/TC/TR/TS/P] This course will examine the historic roots of some of the most pressing debates in American politics today. What did people in the revolutionary era really think about citizenship, colonization, democracy, disease, guns, equality, punishment, religion, reproduction, slavery, taxation, and violence? This fresh examination of the nation’s founding period draws heavily on primary sources such as diaries, newspapers, speeches, and pamphlets as well as innovative historical scholarship. Students will be challenged to consider both the power and limits of invoking the past as a political tool in the present. Includes class meetings in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections and the Mead Art Museum. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 20 students. Spring Semester. Professor Manion.

How to handle overenrollment: priority to juniors and seniors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on reading, writing, and small group discussions.