Course Description
Textbooks and Required Readings
Class Participation and Attendance
Course Schedule
Sophomore Seminar Home Page

Schedule: The following tentative schedule should be used as a guide for the completion of assignments and readings. The page numbers of required readings are listed by the last names of the authors. Assigned readings should be completed by the class date listed in the left column.


"What Then Is the American, This New Man?"
J. Hector St. John Crèvecoeur

Aug. 31
What are the Goals of Sophomore Seminar?

Sep. 2
A Strange New World: American Identity and American Exceptionalism

  • Lipset, American Exceptionalism, 13-110.

Sep. 7
A Strange New World: American Identity and American Exceptionalism

  • Lipset, American Exceptionalism, 111-296.
  • Last day for choosing a report topic

Sep. 9
American Exceptionalism: Alternative Views

  • Michael Kammen, "The Problem of American Exceptionalism: A Reconsideration," American Quarterly 45 (March 1993);1-43.
  • Ian Tyrell, "American Exceptionalism in an Age of International History," American Historical Review 96 (October 1991): 1031-1067.

Sep. 14
Abundance and the Frontier: Sources of National Identity?

  • Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1893 (Washington: American Historical Association, 1894), 199-227, reprinted in Does the Frontier Experience Make America Exceptional, ed. Richard W. Etulain (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999), 18-43.
  • David M. Potter, People of Plenty: Economic Abundance and the American Character (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Date), 75-110.

Sep. 16
How to Do Library Research in American Studies

  • Turabian, A Manual For Writers, all pages.

Sep. 21
The Relationship of Thesis, Argument, and Evidence

  • Turabian, A Manual For Writers, all pages.


Sep. 17
Overview of Colonial Period, 1492-1763

Sep. 23
American Civilization and the First Frontier: the Encounter Between Indians, Africans, and Europeans

  • James H. Merrell, "The Indians' New World: The Catawba Experience," William and Mary Quarterly 41 (October 1984): 537-565.

Sep. 28
The Puritan Legacy in American Civilization

  • Edmund S. Morgan, ed., Puritan Political Ideas, 1558-1794 (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1965), xiii-xlvii.
  • Edmund S. Morgan, "The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution," William and Mary Quarterly 24 (January 1967): 3-43.
  • First draft of overview paper covering 1492-1763 due.

Sep. 30

  • Rhys Isaacs "Evangelical Revolt: The Nature of the Baptists' Challenge to the Traditional Order in Virginia, 1765 to 1775," William and Mary Quarterly 31 (July 1974): 345-368.
  • Patricia U. Bonomi, "'The Hosannas of the Multitudes': The Great Awakening in America," in Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).


Oct. 5
Overview of American Revolution, 1763-89

Oct. 7
Document Analysis Declaration of Independence

  • The Declaration of Independence.

Oct. 8
Republican America

  • Robert E. Shalhope, "The Arts in the New Republic," in The Roots of Democracy: American Thought and Culture, 1760-1800 (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990), 53-82.
  • Rrandall Fuller; "Theaters of the American Revolution: The Valley Forge Cato and the Meschianza in their Transcultural Contexts," Early American Literature 34 (1999): 126-147.
  • First draft of overview paper covering 1763-89 due.

Oct. 12
Generations and American Identity.

  • Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, "The Founding Fathers, Young Men of the Revolution," Political Science Quarterly 66 (June 1961):202-216.
  • George B. Forgie, "Introduction," in Patricide in the House Divided: A Psychological Interpretation of Lincoln and His Age (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1979), 3-12.

Oct. 14
The Revolution, the Constitution, and American Identity

  • Lance Banning, "Republican Ideology and the Triumph of the Constitution, 1789-1793," William and Mary Quarterly 31 (April 1974):
  • John M. Murrin, "A Roof without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity," in Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity, ed. Richard Beeman, Edward C. Carter, and Stephen Botein (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), 333-348.

Oct. 21
No Class-Fall Break


Oct. 26
Overview of the National Period, 1789-1848

Oct. 28
The Politics of Identity in the Early Republic

  • Robert Kelley, "Ideology and Political Culture from Jefferson to Nixon," American Historical Review 82 (June 1977): 531-562.
  • Major L. Wilson, "Liberty and Union," in Space, Time, and Freedom: The Quest for Nationality and the Irrepressible Conflict, 1815-1861 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1974), 3-21.
  • Lawrence Frederick Kohl, "Introduction: Politics, Society, and the Individual in the Jacksonian Era," in The Politics of Individualism: Parties and the American Character in the Jacksonian Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 3-20

Oct. 29
American Lives in Transition

  • Larkin, The Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790-1840, 1-148.
  • First draft of overview paper covering 1789-48 due.

Nov. 2
American Lives in Transition

  • Larkin, The Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790-1840, 149-303.

Nov. 4
The Market Revolution and the Significance of Economic Change

  • Barbara Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood, 1820-1860," American Quarterly 18 (Summer 1966):151-174.
  • Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America's Most Cherished Holiday (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966; paperback ed., New York: Vintage Books, 1997), 49-89.


Nov. 9
Overview of the Age of Sectional Conflict, 1848-61

Nov. 11
Was the South Different?

  • James M. McPherson, "Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question," Civil War History 29 (September 1983):220-244.
  • Bertram Wyatt-Brown, "Honor in Literary Perspective," in Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 2-24.

Nov. 16
Sectionalism and American Culture: The Case of the Old South

  • Greenberg, Honor & Slavery, xi-86.
  • First draft of overview paper covering 1848-61 due.

Nov. 18
Sectionalism and American Culture: The Case of the Old South

  • Greenberg, Honor & Slavery, 87-146.

Nov. 23
Racial Identities in Antebellum America

  • Jean Baker, "The Negro Issue: Popular Culture, Racial Attitudes, and Democratic Policy," in Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of Northern Democrats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981), 212-258.

Nov. 25
No Class-Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov. 30
Africans, Americans, or African-Americans?

  • Albert J. Raboteau, "Slave Autonomy and Religion," Journal of Religious Thought 38 (Fall 1981/Winter 1982): 51-64.
  • John B. Boles, "Introduction," in Masters and Slaves in the House of the Lord: Race and Religion in the American South, 1740-1870 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988), 1-18.


Dec. 2
Overview, 1861-1877

  • First draft of overview paper covering 1861-77 due.

Dec. 7

  • Richard Hofstadter, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," in The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), 3-40.
  • David B. Davis, "Images of Conspiracy in the Slavery Controversy: Conceptual Problems and Theoretical Framework," in The Slave Power Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969), 3-31.

Dec. 9
A New Birth of Freedom: American Identity Remade

  • Gary Wills, "Revolution in Thought," in Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), 121-147.

Dec. 14
Reconstruction and Political Cartoons

  • William Bruce Wheeler and Susan D. Becker, eds., "Reconstructing Reconstruction: The Political Cartoonist and the National Mood," in Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence, 2d ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), 279-305.
  • Revised overview papers due, all students


Dec. 17
The Final Exam will be given Friday, December 17 at 9:00-11:00.

Other Courses in American History and Civilization:
| AMS 250 | HIS 223 | HIS 225 | HIS 227 | HIS 306 |
| HIS 308 | HIS 310 | HIS 312 | HIS 314 | HIS 318 | HIS 325 |
| HIS 338 | HIS 426 | HIS 430 | HIS 432 | HIS 470 | HIS 475 |

This page was last updated on 9/13/99.
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Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075

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