This course evolves. Its syllabus may change significantly from semester to semester.
Hst 417/517: The Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1800
Dr. Owen Stephen Ireland, 146 FOB 395-5627
Or by Appointment
HST 417 is a
course. It requires you to research and write a major paper of 20-25 pages. Its prerequisites are Hst 211 AND Hst 390. [ Or equivalents]
I need to see a copy of your 390 paper by Friday.
Required Texts: NONE
Recommended: Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual.
Major Paper: 20-25 pages 25%
Preliminary Drafts 25%
Define area and preliminary bibliography 5% Due week two
Outline and Bib 5% Due week three
Five page draft 5% Due week six
Ten page draft 5% Due week eleven
Oral presentation 5% Due week fourteen
Final Exam 25%
YOU MUST ATTEND REGULARLY. I DEPEND ON YOUR PRESENCE AND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS. IF YOU NOW KNOW THAT YOUR OTHER OBLIGATIONS WILL INTERFER WITH YOUR ATTENDANCE, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER TAKEING ANOTHER COUSE THIS SEMESTER AND COME BACK WHEN YOU CAN MAKE THE TIME COMMITMENT.
1. SEVENTEEN ESSAYS ON VARIOUS INTERPRETATONS AND PERSPECTIVES ON THE REVOLUTION [H-1 THRU H-17] Angel
2. TEN ESSAYS ON WOMEN IN THE ERA OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION [W-1 THRU W-10] Angel
3. SIX WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
- 8/25 Introduction Overview, Syllabus, Greene on Clark
- 8/27 H-1 Green on Clark
- 8/29 H-2 Pearl “Bunker Hill.” [On Angel]
- 9/3 W-1-Kerber, “Republican Motherhood.”
- 9/5 INFORM ME IN WRITING OF YOUR CHOSEN AREA and include a TWO PAGE Bibliography constructed according to the attached “Research Exercise”. PAPER COPY at class time but ELECTRONIC copy by 8 [eight] AM.
- 9/8 H-3 Andrews, “The American Revolution, an Interpretation (Andrews)
- 9/10 W-2-Kerber, “ Paradox of Women’s Citizenship: Martin v Massachusetts.”
- 9/12 NARROW YOUR TOPIC AND PROVIDE ME WITH AN OUTLINE AND A FIVE PAGE BIBLIOGRAPHY: Paper copy at class time, Electronic copy by 8 am.
- 9/15 H-4-Beard 1
- 9/17 W-3-Lewis “Republican Wife”
- 9/19 H-5-Green “Origins of the American Revolution.”
12. 9/22 H-6- Macdonell “Popular Mobilization and Political Culture.”
13. 9/24 W-4- Nash, “Rethinking Republican Motherhood.”
14. 9/26 H-7 Macdonell. “World Turned “Topsy-Turvey.”
15. 9/29 W-5- Zagarrie, “Morals, Manners and the Republican Mother.”
16. 10/1 No reading assignment
17. 10/3 FIVE PAGE PAPER : PAPER at class time and ELECTROINC at 8 am.
18. 10/6 H-8 Comments on wood
19. 10/8 W-6- Kierner
20. 10/10 H-9 Wood responds
21. 10/15 W-7- Bodle
22. 10/17 H-10 Alexander
23. 10/20 H-11 Morgan on Nash and Lynd
24. 10/22 W-8-Ireland “Esther DeBerdt Reed”
25. 10/24 H-12- Ireland “Crux”
26. 10/27 H-13- Beard 
27. 10/29 W-9-Bolch, “ Changing Conceptions of Sex and Romance in Eighteenth Century America.”
28. 10/31 H-14- [Hofstsadter on Beard??]
29. 11/3 NO READING ASSIGNMENT
30. 11/5 NO READING ASSIGNMENT
31. 11/7 TEN PAGE PAPER. PAPER at class time plus ELECTRONIC 8(eight) AM
32. 11/10 W-10-Klepp, “Revolutionary Bodies
33. 11/12 H-15 Cheng, “American Historical Writers and the Loyalists
34. 11/14 H-16 Conway, “From Fellow Nationals to Foreigners.”
35. 11/17 H-17 [Knott, “Sensibility.”]
36. 11/19 DETERMINE SEQUENCE FOR ABSTRACTS
37. 11/21 FINAL EXAMINATION
38. 11/24 WRITTEN ABSTRACTS DUE: Electronic. 8(eight) AM
In class, ORAL ABSTRACTS in class. Three or four as time permits. Those presenting their oral abstracts today MUST also bring paper copies, one for me and one for each member of the class.
39. 12/1 ORAL ABSTRCTS 
40. 12/3 ORAL ABSTRCTS 
41. 12/5 ORAL ABSTRCTS [n]
12/8 EXAM WEEK- FINAL PAPER DUR ON THE DAY OF THE FINAL EXAM 8 (eight) AM ELECTRONIC ONLY
12/19 I WILL RETURN YOUR PAPERS WITH MY COMMENTS ELECTRONICALLY VIA ANGEL.
. Due on day of final exam: eight  AM. [no penalties for early submission]
Twenty to twenty-five pages: Electronic ONLY . FORM-- Hacker.
- 9/5 Pick an area. Inform me. Research Exercise. Paper in Class. Electronic. Eight  AM
- 9/12 Narrow your topic and provide me with an Outline [1-2 pages] and Bibliography [5 pages]. Paper in Class; Electronic . Eight  AM
- 9/15-10/1: Occasional Random Oral Reports in Class
- 10/3 Five page draft. Proper form with footnotes and bibliography. Paper in Class; Electronic. Eight  AM
- 10/11-11/6: One-on-One conferences with me, as needed.
- 11/7: Ten page draft. Proper form with footnotes and bibliography. Electronic. Eight  AM.
- 11/24 Abstract of your paper. Electronic copy to the class [ANGEL] by eight (8) AM.
In the last week of the semester, each of you will present to the class an abstract of your paper: thesis, the argument and evidence, and significance. [250-500 words]. Three to five minute presentation, five to eight minutes for questions and discussion. Electronic copies of your abstract must be distributed to the class in advance, i.e., on November 24.
- Exam week . Final paper due on the day scheduled for our final exam. eight  Am. Electronic ONLY No penalty for early submission.
TOTAL POINTS FOR RESEARCH AND WRITING= 50 OUT OF 100
You may choose one of the topics below or develop one of your own. If you develop your own, you need to convince me that: 1. you have not researched and are not now researching this topic for credit in another course, 2. the topic is worthy of the time and energy I expect you to devote to it, and 3. you can find the resources necessary to complete it in a timely fashion.
- Women: individual, loyalist, patriot, military, riots, suffering. English women in the era of the American Revolution. Irish Women. German Women.
- The Irish and the American Revolution: Irish participation in the war; the impact of the Revolution on Ireland in the 1780s and 1790s; the impact of the Irish on America’s entrance into the war and/or on American politics in the post war era.
- Military: battles, generals, soldiers, militia, continentals, strategies, British, Indians, Black Americans, women. George Washington: A New Kind of Military Leader? A Test of David Hacket Fischer, Washington’s Crossing. Pick a military engagement, describe what happened, summarize how historians have evaluated its significance in different times, and then discuss its significance as you now see it. For example: Saratoga, Sullivan’s campaign against the Iroquois, Nathanial Green in the south, Washington at Trenton and Princeton, Arnold in Canada.
- British military strategy and the men who made it and the men who implemented it. Goals, tactics, successes and failures.
- English popular thinking about America: 1760s and early 1770s; 1772-1776, 1776-1780.
- When and HOW Americans became Americans. Individuals [Abigail or John Adams, for example], Historiography, colonies/states. Creation [invention?] of American Identity and American Nationalism. How did English subjects living in British North America become something new: Americans? April, 1775-July, 1776: the crucial year. When and why did key individuals [male or female] and regions or colonies decide for Independence? Study a small number in great detail.
- Impact of the Revolution on Europe: Britain, Ireland, Germany
- Impact of the Revolution on Americans: Indians, Black Americans, Women, Poor, Religious Leaders, Religious Denominations, the economy, politics, ideas.
- Revolution from the British Perspective: Goals, strategies, divisions, debates, factions, parties, personalities [Burke, Wilkes, North, GIII, Macaulay], Radicals, Military, Public Opinion. Why the British decided to fight. Why the British decided to quite. Peace efforts: Carlisle Commission. Spring 1779 Who shaped British policy and why? British historians, then and since.
- Political in one or more adjacent colonies/states. 1774-1778, Post war?
- Minorities: Indians, Black Americans, Germans, Irish. Participation in, attitude towards, impact upon.
- Literature [fiction]: Pick a film [Mel Gibson’s The Patriot for example], a novel [James Fennimore Cooper for example] or a play and subject it to historical criticism. Summarize the work, check its facts, identify its thesis and arguments, evaluate its interpretation, and place it in historiographical context.
- For a relatively recent book [historical monograph] on some aspect of the American Revolution, write a paper that identifies the author’s thesis, summarizes the author’s argument and evidence, evaluates that argument and evidence, and then explores ways in which this book fits into, adds to, modifies, alters, refines, challenges, refutes the work of other historians. For example: Simon Schuma, Rough Crossing: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution . NY: Harper Collins Books, 2005. OR Joanne Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
- The costs of war: the suffering, loss, disruption and devastation of war, especially with respect to women, children, widows, wounded veterans and the elderly. Infectious diseases and the war: impact on the military, the civilian population, and possibly on strategy and tactics of campaigns.
- Profiteers in the American Revolution: Bingham, Laurens, Deane, Morris and others. Who got rich while others sacrifices and died?
- Spies, Treason, Pirates, Prisoners of War, Mercenaries, Native Americans.
Research Exercise: Swimming Up Stream
- Find a book on your AREA. List it as the first item in your bibliography.
- Identify its Library of Congress subject heading.
- List five other books under this same subject heading.
- List five other books cited by most of these six. [4 out of 6?]
- List five articles cited by at least one of these books.
- Find one of these articles, print it out and attach it.
- Highlight in color, ten items [books or articles] cited in the footnotes of this article. Then list the ten in your bibliography.
Your now have your first preliminary bibliography. It should include:
- Book One.
- Library of Congress subject headings.
- Books 2-6. [Alphabetical order by author]
- Books 7-11. [Alphabetical order by author]
- Five articles. [Alphabetical order by author]
- Ten items gleaned from the footnotes of one of the articles listed [alphabetical order by author, books first followed by articles]
- Make a copy for me and for each member of the class [19 total]. Attach a copy of the article [with ten footnote items highlighted in color], to the paper you turn in to me.
- Due: electronic copy on Angel by 8 am. Paper copy at class time.
Plagiarism Please be Careful.
Students with documented disabilities may be entitled to specific accommodations. SUNY Brockport’s Office for Students with Disabilities makes this determination. Please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at 395-5409 or firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about obtaining an official letter to the course instructor detailing approved accommodations. The student is responsible for providing the course instructor with an official letter. Faculty work as a team with the Office of Students with Disabilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
I will feel free to give you a quiz any day we have a reading assignment. For each essay we read, you should come to class prepared to identify the thesis [25 words], summarize the main points in the argument the author offers in defense of that thesis, evaluate the thesis in light of that argument, and explore ways in which this article relates to most of what we have already read.
You must be here in order to participate. Therefore, more than three unexcused absences will drastically reduce your participation grade. In the same light, you must say something in class in order to earn full participation points.
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Last Updated 7/22/10