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Tarbutton Hall 105
The instructor for this course will be Dr. Rebecca R Clark, John Marshall Visiting Research Fellow, University of Richmond (2011-12).
In this class, we aim to come to a better understanding of American politics through a study of America’s founding principles. What were the aims of the American founders? How did they understand our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? What is the character of the political community that those documents established? To answer these questions, we will begin with a brief study of the early modern political philosophy that influenced America’s founders, after which we turn to the political thought of the founders themselves, focusing on the debate between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists about the Constitution. Finally, we will take up the political thought of Lincoln and Tocqueville in order to study two early assessments of the character, strengths, and weaknesses of the American political community.
Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources
- 2003. The Federalist Papers. ISBN: 9780451528810.Signet.
- 1980. Second Treatise of Government. ISBN: 9780915144860.Hackett Publications.
- 1985. The Anti-Federalist: Writings by the Opponents of the Constitution. ISBN: 9780226775654.University of Chicago Press.
- 1991. Great Speeches. ISBN: 9780486268729.Dover Press.
- 2004. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. ISBN: 9780823223428.Fordham University Press.
- 1990. The Constitutional Convention and Formation of the Union. ISBN: 9780252061240.University of Illinois Press.
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The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.