History 557. 02 Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy



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 History 557.02




History 557.02
Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy

The History of the Early Republic, 1800-1845
The course examines the social and political history of postrevolutionary America. We will study the impact of the Revolution and economic development on American communities and on the American people, particularly on women, slaves, and Native Americans. Our goal will be to understand the national community that emerged from America's disruptive, multifaceted revolution, and to consider the enduring problems that republican communities face.

Required texts: (available at SBX)

William Barney, Passage of the Republic (1987)


Sean Wilentz, Major Problems in the Early Republic (1992)
Leonard Levy, Jefferson and Civil Liberties (1963)
David Edmunds, Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership (1984)
Laurel Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale (1990)
John Blassingame, The Slave Community (1972; rev. ed., 1981)
Robert Remini, The Life of Andrew Jackson (1988)
History 557.02 Reader (course packet)

Recommended text: (available at SBX)
Richard Hofstadter, American Political Tradition (1948)

Recommended survey texts:

John Howe, From the Revolution Through the Age of Jackson: Innocence and Empire in the Young Republic (1973);


Harry Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America (1990);
Gary Nash, et al., The American People (2nd ed., 1990);
Robert Divine, et al., America Past and Present (3rd ed., 1991);
James Henretta, et al., America's History (2nd. ed., 1993)

Topics and Readings:

Week 1 Historiography: Progressives, Counter-Progressives, and Republicans

James Davidson and Mark Lytle, "Jackson's Frontier -- and Turner's Frontier," After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection (1982) (557.02 Reader)
Richard Hofstadter, Preface and Introduction, American Political Tradition (557.02 Reader)
Barney, vii-xv, 1-54
Wilentz, 1-23

Recommended reading:


Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington (1968)
Gene Wise, American Historical Explanations, 2nd ed. rev. (1980)
Robert Shalhope, "Republicanism and Early American History," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 39 (1982), 334-356
Daniel Joseph Singal, "Beyond Consensus: Richard Hoftstadter and American Historiography," American Historical Review, 89 (1984), 976-1004
C. Vann Woodward, Thinking Back: The Perils of Writing History (1986)
William McNeill, "Mythhistory or Truth. Myth, History, and Historians," American Historical Review, 91 (1986), 1-10.
Hayden White, "The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality," in The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation(1987)
Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The Ideal of Objectivity in the Historical Profession(1989)
Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth About History (1994)

Week 2 Jeffersonian Politics, 1800-1824

Barney, 121-134
Leonard Levy, Jefferson and Civil Liberties (1963)
Wilentz, 62-115

Recommended reading:


Fawn Brodie, Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate Biography (1974);
Merrill Peterson, Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (1970)

Week 3 Economic Growth, Territorial Expansion, and the Transformation of Everyday Life

Barney, 9-85
Wilentz, 116-51, 188-237
Nancy Cott, "Young Women in the Second Great Awakening in New England," Feminist Studies, 3 (1975) (557.02 reader)

Recommended reading:


Thomas Cochran, Frontiers of Change: Early Industrialism in America (1981)
Jack Larkin, The Reshaping of Everyday Life (1988)
Douglas North, The Economic Growth of the United States, 1790-1860 (1961)
Stuart Bruchey, The Roots of American Economic Growth, 1607-1861 (1965)
Peter Temin, The Jacksonian Economy (1969)
I. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (1784)
James Henretta, "Families and Farms: Mentalite in Pre-lndustrial America," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 35 (1978), 3-32.
David Hackett Fisher, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989)

Week 4 Native Americans and Indian Removal

R. David Edmunds, Tecumseh
Wilentz, 288-332
Frances Prucha, "Andrew Jackson's Indian Policy," Journal of American History (1969) (557.02 Reader)

Recommended reading:


Mary Young, "Indian Removal and Land Allotment: Jacksonian Justice," American Historical Review, 63 (1958), 31~5 (R)
Theda Perdue, Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866 (1979)
Richard White, The Roots of Dependency: Subsistence, Environment, and Social Change Among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos (1983)

Week 5 Women in the Early Republic

Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale

Recommended reading:


Katherine Sklar, Catherine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity (1973), 1-55.
Nancy Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood (1977)
Suzanne Lebsock, Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860 (1984)
Christine Stansell, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 (1986)
Joan Jensen, Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750-1850 (1986)
David Hackett Fisher, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989), 83-93, 286-306, 490-502, 675-683 (Gender Ways, Sex Ways)

Week 6 Free African-Americans and the South

MIDTERM: Monday, May 5

Eugene Genovese, "The Slave South." The Political Economy of Slavery (1965) (557.02 reader)


Wilentz, 238-287

Recommended reading:


Leon Litwack, North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States (1961)
George Frederickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate over AfroAmerican Character and Destiny, 1817-1914 (1971)
Ira Berlin, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negroes in the Antebellum South (1974)
Edward Pessen, "How Different From Each Other Were the Antebellum North and South?" American Historical Review, 85 (1980), 1119- 1149
Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Honor and Violence in the Old South(1986)

Week 7 Slavery

Stanley Elkins, "Slavery and Negro Personality," Slavery (1959) (557.02 reader)
John Blassingame, Slave Community

Recommended reading:


David Davis, "Slavery and the Post-World War II Historians," in Slavery, Colonialism, and Racism, ed. Sidney Mintz (1974)

Week 8 Family, Education, Religion, Reform, and Cultural Change

Barney, 87-119, 167-174
Wilentz, 423-522
David Donald, "Toward a Reconsideration of the Abolitionists," Lincoln Reconsidered(1956) (557.02 Reader)
Martin Duberman, "The Northern Response to Slavery," The Antislavery Vanguard (1965) (557.02 Reader)

Recommended reading:


Peter Cartwright, "Autobiography," in William McLoughlin, American Evangelicals
Rhys Isaac, "The Evangelical Revolt," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 31 (1974),345-368
Paul Johnson, Shopkeepers' Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 (1979)
Mary Ryan, The Cradle of the Middle Class (1981)
Randolph Roth, The Democratic Dilemma: Religion, Reform, and the Social Order in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, 1791-1850 (1987)

Week 9 Jacksonian Democracy I

PAPERS DUE: Monday, May 26

Barney, 134-166


Wilentz, 333-371
James Davidson and Mark Lytle, "Jackson's Frontier--and Turner's Frontier, After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection (1982) (557.02 Reader)
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., The Age of Jackson (1945) (557.02 Reader)

Recommended reading:


Sean Wilentz, Chants Democratic (1984)

Week 10 Jacksonian Democracy II

Robert Remini, Andrew Jackson
Wilentz, 372-422

Recommended reading:


Marvin Meyers, "The Jacksonian Persuasion," American Quarterly, 5 (1953), 3-15
Lee Benson, "Group Cohesion and Social and Ideological Conflict: A Critique of Some Marxian and Tocquevillian Theories," American Behavioral Scientist, 16 (1973), 741-767
David Potter, "The Historian's Use of Nationalism and Vice Versa," American Historical Review, 67 (1962), 924-950 or in History and American Society (1973)

FINAL EXAMINATION: Monday, June 9 -- 7:30-9:18





Written Assignment (30% of final grade)

Paper: due Monday, May 26. You are to write a historiographical essay (6-8 pages) on two or more historical works. The purpose of the essay is to understand the values, beliefs, experiences, and feelings of historians quite unlike yourselves. I recommend that you ask a bold question in your essay that will force you to come to grips with the differences between you and the historians you choose to examine, a question that will force you to explain how and why your historians' views of the past differs from your own (and/or that of other historians), and that can help you recognize problems in your historians' (or your own) use of evidence, social theory, or definitions. Be sure to state that question in your title and in your first paragraph, and to offer a provisional answer to that question (a thesis statement) at the end of your first paragraph. Whatever you do, please do not title your paper "First Paper" or " Historiographical Essay. " Mr.Roth gets very dispirited when you do things like that, so please don't. Remember, a good title will help you focus your thoughts and force you to state your question clearly.



Suggested topics:

Barney, Levy, and Hofstadter. Sample titles: Did Thomas Jefferson Believe in Democracy? Liberty? Was Jefferson a Man of the People? A Radical?


Wilentz, Barney, Ulrich, Blassingame, Edmunds. Sample titles: Was America a society of consensus or conflict? Did Christianity bind Americans together or drive them apart?
Barney, Remini, Blassingame, Ulrich, Hofstadter, Edmunds. Sample title: Does it matter to historians of the politics of the early republic that half the population of the United States was female? That one-fifth of the population was of African descent? That Native Americans controlled two fifths of the nation's territory?
Note that the key to understanding the work of these historians lies in comprehending the political beliefs and social attitudes of historians, and the ways in which they shaped or failed to shape interpretations of the past.
NOTE: You have the option of rewriting your paper for credit. The final grade on the assignment will be the average of the grades on the first and second drafts. The rewrites will be due at the final examination.

Examinations (60% of final grade)

Quizzes (15 %): We will have four or five quizzes ( 10 to 15 minutes each) in class over the course of the quarter. You will be asked to discuss a passage or a problem in the reading for the previous two weeks. Each quiz will be announced at least two days in advance. The purpose of the quizzes is to reward you for keeping up with the reading, not to trip you up.
Midterm (15%) and Final (30%) examinations: We will have a midterm essay examination on Monday, May 5 and a final essay examination on Monday, June 9, 7:30-9:18. You will answer one essay question on the midterm and two essay questions on the final. Each essay question will give you a choice among several questions.

Discussion and Participation (10 % of final grade)

Class attendance and participation are required. Everyone begins with a grade of "C" in discussion, which can be raised by active participation or lowered by poor attendance. Remember: it is as important to ask questions in class as it is to answer them. If you attend class and ask questions regularly, you will have no difficulty earning an "A" in discussion. It's a great deal. Please take advantage of it!





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