The Formation of the North American State

Fall 2013 quarter

Taught by

political economy, political science


Previous college-level work beyond the introductory level in history and/or the social sciences.

This program will examine the movement of the North American colonies in their separation from Britain to the emergence of the United States through the election of 1800. It will investigate the conflict, including social, racial and class divisions, and the distinctly different visions of the proper social, economic, and political system that should predominate in the new nation. Much conflict surrounded the separation of the settler colonies from Britain, including a transatlantic revolutionary movement, development of slave-based plantations and the birth of capitalism. Capitalism was not a foregone conclusion. We will study this process and pay close attention to the Articles of Confederation and the framing of the Constitution; in addition, we will investigate the federalist and anti-federalist debates surrounding the new framework, its ratification, and the political-economic relations accompanying the move from one governing structure to the other. This program will require close and careful reading, engaged seminar participation and considered, well-grounded writing. Enrolling students are expected to have completed some college-level work in the social sciences and history.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

history, political economy, political science, secondary education, graduate school and informed citizenship.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Number

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 10179

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