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PSCI 221 Philosophical Foundations of the American Revolution

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  • Fall 2017
    Richard Dees
    Fall 2017 ("W" Optional) — MW 10:25 - 11:40
    Course Syllabus

    The eighteenth century was a time of remarkable intellectual activity in the West, and the Americans played a central role in it, both reflecting the thought in Europe and influencing the course of thoughts and events there. In this course, we will study the American Revolution by examining the political theory which sparked the revolution itself and which lay behind the writing of the Constitution. We will begin by looking at the important predecessors to the revolution, particularly the works of John Locke, the Baron de Montesquieu, and David Hume. We will then consider important works from the period surrounding the revolution, including works by Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Finally, we will look at the debates surrounding the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, including the Federalist Papers and important anti-Federalist works and at the debates that arose in the operations of government in the early Republic.

  • Fall 2015
    Richard Dees
    Fall 2015 — MW 10:25 - 11:40
    Course Syllabus

    The eighteenth century was a time of remarkable intellectual activity in the West and those thoughts shaped events then and now, both in America and in the rest of the world. In this course, we will study the American Revolution by examining the political theory which sparked the revolution itself and which lay behind the writing of the Constitution, particularly the works of Locke, Montesquieu, Hume, Paine, Jefferson, and the Federalist and anti-Federalist writers.

  • Fall 2013
    Richard Dees
    Fall 2013 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
    Course Syllabus

    In this course, we will examine the philosophical foundations of the American Revolution by examining the political theory which lies behind the revolution itself and which underlies the foundations of the Constitution, while keeping an eye at the historical contexts that shaped the philosophy. We will begin by looking at the important predecessors to the revolution, particularly the works of John Locke, Montesquieu, and David Hume. We will then consider important works from the period surrounding the revolution, including works by Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Finally, we will look at the debates surrounding the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, including the Federalist Papers and important anti-Federalist works.