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Welcome to HIST 584

(The Early South, 1500-1800, a graduate research seminar.)

HIST 584 The Early South, 1500-1800
Prof. R. Goetz
HUMA 334
Ext. 2886
Office hour T 1-2.

In this research seminar, each student will complete an article-length essay (30-35 pages, including notes) based on original research, on a topic relating to some aspect of the early American South between 1500 and 1800. STUDENTS SHOULD COME WITH A TOPIC IN MIND THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. (This topic may later change.) The paper should be appropriate for submission to a professional historical journal.

Our initial meetings will discuss some background literature and larger questions about the historiography of the early South—where was the South? Was the South distinctive prior to the American Revolution? If so, what made it distinctive from other North American geographic regions? Later sessions will focus on framing appropriate research topics, then on the research and writing of these topics. Students will later write a prospectus that will include a statement of a TOPIC, the PROBLEM the paper will solve or the QUESTION it will answer, a list of accessible PRIMARY SOURCES, a statement of the paper’s methodology, and a statement of the HISTORIOGRAPHICAL SIGNIFICANCE of the work. The prospectus is due in the sixth week of the class, after which the seminar will focus on shared discussions of independent research. Students will be responsible for oral and written critiques of one another’s work throughout the semester. Individual appointments with me will be scheduled throughout the semester. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to discussion of rough drafts and to revision.

No late written work will be accepted. Failure to turn in any written work on the due date will result in a ZERO. In the event of illness or personal emergency, please contact me. Computer and printer problems are not suitable excuses.

Your performance in the seminar will be evaluated on the basis of your paper (60%, with 10% for the prospectus), your other written work, including critiques (20%), and your overall participation in class (20%). All required books are available on reserve.

Monday 7 January: Introduction.
• The Early South—when and where?
• What are you interested in? Come with a topic!
• Library trip—source identification.

Monday 14 January: Topics and Problems in the History of the Early South.
• Discussion of the special issue of the Journal of Southern History, “Redefining and Reassessing the Colonial South” vol. 73, no. 3 (August 2007), 523-670.
• Complete a 2-3 page critique of one of the essays (your choice) but you must read them all.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 37-74.

Monday 21 January: no class, MLK, Jr. Day.

Tuesday 22 January: Writing a Publishable Paper.
• Susan Scott Parish, “The Female Opossum and the Nature of the New World,” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 54, no. 3 (July 1997), 475-514. (JSTOR)
• Margot Minardi, “The Boston Inoculation Controversy of 1721-1722: An Incident in the History of Race,” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 61, no. 1 (January 2004), 47-76.
• Turn in a list of three possible topics, with an explanation and possible source base.
Each student should meet with me by the end of the week to discuss his research topic.

Monday 28 January: Sources, sources, sources.
• Prepare a 3-5 page report on the body/bodies of primary sources you will be using for your paper. Identify where they are, what they are, and how you will be using them. Give your report to your partner by 5pm Sunday evening, and be sure to email all of them to me.
• E.H. Carr, What is History? 3-35 (handout).

Monday 4 February: Arguments, arguments, arguments.
• Bring a thesis paragraph with you—what is your argument?
• How to write a proposal.
• E.H. Carr, What is History? 113-143.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 109-182.

Monday 11 February: discussion of formal proposals.
• Oral presentations on proposals 8-10 minutes each.
• Give your proposal to your partner by 5pm Sunday evening, and be sure to email them to me.
• Prepare a 1-2 page critique of your partner’s proposal.

Monday 18 February: no class, meet with me.
• Revised proposals are due to me by Friday 22 February, 12 p.m.

Monday 25 February: From notes to thesis statements—think big, think small.
• Bring your revised thesis paragraph to class with you—make sure you have considered the significance of your argument!
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 183-207.
• Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher (6th edition), 101-148.

Monday 3 March: No class, midterm break.

Monday 10 March: Outlines, outlines, outlines.
• Circulate your detailed outlines to your partner and to the class by 5pm Sunday evening. Be sure to email them to me!
• Bring to class a 1-page critique of your partner’s outline.

Monday 17 March: Research Problems and Primary Sources.
• Bring to class one research problem you are having difficulty solving.
• Turn in to me an informal exploration of one of your key primary sources to me (2-3 pages).
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 208-240.

Monday 24 March: No class, meet with me.

Monday 31 March: No class, meetings with me are optional.


Monday 7 April: Rough draft presentations (this will be a long session, probably from 2-7, with a pizza break)
• Read and prepare to comment on each student’s draft.
• Prepare a 1-2 page critique for your partner.

Monday 14 April: No class, individual meetings with me.

Monday 21 April: The Fine Art of Revising.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 263-282.
• Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher, 6th Edition, 193-234, 257-274.
• The Chicago Manual of Style Common Errors handout.


Welcome to HIST 265

I’ve taught this course–North America in the Age of Revolution–before. (I didn’t blog that syllabus.) I’ve made quite a few changes to it, including eliminating one of the writing assignments. Though I generally don’t approve of eliminating writing, this will allow me to put more emphasis on research process for the students’ term papers, and hopefully they won’t leave it until the end of the semester if they are less burdened with other writing assignments.

I’ve also added a test and made the midterm an in-class exam. The test is towards the beginning of the semester and will cover basic facts (names, dates, events) of the Revolution. I’m hoping students can get a handle on the who, what, and when so we can then spend the rest of the semester in close readings of several important secondary works (Bailyn, Fischer, Frey, and Countryman) and many important primary sources and shorter secondary readings. I haven’t tried teaching a class quite in this manner before, so this is something of an experiment.

HIST 265 North America in the Age of Revolution, 1763-1804

Dr. R. Goetz
Office hour: T 1-2 and by appointment
HUMA 334
Ext. 2886

Required texts:

• Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Harvard University Press reprint 1992)
• Edward Countryman, ed., What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans? (Bedford/St. Martins, 1999)
• David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (Oxford University Press, 2004)
• Sylvia R. Frey, Water From the Rock: Black Resistance in a Revolutionary Age (Princeton University Press, 1991)
• James Kirby Martin, ed., Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin (Brandywine Press, 1999)
• Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776 (Penguin Great Ideas, 2006)
• Gordon Wood, The American Revolution: A History (Modern Library, 2003)

A copy of each of these books is available on reserve, or you may purchase them in our bookstore (or online if you prefer—be sure you get the right editions). I will also be handing out various primary sources in class. Make sure you keep these—I suspect some might turn up on exams. J

Short Paper………………15%
Term Paper Proposal…….10%
Term Paper………………25%
Final Exam………………25%


You will note that there is no percentage for participation. This does not mean, however, that your presence in class and active involvement in our discussions is not expected. Many aspects of your work rely on collaboration with your classmates, and so unexcused absences harm everyone in the class, not just yourself. I take attendance at each class; after three unexcused absences your final grade, based on the percentages listed above, will fall by one letter grade. Your grade will fall by another letter grade for each unexcused absence after the third. That means even the perfect A student will fail the course after six absences. So, the moral of the story is…come to class!

If you are sick, or if you have a personal emergency that requires your absence from class, provide the appropriate documentation and I will excuse you. You may come to office hours or make an appointment with me to discuss material you missed.

I will NOT accept late papers. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date (unless otherwise noted)…not halfway through the class, not at the end of class, not slipped under my office door sometime after the start of class. Computer and printer problems are not a suitable excuse for late papers. Only illness and personal emergency are suitable excuses for turning in a paper late with no penalty. Papers turned in late without verification of illness or personal emergency will receive a grade of ZERO.

If you are traveling on the day a paper is due for an athletic event or other college event, you must make arrangements with me to turn in your paper before you leave.

I do not accept emailed papers (as we all know, attachments sometimes get lost—there is no substitute for a hard copy!). If you send me an emailed paper, that paper will receive a grade of ZERO.

All assignments in this course are covered by the honor code. You may NOT work together on writing assignments or on the final paper. (You may of course study together for tests and exams.)

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations must speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Disabled Student Services in the Ley Student Center.

Monday, January 7 Course introduction: What was the Revolution about?
W 1/9 Interpreting the American Revolution, Part I
*Mercy Otis Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (1805), 3-16; Charles Beard, The Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, xli-liii (1913); and Charles M. Andrews, “The American Revolution: An Interpretation” American Historical Review, vol. 31, no. 2 (January 1926), 219-232. (handouts)
F 1/11 Interpreting the American Revolution, Part II
*Edmund S. Morgan, “The American Revolution: Revisions in Need of Revising” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 14, no. 1 (January 1957), 3-15; Jesse Lemisch, “The American Revolution Seen from the Bottom Up” in Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History; and T.H. Breen, “Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising” Journal of American History vol. 84, no. 1 (June 1997), 13-39. (handouts)
Monday January 14 Wood, American Revolution, 1-44
W 1/16 Wood, American Revolution, 46-109
F 1/18 Wood, American Revolution, 113-166
Monday January 21 NO CLASS (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
W 1/23 TEST
F 1/25 Bailyn, Ideological Origins, v-xvi, 1-54
Monday, January 28 Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 55-159
W 1/30 Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 160-198
Friday February 1 Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 198-246
*Thomas Fitch, et al. Reasons Why the British Colonies in America Should Not Be Charged With Internal Taxes (1764) (handout)
Monday February 4 Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 246-320
F 2/8 Paine, Common Sense, 3-24
Monday February 11 Paine, Common Sense, 24-46
W 2/13 Paine, Common Sense, 46-78
Monday February 18 MIDTERM EXAM
W 2/20 Fischer, Washington’s Crossing, 1-65
F 2/22 Fischer, WC, 66-114, Joseph Plumb Martin, vii-xviii, 1-64
Monday February 25 Fischer, WC, 115-205, JPM, 65-121
W 2/27 Fischer, WC, 206-262, JPM, 123-145
F 2/29 Fischer, WC, 263-289, JPM, 145-168
Monday March 10 Fischer, Washington’s Crossing, 290-379
W 3/12 Who were the Loyalists?
*Robert M. Calhoun, “Civil, Revolutionary, or Partisan: The Loyalists and the Nature of the War for Independence,” in The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays (on reserve)
F 3/14 The Indians’ Revolution
*Colin Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country, Chapter Three (Stockbridge: The New England Patriots); Chapter Nine (Cuscowilla: Seminole Loyalism and Seminole Genesis); Chapter Ten (The Peace That Brought no Peace)
Monday March 17 Frey, Water from the Rock, 3-80
W 3/19 Frey, Water from the Rock, 81-142
F 3/21 Frey, Water from the Rock, 142-205
Monday March 24 Frey, Water from the Rock, 205-332
W 3/26 Visit from Dr. Byrd
F 3/28 State Constitutions
*The Pennsylvania and Massachusetts state constitutions (handout)
Monday March 31 The Articles of Confederation
W April 2 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 69-88
*Alan Taylor, “Agrarian Resistance in Post-Revolutionary New England,” in Robert Gross, ed., In Debt to Shays (on reserve)
Monday April 7 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 1-29
*Gary Nash, The Forgotten Fifth, 69-122 (on reserve)
W 4/9 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 33-68
F 4/11 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 89-112
Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 321-379
Monday April 14 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 113-140
Linda Kerber, Liberty’s Daughters, 256-299 (on reserve)
W 4/16 Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean? 141-163
F 4/18 Federalists, 10, 84, and 85 (handout)
Monday April 21 The Haitian Revolution
W 4/23 What was the Revolution About?