Lectures Seminars Course Information

THE U.S., 1789-1920



In each term there will be five hour-long primary document discussion seminars. Students taking the full course must attend all ten; one-term affiliates must attend all five in the term they're here.

It is essential to prepare for each seminar by reading all the primary sources in advance. The list on the right shows you what you will probably be expected to read for each seminar. All these documents are also in the Document booklet that accompanies the course. Please note that your seminar teacher may suggest alternative or additional readings.

Slavery and the Founding Fathers (Week 3)
Debates in the Constitutional Convention about the slave trade
Exchange of letters between Benjamin Banneker and Thomas Jefferson, 1791

Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes, 1820
The Market Revolution (week 4)
The Working Men's Declaration of Indpendence, 1829
Henry Niles, "Morality of Manufactures," Niles Weekly Register (1823)
An account of the Cotton Boom in Alabama and Mississippi
Opinion of Chief Justice Taney in the Charles River Bridge Company case (1837)
Political culture in the antebellum republic (week 5)
1824 Election cartoon
A campaign biography supporting Andrew Jackson, 1828
Andrew Jackson on the Bank issue and Henry Clay on the tariff
John O'Sullivan, statement of principles from "The Democratic Review" (1837)
Pro-slavery thought and abolitionism (week 7)
William Lloyd Garrison, editorial from the first issue of The Liberator, Jan 1, 1831
Frederick Douglass, "What to the slave is the fourth of July?", speech, July 4, 1852
John C. Calhoun, “Slavery as a Positive Good,” (Speech in the US Senate, 1837)

Manifest Destiny and the debate over slavery's expansion (week 8)
Thomas Hart Benton on white supremacy, 1846
John L. O'Sullivan, "The Great Nation of Futurity", Democratic Review, 1839
Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois 1854

Secession and the Confederate Republic (week 12)
South Carolina Ordinance of Secession
Speech in favour of secession in the Alabama convention, Jan. 11, 1861
Alexander Stephens' "Cornerstone Speech", March 1861
Emancipation (week 13)
Hannah Johnson to President Lincoln, 31 July 1863
James H. Gooding to President Lincoln, 28 September, 1863
Three reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation

Julia Ward Howe, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
The "failure" of Reconstruction (week 14)
Diary of a Freedman's Bureau Agent
Thaddeus Stevens on black suffrage, 1867
A "Liberal Republican" on the South Carolina Legislature(1874)
A Democratic view of the 15th Amendment

Klan violence in Georgia, 1871
Immigration, "whiteness" and national identity (week 17)
Theodore Roosevelt on assimilation
Francis A. Walker, "Restriction of Immigration," The Atlantic Monthly; June, 1896
Populism (week 18)
People's Party Omaha Platform 1892

Why I Became a Populist, by Lorenzo Lewelling