Early American Republic

History 362: The Early American Republic

Fall 2018 T/Th 9:40-11:10

Dr. Tara Strauch

I’m really excited to teach this class.  Think about it: what DO you know that happens between 1789 (when the Constitution was ratified) and 1850 when Congress passes the Compromise of 1850? I’d guess you might say things like the Missouri Compromise, Indian Removal Act, and maybe the War of 1812.  In that 60 year period, however, so much more happened.  America more than doubled in size.  It grew from a nation of 3 million to a nation of 23 million people! Canals, gravel roads, and trains transformed the nation.

In other words, this class is about understanding how America managed to remain one nation while it also grew and changed more than anyone thought possible.  Its also about how Americans treated one another in a nascent democracy, and how ideas about America, Americans, and the world around them changed too.

We are going to read some interesting books: Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America; Sam Patch: The Famous Jumper; The Pioneers.  We will also read tons of primary sources, scholarly articles and popular pieces.  I’ve thrown a fun one at the bottom of this page for you to look at.

Our assignments will revolve around the creation of Centre College.  It is the perfect year for this course! Our bicentennial! And what better way to understand our college and our place in the world than by thinking about its’ creation.

I’m looking forward to the fall when you can here bad jokes like this:

Q: Why did the pioneers cross the country in covered wagons?
A: Because they didn’t want to wait 40 years for a train!

Here is your fun link: