HIST-251   Early America

Study the region that became the United States, from the first European settlements through the Napoleonic wars. We will treat colonial America as a cluster of distinct socio-cultural regions: plantation Virginia, Caribbean Carolina, Puritan New England, commercial mid-Atlantic, and the Scots-Irish backcountry. These regions converged to sustain a successful war against the British, but almost fell apart again during the first decades of independence. We will pay special attention to the unexpected dynamics of the Revolutionary War and to the Constitution as establishing an arena of combat rather than a set of settled answers.