Seminar in United States History
Between 2012 and 2015 Americans will witness, in varying ways and to differing degrees, celebrations marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812. These celebrations, however, will consist of no more than a very limited number of selected historical memories from the war-time years in the history of the early republic. They will not enable us to fit the War of 1812 into any coherent understanding of its proper place in the nation's past. This class will help students to understand how this state of selective historical memory-or amnesia-came into being while, at the same time, permit them to see the conflict as the culminating moment of several major themes that shaped the development of the early American nation. Requirements for the class will include the writing of a research paper (20-30 pp.) based on primary and secondary sources. Students will be expected to work through more than one draft of this paper. These requirements will fulfill the second writing requirement for those who need it. A list of books to be read will be available later.