Seminar in United States History
The seminar will be devoted to an intensive investigation of the role of James Madison in the formation and early development of the American republic (1770s to the 1830s). Particular attention will be paid the relationship between thought and action in Madison’s career through such topics as constitutionalism, politics, foreign policy, slavery, individual rights and civil liberties. For the meetings of the class students will be required to read relevant selections of The Papers of James Madison: Digital Edition in conjunction with a wide range of historical and other commentaries on the same issues, including some decisions of the Supreme Court. The written requirement for the class is the submission of a substantial research paper (20-25 pp.), based on the digital edition of Madison’s papers and supplemented with appropriate secondary sources. Students will be referred to the best and most recent historical scholarship on the various aspects of Madison’s public life.