POLSCI 306 - American Political Thought: Early
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
POLSCI 101 or upperclass standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course covers approximately 230 years of American Political Thought. We explore the early Protestant tradition in New England. This tradition emphasized faith, community, small group participation, and self-government while retaining traditional ideas about hierarchy, race, gender, and the right to exclude dissenters. Next, we look at how the Enlightenment took hold in the colonies and the emergence of political debates on independence, rationality, liberty, equality, consent, and limited government. We pay particular attention to the liberal and republican traditions and how they shaped the constitution of 1787. We delve into a range of intellectual and popular movements such as the Great Awakening, the rise of print culture, and Transcendentalism. We look at movements that emerge among women, such as women ’s mobilization against slavery and women’s arguments for their own full political rights, including the right to vote. We will explore the impact of settler colonialism, the status of enslaved people, free blacks, and Native Americans, as well as the political and economic claims advanced by people of color. We wrap up with a look at the ideological, economic, and political conflicts that shaped the US Civil War.

This course is in the Political Theory subfield.

Course Requirements:

Essay exams, groupwork, oral participation in discussion sections, and reading political theory texts written in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

Intended Audience:

Upper division LSA students.

Class Format:

Mix of lecture, full class discussion, and small group discussion. Plan to do the reading before coming to class.


POLSCI 306 - American Political Thought: Early
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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