Seminar in United States History



Spring 2013

HIUS 4501 (2)

Seminar in United States History

"A 'Glorious Cause' and an 'Unnatural Rebellion': The American Revolution"

Jim Ambuske

This course seeks to engage advanced undergraduate students in the era of the American Revolution, broadly defined as 1763 to 1783, by framing the conflict as an imperial as well as a colonial civil war. We will explore the broader transformations of Great Britain’s North American Empire in the late eighteenth century and the ways in which the British victory in the Seven Years’ War produced an imperial crisis that by the early 1770s pitted some colonists against the Crown and many more colonists against each other. Students will consider not only the reasons why some colonists had broken with the Crown by 1776, but also the fate of those many thousands of loyal colonists who were rewarded with exile at the war’s conclusion. Students will produce an original research paper of approximately 25-30 pages, grounded in primary sources, that illuminates some particular aspect of the Revolutionary era and contributes to our knowledge of the field. We will spend the first six weeks reading primary sources and key secondary works, and students will produce a preliminary statement of interest, a formal proposal, a rough draft, and two short analytical pieces based on the course readings prior to submitting the final draft. This course fulfills the university’s second writing requirement. 



Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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