Course Details

Basic Information:


  • HIST 361-01W  Creation of the American Republic:1763-1801
  • Instructor: Prof. Kyle B. Roberts (
  • Spring 2017
  • Th: 4:15-6:45 pm
  • Classroom: Cuneo Hall 318
  • Office: Crown Center 525
  • Office hours: Mondays, 1:30 -4 pm and by appointment


  • HIST 302 01/HNRS 389 01
  • Instructor: Prof. Benjamin Bankhurst (
  • Spring 2017
  • Th: 5:15-7:45 pm
  • Classroom: Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, 041
  • Office: 115C Knutti Hall
  • Office hours: MWF, 8-11 am and by appointment

Course Requirements:

The course requirements and their percentage of the final grade for individual students are:

  • 3 blog posts over the course of the semester to her or his household’s blog – weeks vary person to person (20%)
  • 2 digital transcription projects – due in weeks 3 and 5 (10%)
  • 4 digital projects – due weeks 4, 7, 8, and 12/14 (30%)
  • a final paper – due at the end of the semester (20%)
  • class participation – throughout the semester (20%)


The following texts can be found for rental or purchase at the bookstores on both the Loyola and Shepherd campuses. Loyola students will find available copies at the University Bookstore in the Granada Center on Sheridan Road.  Shepherd students will find copies available at the University Bookstore at 301 North King Street. Copies will also be placed on reserve in Cudahy Library (Loyola) and the Scarborough Library (Shepherd).

  • Denver Brunsman and David Silverman, The American Revolution Reader (Routledge, 2014; ISBN:9780415537575)
  • Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (Norton, 2016; ISBN: 9780393082814)
  • Alfred Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution (Beacon, 2000; IBSN: 9780807054055)

Additional readings will be posted on each school’s Sakai website.


Students in the class will be assigned into households of four people that represent the range of inhabitants in the British colonies during our period of study. This will be the basis of group work over the course of the semester. Within each household, students will decide which of the four pre-determined historic individuals they want to be. Students should plan on thinking about the unfolding events of the period from the perspective of that person.

The first assignment of each group is to create a household blog in WordPress. Each group will maintain this website over the course of the semester and use it as the site for the primary posting of their work.

Every student will be writing three original posts for her or his household blog over the course of the semester.  They are to be written on the following schedule:

  • Household Member 1: Weeks 2, 6, 12
  • Household Member 2: Weeks 3, 7, 13
  • Household Member 3: Weeks 4, 8, 14
  • Household Member 4: Weeks 5, 11, 15

Blog posts should be around 750 words (about three pages doubled-spaced in Word).  Posts can, of course, be longer if necessary.  Blog writing tends to be a different beast than paper writing.  Part of your work this semester is finding your voice – one that is scholarly and informed, but one that is also accessible and enjoyable to read.  It can take some work to hit the right balance, but I am sure you can all do it.  It should go without saying to proofread your posts before uploading!

Blog posts should be shared with the other members of your household by 10 pm on Monday of the week they are due. Household members should provide feedback so that the post can be published to the public by 10 pm on Tuesday of the week they are due.

Transcription Projects

Historians work with primary sources in a range of formats. In the digital age, we still work closely with manuscript and printed material even if we put it to different ends. There are two projects this semester which give you experience with working with primary sources and turning them into forms that can be accessed and used more broadly. These projects should be submitted by 10 pm on Tuesday of the week they are due, unless otherwise noted.

Digital Projects

Historians today have a much broader range of methods for studying the past thanks to the advances in computing hardware and software. Our goal this semester is to introduce you to some of these skills through focused projects in textual analysis, mapping, timeline visualizations, network analysis, and database creation. There are four such projects throughout the semester.

You will work with your group on each of these projects throughout the semester, but you will take turns be the project manager. This means that you will have to coordinate your team, oversee their work, and then write up and post to the household website the results of the project of about 1000-1250 words (about four to five pages doubled-spaced in Word).  The projects are to be coordinated on the following schedule:

Household Member 1: Digital Project 1 (due week 4)
Household Member 2: Digital Project 3 (due week 8)
Household Member 3: Digital Project 2 (due week 7)
Household Member 4: Digital Project 4 (due week 12)

These projects should be submitted by 10 pm on Tuesday of the week they are due, unless otherwise noted.

Final Project

The final project requires students to work on an individual final paper of 2500 words (about ten pages double-spaced) in which they revise and expand upon earlier blog posts and group projects on an overarching topic related to the American Revolution.


Students will get feedback on their writing and digital work throughout the semester. They are expected to read over that feedback in a timely manner and to incorporate the suggestions into their written work. This will count towards their class participation grade.  That feedback will be provided via Google Drive files for each household.


This class will utilize Sakai primarily for PDFs of readings not in the required books above.  Students should familiarize themselves with the program if they are not so already.  (For more information, click here.)

Classroom Etiquette:

Please be respectful and courteous of each other (and the instructor) at all times.  In our search for truth, it is important to be able to ask tough questions and to suggest difficult answers on sensitive topics.  Key to this is feeling comfortable, so please refrain from any behavior that would upset that balance.


Students who need accommodations should meet with the professor within the first two weeks of the semester to discuss the need for any special arrangements.

Academic Dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  All work turned in for a grade is to be your own.  Plagiarism includes passing off someone else’s ideas as your own, copying someone else’s work without proper citation, using purchased papers, and cheating on exams.  If you engage in academic dishonesty you will receive a grade of “F” for the examination or assignment and a letter, detailing the event, will be placed in your permanent file in the Dean’s office.

For further information about academic dishonesty see the current Undergraduate Studies Catalog.  If you are unclear about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask.  The English department has a useful and thorough discussion on its website.

University Specific Syllabus Information:

II. Shepherd University:

Catalogue Course Description (Which I am required to include): An intensive study of the 1763-1815 period, this course focuses on the causes, nature, and consequences of the American Revolution and the formation of the United States through the War of 1812. It examines how all peoples living in the mainland colonies affected the creation and security of the new nation and how that new regime in turn shaped their lives.

LEAP Goals and Learning Outcomes: