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HISTORY 153: Creation of the Constitution

The course begins with readings setting forth the intellectual and experiential background of the framing, including common law and natural rights theory, republicanism, economic & political scientific ideas, and colonial and post-Independence experience. We then study large parts of the debates at the Constitutional Convention, primarily using Madison's Notes. Major topics are the principle of representation, the extent and enumeration of national powers, the construction of the executive and judicial branches, and slavery. Next come the ratification debates, including readings from antifederalist writers, The Federalist, and speeches in ratification conventions. We conclude with the addition of the Bill of Rights. Classes consist of a combination of lecture and extensive participation by students. Elements used in grading: Class participation, In-class exam, supplemented by short take-home essay. Cross-listed with the Law School ( LAW 7017).
Terms: Spr | Units: 5
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