The Early American Republic, 1789-1815 HIST4141

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the crucial formative era of the United States as a new nation. It starts with brief attention to the colonial period, then looks intensively at political, martial, and social developments during the long Revolutionary War, and concludes by exploring how those forces and experiences influenced late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century America in a variety of ways, many of which were unanticipated.


This course will be offered at least twice weekly via lectures and/or seminars and taught as scheduled in MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.


Coursework - class essay (2000 words approximately)

Examination duration - 120 mins

Coursework - seminar presentation

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the History honours programme, to which this course contributes, are:

To develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills you acquired during your first two years;

To offer you the opportunity to study previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options;

To offer you the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness;

To introduce complex historical debates and interpretations, to develop skills in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research, and

To encourage the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate the ability to:
1: summarise the principal aspects of the era of the Early Republic and its legacies;
2: evaluate critically historical evidence and historiographical arguments;
3: write clearly argued and organized essays, based on a wide range of secondary literature and the available primary sources;
4: present clear arguments in seminar presentations and engage in constructive debate with each other.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.