America in the Era of the Revolution, 1763-1800
As a number of historians have observed, the American Revolution now may seem to have been the inevitable culmination of political, economic, and cultural changes underway in the eighteenth century. But for many whose lives were altered by its disruptive contours, it was more improbable than inevitable. How, then, are we to make sense of the Revolution? What were its causes? Its progress? Its extended "settlement," or period of resolution and questions during the course of the semester, we will need to keep our eyes open to changes afoot in many social fields: the ascendancy or democratic and egalitarian thought; the widespread development of consumerism and market capitalism; the linked forms processes of rebellion and nation-building; and the economic and strategic progress of the conflict itself.