Skip to Main Content

THIST 410 Early American Politics and Law: The American Revolution: Assignment


Each student will write a research paper of approximately 9 pp. (no more than 10 pp., no less than 8 pp.) . Notes and bibliography do not count in page number total; number your pages please. Your paper must be double-spaced, with Courier New 11 font (Word) and default margins.

The paper will focus on one year from 1804 - 1816 and tell the story and Revolutionary context of that year by using at least two non-assigned scholarly secondary sources and at least FOUR different primary sources, including at least one newspaper account. Encyclopedias (not Wikipedia) and almanacs are fine for initially 'obtaining general information, but do not count towards your two secondary sources and should never form a major part of your bibliography. -Primary quotations borrowed from secondary sources are fine, but do not count towards the four primary sources. Use quotes to complement, not as a substitute for, your own prose and analysis. Students must note all sources of borrowed information, not.just direct quotes.

The assignment is NOT to write about a subject---- i.e., the Northwest Ordinance, Bill of Rights, Judiciary Act, French Revolution, Alien and Sedition Acts, Louisiana -Purchase, etc -- per se. The paper is about a one-year period, and how the occurrences of that year fit into a larger Revolutionary context and the history of early American political parties and law. Thus several specific subjects will be portrayed in your paper, but in the context of the year in which, they occur. I will gladly edit and critique rough drafts before the final paper is due (see syllabus for rough draft due date). The drafts should be typed and include a bibliography and source notes.