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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 350
Course Title: American Revolution
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Analysis of the American Revolution during the eighteenth century. The course considers the causes and the consequences of the colonial rebellion against the British Empire in North America. In particular, it focuses upon the cultural, economic, military, and constitutional issues shaping the struggle for independence. Significant attention will be given to the clash of values, interests, arms, and ambitions transforming the thirteen colonies into the United States in 1787. Prerequisite: HIST 121.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): HIST 121.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

One of the primary source texts must be assigned and supplemented with at least two secondary source texts.  Additional primary and secondary sources may be assigned as well.

Other appropriate scholarly monographs may be assigned.

Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution
By Brown, Richard, ed. (Cengage)
Category/Comments - Primary Source
The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
By Middlekauff, Robert (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes
By Hibbert, Christopher (Norton)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
The American Revolution: A Concise History
By Robert J. Allison (Oxford)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic
By James Kirby Martin, Mark Edward Lender (Wiley-Blackwell)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence
By Pauline Maier (Vintage)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America
By Gary B. Nash (Penguin)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution
By Jack N. Rakove (Vintage)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the significant people, places, and events of the American Revolution.
  2. Analyze the factors that shaped colonial resistance movements in Massachusetts and in Virginia.
  3. Explain the responses of natives, blacks, and women to the rebellion against the British Empire.
  4. Analyze the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  5. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and trends in the historiography of the American Revolution.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

Because the course represents an upper level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline.  It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking.  It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., exams, quizzes, papers). The course reading load should be at least 1000 pages; the course writing assignments should total c5000 words. Finally, it must develop student skills and abilities for researching diverse sources of knowledge.

  • The British Empire in America
  • Colonial Resistance
  • Imperial Crisis
  • Continental Congress
  • Declaring Independence
  • George Washington, Commander in Chief
  • Patriots and Loyalists
  • The Widening War
  • Gender and Citizenship
  • Persistent Slavery
  • Religious Freedom
  • Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris
  • The Articles of Confederation
  • Making the Constitution of 1787
  • Crafting the Bill of Rights
  • The American Republic
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Brad Lookingbill Date: September 1, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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