According to historian Gordon Wood, the ideas of classical republicanism affected the way Americans viewed the actions of the British. But, as John Adams put it, “republicanism” meant something different to different classes of Americans. How did different groups of Americans see the promise of the Revolution? What were the most critical events from 1765 to 1787, and how did republican ideals shape the views of Americans?
Be sure to discuss in your essay:

  • The interconnections between individuals and institutions (for example, politics, law, economics, culture, religion, family, etc.) in early America.
  • How the period expresses the historical ideas of change over time, context, and causality.
  • The diversity of colonial experience (wealthy, “middling sort”, poor, black, Indian; merchants, plantation owners, small farmers, artisans etc,)

How to Write the Paper – Read this Second

The opening paragraph of your essay is the Introduction. The Intro should provide some context (the who, what, when, and where) of the essay; and, it should state your thesis. Your thesis should be structured as an answer to the question posed in the topic. It is fine if you need to present more than one sentence in your introduction to construct your thesis—this is called a thesis statement.
The Main Body of your paper, that is all of the paragraphs but the first (the Intro) and the last (the Conclusion), should consist of the evidence you are using to support (“prove”) your thesis. That evidence should be from the primary and secondary sources provided in the course. Each paragraph should concentrate on one major piece of evidence that explicitly explains how the evidence relates to your thesis.
The last paragraph is the Conclusion. It should restate the thesis, hopefully in a slightly different way, and draw together the different pieces of evidence. Basically, it should show why this topic is important.
Grammar counts. Use direct, clear language, and save time to proofread and edit to catch mistakes, typos, and awkward phrases before you turn in the final version.

Formatting and Requirements – Read This Third

Minimum Length: Papers should be between four or more in length, double-spaced, in 12 pt. Times New Roman or a similar font with 1” page margins.
The grade will be based on how effectively you answer the essay question using relevant information from the lectures, textbook, and other assigned readings. In addition, clarity, spelling, and grammar all count in determining the final grade.
Check the rubric at the bottom of this topic page for details on grading.

Sources and Citations

No outside sources are to be used. Use only 1) the two books: Foner’s Give Me Liberty! and Wood’s The American Revolution; and 2) your lecture notes and the various course materials supplied in D2L. Citations are only required for direct quotes. They can be in a simple parenthetical format – see the following examples:

  • For Give Me Liberty!: (Foner, pg. 101).
  • For The American Revolution: (Wood, pg 35).

Again: use no outside sources!
Bibliography: No bibliography or works cited is necessary.