Skip Navigation

Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: HIST403 Course ID: 3065 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

The Early Republic, 1783-1815 examines the development of American political, social, and cultural institutions during the formative years of the new Republic. Through a study of the primary and secondary literature of American history this course surveys the individuals and groups who influenced the American experience, as well as the cultural, political, and socio-economic movements that shaped the nation. (Prerequisites: HIST300/HS334 for History and Military History majors only)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon completion of The Early Republic, 1783-1815, students will be able to:

CO-1 Examine the historical development of the nation from the Treaty of Paris to the Treaty of Ghent and identify the major figures in the American experience and explain their significance.

CO-2 Evaluate the role of the American colonial economy(ies) in the British imperial system on the eve of independence.

CO-3 Elaborate on why some American political leaders believed the Articles of Confederation were inadequate, why they sought a stronger national government, and why others were fearful of such efforts.

CO-4 Assess the major foreign policy goals of the Confederation Congress and first four presidential Administrations, as well as the internal and external forces that influenced American foreign policy in the early republic.

CO-5 Explain how the framework of the national government under the Constitution was intended to balance competing aspirations for liberty and effective authority and competing economic, sectional and political interests.

CO-6 Analyze the nature of the disputes that divided American politics in the 1790s and the origins of the First Political Party System (Federalists versus Republicans).

CO-7 Give examples of why the Jeffersonian Republicans defeated the Federalists in 1800, and state what changed and what did not change in American politics and society in the first decade of the 19th century.

CO-8 Compare the competing visions of American economic and political development and how they may have influenced national policy in the first three decades of the republic.

CO-9 Describe the major economic cycles and the causes of economic change along with the key points in the evolution of American commerce and society, in addition to key economic organizing principles in the early republic.

CO-10 Describe the major currents of socio-cultural reform and their influence on the process of social change, as well as their role in shaping the nation’s politics.

The course grade will consist of the average of grades earned for responses to Discussion questions, the mid-course and final examinations, and the journal article review.

In addition to a Virtual Introduction for Week 1, Discussion responses are required for Weeks 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. These responses – also called “posts” -- will involve analyzing readings, comparing and contrasting the views of authors, and critiquing arguments presented by the readings or the class. Students are asked to respond to the Discussion question(s) listed below in the Assignments column in an initial post. Then they are to respond to at least 3 posts by fellow learners. The initial post is due by 11:55 p.m., ET, the Thursday of the week.. Each response -- due 11:55 p.m., ET, the following Saturday of the week . You are required to post a minimum of four times in every Discussion.

All cases of written submissions – whether the writing assignments, the final exam, or Discussion postings -- will be judged for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Opinions must be supported by evidence from the readings or outside sources, which must be cited. Weight will also be given to correct spelling, grammar, clarity of exposition, and other writing technicalities. In this regard, pay particular attention to the “Standards for Evaluating Written Work” in the Resources section of the e-classroom. These apply as well to e-mail messages.

It should be pointed out that in online courses, knowledge is gained not just by completing readings and written assignments but also by communicating with classmates and learning from what they have to say. For this reason, the Forum responses – the online conversations – are given great weight in evaluating a student’s performance.

The scoring of the Forum postings is based on the following: the initial statement is awarded 1-2 points, depending on the quality of the write-up, and each follow-up response is given 1 point (up to 3 points). Responses with no initial statement earn 1 or 2 or 3 points, depending on the number and quality of responses the student makes.
Responses and forums should abide by the University Netiquette policy (see below.) The purpose of the Forum activities is to expand your learning opportunities by engaging in academic and thought-provoking asynchronous conversation with your classmates and instructor. The instructor’s role is to facilitate the learning process by participating in the forums and moving conversations by promoting an advanced level of inquiry.
The exams will consist of essay questions to gauge the student’s understanding of the assigned readings. They are open-book, non-proctored exams. The exam questions are similar in format and content to the Forum questions, and each question will require a response of 2-3 pages (or about 750-1,000 words). The exams will be activated a week before the due date.
The Journal Article Review should consist of 4 to 6 pages, reviewing the primary argument of a current academic journal article. Please review the assignment instructions in the assignments area.
For all assignments – Forum postings, exams and review – follow the guidelines outlined in the documents “Course Assignment Policy,” “Rubrics: Standards for Evaluation,” “Standards for Evaluating Written Work,” and the “Writing a Journal Article Review” in the Resources section of the course site.

To access the Freeman text, Affairs of Honor,

For example:

  1. You can use the URL link(s)* below;
  2. Or, select the URL link(s)* from the Web Resources module in the navigation menu of your classroom, if available.
  3. Or, use the links in the library’s online catalog. To find the book from the catalog :
  1. Select the ‘Books and e-Books’ link
  2. If you have not utilized Library e-books, please take a moment to read about the different formats and vendors of our e-books.
  3. When ready, select the ‘Online Book Catalog’ link
  4. Click Continue to advance to the Catalog search page
  5. Search by the book’s title and/or author information to find your e-book most effectively.
  6. Once you bring up the appropriate record, the links to each vendor e-book copy are displayed.
  7. Depending on your needs and the availability of the e-book, you may want to click between all of them to find the copy most suitable for you. Printing and downloading options will vary depending on vendor allowances.

*Each of the URLs gives you different ways to look at the book.

  • Ebrary—This approach helps maintain your own bookshelf, take notes, and highlight. You can download by chapter (60 pages max per visit) and some titles may be downloaded to adobe digital editions for 7-14 days.

If you encounter difficulties viewing the e-book, please visit the HELP/FAQs section of the Online Library. If you still have questions, please contact for assistance.

Please Note: Stateside students will not be sent the hard copy version of this text. If you wish to purchase the text, you may do so through our recommended bookstore MBS Direct or the bookseller of your choice.

All other course readings will be available online in the e-classroom.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Department of History and Military History requires conformity with the traditional University of Chicago Style Manual and its Turabian offshoot. Citations will follow traditional footnote/endnote attribution. Do not use parenthetical (APA/MLA) variations. Students in History and Military History classes cannot use Wikipedia or encyclopedias – this includes online encyclopedias.

Recommended References:

The APUS Online Library, in the Tutorial & Student Studies Center, provides a link to the Chicago Style Manual – Online. A link to the APUS Online Library’s Chicago Manual of Style may be found in the Resources section of the e-classroom. It is highly recommended that majors in History or Military History purchase a bound version of this style manual because this manual is required in all History, Military History and Military Studies courses.

Microsoft Word (if you do not have MS Word, please save all files as a Rich Text Format (.rtf). NOTE -- The classroom only supports .doc, .docx, and .rtf files.

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for PDF files). This is available free online at

To view streaming media and audio, individuals should have the following installed on their machines (all are free downloads):

Real Audio

Windows Media Player

Quick Time

Book Title:Manufacturing Revolution – e-book available in the APUS Online Library; Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Unit Cost:$56.36
Book Title:Inheriting the Revolution : The First Generation of Americans - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Author:Appleby, Joyce
Unit Cost:$15.83
Book Title:Affairs of Honor - e-book available via the APUS Online Library; Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Author:Freeman, Joanne B.
Unit Cost:$15.14

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.