1. An Empire of Liberty – Jim Williams


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5 weeks, Mondays, 9:00-11:00, January 11-February 8, 2021.

In 1780, Thomas Jefferson described the new United States of America as “an empire of liberty.” He saw the thirteen states as a benevolent force to benefit all mankind. Was the early U.S. a benevolent empire?  Who gained liberty, and what groups did not? How did Americans gain independence from Great Britain, form a national government, expand westward and fight a second war of independence (War of 1812)? We will examine how the fragile American republic survived and prospered, and how the concept of liberty began to expand beyond the dreams of the Revolutionary generation. This course will examine trends in U.S. history from 1777 to 1815. We will utilize lecture, discussion and power point to examine this period. A list of suggested videos and readings will be provided via email, along with weekly handouts for each class.

Jim Williams is a former secondary level educator. He has taught ILR classes since 2008.