ASince its publication in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America has remained a classic text in sociology, political science, and American cultural studies, both as a document of what the United States was like in the half-century before the Civil War and as a dissection of our national character. The course will be devoted to reading, discussing, analyzing, and writing about Tocqueville's influential study.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000 United States Government and Politics and junior standing or permission of the instructor.
This course will introduce students to ideas about institutional structures, political actors, and constitutional debates in U.S. government and politics. We will explore the historical development and founding of the United States, discuss major debates about the structure of our republican form of government, connect the three branches of government to contemporary politics and elections, examine the role of race and gender in American politics, and critique the American constitutional system.