This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expandi...more
This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which differen...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)Professor Wrightson begins his examination of the major events of the English Civil Wars which culminated ultimately with the defeat of the royalist forces and the execution of King Charles I in 1649. He describes how Charles was forced to end his personal rule and call a parliament in 1640 in order to defend England against invading Scottish armie...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)In this lecture, Professor Wrightson discusses the transformation of the English state in the twenty years following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He examines the ambiguities of the Revolutionary Settlement which placed authority in William III and Mary II following the deposition/abdication of James II, and the manner in which parliamentary gov...more
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses how the new nation moved towards creating a stronger, more centralized national government than the Articles of Confederation. Complications of commerce between individual states - a factor that wasn't regulated by the Articles - led to a series of interstate gatherings, like the Mount Vernon Conference of March 1785. Some strong nationalists saw these meetings as an ideal opportunity to push to...more
In the opening chapters of his Second Treatise, Locke "rewrites" the account of human beginnings that had belonged exclusively to Scripture. He tells the story of how humans, finding themselves in a condition of nature with no adjudicating authority, enjoy property acquired through their labor. The lecture goes on to discuss the idea of natural law, the issue of government by consent, and what may be considered Locke's most significant con...more
Youthful chemists Couper and Kekulé replaced radical and type theories with a new approach involving atomic valence and molecular structure, and based on the tetravalence and self-linking of carbon. Valence structures offered the first explanation for isomerism, and led to the invention of nomenclature, notation, and molecular models closely related to those in use today.
Professor Blight continues his discussion of the political history of Reconstruction. The central figure in the early phase of Reconstruction was President Andrew Johnson. Under Johnson's stewardship, southern whites held constitutional conventions throughout 1865, drafting new constitutions that outlawed slavery but changed little else. When the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress reassembled late in 1865, they put a stop to Johnson's leni...more
Professor Bogdanor analyses the significance of coalition government for Britain and of the momentous constitutional reforms which the coalition is proposing, penetrating the cloud of polemic and partisanship to provide an objective analysis. The inter-party agreement between the coalition partners proposes a wide ranging series of constitutional reforms, the most important of which are fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on the altern...more
In this lecture, two important issues are addressed in the context of Locke's Second Treatise. First, there is discussion on the role of the executive vis-a-vis the legislative branch of government in Locke's theory of the constitutional state. Second, Locke's political theories are related to the American regime and contemporary American political philosophy. The lecture concludes with John Rawls' book, A Theory of Justice, and how his ge...more
John Locke had such a profound influence on Thomas Jefferson that he may be deemed an honorary founding father of the United States. He advocated the natural equality of human beings, their natural rights to life, liberty, and property, and defined legitimate government in terms that Jefferson would later use in the Declaration of Independence. Locke's life and works are discussed, and the lecture shows how he transformed ideas previously ...more
Stereoisomers, Enantiomers, Diastereomers, Constitutional Isomers and Meso Compounds.