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Spring 2008 Course

"The American Colossus, 1763 - Present"
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; classroom TBA

Taught by Dr. John McClymer of Assumption College

In 1751 Benjamin Franklin predicted that within a century America rather than England would become the center of the British Empire. He also castigated the Germans coming to Pennsylvania:

. . . why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.

Franklin sounded the key themes this course will examine — the certainty that America would become a global colossus and the contested meaning of American. Would Americans be Anglo-Saxons or people of diverse backgrounds? Would Americans share a common language and "manners," i.e., customs, values, and patterns of behavior? Or would they tolerate differences? Would race define Americanism?

About the instructor

Dr. John McClymer is Professor of History at Assumption College and the Project Co-Director of the Keepers of the Republic Teaching American History grant. Dr. McClymer most recently authored The Emergence of Modern America, 1919-1941, and has presented at many scholarly conferences. A leader in using technology in the classroom, Dr. McClymer has also created websites based on primary sources, including "The E Pluribus Unum Project: America the 1770s, 1850s, and 1920s," an NEH grant-funded project co-authored with Professor Lucia Z. Knoles (Assumption College), which won an NEH EDSITEment award as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities. He also served as the project co-director of the Our Living Past NEH grant, which created a website of primary and secondary materials for K-12 teachers.


Dr. McClymer's course webpage

For more informtaion, please contact Amy Sopcak at (508) 471-2129 or asopcak[at]

TAH Courses, Saturday Seminars, and Summer Institutes, 2006-2008



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