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
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
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