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PLSC 481B - American Political Development, Binghamton University

This course explores questions at the intersection of political science and history. We look at development of American political institutions, political thought, and political behavior as the United States has transitioned from a loose confederation of agrarian colonies to a highly centralized, technologically-advanced country with enormous power on the world stage. We explore institutional, material, and ideational explanations of American political development, with an emphasis on the methods of inquiry of contemporary political science-and on contrasting them with the methodology of History as a discipline. Topics include: the politics and political thought of the Founding, slavery and the Civil War, the place of political ideologies in public discourse, the rise of the US as a world power, the creation and evolution of the separation of powers system in our political institutions, and the rise, development, demise, rebirth, etc. of American political parties.


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