Montana State University

HSTA 311-802: Early America

The Office of Continuing Education at Extended University offers both face-to-face and online learning opportunities:

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Jan 10-May 04, 2018
Credit: 3 undergraduate
Instructor(s): Jeff Bartos

Course Description

Use CRN 34941 to register.

In this course, we will interrogate the social history and politics of the American Revolutionary Era, beginning roughly in 1750 and ending sometime around 1800. To do so, we are going to examine some of the biographies of both ordinary and famous people of the era, and their influence and experience. They lived through, or died during, the transformation of eastern North America from British colony to independent nation-state. We will interrogate whether the conflicts between 1775 and 1784 were merely a war of independence or a true “Revolution,” and for whom. We will also look at the Constitutional Convention, the Ratification of the US Constitution, and ideas of liberty, independence, and freedom, and compare the American Revolution to the other major revolutions of the era, namely the French and Haitian Revolutions. We are going to take the experiences of a variety of groups of Americans—including famous dead white men, women of various races and socioeconomic classes, free and enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans—as a means of exploring this era of American History.

This course fulfills 3 credits of the Humanities degree requirement in Liberal Studies.

Meeting Place and Times



Jeff Bartos, MA. is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History and Philosophy at Montana State University. His research interests include 19th and 20th Century U.S. history, with a focus on private detective agencies, mining, militarism, and finance in the American West.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • David Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride
  • Ray Raphael, Alfred Young, & Gary Nash, eds., Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation
  • Edmund Morgan, The Meaning of Independence: John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson
  • Billy G. Smith, ed., Life in Early Philadelphia
  • Thomas Paine, Common Sense. (Widely available online, .pdf on D2L; print edition useful for shaking above head during spirited debate.)
  • Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History

There will be additional readings posted to D2L under weekly headings.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

For course information: Please contact the instructor, Jeff Bartos at

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.

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