The college has scheduled the final exam for all courses with our section code (GJ) for May 24 (Friday) from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M.  I want to give maximum flexibility to suit the schedules and neuroses of pressured students at the end of term. So you have the option of working on the questions at home for submission on or before May 24 or of coming to our classroom with study notes and books and writing your answers then and there.

The main function of any exam should be a final opportunity for students to show how well they have met some of the major objectives of the course. The information page of this site lists these objectives - After completing this course you should be able to:

  1. Understand the British roots of American political and constitutional institutions
  2. Identify the particular colonial conditions that shaped the Revolution and the American institutions that emerged from it.
  3. Describe the ways the Revolution shaped American identity
  4. Place key ideas that shaped our political and constitutional systems into historical context
  5. Select and explain key events and people for discussing the revolution and its outcome
  6. Discuss the issue whether the American Revolution was revolutionary
  7. Demonstrate skills in the critical use of secondary and primary sources and in clear  well organized writing

Write two short essays (about one blue book each in length), one for Part I and the other for Part II. Please note that objective #7 applies to every essay!

Part I: How Revolutionary was the Revolution?

The focus is on the 6th objective and requires the use of Joyce Appleby's Inheriting the  Revolution. Discuss how fundamentally the Revolution changed American life by comparing Georgian America (see syllabus topics 1 & 3) with Appleby's presentation of the America of the revolutionary generation's heirs. Your essay should show your understanding of her thesis with reference to chapters 1 and 2 and then should focus on ONE other chapter. 

Part II (Thanks to Karen Adams)

Choose one from among objectives 1 to 5 as a focus and write a short essay that discusses the most valuable or surprising thing you have learned about that aspect of the course. Be sure to provide the number of the objective focus you have chosen.



If you do these at home, be sure to double space.


For both essays be sure to draw specifically from pertinent readings. Your answers will be evaluated in part for how well you use course materials.


As you prepare you may want to use the Caucus item, Final Exam, to raise questions and try out ideas.

Best Wishes for Your Own Pursuit of Happiness