An American Experiment: Liberty, Equality, and Democracy in the United States? Part One, 1492–1877


Course Description

This course will take place on Zoom.

This course, an introduction to the political history of the United States, will examine the principles upon which the Republic was founded—the inherent equality of all “men” and their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—and the practice of those principles. What did the framers of the American Republic understand by the concept of “liberty”? Who was free in this new Republic? What were the factors that made it so difficult for the country to embrace equality and to what extent do these factors still exist today? When did the United States come to see itself as a Democracy as opposed to a Republic? How did democratic processes further or limit the founding principles? Did the Civil War and the Amendments to the Constitution which followed in its wake represent a re-founding of the United States? Who really won the Civil War? How were these political developments being viewed from what is now Canada? We will examine these and other questions through a reading of our core texts, Jill Lepore’s 2018 work, These Truths: A History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, and E.L. Doctorow’s The March.

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

    • E. L. Doctorow, The March (2006). ISBN: 978-0812976151
    • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (2015). ISBN: 978-0807057834
    • Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (2018). ISBN: 978-0-393-35742-4

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday 21 September 2021

Course Length: 12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Pam Butler, Carol Fiedler, Brian McDonough

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fees: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)
$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)
$135.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

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If you are NEW at TMI

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