Defining American democracy has been a jolting and unremitting process – a product of continuous and sometime rancorous debate. This course follows that evolving debate over periods that did most to shape our beliefs and system of government. To do this we engage with the core texts of American democracy; not only the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution but also selections from Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, de Tocqueville, Douglass, Lincoln and others. Through reading and conversation, we ask the same questions they asked and explore the ideas they explored. All required materials are made available by the instructor.