The American Revolution - HI5072

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 30 (15) DR B Marsh checkmark-circle


This source-based class challenges participants to consider the background, causes, and content of the American Revolution from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean from the Stamp Act debates to the establishing of the Federal Constitution. Students will be asked to digest primary documents from political speeches in the British Parliament, to American political pamphlets. Students will consider the character and place of the American Revolution within European and American economic, political, and cultural development. The course will examine the conditions under which American Revolution emerged; the part played by empire, and the distinctive combination of ideological and theological strands that produced a compelling challenge to British Parliamentary authority for the first time.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

This module will be taught through one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar each week, with the exception of Enhancement Week and one week that will be dedicated to coursework feedback.

Method of assessment

This module will be assessed by:

- Essay 1 (3,000 words) – 30%
- Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 30%
- Class Test (one hour) – 20%
- Seminar Participation & Presentation – 20%

Indicative reading

Edmund Morgan, The Birth of the Republic
J R Pole and Jack Greene, A Companion to the American Revolution
Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the American Revolution.
- Apply methods and techniques to analyse and evaluate a wide variety of primary and secondary source materials relating to the history of American Revolution.
- Critically evaluate, analyse, criticise and assess academic arguments.
- Demonstrate the ability to plan and write a history essay and to organise it around a coherent argument.

The intended generic learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Effectively communicate complex concepts and ideas clearly and coherently..
- Reflect on, and manage, their own learning. Plan their use of time, and identify appropriate directions for further study.
- Draw on their own independent research skills in gathering and interpreting primary resources in producing a final year dissertation.
- Synthesise and deploy different types of historical information effectively, through in-depth analysis of primary and secondary material..


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.