Course of Study

The courses offered in Ashland University’s Department of History and Political Science are designed to broaden and deepen a student’s understanding of political life and develop the intellectual faculties of inquiry, analysis, and critical judgment through the study of history and politics. Ashbrook Scholars take courses and seminars in political theory, American politics, Constitutional law, international relations, history, and literature — in short, the liberal arts. They become acquainted with the best of contemporary literature, but also focus their studies on many of the great works of Western Civilization and America — works that they read directly, not through secondary sources.  The reading of original historical texts and documents allows students to engage in conversations across time with the great statesmen and thinkers of American and world history.

The following is a list of some of the works studied in the classroom:

  • Plato, RepublicApology of Socrates
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean EthicsPolitics
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Shakespeare, King Henry VOthelloKing Lear
  • Hobbes, Leviathan
  • Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws
  • Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution of the United States of America
  • Paine, Common Sense
  • Madison, Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
  • Publius, The Federalist Papers
  • Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • Twain, Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Lincoln, Lyceum Speech, Gettysburg Address, Second Inaugural Address
  • Coolidge, Foundations of the Republic
  • Churchill, My Early LifeThe Gathering Storm