Online Courses at Montpelier

Take Online Courses designed by leading scholars at the birthplace of the US Constitution.

Click on a course to learn more about the course content, and to enroll. All the offered courses are designed by leading educators and scholars in their fields, in partnership with the Montpelier Foundation’s Center for the Constitution. These courses are designed to provide a deeper dive into the history of the US Constitution – from its original design, to the ways it has changed through time.

American Institutions I: The Federal Judiciary – From Idea to Institution

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American Institutions II: Congress, the Constitution, and Contemporary Politics

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American Institutions III: The Presidency & the Constitution

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Suffrage in America

This history of the right to vote in the United States is a long and complex tale, stretching from the absence of an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution to current debates about election procedures and voter suppression—with many important episodes in between. This course explores some of the key moments in this story, much of which unfolded in state governments, from the late 18th century through the 1960s and beyond. This course examines the reasons for dropping property requirements in the early 19th century, the passage of the 15th and 19th amendments, and the multiple legal changes of the long 1960s, among many other important changes to the franchise. Significant attention is paid to understanding why suffrage rights expanded in some eras and contracted in others.

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Slavery and the Constitution

Slavery and the Constitution traces the intricate and often painful history of slavery and the Constitution: how the institution of slavery influenced the Constitution and how the Constitution influenced the institution of slavery. It describes the inhuman experience of slavery as it developed in different parts of the country, and the inconsistencies of holding some people as property in a country that declared all men to be free and equal. And it explores the concomitant problem of racism, which made American slavery both more virulent than many historic forms of enslavement and also more difficult to eradicate.

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