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The Age of Jefferson

The Age of Thomas Jefferson spanned the years roughly 1770 to 1820, some of the most exciting and tumultuous in American and European history. During this half century, such world-changing events as the American and French Revolutions and the transatlantic Enlightenment stretched people's thinking into many new and unexpected directions.

This course will examine a few of these new ideas in the Age of Jefferson. Though we'll be using Jefferson's life, travels, and writings as a base, we'll range far afield to look at how he and famous contemporaries such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Hume thought about their world. We'll frame our discussions around a series of questions that Jefferson and his contemporaries fiercely debated.

Scheduled Class Time

This course meets each day (Monday–Friday) for live, virtual classroom discussion led by Stanford graduate student teaching assistants. A live class period will be held at the times below, and participants will attend just one (1) of the meeting times.

  • 8:00–9:30am PDT
  • 4:00–5:30pm PDT


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Portrait of Caroline Winterer
Session One