Declaration of Independence, Led by Eric Slauter, University of Chicago

$39.99 In Stock

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This course investigates the origins, meanings, and contested legacies of one of the most consequential political documents in world history. What does the Declaration of Independence declare? What did the Declaration's language of equality, liberty, and rights mean to its authors and earliest readers? How and why have understandings of the document changed over time? And what place do the words and ideals of the Declaration hold now, 250 years later?


  • Twelve lectures
  • Primary source readings to complement the lectures
  • A certificate of completion for 15 hours of professional development

Readings: The suggested readings for each session will be listed on the “Resources” link on the course site. Please note that you are not required to read or purchase any print materials. The quizzes are based on the lectures.

Course Access: After your purchase, you may access your course by signing into the Gilder Lehrman website. Click on the MY COURSES link that appears on the right side of the navigation bar.

Questions? Please view our FAQs page or email selfpacedcourses@gilderlehrman.org.

Visit this page to learn more about our How Did We Get Here? and Classroom-Ready PD series.


Eric Slauter, Associate Professor of English and Director, Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, University of Chicago

Professor Slauter specializes in early American cultural, intellectual, and literary history, with additional research and teaching interests in a range of fields and methods: legal history; the history of political thought; book history; visual and material culture studies; quantitative analysis; the history of slavery, abolition, and emancipation; labor history; environmental history; and Atlantic history.