This course will provide students with a thorough discussion of the main currents of American political thought. We will explore a selection of key texts and speeches that have helped to shape American political culture. Beginning with the Founders and ending with the contemporary era, we will cover moments of critical change between then and now. We focus on the intellectual battles of the past because, apart from being rewarding in themselves, they help us to think critically about contemporary politics. Accordingly, this course will emphasize how ideas give rise to individual identities, how they motivate political actors, and how they explain political outcomes.