A Self-Paced Course

The Declaration of Independence articulates the fundamental principles on which the new American nation was founded. Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration’s author, played a crucial role in the Revolution that destroyed the British Empire and in the creation of a new republican regime that he and his fellow founders hoped would initiate a “new order of the ages.”

Join the Gilder Lehrman Institute and University of Virginia professor Peter Onuf to explore Jefferson’s career and thought, and discover the momentous developments that defined Jefferson’s Age, from the imperial crisis through his presidency. Jefferson’s eloquent writings illuminate the history of resistance, revolution, and nation-making that led once-loyal subjects of King George III to claim an independent place among “the powers of the earth.”

In this video, meet course professor Peter Onuf: 

Course Content

This course consists of:

  • Six seminar sessions led by Professor Onuf
  • Four discussion sessions led by Professor Onuf, including a discussion with historian Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Primary source readings to complement Professor Onuf’s lectures
  • A certificate of completion for 15 hours of professional development credit

Readings

  • The optional readings for each seminar session are listed on the “Resources” tab on the course page.
  • Please note: Participants are not required to read or purchase any print materials. Quizzes are based on the content of the seminar recordings rather than the readings.

Pricing

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Course Access

  • After your purchase, you may access your course by signing in and visiting the Community tab at the top of the Gilder Lehrman Institute homepage. 

Questions

  • If you have additional questions about The Age of Jefferson or the Gilder Lehrman self-paced course program, please click here to contact us.

Lead Scholar

Peter S. Onuf

Peter S. Onuf is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and Senior Research Fellow at Monticello. Educated at Johns Hopkins University, he has also taught at Columbia University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Southern Methodist University, and Oxford. He is the author, co-author, and editor of more than thirteen books, and most recently collaborated with course guest Annette Gordon-Reed on “Most Blessed of Patriarchs”: The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson. With Ed Ayers and Brian Balogh, Onuf is co-host of the public radio program Backstory with the American History Guys (www.backstoryradio.org). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.