The ratification of the Federal Constitution is a notoriously difficult historical event to categorize. On the one hand, it is a watershed moment; the creation of a consolidated federal government with extensive power is a clear break with the immediate post-Independence traditions of American governance. Yet at the same time, it is traditionally seen as the final achievement of a revolutionary generation—the fulfillment of the ideals of the Revolution. Continue reading
Welcome to the Week in Early American history. On to the links!
Was the purpose of the constitution to protect democracy from being ruined by the people or to protect commerce from being ruined by democracy? This was one of the questions put to Gordon Wood and Woody Holton in a debate held a few weeks ago at the University of South Carolina. A full video of the event has just been released on YouTube, and is embedded below. For anyone familiar with the work of these two historians, the debate will constitute a useful recap of the distinction between their two interpretations of the origins of the federal constitution. And for others, I hope it might be a kind of teaser for their excellent books! Continue reading
On October 14, Columbia University’s Center for American Studies sponsored the “Charles Beard at 100” roundtable to commemorate the centennial of Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. The event, organized by Columbia Historian and Director of the American Studies program Casey Blake, featured Eric Foner (Columbia), Jan Lewis (Rutgers), and David Waldstreicher (Temple) as panelists, with Herb Sloan (Barnard) as moderator. The following blog post synthesizes some of the main themes of the roundtable. I hope that many of the excellent points raised by the panelists can serve as a basis for discussion here on The Junto.
Welcome to another of The Junto‘s weekly round-ups of things that caught our eye in the rest of the Internet this week. Find the links after the jump! Continue reading
The Junto is happy to present the fifth episode of “The JuntoCast,” a monthly podcast in which members of The Junto discuss issues of both academic and general interest related to early American history, pedagogy, and public history. Continue reading
In looking at the weeks ahead, I note with some chagrin
That my work remains unfinished though my lectures must begin.
And so instead of planning class, which should engage my time,
I present the Week in History, to YOU! Today! In rhyme!
It’s hard to believe that the end of June is already upon us. This week features one of the biggest events of the Civil War sesquicentennial with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Look for more on that event (both 150 years ago and today) in next week’s edition. Meanwhile, on to this week’s links!
The Junto is happy to present the second episode of “The JuntoCast,” our new monthly podcast featuring Juntoists discussing issues related to early American history, academia, pedagogy, and public history.
In our second episode, Kenneth Owen, Michael D. Hattem, Roy Rogers, and Eric Herschthal use the recent MCEAS conference, “The American Revolution Reborn,” as a springboard to launch into a discussion on questions of periodization, Atlantic and global contexts, the limits of “republicanism,” and the value of recovering “lived experience.”
Happy Summer to all of our readers. Another week has come and gone, and we’re back with the latest installment of This Week in Early American History. Feel free to weigh in on posted links or share any interesting stories and newsworthy items we might’ve missed. Let’s jump right into it: