The Unexpected Legacy of George Washington

It is as an entrepreneur that Washington serves best to inspire Americans in the twenty-first century. By Dr. Edward G. Lengel / 02.14.2016 Director of the Papers of George Washington University of Virginia Presidential candidates love to invoke George Washington. His example inspires politicians of all persuasions; even zealots profess to seek his guidance. The[…]

Jeffersonians Claimed Washington Was Hamilton’s Dupe. They Were Wrong.

For well over two hundred years, Thomas Jefferson and his admirers have had to choose between two unflattering interpretations of George Washington’s presidency. By Dr. Stephen F. Knott / 01.25.2016 Professor of National Security Affairs U.S. Naval War College For well over two hundred years, Thomas Jefferson and his admirers have had to choose between[…]

George Washington, France, and the Victory at Yorktown

The citizen soldiers may have started the Revolution, but it was the French that finished it—something that would have never happened without George Washington’s realization that victory depended on the intercession of a powerful ally. By Nathaniel Philbrick / 10.01.2018 Author and Historian Q: Your two previous books, Bunker Hill and Valiant Ambition, have given readers a new way[…]

“Columbia’s Noblest Sons”: Washington and Lincoln in Popular Prints

The admiration of these two former presidents has risen to the level of a posthumous apotheosis in artistic representation. By Harold Holzer Historian, Lincoln Scholar “I venture to claim for Abraham Lincoln the place next to George Washington.” So wrote George S. Boutwell, the Civil War congressman from Massachusetts who went on to serve under[…]

Deifying the First President in ‘The Apotheosis of Washington’

The Apotheosis of Washington by Constantino Brumidi, 1865 / United States Capitol rotunda, Wikimedia Commons The Apotheosis of Washington depicts George Washington sitting amongst the heavens in an exalted manner, or in literal terms, ascending and becoming a god (apotheosis). Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.06.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Apotheosis of Washington is the fresco painted by Greek-Italian artist[…]

Modern America and Magna Carta

Exploring the role of Magna Carta in the politics and popular culture of modern America. From The Simpsons and Jay-Z to the American law courts and the ‘War on Terror’, discover the significance of Magna Carta in the USA today. By Dr. Matthew Shaw / 03.12.2015 Librarian Institute of Historical Research School of Advanced Study University of London[…]

Early America and the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John. / British Library, Wikimedia Commons From the early colony of Pennsylvania, to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill[…]

Why the Pilgrims Were Actually Able to Survive

‘Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor’ by William Halsall (1882). Pilgrim Hall Museum The Pilgrims repeatedly thanked God for their good fortune. But without two earlier developments, the entire undertaking at New Plymouth would have likely failed. By Dr. Peter C. Mancall / 11.19.2018 Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Sometime in the[…]

The Founders’ Adoption of British Impeachment and Its Meaning

Detail of John Trumbull’s painting depicting the Committee of Five presenting their draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress / Library of Congress, Public Domain “High crimes and misdemeanors” originates as a term of art in British impeachment proceedings. By Gene Healy, J.D. / 08.07.2017 Vice President CATO Institute Impeachable offenses aren’t[…]

Custer’s Defeat at Little Bighorn

The Little Bighorn Battlefield, Lodge Grass, Montana / Photo by Acroterion, Wikimedia Commons The battle is also known as “Custer’s Last Stand” and the “Battle of the Greasy Grass.” Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.12.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Background Overview The ‘Battle of the Little Bighorn’ was one of the most famous battles[…]

Woodrow Wilson and Consequential Armistice Decisions

The heads of the “Big Four” nations at the Paris Peace Conference, 27 May 1919. From left to right: David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson has received generally high grades for presidential leadership in surveys of historians, political scientists, and biographers. Is that valid? By Dr. Robert Brent Toplin / 11.08.2018 Professor Emeritus[…]

Woodrow Wilson and the Entry of the U.S. into World War I

Wilson campaign vehicle, New York City, March 1916: “Who Keeps Us Out of War?” How idealistic was he, really?    By Dr. Roger Peace (left) and Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov / 11.10.2018 Peace: Adjunct Professor of History, Tallahassee Community College Kuzmarov: Lecturer in History, Tulsa Community College World War One marked a turning point in human[…]

A History of the Populist ‘People’s Party’, 1891-1908

William Jennings Bryan during the 1896 campaign for U.S. president / U.S. Information Agency, Wikimedia Commons For a few years, this party played a major role as a force in American politics. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.09.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The People’s Party (also known as the Populist Party or the Populists) was an agrarian-populist political party in the[…]

Gridlock to Victory: The Women’s Suffrage Crusade in Washington, 1848-1920

Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house. The first picket line – College day in the picket line line, 1917 / Wikimedia Commons Washington suffragists supported the national crusade until the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. By Dr. Mildred Andrews / 02.26.2004 Social Historian Introduction ashington women won[…]

The Danger of Treating Founders as ‘Creatures of Legend More than History’

Neither Jefferson nor any Founding Father ought to be treated as statues—i.e., “creatures of legend more than history.” By Dr. M. Andrew Holowchak / 09.27.2015 In a recent article on Thomas Jefferson’s mythic and contradictory legacy for Time, Joseph Ellis begins with an account of an encounter during a book tour with an outraged woman. She snaps: “Mr. Ellis, you[…]

The Following Trials and Impacts of the Boston Massacre of 1770

National Archives at College Park / Wikimedia Commons A tense situation due to a heavy British military presence in Boston boiled over to five protesters killed and six wounded. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.22.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Engraving by Paul Revere that sold widely in the colonies – “The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street[…]

The Sit-In Movement in the Struggle for Civil Rights

Lunch Counter Sit-in, Greensboro, North Carolina, 1960 / Library of Congress, Public Domain On February 1, 1960, a new tactic was added to the peaceful activists’ strategy – the sit-in. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.18.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief By 1960, the Civil Rights Movement had gained strong momentum. The nonviolent measures employed[…]

The Boston Tea Party: Protest or Vandalism?

The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring and Feathering, Von Karkatir / Public Domain The Boston Tea Party, which involved the willful destruction of 342 crates of British tea, proved a significant development on the path to the American Revolution. British Taxation Policies Thomas Malton the Younger, London headquarters of the British East India Company / Yale Center[…]

Meeting of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pos: First Lady and First Female Travel Journalist

   Investigating potential correlations between Roosevelt’s and Pos’ ideas on women’s rights and intercultural understanding. By Dr. Babs Boter Professor of Literature Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Note: Images not included in original publication. Abstract Mary Pos, self-proclaimed first female travel journalist from the Netherlands, met Eleanor Roosevelt first in 1937 during a women-only press conference at the[…]

The Gilded Age in America: Rapid Growth as a Double-Edged Sword

Mill children in Macon, photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, 1909 / Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons From the ashes of the American Civil War sprung an economic powerhouse. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.13.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Golden Spike: Does it really symbolize the completion of the transcontinental railroad? / Roadside America The[…]

The Golden Age of American Railroading

Celebration of completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad at what is now Golden Spike National Historic Site, Promontory Summit, Utah, photo by Andrew J. Russell (1869) / National Park Service, Wikimedia Commons In spite of technological progress, the “Gilded Age” after the Civil War was one of widespread corruption in which “robber barons” were supreme. After the American Civil[…]

Catholicism in the Early South

Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church in Mobile, Alabama / Photo by Altairisfar, Wikimedia Commons The Catholic Church in America began in a southern context, and Catholicism was the first form of Christianity to take root in the American South. By Dr. Maura Jane Farrelly Associate Professor of American Studies Brandeis University Introduction The Catholic Church in[…]

How FDR’s Presidency Inspired Term Limits

Franklin Roosevelt’s Gubernatorial portrait, by Jacob H. Perskie, 1941 / Wikimedia Commons The Founding Fathers considered term limits, but ultimately rejected the idea. It wasn’t until FDR’s unprecedented four terms that lawmakers reconsidered. By Dr. Peter Feuerherd / 04.12.2018 Professor of Journalism St. John’s University The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution, proposed by Congress in[…]

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Pulpit

Judging from his public speeches, Franklin D. Roosevelt–aka FDR–may have been our most religious 20th century President. / Public Domain By Matthew Wills / 11.18.2015 Ronald Isetti argues in Presidential Studies Quarterly that it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which may surprise many. Isetti analyses FDR’s speeches as “political sermons and cultic orations,” dependent on “the language, stories,[…]

‘The People’s Party’: Populism in 19th-Century America

Tea Party protest at the National Mall on September 12, 2009 / Photo by NYyankees51, Wikimedia Commons In the late nineteenth century, a new American political party sprung up to defend the interests of farmers.  Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Populists were an agrarian-based political movement aimed at[…]