During this session, Professor Cornell will look at the three distinct phases of the Constitution as an overview. The first is the Constitution in the 18th century as imagined by the Founding Fathers. The Constitution went through another incarnation after the Civil War. Professor Cornell will then look at the Constitution in the decades after the New Deal to the present.
Richard Brookhiser, senior editor at National Review, discusses his book, Alexander Hamilton, American. Brookhiser recounts Alexander Hamilton's great successes and tragic failures as Revolutionary, bovernment-shaper, financial genius, and American visionary. He explores Hamilton's impoverished upringing in the Caribbean and describes how Hamilton went on to give birth to American capitalism by developing the country's financial system.
Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center, contrasts the popular memory of the Revolutionary War with its more complicated realities. She argues that although many of us were taught in school that American support for the Revolution was passionate and unified, it would be better for students to learn that America has always been diverse and that colonists had their own strong political divisions.