- ›› Eras and Sub-Eras : Creating a New Government
H. W. Brands, Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and Government at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses his book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000). He argues that Franklin as the first person in the British colonies in the 1770s to view himself as an American rather than an Englishman. He focuses particularly on how Franklin shaped his reputation in France to encourage that nation to support the Revolution.
Gordon Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University and the author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Wood presents an unusual portrait of this celebrated American folk hero, tracing Franklin’s evolution from an ardent supporter of the British Empire to a pivotal leader in the American fight for independence.
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.