- ›› Coverage People : James Madison
During the partial government shutdown of 2013, an expert panel of historians and policy analysts convened in Washington, DC, to discuss the presence of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy in contemporary politics.
For our first live web chat for Affiliate Schools, Fordham University historian Saul Cornell joined Gilder Lehrman Institute President James Basker to discuss constitutional history and the modern-day implications of dissent in the early republic.
Historian Carol Berkin briefly discusses the arguments put forth by Federalists and Anti-Federalists in the state ratification conventions.
Pauline Maier, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), discusses several aspects of her book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. She reveals that the most stirring ideals for us today were an expression of the will of the people and the embodiment of the historical experiences of Americans, rather than the work of a single individual (Thomas Jefferson). She focuses particularly on the meaning and evolution of the phrase, "all men are created equal."
Josiah Bunting III is president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the author of Ulysses S. Grant (2004). In a series of three lectures, Josiah Bunting III examines the lives of George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and George C. Marshall and the ambivalent relationship between America’s citizens and its military establishment. In addition to their leadership qualities, all three men were students of military history and wrote prolifically on the topic. In the first lecture, he considers George Washington’s character as revealed in his generalship of the Continental Army and military strategy against the British.
Josiah Bunting on Ulysses S. Grant
Josiah Bunting on George C. Marshall
Joseph J. Ellis, Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, discusses his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, explains the emergence of the men who led the Revolutionary War and created the new nation, and delves into the four criticisms modern society lays at the door of the Founding Fathers.
In 1807, Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted on charges of treason for his "adventures" in the American West, but he had fallen out of favor in American life long before, after he had run for president against Thomas Jefferson, served a single term as vice president, and shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. A free spender, a womanizer, and the only Founding Father who was actually descended from the English aristocracy, Burr was famously secretive and conspiratorial. In this lecture, historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, argues that Burr's true treason was not his actions in the West but his naked ambition and his lack of principles and character that made him a threat to the young republic.