- ›› Coverage People : John Adams
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.
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.
Ron Chernow presents the full sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s dramatic life and achievements and makes the case that Alexander Hamilton was the most influential American who never attained the presidency.
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.
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."
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.
What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States
James F. Simon, the Martin Professor of Law at New York Law School, traces the protracted conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, over the role of the US Supreme Court and the federal government.
More than a decade before the Constitutional Convention in 1787—and months before the United States declared independence—John Adams wrote a plan for a new form of government for the American colonies.