Tag: Thomas Jefferson

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A Revolutionary Friendship: Washington, Jefferson, and the American Republic

BOOK REVIEW: A Revolutionary Friendship: Washington, Jefferson, and the American Republic by Francis D. Cogliano (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2024. $37.95 Cloth) Comparative founder profiles are a crowded book genre with numerous volumes depicting any combination of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin as rivals, friends, or brothers. Professor […]

by Gene Procknow
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This Week on Dispatches: Raphael Corletta on the Two “Empires of Liberty”

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews JAR contributor Raphael Corletta  about his recent article on the contrast between Thomas Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty” and Esther Reed’s use of the same phrase. New episodes of Dispatchesare available for free every Saturday evening(Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, and the JAR Dispatches web […]

by Editors
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John Marshall, Historian

John Marshall’s life (1755-1835) has been the subject of many authors over the nearly 190 years since his death. Albert Beveridge, Charles Hobson, and Leonard Baker immediately come to mind. There are others, of course; and there are those works which look at the life of Marshall’s wife, Mary (Polly). Their home of nearly fifty […]

by Jude M. Pfister
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This Week on Dispatches: Ray Raphael on Whether the Declaration of Independence was Signed on July 4, 1776

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews author, historian, and JAR Editorial Board member Ray Raphael on the memories of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas McKean about the Declaration of Independence and when it was actually signed. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon […]

by Editors
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Thomas Jefferson and the Conditions of Good History: Writing About the American Revolution

Thomas Jefferson has a Thucydidean, or fact-based, approach to the praxis of history. Evidence of that approach appeared early in his life, in his Literary Commonplace Book. There, Jefferson, quoted Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke (1678–1751), who wrote of history, rightly practiced. For history to be authentic, Jefferson, continuing to copy Bolingbroke, added that “these […]

by M. Andrew Holowchak
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This Week on Dispatches: David Otersen on Algernon Sidney and the American Revolution

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews  JAR contributor David Otersen on the influence of political philosopher Alergnon Sidney on Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and others. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, and the JAR Dispatches web site. Dispatches can now be […]

by Editors
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Algernon Sidney and the American Revolution

Algernon Sidney was a seventeenth-century British political theorist, Member of Parliament, and Whig politician who was executed for treason on December 7, 1683, during the reign of Charles II. At his trial, the most incriminating evidence presented by the prosecution was a series of anti-monarchical passages from a seized manuscript of Sidney’s reformist treatise, Discourses […]

by David Otersen
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“Characters Pre-eminent for Virtue and Ability”: The First Partisan Application of the Electoral College

Scholars typically cast the outcome of the second presidential election as either a forgone conclusion or a non-event.[1] After all, George Washington ran unchallenged and once again received unanimous support from the Electoral College.[2] Shifting academic focus from the first magistrate to the second, however, reframes the 1792 contest as a struggle for the soul […]

by Shawn David McGhee
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Weaponizing Impeachment: Justice Samuel Chase and President Thomas Jefferson’s Battle Over the Process

There was much discussion over the impeachment process during the Constitution’s ratifying debates. Federalists argued that the ability to impeach an individual gave disproportionate power to the House of Representatives, while Antifederalists favored more provisions to prevent tyranny from taking root. Some individuals liked the idea of having a body other than the Senate try […]

by Al Dickenson
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This Week on Dispatches: M. Andrew Holowchak on Thomas Jefferson on Rebellion, Revolution, and “Treason”

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews historian M. Andrew Holowchak on interpreting the distinctions Thomas Jefferson made between rebellion, revolution, and treason. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, and the JAR Dispatches web site. Dispatches can now be easily accessed on […]

by Editors
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“Acts Against the Oppressions of the Government”: Jefferson on Rebellion, Revolution, and “Treason”

Jefferson’s views on rebellion and revolution, when they are addressed, are often largely misapprehended in the secondary literature. One reason for the confusion is that rebellion and revolution are sometimes judged to be equivalent, or nearly so, and thus are often uncritically lumped together, or are viewed merely as symptoms of liberalism, taken too far. […]

by M. Andrew Holowchak
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Natural History in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary America

In the second half of the 1700s, French natural historian Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, formulated what would be dubbed the “New World degeneracy” or the “American degeneracy” theory. His work, Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, included a vast array of facts about natural history from around the world as well as the Count’s many […]

by Matteo Giuliani
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The Frankford Advice: “Place Virginia at the Head of Everything”

Since James Thomas Flexner’s 1974 Pulitzer recognition for his biography of George Washington, one of the axioms of the American founding is that the general, George Washington, was the “indispensable man.”[1] The selection, therefore, of Washington as the commander of the Continental Army was undoubtedly among the most critical decisions in the history of the […]

by Richard Gardiner
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Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence

BOOK REVIEW: Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence by Robert G. Parkinson (Williamsburg, VA: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2021) The final grievance that Thomas Jefferson included in the Declaration of Independence used blatantly racist language, making it […]

by Timothy Symington
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Justice, Mercy, and Treason: John Marshall’s and Mercy Otis Warren’s Treatments of Benedict Arnold

In the early years of the nineteenth century, the founders of the new American Republic were lurching forward from the shockingly successful outcome of their increasingly remote Revolution, and finding themselves immersed in the uncharted waters of nation-building. The political landscape was inflamed by passionate partisanship and varying, often vituperatively expressed visions of what course […]

by Rand Mirante
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Edmund Burke and Thomas Jefferson on Montesquieu

Antoine Louis Claude Destutt, comte de Tracy (1754–1836) was a famous French Enlightenment philosopher. Thomas Jefferson admired him, and was so impressed with his writings that he translated one of his works into English and published it. In 1811, Jefferson completed his translation of Destutt de Tracy’s Commentary on Montesquieu, writing in thepreface: Montesquieu’s immortal […]

by Haimo Li
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Jefferson and Burke on Marat, Danton, and Robespierre

Thomas Jefferson is well-known for his so-called “Frenchified” stance.[1] On the topic of the relationship between Jefferson and French Revolution, scholarly accounts often stop at depicting Jefferson’s “sympathy for the French Revolution and his aspirations for a democratic republicanism,”[2] merely focusing on Jefferson’s so-called “radicalism.”[3] Scholars tend to describe Jefferson’s enthusiasm for the French Revolution […]

by Haimo Li
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Patriotism and Profit

BOOK REVIEW: Patriotism & Profit: Washington, Hamilton, Schuyler & the Rivalry for America’s Capital City by Susan Nagel (Pegasus Books, 2021). In Patriotism & Profit: Washington, Hamilton, Schuyler & the Rivalry for American’s Capital City, Susan Nagel recounts the drama surrounding the Compromise of 1790 and the protracted struggle over the location of the nation’s capital. […]

by Kelly Mielke
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Divine Providence and Deism in the Declaration of Independence

Clemson University Professor C. Bradley Thompson is a nationally recognized historian and Revolutionary Era scholar whose most recent book, America’s Revolutionary Mind, has earned copious praise and widespread acclaim. It is well-deserved. Nevertheless, Professor Thompson’s work is not without flaws as it renews, unnecessarily, the erroneous and ahistorical argument that God, as referenced in the […]

by David Otersen
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The Vermont Constitution of 1777

If the gunfire at Lexington and Concord was the “shot heard round the world,” the phrases in the Declaration of Independence were the words read around the world. In the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson declared America an independent nation, rooting his ideas in political theory and justifying them with a list of grievances.[1] After the Declaration was […]

by Sophie Jaeger
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This Week on Dispatches: Geoff Smock on the Teenage Thomas Jefferson

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews educator and JAR contributor Geoff Smock on his research into the teenage years of Thomas Jefferson, including his education at William & Mary college. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and the JAR Dispatches web site. […]

by Editors
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Partly National, Partly Federal: James Madison, the Amphictyonic Confederacy, and the Republican Balance

Following the Constitutional Convention’s completion of the United States Constitution in the Fall of 1787, many of those involved in its creation embarked on a campaign to ensure its ratification among the several states. The most significant effort was the publication of the Federalist in New York, published anonymously in a long series of newspaper articles […]

by James A. Cornelius
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Congress’s “Committee on Spies” and the Court-Martial Policies of General Washington

In the weeks before it declared independence, the Continental Congress was already hard at work building the institutions it would need to maintain the new republic. In June 1776, a committee was appointed to explore articles that would link the thirteen provincial legislatures in a loose confederation. A second was tasked to consider how the […]

by Richard Willing
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This Week on Dispatches: Thomas E. Ricks on First Principles

On this week’s Dispatches host Brady Crytzer interviews Pulitzer-prize winning historian Thomas E. Ricks on his new book, First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country, recently reviewed in JAR. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, […]

by Editors