Founding Era

  • Looking Forward to the Semiquincentennial (after Looking Up What That Means)

    by M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska

    Will the observance of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence be a moment of national unity or the moment when a simmering conflict over the nation's history erupts into open conflict? The key lies in using the commemoration to look forward. 

  • Woody Holton Still Fighting the American Revolution

    "I knew history buffs would want a narrative, and I was happy to provide one, since one of my main points is that women’s, Indigenous, military, and all the other histories transpired on the same timeline, constantly influencing each other."

  • Get Ready Now for the Storm of Takes Coming at America's 250th Birthday

    by John Garrison Marks

    Major anniversaries tend to crystallize debates about how Americans learn and remember history. America's 250th will follow a presidential election and years of political argument about the teaching of history and make all parties eager to win the symbolic war.

  • Bouie: The Founders Lived in a Foreign World

    Times columnist Jamelle Bouie draws on the work of historians Matt Glassman, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, and Susan Dunn to argue that the Founders did not, in fact, get it right the first time – even for the society they lived in, let alone for ours.

  • We, the Nation, Born Under This Tree

    by Sean Cleary

    A speech of Edward Everett and a painting by N.C. Wyeth create a mythical founding moment of an American nation conceived as a white homeland. 

  • Don't Defend Democracy With Half-Truths About the Past

    by Brook Thomas

    Although the Capitol riots raised deep concern about the rule of law, there is a deeper challenge ahead of the nation: to understand and change the undemocratic aspects of our foundational law and refuse half-measures in the name of unity.

  • Would the Founders Convict Trump and Bar Him From Office?

    by Eli Merritt

    "Today’s Republican senators must at least be willing to break with their party and disappoint some of their constituents — and, yes, perhaps lose their jobs in coming elections — to serve the larger interest of protecting the nation."