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American Revolution


  • Teaching "All Men are Created Equal" (Part I)

    by Jeff Schneider

    A longtime teacher of American history maintains that a close reading of the Declaration of Independence makes it possible to discuss revolution and racism in a thoughtful way without intimidating either white students or students of color.


  • Lafayette as "The Nation’s Guest" (1824-1825)

    by Mike Duncan

    When Lafayette returned to America in 1824, he found the new nation already torn between his beloved ideal of liberty and the entrenched institution of slavery. HNN presents an excerpt from Mike Duncan's new book "Hero of Two Worlds." 



  • Why Don't the French Celebrate Lafayette?

    Two new books examine the life and legacy of the Marquis de Lafayette, whose reputation in the United States far exceeds his esteem in his native France. 


  • Who Won the American Revolution?

    by Guy Chet

    Almost since the smoke cleared after the Battle of Lexington, Americans have debated the relative merits of the militias and the Continental Army in fighting the British. The relative esteem of each group has followed changes in the politics of the nation. 


  • Democracy, Violence, and the Legacy of the American Revolution

    by David W. Houpt

    Although many of the Capitol rioters claimed to defend the Constitution, their actions reflect ideas derived from the Revolutionary period that the people have the right to resist tyranny by force. The Constitution sought to check that impulse by establishing a representative republic and a cultural bargain to live by the results of elections, but the two ideas have never been resolved.



  • How Not to Read Bernard Bailyn

    by Asheesh Kapur Siddique

    Conservatives lionizing Bernard Bailyn for supporting libertarian interpretations of the nation's founding and valorizing the founders "aligns perfectly with the reactionary effort to cancel critically engaged understandings of the American past, but poorly with Bailyn’s own far more nuanced vision of historical practice."


  • But Why Is America Exceptional?

    by Guy Chet

    Political separation from Britain allowed old English traits to remain preserved in America, like a bug in amber, even as they were whittled away by change in the old country. 



  • A Master Historian at Work

    by George H. Nash

    The award-winning historian's reflections on the writing and teaching of history offer a master class in the scholar's art.