On Immigration

Jefferson discussed immigration to the United States in 1805: “Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe?” America was growing and Jefferson approved: “We contemplate this rapid growth, and theContinue reading “On Immigration”

“The Patriot” – A Lost Opportunity

Early in 2000, the Smithsonian Museum of American History announced… it would assist in the production of an epic film about the American Revolution starring Mel Gibson.  Historians, history buffs, and living historians were further enticed by the original script detailing the exploits of “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion.  Disappointment with “The Patriot” started early, asContinue reading ““The Patriot” – A Lost Opportunity”

History Wishes for the New Year

For History’s sake, I’d like to see… The Thomas Jefferson Foundation focus on Jefferson scholarship and curatorial work, rather than Hemings family research A national movement to protect historical monuments and memorials from vandals who would erase our past to suit their present The New Eisenhower memorial generate an appreciation of his governing and militaryContinue reading “History Wishes for the New Year”

Boston Tea Party in Perspective

Modern political activists invoke history… to justify and rationalize their activism- but often lose the real lessons of the events.  The Boston Tea Party was not a simple protest against taxation; it was a complex disagreement over duties, exemptions, tariffs, and trade balance.  Current political rhetoric cheapens the truly historic events of that December inContinue reading “Boston Tea Party in Perspective”

Bailyn May be Irreplaceable

Bernard Bailyn rescued our remembrance of the American Revolution from the cynical hands of so-called Progressive historians, primarily Charles Beard and his acolytes. Beard propagated the one-dimensional theory that our Founders were acting purely out of economic self-interest. An entire generation of academics were groomed to believe this. Bailyn’s Ideological Origins, came along in 1967Continue reading “Bailyn May be Irreplaceable”

The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn

Eminent historian Bernard Bailyn passed away Friday at the age of 97. His work earned him all the important historical accolades, including two Pulitzers. Many credit him with creating an American Cambridge(Mass.) school of historiography, influencing such students as Pauline Maier, Mary Beth Norton, and Gordon Wood. No other scholar impacted the study of theContinue reading “The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn”