The New New Political History

The Junto posted a roundtable last week on the New New Political History (NNPH). I encourage all early republic historians to read both the posts and the comments, which were very thought provoking. Introduction Gender Political analysis The public sphere Final thoughts As someone who was influenced significantly by the republicanism school, it was useful …

Welcome the Members of the Early American Junto

Members of The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History plan to begin posting on December 10 (Updated: The blog's first post). Their focus appears to be appealing both to general and academic audiences on early American history topics, although the definition of "early America" seems vague, perhaps purposely. Contributors, many of whom are twitterstorians …

Census Reliability in the Early Republic

There are times when academic conversations surprise me. The ongoing one on H-SHEAR about the reliability of the Early Republic census is one of those pleasant surprises. SHEARites have offered numerous examples of census inaccuracies and suggested several scholarly sources that discuss this issue. Whether you are interested in political history or community history, this …

The Evolution of a Book, Part 3: The Book Outline

(Part 1 and Part 2 of this series) My students will probably think I'm lying, but I actually didn't like or even follow outlines until I was in grad school. I thought they stifled my creativity and the organic development of my writing. In actuality, I set myself up for failure as a writer, something I learned the …

Paul Morphy: Antebellum Chess Champion

One day, when I have the time and the money to do the research, I would like to write a biography of Paul Morphy (1837-1884), the greatest American chess player of the nineteenth century. He was the Bobby Fischer of his era, a natural talent without the extreme paranoia and anti-Semitic rants. Born in New …

Nullification, the South, and Historiography

UPDATE: Coincidentally, Andy Hall at Dead Confederates also posted about Clyde Wilson and the Abbeville Institute yesterday. As I was writing the chapter on the 1832-33 nullification crisis recently, I came across a reminder that I had written to myself to read W. Kirk Wood's article, "In Defense of the Republic: John C. Calhoun and State …

Early Republic Biographies That Need To Be Written

While I'm on break this week, I'm posting two of the blog posts that generated the most interest. Today's post is one of the first posts I wrote for the blog. It addresses the Early Republic individuals who still need a scholarly or an updated biography written about them. From 28 July 2010: In a …

Humpty Dumpty History

In a an editorial last month, Stanley Kutler criticized American political conservatives for misusing history for their own purposes: Serious history, serious scholarship and serious discussion of facts and ideas are dismissed with tunnel vision. In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” Humpty Dumpty scornfully said “when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to …