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 …

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Should Historians Utilize Online Sources?

On the H-SHEAR discussion network earlier this week, Dan Feller called out historians who cite non-standard sources. He gave three examples from two books and one journal article that focused on the Jacksonian era. The two books cite non-institutional websites as their source for several of Andrew Jackson's presidential messages instead of the standard sources: James …

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Michael Bellesiles’ Comeback

Michael Bellesiles' new book 1877: America's Year of Living Violently, is coming out next week. For those of you who don't know or remember, in 2001-02, Bellesiles was accused of scholarly dishonesty and falsifying data in his award-winning book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. Arming America's critical argument was that widespread gun ownership was …

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