Tag Archives: Political History

Ben Franklin’s World: The Tea Crisis of 1773


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ben_franklins_worldOn December 16, 1773, the colonists of Boston threw 342 chests of English East India Company tea into Boston Harbor, an act we remember as the “Boston Tea Party.”

Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the tea? Or whether they considered any other less destructive options for their protest?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773. You can listen here: benfranklinsworld.com/112

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Update on Inez Milholland Recognition Project


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InezMilhollandWill the nomination of America’s suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland, for a Presidential Citizens Medal get lost in the shuffle from one administration to the next?

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier of California nominated Inez Milholland for the Presidential Citizens Medal in November 2015. For the past year, the National Womens History Project (NWHP) has sponsored the Inez Milholland Centennial Campaign to draw attention to this young woman who died in California 100 years ago working for Votes for Women. The medal has rarely been awarded recently, and never to a suffragist. Continue reading

The American Enlightenment & Cadwallader Colden


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ben_franklins_worldWe’ve heard that the American Revolution took place during a period called “the Enlightenment.” But what was the Enlightenment?

Was it an intellectual movement? A social movement? A scientific movement?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, John Dixon, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of the Enlightenment by taking us through the life of Cadwallader Colden, the subject of his book The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York (Cornell University Press, 2016). You can listen to this episode here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/109

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CFP: Making New Connections in Early America, 1750–1850


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usa-1850-mapProposals are invited for a two-day conference on entangled history in Early America from 1750 to 1850, which will be held at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia, PA during April 2018.

The organizers are looking for scholars who challenge traditional narratives of imperial or national history by applying a wider lens to Anglo-America. The goal is to foster a wide-ranging debate on relations across borders – geographic, political, legal, social, and ethnic – in the Americas. Continue reading

America’s Suffrage Martyr Comes Out of the Shadows


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inez millholland chairEssex County in upstate New York is Inez Milholland country.

Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916) considered among America’s suffrage martyrs and 2016 is the centennial of her death. The centennial of the death of England’s most prominent martyr for suffrage, Emily Davison, who died  for women’s right to vote in 1913, was observed nationally.

Inez Milholland, however, is little known, even in the region where she lived, and where there are today few women elected to office. As a result, there has been an outpouring of concern that has led to action on the national level. Continue reading

Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention


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ben_franklins_worldWhen politicians, lawyers, and historians discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787, they often rely on two sources: The promotional tracts collectively known as the Federalist Papers and James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention.

But what do we know about Madison’s Notes?

Did Madison draft them to serve as a definitive account of the Constitutional Convention?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention with award-winning legal historian Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College and author of Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/107

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The Path to Statehood Exhibit at State Museum


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Cultural Education Center State Museum ArchivesThe New York State Archives have announced a limited engagement exhibition at the New York State Museum featuring New York State’s founding documents. The Path to Statehood features New York’s first constitution (1777), journal of the Poughkeepsie Convention (1788), New York’s engrossed copy of the U.S. Constitution (1788), and New York’s current constitution (1894). The exhibition is open through November 27th. Continue reading

For Rent: Federal Hall National Monument


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National Park Service NPSNational Park Service, Manhattan Sites and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy (Harbor Conservancy) announced that Federal Hall National Memorial is available to rent for special events.

Federal Hall National Monument is one of 413 units of the National Park Service. From 1789 to 1790, the location of Federal Hall National Memorial was the seat of the United States federal government under the new Constitution. Congress passed many of the founding laws of the nation and approved the Bill of Rights for ratification by the states. The 1883 statue of George Washington commemorates where our first president took the oath of office on April 30, 1789. Continue reading