Boston-Area Seminar on Early American History

Exhibition

The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

Open 11 May to 14 September 2018 Details

The Boston-Area Seminar on Early American History provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first English colonization to the early republic. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics, and most focus on works in progress.


Most seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a pre-circulated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. After each session, the Society serves a light buffet supper.

Attendance is free and open to everyone. Subscribers who remit $25 for the year will receive early online access to any pre-circulated materials. Subscriptions also underwrite the cost of the series. Pre-circulated materials will be available to non-subscribers who have RSVP’d for a session on the Monday prior to the program. Subscribe to this seminar series and you will receive access to the seminar papers for THREE series: the Boston-Area Seminar on Early American History, the Boston Seminar on Environmental History, and the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture. We recognize that topics frequently resonate across these three fields; now, mix and match the seminars that you attend! 

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship. Subscribe

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Early American History Seminar Terror Twice Told: Popular Conventions, Political Violence, and the Coming of the Constitutional Crisis, 1780-1787 3 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Brendan McConville, Boston University Comment: Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary ...

As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary revolutionary institutions continued to operate as independent political actors. Between 1781 and at least 1786, committeemen and conventioneers launched forceful, violent efforts to reengineer American society. Committee-directed mobs expelled “tories” from many communities, and committeemen and conventioneers used both local laws and contract theory to legitimate these expulsions. This paper argues that the wave of political violence after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781 ultimately reflected conflicts within the American political community over who could be an American, what institutions constituted “the people” in a republic, and the character and limits of the “the people’s” power to form self-governing institutions. These disputes played an important role in creating the 1787 constitutional crisis.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Early American History Seminar Terror Twice Told: Popular Conventions, Political Violence, and the Coming of the Constitutional Crisis, 1780-1787 3 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Brendan McConville, Boston University Comment: Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut

As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary revolutionary institutions continued to operate as independent political actors. Between 1781 and at least 1786, committeemen and conventioneers launched forceful, violent efforts to reengineer American society. Committee-directed mobs expelled “tories” from many communities, and committeemen and conventioneers used both local laws and contract theory to legitimate these expulsions. This paper argues that the wave of political violence after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781 ultimately reflected conflicts within the American political community over who could be an American, what institutions constituted “the people” in a republic, and the character and limits of the “the people’s” power to form self-governing institutions. These disputes played an important role in creating the 1787 constitutional crisis.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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