A few things online that caught my attention this week:
University presses as the last hope for serious non-fiction
What do American’s think about God and country?
Eric Herschthal reviews Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution. Woody Holton reviews it here.
How smartphones would have changed history
Which American war was the most “American?”
Historical commentaries on the Charleston shooting
Did John Adams and Benjamin Franklin have a thing for extraterrestials?
Barbara Spindel reviews Rosemarie Ostler, Founding Grammars: How Early America’s War Over Words Shaped Today’s Language
Should Thomas Jefferson be blamed for the Confederate flag?
A seminar on Danielle Allen’s Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality
Was the American Revolution a mistake?
The American Revolution as a revolt against British austerity
David O. Stewart reviews Joseph Ellis, The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
Chris Gehrz is feeling more patriotic this year.
Tom Van Dyke says
What do American's think about God and country?
So which is it, John? Such confusing signals from the professional scholar community, as you well know.
John Fea teaches history at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. He is the author of “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.”
“History is complex. It does not conform easily to the kinds of “yes” or “no” answers that most Americans want when they ask whether America was founded a Christian nation.
Here's a better question: Is America a Christian nation now?”
And though the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of God, 53 percent of Americans say they believe God and the nation have a special relationship, a concept stretching back to Pilgrim days. Even a third of atheists, agnostics, and those with no religious preference believe America has a special relationship with God.
Sort me out, JF.
Professor Fea – I'm commenting on “3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake” by Dylan Matthew. I like well-argued counter-factuals, but Reason #2, “Independence was bad for Native Americans,” vis a vis Canada (pre and post-British) has been completely refuted by modern scholarship that compares and contrast U.S. vs. Canadian Indian policies. “Indian Treaty-Making Policy in U.S. & Canada, 1867-1877” by Jill St. Germain and “Indians in the U.S. and Canada” by Roger Nichols refutes assertions made Matthews about the superiority and distinctiveness of Canada’s Indian policy compared to that of the United States. Aside from the significant geographic, demographic and economic differences between 19th century U.S. and Canada, here’s one startling fact: the land mass of all Canadian Indian reserves equals less than one-half of the Navajo Reservation in the U.S.