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Connecting the Curious: America's Founding Revisited on AlumniU
A bold 3-week seminar led by American Historian and alumus George William Van Cleave

Cost: Free
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Why did America's first continental government--created by the Articles of Confederation--lose public confidence and effectively collapse only four years after America's victory in the Revolutionary War? Why was it replaced by the dramatically different, far more powerful national government founded under the 1787 Constitution?

Seminar participants will gain an understanding of the Revolutionary War's broad transformational effects on American society. They will examine the severe challenges for the Confederation and the thirteen original state governments posed by exceptionally difficult postwar stresses, including severe recession, exploding western settlement, bloody conflicts with Native Americans, tax resistance, and an armed rebellion. They will consider how governments met--or failed to meet--these challenges. They will analyze evolving views on the relation between republicanism and freedom. Finally, they will learn how concerted efforts were made in key states to block Confederation reform, and how (and to what extent) the 1787 Constitution overcame the problems stemming from the Confederation's collapse and other developments.

This seminar will begin on February 16, 2017. It will be led by early American historian George William Van Cleve, Research Professor in Law and History at Seattle University School of Law. Dr. Van Cleve, a U.C. alumnus, received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. from Harvard. The seminar will be based in part on his forthcoming 2017 book with the University of Chicago Press, We Have Not a Government: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution.
Event Contact
Brian Wilson

Staff Liaison


Event Information
Thursday, Feb 16 2017 at 12:00am [ iCal ]