American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Declaring Cultural Independence

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Declaring Cultural Independence


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

Before the Revolution, most American colonists had tended to think of themselves as British and were often deeply enamored with the culture and fashions of their cousins London. That shifted after 1783 as many new citizens tried to kickstart a distinctively American culture – to give America a national character different and distinctive from the national character of Britain. 

Following a general survey of the many different ways that these artists and intellectuals tried to declare their cultural independence, we’ll zero in on Noah Webster, the Connecticut schoolmaster who spent his life trying to persuade ordinary Americans to rethink their relationship with the British empire’s mother tongue: the English language.

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home" which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Great group conversation on such an interesting topic.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
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(1)
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T
T.

Great group conversation on such an interesting topic.