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American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Creating the Constitution

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Creating the Constitution


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One of the questions that the Revolution left unanswered was about government. After throwing out the British and their King, what would Americans replace them with and what role would ordinary people play in politics? We’ll examine some of the answers that Americans gave to those questions in the first decades after the war. We’ll look at the state constitutions passed between 1776 and 1781. Then we’ll look at the Congress of the Confederation, the national government that held the union together for a few years after the war. Next, we’ll look at how and why officials decided to replace that system of governance with a new federal Constitution in 1787, and then we’ll take a quick look at the presidency of George Washington.

Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home," which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Sarah Samuels (Raleigh, US)
Almost perfect

He's an engaging and thoroughly prepared presenter, as dozens of reviews attest.

Today's moderator, however, took the presentation off course a few times by asking questions from the chat that related to earlier parts of the presentation.

Maybe during the welcome ask people to state so if they want the moderator to pose the question, and ask it during that segment of the discussion, just so it's not disjointed. The question may be intended for other participants in the chat.

K
Kris Shapar (Fellbach, DE)

Guest did not leave comment

K
K. Watson (Vernon, CA)
An interactive introduction to the early American constitutions

Dr. Bell, as always, provides a thorough, clear and entertaining introduction to his topic - in this case the early constitutions of the U.S. - their rationale, the principal figures involved and the context of the early years post-Revolution. He uses interesting, specific texts from the time. We came to understand the strengths and flaws of the early attempts to determine how the U.S. would be governed. Dr. Bell inspires us to want to learn more. In this presentation there were lots of opportunities to participate in the seminar and discuss points of interest of the participants.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Sarah Samuels (Raleigh, US)
Almost perfect

He's an engaging and thoroughly prepared presenter, as dozens of reviews attest.

Today's moderator, however, took the presentation off course a few times by asking questions from the chat that related to earlier parts of the presentation.

Maybe during the welcome ask people to state so if they want the moderator to pose the question, and ask it during that segment of the discussion, just so it's not disjointed. The question may be intended for other participants in the chat.

K
Kris Shapar (Fellbach, DE)

Guest did not leave comment

K
K. Watson (Vernon, CA)
An interactive introduction to the early American constitutions

Dr. Bell, as always, provides a thorough, clear and entertaining introduction to his topic - in this case the early constitutions of the U.S. - their rationale, the principal figures involved and the context of the early years post-Revolution. He uses interesting, specific texts from the time. We came to understand the strengths and flaws of the early attempts to determine how the U.S. would be governed. Dr. Bell inspires us to want to learn more. In this presentation there were lots of opportunities to participate in the seminar and discuss points of interest of the participants.