What was the American Revolution? When did it start, why did it start, and did it end with the Treaty of Paris… or the Constitution, or is it still unfolding? These seem like simple questions, but Americans have been debating the answers since the Continental and British armies were still on the battlefield. Over the past century, historians have argued that the Revolution was political, ideological, social, cultural. Some have claimed that revolutionary ideas mattered most; others have explored the ways in which revolutionary ideals fell short in practice for many Americans.
The Revolution has been revised, revisited, and reborn. And now it will be podcasted.
For our second season, the Liz Covart explores the ways that scholars study the past by highlighting how we interpret the American Revolution. The Doing History team wants to help you explore not only the history of the American Revolution, but also the histories of the American Revolution. How have interpretations and definitions of the Revolution changed over time? What new perspectives have scholars brought to one of the most-studied events in the American past?
Liz and the team have been hard at work all through the summer producing episodes for Season 2 of Doing History: To the Revolution! Between now and December, Ben Franklin’s World will feature narratives investigating some of the major issues that interest scholars of the Revolution, as well as several episodes in the classic Ben Franklin’s World format, where Liz interviews an individual scholar about his or her work.
During the past months, we’ve offered teaser episodes to suggest just a few of the ways we bring the stories of the Revolution to life:
Starting today, you can enjoy new episodes about the Revolution every Tuesday! Through the series, we’ll learn more about the ideological origins of the Revolution, the role of Congress, why tea is more than a beverage, the work of prominent Revolutionary scholars, how communication practices shaped political debate, and much more.
The Doing History: To the Revolution! series also presents the benefits of a multi-platform experience. Each episode will feature bonus audio clips, interactive images and texts, and free access to OI publications through the OI Reader, our app available both for iOS and Android. We’ll be publishing essays here at Uncommon Sense that complement many of the narrative episodes. And in October, we’ll be featuring a special issue of the William and Mary Quarterly on the Revolution as a joint project with the Journal of the Early Republic.
For now, we invite you to head over to Ben Franklin’s World and enjoy the first installment of the new season of Doing History: To the Revolution!
You can find Ben Franklin’s World through the Ben Franklin’s World app (iOS / Android), through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, on the Ben Franklin’s World website, or however you enjoy listening to podcasts. And join the conversation online using the hashtags #DoingHistory and #BFWorld.