OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Rosemarie Zagarri

Portrait of Rosemarie Zagarri

University Professor and professor of history at George Mason University, Rosemarie Zagarri is the author of Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (2007), The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776-1850 (1987), and A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution (1995), and the editor of David Humphreys' "Life of General Washington" with George Washington's "Remarks" (1991). A past president of Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, she has also served as a member of the Council of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. She has appeared as an on-camera historian on C-SPAN's "Morning Journal," PBS's "George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King," and the Fairfax Television Network's "The Real Martha Washington." She is currently working on a book entitled "Liberty or Oppression?: Thomas Law and Enlightenment Imperialism in Colonial British India and the Early American Republic."

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This talk discusses the legal and political status of women prior to the American Revolution, followed by a discussion of their activities and mobilization in support of the American Revolution. Particular attention is paid to specific women such as Phillis Wheatley, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and the women of New Jersey who were allowed to vote under the NJ Constitution of 1776.
This talk places the American Revolution in its worldwide context. It explores Britain's imperial policies in Asia as well as in North America, the importance of the colonies' worldwide trading connections, and revolutionary battles that occurred outside of the North American mainland. It also looks at the implications of the American Revolution for the slave trade and for inciting revolutionary movements in France and Haiti.
This talk discusses the origins of the electoral college in the US Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention. It also explores how subsequent changes in US politics, such as the rise of political parties and winner-take-all elections, changed the significance of the electoral college. Finally, the talk weighs the pros and cons of abolishing the electoral college.
This presentation explores a little-known episode in early American history when women were allowed to vote in New Jersey from 1776 to 1807. The talk explains the origins of female suffrage during the American Revolution; discusses how, when, and why women voted; and explains why women lost the vote in 1807. It also places the episode within the larger trajectory of women's suffrage extending into the 1840s, the post-Civil War era, and the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920.
This lecture examines key historical issues from the Founding Era that inform current-day constitutional controversies. It discusses how debates over the US Constitution relate to issues today involving the separation of church and state, the right to privacy and women's reproductive rights, the role of state legislatures in regulating federal elections, the Electoral College in presidential elections, and gerrymandering, apportionment, and redistricting.