Todd Estes is a professor and former chair of the history department at Oakland University. His research concentrates on early U.S. political history and political culture, and he is the author of The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture (2006) and many journal articles and book chapters among other publications. He is currently researching a book on the ratification debate, tentatively entitled "The Campaign for the Constitution: Political Culture and the Ratification Contest." He has won a couple of teaching prizes, including the Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award.
Using the 1795-96 debate over the Jay Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain, this lecture examines the ways both supporters and opponents of the treaty worked to shape and activate public opinion. It also examines the ways that public opinion came to be recognized as both a real presence and a legitimate one in the young nation's emerging democratic (but not yet Democratic) politics and political culture.