The American Republic

Read about women in the Early Republic, the debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution, the impact of the Haitian Revolution in the U.S., and the importance of military history in understanding the revolutionary period.

About This Issue

This issue of The American Historian (Part 2 of our U.S. History at 250 series) features five essays on “The American Republic.” One essay offers a broad overview of the Early Republic and discusses what makes it unique compared to other periods in U.S. history. Another essay discusses the role of women in the American Revolution and the Early Republic to show how women carved out social revolutions on their own terms. The third essay offers an overview of the ratification of the Constitution and argues that, contrary to popular belief, the Constitution’s ratification was not inevitable. In fact, the Constitution was ratified by only the smallest of margins after fierce debate. Another essay details the Haitian Revolution and its impact on U.S. society and shows how enslaved Haitians brought to the U.S. tried to claim freedom through legal channels, challenging the legal foundations of slavery in the U.S. The final essay shows the importance of military history in understanding the American Revolution and argues that to fully understand the social and cultural impact of the Revolution, one must understand military history.

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