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James H. Read: John Calhoun & Concurrent Majority | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with political scientist James H. Read to discuss his essay on John C. Calhoun in BRI's new digital history textbook, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Dr. Read tells the provocative story of how Calhoun’s political philosophy broke with the Founders’ view of majority rule in a republic. Calhoun developed the idea of a “concurrent majority” to protect “states’ rights” before the Civil War. What is the proper role of majority rule and consent in a republican form of government? What is the nature of the relationship between the federal and state governments according to the principle of federalism?

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Vincent Phillip Muñoz : The Warren Court & Progressivism | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Dr. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, author and Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, to discuss the Warren Court. Muñoz gives detailed accounts of the most significant Supreme Court cases of the period and explains how they reflected a time of judicial activism and progressivism for civil liberties against a backdrop of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. How did Court advance the incorporation doctrine at this time? And how did the Warren Court shape the principle of federalism in the present day?

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Jonathan Den Hartog: The American Revolution & Republicanism | BRI Scholar Talks

In this week's Scholar Talk, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Jonathan Den Hartog. In vivid detail, Den Hartog describes the republican ideals that influenced the American Revolution and Founding. He'll explain how the concept of republicanism helped shape American thinking about constitutional principles and civic virtues in framing the nation. What were the political and economic problems that arose after the Revolution, and how did the Federalists and Anti-Federalists strive to address them?

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Tony Williams: The Boston Massacre & Justice | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Program Education Specialist Mary Patterson sits down with BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams to talk aboutthe tumultuous rebellion against tyranny that led to the dramatic events of the Boston Massacre. They examine the role of propaganda in the patriot movement and the constitutional principles of justice and rule of law in the trial of the British soldiers due to the courageous moral stand of their defense attorney, John Adams, for a fair trial.

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Thomas Kidd: Benjamin Franklin and Enlightenment | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams will sit down with historian and author Thomas Kidd to discuss his fascinating essay on the American Enlightenment and Benjamin Franklin in our new digital history textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Kidd touches on everything from Franklin’s impressive printing and scientific exploits to his nuanced views on education, religion, and civic virtue. He also explains the ways Franklin used his determination to educate himself and others against the vibrant backdrop of the American Enlightenment.

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Andrew Fisher: Native American History & Diversity | BRI Scholar Talks

This week, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Andrew Fisher, associate professor of history and director of the Environmental Science and Policy program at the College of William & Mary, to discuss Fisher's vivid essay on Native Americans in BRI's new digital textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. In fascinating detail, Fisher will explain how each region of the country was composed of incredibly diverse groups of Native American peoples and the different economic systems, gender roles, and interactions with the environment. Fisher also explores pre-Columbian Native American cultures and how they were later affected by interaction with Europeans over the next few centuries.

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Robert McDonald: Reviewing BRI’s New Textbook | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Robert McDonald, professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and author of Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time among other impressive works, to discuss McDonald's experience reviewing BRI's entire digital textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. He'll explain what drew him to the project and the many reasons why this textbook stands out from others. With a rich range of voices from historical figures and modern-day historians, the textbook will engage students on a number of levels.

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Stephanie Hinnershitz: Chinese Immigration & Exclusion | BRI Scholar Talks

Tony Williams is joined by Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz, author and assistant professor of history at Cleveland State University, as they discuss her thought-provoking essay on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 in BRI’s new digital textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. She chronicles the social, economic, and political factors that compelled many people to immigrate to the United States from China in the late 19th century, as well as the tragic violence and xenophobia that Chinese laborers routinely suffered. How did these tensions culminate in the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and what impact did this discriminatory law have on society?

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Amity Shlaes: Calvin Coolidge and Virtue | BRI Scholar Talks

Tony is joined by Amity Shlaes, author of the best-selling books on Coolidge and on the Great Society, to discuss her fascinating essay on Calvin Coolidge in BRI's new digital U.S. History textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. She details the virtues Coolidge developed as a young man and his views of the role of government in the early twentieth century. What actions did Coolidge take as president to support his ideals of a limited government and create a prosperous free-market economy during the 1920s? And how did Coolidge acknowledge constitutional principles and civic virtues in his domestic and foreign policy?

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LeeAnna Keith: Exploring Reconstruction | BRI Scholar Talks

Join BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams as he sits down with historian LeeAnna Keith, contributor to BRI’s new Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness textbook on the immense obstacles that African Americans continued to encounter during the Reconstruction era and into the twentieth century. Keith explains how African Americans suffered tragic racial violence and white supremacy during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, despite constitutional protections in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. She also touches on an array of other important postwar developments, such as the segregation of African Americans under Jim Crow laws and various restrictions on black civil rights. Finally, Keith finds encouragement in the influential ideas of W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington for justice and equality and the civil rights movement of the twentieth century.

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Edward Lengel: Thinking Through World War II | BRI Scholar Talks

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow, Tony Williams, and guest scholar Ed Lengel will be discussing Lengel's compelling essays in BRI's new Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Digital Textbook on the dramatic Pacific theater of World War II. Lengel will narrate the captivating story of Japan’s aggressive expansionism during the 1930s in the lead-up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the brutal fighting in the Pacific, and the consequential dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945.