People's History, Founding Myths, and the American Revolution


homepage bio speaking contact



online articles
online interviews
teaching tools
take a quiz

“Impeachment: The Framers Debate and Discuss” Journal of the American Revolution (November 19, 2019)

“A Wealth Tax? Two Framers Weigh In” History News Network (December 2019)

Are We About to Lose Our Unbiased Census? History News Network (December 2017)

Ongoing articles for Journal of the American Revolution

Can the Senate Shrink the Supreme Court? History News Network (October, 2016)

"Advice and Consent: No One Really Knows What the Founders Had in MInd," History News Network (February, 2016)

"Ted Cruz: Is He or Isn’t He a Natural Born Citizen?" History News Network (January, 2016)

"What Harvard Law Students Should Know about the Popular Roots of Law in Massachusetts," Harvard Law Record (September 26, 2015)

“Thomas A. Bailey: Dead and Forgotten By His Publisher?” History News Network (April, 2015)

“Was James Madison the ‘Chief Architect’ of the Constitution?” History News Network (May, 2014)

"What Have We Learned from Pauline Maier?" History News Network (December 2013)

"The Income Tax Turns 100," History News Network (February, 2013):’s-worth-celebrating

"Campaign Finances and Original Intent," History News Network (November 2012):

"The Curious Creation (and Unintended Consequences) of the Electoral College," History News Network (October 2012):

"Foreign Policy and Original Intent: The Powers of the President," History News Network (October 2012):

"Obama Wasn't the First President Who Hoped to Bridge the Partisan Divide," History News Network (October 2012):

"The Righteous Revolution of Mercy Otis Warren," History Now (September 2009):

"Some Tips for Celebrating the Fourth," History News Network (July 2, 2009):

“Instructions: The People’s Voice in Revolutionary America.” Common-Place 9:1 (October 2008):

“Revolutionary Philadelphia.” History Now 11 (March 2007):

“Review of David McCullough’s 1776.” History New Network, first published in the Baltimore Sun:

“Re-examining the Revolution.” Rethinking Schools 16:2 (Winter 2004/2005):

“Are U.S. History Textbooks Still Full of Lies and Half-Truths?” History New Network September 20, 2004:

Hardcopy Articles

“Legacy of Revolutions.” in Revolutions: How They Changed History and What They Mean Today (Thames and Hudson in the UK, 2020) PDF

“The Spirit of ’74: America’s First Revolution,” American History (June 2014) PDF

“The Democratic Moment: The Revolution and Popular Politics,” in The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (2012)

Contributing author for Todd’s Andrlik’s collection of newspapers, Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (2012)

"Pegleg Politico: Gouverneur Morris and the Presidency," American History (April, 2012) PDF

“Tea Party Myths,” American History (June 2010) PDF

"America's Worst Winter Ever." American History (April 2010) PDF

"George Washington's Five Rules for Waging War with Honor." America History (February 2010) PDF

"THE Financier: America's Original Bailout Czar." Financial History (Fall 2009) PDF

For the summer 2006 issue of Phi Kappa Phi’s Forum magazine, Ray Raphael guest edited a special issue titled “Founders,” with original contributions from several of the nation’s preeminent Revolutionary scholars (Alfred F.Young , Carol Berkin, Gary Nash, Gordon Wood, Jack Rakove, Richard Beeman, Woody Holton, and Pauline Maier), he presents a broad view of our nation’s founders, both insiders and outsiders. In the first article, Young establishes the importance of including ordinary people within our nation’s founding narrative. Berkin then makes a case for treating women as founders, and Nash nominates African Americans and Native Americans for inclusion as well. Then starts a gradual progression up the social and political ladder. Raphael shows how ordinary farmers and artisans from rural Massachusetts overthrew British authority and moved toward independence well before Lexington and Concord or the Congressional Declaration of Independence. Wood next discusses the critical role of the “middling sorts” in the cities, an incipient middle class formed of artisans, mechanics, and shopkeepers. Moving inside chambers, Jack Rakove outlines the history of our nation’s first governing body, the Continental Congress, and Richard Beeman discusses the group traditionally labeled as “founders” — delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Finally, Holton and Maier extend the notion of “founders” to include some of those who actually opposed the 1787 Constitution, the so-called “Anti-Federalists.” All these groups played significant roles in founding the United States of America and establishing national ideals such as freedom and equality. If we take the words “we, the people” seriously, we must include each of their stories in the master narrative of our national origins.

top of page