America’s Hidden History of Conquest and the Meaning of the West

Historian Patricia Nelson Limerick on How Invaders Came to See Themselves as Victims, Then Romanticized the Native Americans They Displaced

Patricia Nelson Limerick is a leading scholar of the American West, and the faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, where she also serves as a professor of history. She has published five books, including The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West, a complex work of scholarship that reframed the narrative of the “opening” of the West. She has been the Colorado State Historian, a columnist for The Denver Post, and a MacArthur Fellow. In …

How Jamestown Abandoned a Utopian Vision and Embraced Slavery | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Jamestown Abandoned a Utopian Vision and Embraced Slavery

In 1619, Wealthy Investors Overthrew the Charter That Guaranteed Land for Everyone

In the summer of 1619, some of England’s first American colonists were carving up land seized from the Powhatan empire along the James River in Virginia. While the first settlers …

In a Raucous Country, Our Sense of Unity Has Often Emerged Through Conflict | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In a Raucous Country, Our Sense of Unity Has Often Emerged Through Conflict

A Diverse Nation, Built on Waves of Immigration, Has Found That Getting Along Is Not Always Easy

Americans of wildly disparate backgrounds have managed to find common ground over the course of the country’s history. But the process of cohering has been haphazard, raucous, messy and cruel, …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Eliza Hamilton’s Excellent Five-Month Steamboat Ride From New York to Wisconsin

In 1837, the 80-Year-Old Widow of the Late Treasury Secretary Was Delighted by the Beauty of the Nation

The musical Hamilton introduced theatergoers to Eliza Schuyler, the wife of Alexander Hamilton, and her sisters Angelica and Peggy. But there is much more to Eliza’s American life than …

How the Survivor of a 1609 Shipwreck Brought Democracy to America | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the Survivor of a 1609 Shipwreck Brought Democracy to America

Stephen Hopkins, Colonist at Both Jamestown and Plymouth, Proposed a Government Based on Consent of the Governed

We don’t like to talk much about Jamestown. Established in 1607, it was the first permanent English settlement in the New World. But it was a shameful start to …