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 America.

Even before they landed, the governing councilors were at each other’s throats. John Smith, a former mercenary, was nearly hanged—twice—and narrowly escaped an assassin. Another councilor, George Kendall, was executed by firing squad. John Ratcliffe deposed the colony’s first president, Edward Maria Wingfield, and installed himself as president. Later, Ratcliffe himself was flayed by the Native Americans. Even …

Why Americans Are So Skeptical of Impeachment | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Americans Are So Skeptical of Impeachment

The Case Against Andrew Johnson in 1868 Taught Us That Trying to Remove a President Doesn't Fix the Nation’s Deeper Problems

In light of sharp disagreements about whether House Democrats should impeach President Donald Trump, it is worth noting that, by their very nature, impeachment efforts have always stirred controversy, and …

American History, Theology, and Three Competing Memories of the Civil War

A Yale Historian Explains the Power of Myth and Why History Is Never Over

David W. Blight, a historian at Yale University who has written seven books and edited many more, stopped by Zócalo’s offices in December of 2018. Earlier that day, The New …

The Dazzling 1830 Defense of a Strong Federal Government

New England Statesman Daniel Webster Found Religion in Centralized National Power When it Served His Region’s Interests

For generations, school children memorized the ending to Daniel Webster’s “Second Reply to Hayne,” delivered during the famous Webster-Hayne debate of January 1830. This most-famous-of-debates began in a modest fashion, …