The State(s) of the Union: Evolving Notions of ‘Nation’ in America’s Founding Documents

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Although there is a long tradition of projecting contemporary understandings of the American polity back onto its beginnings, a close examination of America’s “Founding Documents” reveals a range of notions about the nature of “America”. This lecture will survey some of the key documents and notions in an attempt to understand the documents themselves, the evolution of the concept of “America” and the vestiges of these various notions that survive to this day.


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GIVEN: JUNE 2008