ONLINE ZOOM MEETING ONLY!!
Zoom Meeting: Check your email if you are an ARRTOP Member. Program begins around 7:15pm, Lecture around 7:30pm.
During the American Revolution and into the early republic, Americans fought with one another over the kinds of political expression and activity that independence legitimized. Liberty poles―tall wooden poles bearing political flags and signs―were a central fixture of the popular debates of the late eighteenth century. Revolutionary patriots had raised liberty poles to symbolize their resistance to British rule. In response, redcoats often tore them down, sparking conflicts with patriot pole-raisers.
In the 1790s, grassroots Republicans revived the practice of raising liberty poles, casting the Washington and Adams administrations as monarchists and tyrants. Echoing the British response, Federalist supporters of the government destroyed the poles, leading to vicious confrontations between the two sides in person, in print, and at the ballot box. This elegantly written book is the first comprehensive study of this revealing phenomenon, highlighting the influence of ordinary citizens on the development of American political culture. Shira Lurie demonstrates how, in raising and destroying liberty poles, Americans put into practice the types of popular participation they envisioned in the new republic.
Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0813950112
About Shira Lurie:
I am a historian of the early United States, with particular interests in political culture, popular politics, and dissent. I also think, teach, and write about historical memory, especially with regard to monuments, public space, and popular culture. My book The American Liberty Pole: Popular Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in the Early Republic was published with the University of Virginia Press in 2023.
I am an Assistant Professor of U.S. History at Saint Mary’s University. I received my PhD in History from the University of Virginia in 2019. Before coming to SMU, I was the University College Fellow in Early American History at the University of Toronto.
My writing has been published in the Journal of the Early Republic, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The Chronicle Herald, Inside Higher Ed, The Conversation, Nursing Clio, and American Revolutions. I have appeared as a guest on BBC Radio, CBC Radio, CBC News, CTV News, Ben Franklin’s World Podcast, The Whiskey Rebellion Podcast, Conversations at the Washington Library, and Witch, Please.
In my ever-decreasing spare time, I enjoy playing soccer and ultimate frisbee. I am also an avid theatre-goer and have successfully completed an embarrassing number of escape rooms.