Will the Real America Please Stand Up?

By |2015-01-07T13:51:21-06:00October 30th, 2013|Categories: American West, Bradley J. Birzer|

This past summer, I had the high privilege of traveling into the great American West several times. Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Frankly, there’s nothing quite like massive, wide-open skies, seemingly endless seas of grass, groves of aspens and firs, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to make my soul sing. Since earliest childhood, [...]

American Flags, Ideology and the King’s Curse

By |2013-12-11T10:22:51-06:00October 11th, 2013|Categories: American West, Culture, Immigration, Myth, Stephen Masty|

In Monty Python’s comic diner skit every dish came with Spam, either a little or a lot. Is America the same with ideology? Does Ideological America touch everything and corrupt everything it touches, and can it turn back? Or, in the words of President Obama’s periodic, and oftentimes unpleasant, Chicago preacher, have “the chickens [...]

Reflections on the New “Western History” of the 1990s

By |2019-08-22T22:06:57-05:00August 4th, 2012|Categories: American West, Bradley J. Birzer|

Huddled in a room at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, a group of academics listened to the last of several presenters, Frederick Jackson Turner, read his paper, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward,” the [...]

“The Middle Ground”: A New Way to Examine Indian-White Relations

By |2020-03-10T12:11:18-05:00July 30th, 2012|Categories: American West, Books, Bradley J. Birzer|Tags: |

Since 1991, a new conception of Indian-white relations, known as the “middle ground,” has slowly emerged in Indian and western American historiography, challenging the old and New Western History and Indian history paradigms. The relations between Native Americans and white settlers—the middle ground—served as a gigantic trade zone in which culture became the economic [...]

The Northwest Ordinance: The Most Republican Law in History?

By |2020-07-12T16:55:38-05:00July 13th, 2011|Categories: American Republic, American West, Bradley J. Birzer|

In 1787, the U.S Congress unanimously passed the most republican law in Western history—the Northwest Ordinance, in which Americans argued that real sovereignty resides in the individual human person in association. On this day in 1787, the Congress of the United States unanimously passed what my colleague, friend, and mentor John Willson has called [...]

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