Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politic of the American Revolution

@ The Fort

Author Eli Merritt joins us at Fort Mifflin to discuss his newly published book Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution as we kick off our own version of Benjamin Franklin’s Junto Club at this unique author event.

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin convened the Junto Club to gather individuals with diverse occupations and backgrounds to discuss politics, morals, and philosophy in an effort to improve themselves and the community. This club was ultimately behind community innovations such as volunteer fire-fighting organizations, night watchmen, a public hospital and the first public library.

Tonight, we join Eli Merritt to uncover the deep political divisions that almost tore the Union apart during the American Revolution. So fractious were the founders’ political fights that they feared the War of Independence might end in disunion and civil war.

Instead of disbanding into separate regional confederacies, the founders managed to unite for the sake of liberty and self-preservation. In so doing, they succeeded in holding the young nation together, in part by transcending the baser angels of their natures. To achieve this, they forged grueling compromises, in­cluding the resolution for independence in 1776, the Mississippi-Fisheries Compromise of 1779, and the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781.

In addition to bringing new insights into the history of the American Revolution, Disunion Among Ourselves has inevitable resonances with our present era of political hyperpolarization and serves as a touchstone for contemporary politics, reminding us that the founders overcame far tougher times than our own through commitment to ethical constitutional democracy and compromise.

In the authentic spirit of colonial political discussion, this event takes place in Fort Mifflin’s historic Bake Oven, set up as the Cannonball Tavern serving authentic 18th century beverages by the Regimental Brewmeister. Space is limited for this FREE event (cash bar,) and registration is required to assure your space. Books will be available for purchase on site. Should your plans change, please let us know so that we can open the space to another interested attendee.

Eli Merritt is a political historian at Vanderbilt University where he researches the ethics of democracy, the interface of demagogues and democracy, and the founding principles of the United States.

He is the editor of How to Save Democracy: Inspiration and Advice From 95 World Leaders as well as of The Curse of Demagogues: Lessons Learned from the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. His book Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution is scheduled for publication in June of 2022.

Back to Events Purchase Your Tickets Today

Similar Events

Mud Island Hot Jazz Lawn Party

Next: June 03, 2023

Advance ticket sales do not support the effort necessary to assure the great day that is planned for Mud Island Hot Jazz Lawn Party. Accordingly, we made the very difficult decision to cancel this event gracefully rather than risk a less than amazing experience for our ticket holders. So much of an event like this […]

Read More

The 4th at the Fort

Next: July 04, 2023

Celebrate the birth of our nation on an actual Revolutionary War battlefield!

Read More

Dog Days of Summer

Next: July 29, 2023

Bring your pooch and learn the origin of the phrase “Dog Days of Summer” with our Colonial Scientist and discover a fun, true story of George Washington and a special dog who crossed the battle lines at Germantown in the fall of 1777. Dogs and their people will enjoy living history activities, and the chance […]

Read More