Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

Doing History

What is the history of the American Revolution? The answer is not simple.

While season 1 looked at how historians work, the mission of season 2, Doing History: To the Revolution, is to ask how different historians interpret the events and people at the center of the American Revolution and to help listeners see the connections—and possible disconnects—between the different approaches.

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Episode 154: Barbara Clark Smith, The Freedoms We Lost

Declaring independence from Great Britain required the formation of new governments.

But why did Americans want and need new governments? And how did their interactions and experiences with their old, colonial governments inform their decisions to create new governments?

Barbara Clark Smith, a curator in the division of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the author of The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America, leads us on an exploration of how Americans interacted with their government before the American Revolution and how the Revolution changed their interaction and ideas about government.

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Supporting this series helps to meet one of the chief aims of the Lapidus Initiative: to make more transparent the intensive and collaborative processes of developing and producing high-quality scholarship. It also offers us a new and exciting opportunity for public outreach.