American History

Sign up to Receive an Excerpt of Yale Law Professor Akhil Amar’s Book “The Words That Made Us”

In his newest book, The Words that Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation 1760-1840, Yale law professor and constitutional historian Akhil Reed Amar tells the story of the first 80 years of public debate in the United States. This excerpt focuses on the origins of America’s newspaper culture and the central role it played in forming our democracy.

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When Benjamin Franklin’s Grandson was Jailed for Criticizing President Adams

For those who cannot imagine a time less favorable to a free press than the present moment, Ronald K.L. Collins' essay serves as a useful reminder that some of the biggest threats to the First Amendment took place in the first decade following ratification.

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