Creating a New Government
The books, articles, films, and websites in this section will enhance the materials included on our website for this era of American history. Many of the books are by the historians whose essays and lectures you have read and listened to here and offer in-depth studies of the topics that have caught your interest. The websites and other resources open new ways to explore American history and take advantage of new interpretations and new technologies to enhance classroom or at-home learning.
Amar, Akhil Reed. America’s Constitution: A Biography. New York: Random House, 2005.
Beard, Charles A. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2009. First printed 1913 by The Macmillan Company.
Beeman, Richard, Stephen Botein, and Edward C. Carter II, eds. Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.
Rakove, Jack N. Declaring Rights: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998.
Brookhiser, Richard. Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution. New York: Free Press, 2003.
Marrin, Albert. George Washington and the Founding of a Nation. New York: Dutton’s Children’s Books, 2001.
Alden, John R. George Washington: A Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.
Rakove, Jack N. James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic. 3rd ed. New York: Longman, 2006.
Bowen, Catherine D. Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1966.
Rakove, Jack N. Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
Levy, Leonard W. Origins of the Bill of Rights. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
Marcus, Maeva, ed. Origins of the Federal Judiciary: Essays on the Judiciary Act of 1789. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Wood, Gordon S. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. New York: The Penguin Press, 2006.
Berns, Walter. Taking the Constitution Seriously. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.
Alarcon, Robert. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Primary Source Readers. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials, 2004.
Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic. 1776–1787. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998; orig. 1969.
Morris, Richard B. The Forging of the Union, 1781–1789. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.
Bernstein, R.B. The Founding Fathers Reconsidered. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Onuf, Peter S. The Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775–1787. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001; orig. 1983.
Ritchie, Donald A. The U.S. Constitution (Know Your Government). New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989.
Holton, Woody. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.
Brookhiser, Richard. What Would the Founders Do? Our Questions, Their Answers. New York: Basic Books, 2006.
Recommended Resources from Other Sub-Eras
McLeese, Don. Alexander Hamilton. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publishing, 2004.
Dupont, Christian Y., and Peter S. Onuf, eds. Declaring Independence: The Origin and Influence of America’s Founding Document. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Library, 2008.
Horsman, Reginald. Expansion and American Indian Policy, 1783–1812. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1967.
Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
Appleby, Joyce. Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.
Smith, Richard Norton. Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.
Rakove, Jack N. Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2010.
Elkins, Stanley, and Eric McKitrick. The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788–1800. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
McWillliams, John P., Jr. The American Epic: Transforming a Genre, 1770–1860. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Delbanco, Andrew. The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Peterson, Merrill D. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.
Simon, James F. What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002.