The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic’s next annual meeting will have the theme “Whither the Revolution,” which is interesting because that group’s scope is usually defined as the period after the Revolution has settled down, ending at the U.S. of A.’s Civil War.
But this conference has the subtitle “How the Early Republic Retained and Remolded the Legacy of the Revolution,” and its organizers explain themselves this way:
For the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the program committee, mindful of Lincoln’s role in interpreting and reinterpreting the nation’s founding, has determined to seek explorations of the fate of the Revolutionary inheritance in the early republic. The years of Lincoln’s rise to political prominence focused attention specifically on the meaning of the founding generation’s legacy.This S.H.E.A.R. conference will take 16-19 July 2009 in Springfield, Illinois. The Program Committee has just extended the deadline for submitting papers, panels, and “sessions employing formats other than presentation of papers” to 14 December. All the information about submitting is on the S.H.E.A.R. webpage.
It would be appropriate to assess the power of the Revolution to mold the expectations and directions of the next three generations of Americans. In the varied areas of American life—political, social, intellectual, and economic—scholars should define where the Revolutionary tradition was sustained, where it was modified, and where it was replaced. One of the many understandings that might result from such an enterprise is determining whether Lincoln maintained, modified, or replaced the Revolutionary heritage.
Monumental photo overhead courtesy of readontheroad’s Flickr page.