J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

“Defining Freedom,” July 2009

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston are teaming up with the Worcester public schools and state Department of Education to offer a teacher seminar on the theme of personal and community liberty:

Defining Freedom examines how Americans conceived and promoted both individual and communal liberties and responsibilities from 1763 through 1863. The project seeks to create a series of professional development experiences in which participating teachers will examine the imperial crisis, the American Revolution, the Early Republic, the antebellum period, and the Civil War.

These historic events will be placed in relation to the broad themes of the evolution of the concepts of personal freedom, individual responsibility and respect for human dignity, and the growth and impact of centralized state power. During these time periods, popular thinking about personal freedom, individual responsibility, and respect for human dignity evolved to drastically expand the distribution of political and social power among the people, even as the power and scope of state and federal governments increased. Additionally, various minorities sought to gain the full rights and privileges of American citizenship only to be thwarted in their attempts.
The seminar runs 22-23 and 28-30 July, and here’s more information.

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