Student Defiance and Republican Citizenship

Fall 2017 Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History

The 2017-18 Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History will kick off on October 5, with a rare Thursday meeting featuring University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair in History Alan Taylor. Participants will discuss Prof. Taylor’s paper “Premature Independence: Student Defiance and Republican Citizenship,” which assesses violence at colleges and universities of the early republic as the backdrop for the creation of UVA, which was designed to avoid that violence, but failed. Washington University Professor of History David Konig will serve as interlocutor for the October 5 MRSEAH meeting, and a copy of Prof. Taylor’s paper can be found here.

For the second Fall 2017 meeting of the seminar, scheduled for November 17 in St. Louis, participant will discuss a chapter from Kinder Institute Chair Jay Sexton’s forthcoming book, America’s Horizons: A New History of the United States. For more information about attending either event, please contact Kinder Institute Communications Associate Thomas Kane,

On the evening prior to the first MRSEAH meeting, Professor Taylor will give a public lecture on the turbulent conditions that boiled over into the American Revolution and the post-war political divisions that shaped the early history of the United States. More information about the October 4 lecture, to be held in Neff Hall 204 at 5:30PM, can be found here.


Born in Portland, Maine on June 17, 1955, Alan Taylor attended Colby College, graduating in 1977. After serving as a researcher for historic preservation in the United States Virgin Islands (1977-79), he pursued graduate study at Brandeis University, receiving his Ph.D. in American History in 1986. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Early American History and Culture (Williamsburg, Virginia), he taught in the history department at Boston University from 1987 to 1994. He then served as a Professor of History at University of California-Davis, teaching courses in early American history, the history of the American West, and the history of Canada, and since 2014, he has held the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair in the Corcoran History Department at the University of Virginia.

He long served as the faculty advisor for the California State Social Science and History Project, which provides curriculum support and professional development for K-12 teachers in history and social studies. In 2002, he won the University of California at Davis Award for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement and the Phi Beta Kappa, Northern California Association, Teaching Excellence Award.

Taylor has published eight books: Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: The Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier, 1760-1820 (1990); William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic (1995); American Colonies (2001); Writing Early American History (2005); The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (2006); The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies (2010); The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia (2013); and American Revolutions: A Continental History (2016).

William Cooper’s Town won the Pulitzer Prize for American history in addition to the Bancroft and Beveridge prizes. The Internal Enemy won the Pulitzer Prize for American history and the Merle Curti Prize for Social History (OAH). American Colonies won the 2001 Gold Medal for Non-Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. The Divided Ground won the 2007 Society for Historians of the Early Republic book prize and the 2004-7 Society of the Cincinnati triennial book prize. The Civil War of 1812 won the Empire State History Prize and was a finalist for the George Washington Prize.