Andrew Jackson at 250: Race, Politics, and Culture in the Age of Jacksonian “Democracy”

Andrew Jackson at 250 Event poster

On the 250th anniversary of Andrew Jackson’s birth, the Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions (YCRI) invites you to a conference reassessing the “Age of Jackson” and Jacksonian “Democracy.” Join us for two days of panels, with presentations by historians and political scientists, as well as a special roundtable discussion of Andrew Jackson’s legacy:

Andrew Jackson at 250: Race, Politics, and Culture in the Age of Jacksonian “Democracy”

Please join us Friday-Saturday, December 1-2, 2017 in Luce Hall, Rooms 202 and 203, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT.

For additional information, please contact one of our YCRI post-doctoral fellows, Joshua Lynn (

Generously funded by the Jack Miller Center, The Thomas W. Smith Fund, The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund, the Yale History Department, and the Yale Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

For more details on this conference, see a review of the event here:

Friday, December 1, 2017

8:30-9:00am: Breakfast

9:00am: Introduction. Steven B. Smith (Yale University)

9:00-10:30am: Panel 1. Political Economy and the Jacksonian State (Luce 203)

Naomi Lamoreaux (Yale University): “Fixing the Machine that Would Not Go of Itself: State Constitutional Change and the Creation of an Open Access Social Order in the Jacksonian Era”               

Ariel Ron (Southern Methodist University): “‘King Hay’: Nationalism, Energy History, and Economic Development in the Nineteenth-Century Northern United States”

Chair: Isaac Nakhimovsky (Yale University)

10:30-11:00am: Coffee

11:30-12:30pm: Lunch

12:30-2:00pm: Panel 2. “Law and Order” in the Age of Jackson (Luce 202)
Laura F. Edwards (Duke University): “The Hidden World of Governance in Jacksonian America and the Artificial Line Between Legal History and Political History”

Giulia Oskian (Yale University): “Tocqueville and the Legal Culture of Jacksonian America”

John Fabian Witt (Yale University): “Capitalism, Slavery, and the Law in the Age of Jackson”

Chair: Bryan Garsten (Yale University)

2:00-2:30pm: Coffee

2:30-4:30pm: Roundtable: Andrew Jackson’s Legacy (Luce 202)
Harry L. Watson (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Donald Margulies (Yale University)
Stephen Skowronek (Yale University)                                                         
Manisha Sinha (University of Connecticut)
Moderator: Joshua A. Lynn (Yale University)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

9:30-10:00am: Breakfast

10:00-11:30am: Panel 3. Jacksonian Political Thought Revisited (Luce 202)

Alex Zakaras (The University of Vermont): “Nature and the Market in Jacksonian Thought”

Robert S. Richard (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): “Jacksonian Populism and the Bank Question”

Joshua A. Lynn (Yale University): “Race and the Jacksonian Counter-Enlightenment”

Chair: Steven B. Smith (Yale University)

11:30-1:00pm: Lunch

1:00-2:30pm: Panel 4. Jacksonian White Male Supremacy (Luce 202)

Kristofer Ray (Dartmouth College): “Discourses of Indigenous Sovereignty in Jackson’s America”

Laurel Clark Shire (Western University): “Sentimental Racism and Sympathetic Paternalism: Feeling like a Jacksonian American”

Jameson Sweet (Yale University): “Native Suffrage: Race, Citizenship, and American Indians in the Midwest”

Chair: Ned Blackhawk (Yale University)

2:30-3:00pm: Coffee

3:00-4:30pm: Panel 5. Slavery and Antislavery in the Age of Jackson (Luce 202)

Matthew Mason (Brigham Young University): “Judged in His Own Age’s Balance and Found Wanting: Jackson’s Whig Critics on Slavery and Race”

Emily A. Owens (Brown University): “Making Violence Ordinary: Cultures of Sex and Domination in the Antebellum South”

Gunther W. Peck (Duke University): “Labor Abolition and the Politics of White Victimhood, 1820-1840: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism”

Chair: David W. Blight (Yale University)

4:30pm: Closing Remarks and Reception

November 14, 2017