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Hamilton, history, historiography

Herrmann, Rachel B. ORCID: 2021. Hamilton, history, historiography. Lodge, Mary Jo and Laird, Paul, eds. Dueling Grounds: Revolution and Revelation in the Musical Hamilton, Oxford University Press, (10.1093/oso/9780190938840.003.0008)

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This chapter examines Lin-Manuel Miranda’s approach to history. Miranda aimed to explore how the Founders created legacies by leaving behind records for future historians, but he had little interest in the histories of people who left behind fewer written documents. Miranda’s method created Hamilton’s historiographical blind spots. In the musical, Alexander Hamilton refers to the “promised land” of the post-Revolutionary early American republic without acknowledging how his father-in-law, Philip Schuyler, managed to acquire so much territory from Native Americans. This chapter explores the combination of scorched earth warfare, diplomacy, and eventually treaties from the 1750s to the 1800s that allowed the Founders to redraw the nation’s terrestrial and riverine borders to make Native territory into U.S. territory. It calls attention to this history while establishing the musical’s liminal position between historical scholarship on the American Revolution, public interest in this history, and Miranda’s version of it.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190938840
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 14:13

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