Deep political differences. Economic disruption. Civil unrest. A sense that America may be coming apart. 2020? Actually, the year was 1786. America was only ten years old, but already some people were saying that our “experiment” in self-government, as James Madison called it, had failed. Fourteen years later, in 1800, America experienced one of the nastiest and most divisive elections in our history. Again, many people wondered if America could survive.
How did we not only survive but thrive? How do the lessons of America's history give us hope despite the continuing challenges of the pandemic, a divisive election, and social unrest? Ashbrook Executive Director Dr. Jeff Sikkenga and Dr. Cara Rogers, professor of history at Ashland University, will help us explore what we can learn from this moment in early American history.