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Articles on Colonial America

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An 1877 print called ‘Concord - The First Blow For Liberty,’ showing American patriots going off to fight the British on April 19, 1775. Print Collector/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

How fake foreign news fed political fervor and led to the American Revolution

Fuel for the American Revolution came from a source familiar today: distorted news reports used to drum up enthusiasm for overthrowing an illegitimate government.
As a printer’s apprentice in 1721, Franklin had a front-row seat to the controversy around a new prevention technique. ClassicStock/Archive Photos via Getty Images

Benjamin Franklin’s fight against a deadly virus: Colonial America was divided over smallpox inoculation, but he championed science to skeptics

When Bostonians in 1721 faced a deadly smallpox outbreak, a new procedure called inoculation was found to help fend off the disease. Not everyone was won over, and newspapers fed the controversy.
Stratford Hall in Westmoreland, Virginia, where enslaved cook and chocolatier Caesar lived and worked in the kitchen. Wikipedia

Oppression in the kitchen, delight in the dining room: The story of Caesar, an enslaved chef and chocolatier in Colonial Virginia

There’s a bittersweet history to chocolate in America. At one plantation museum in Virginia, the story of enslaved chocolatier Caesar shows the oppression that lay behind the elite’s culinary treat.
For centuries, indigenous history has been largely told through a European lens. John White, circa 1585-1593, © The Trustees of the British Museum

Archaeologists have a lot of dates wrong for North American indigenous history – but we’re using new techniques to get it right

Modern dating techniques are providing new time frames for indigenous settlements in Northeast North America, free from the Eurocentric bias that previously led to incorrect assumptions.
President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, June 6, 2019. AP/Alex Brandon

Impeachment is better than exile

When the founders wrote the Constitution, they had to devise a punishment fitting for a civil servant’s impeachment. One possible punishment: banishment from the community.

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