Past Lectures & Events


François Furstenberg, John Hopkins University

2020 William A. Hammond Lecture

"What were the Founders Thinking? The New States and the Problem of Permanent Gerrymanders."

This talk examines what I’m calling the “Problem of New States,” by which I mean states created after the Constitution was ratified. Although they had no role in drafting the Constitution – and indeed were formed by the Constitution rather than forming it – today they constitute more than two-thirds of the United States and have a power entirely unanticipated by the debates at the Constitutional Convention. 

François Furstenberg teaches in the history department at Johns Hopkins University, where his research focuses on the United States and the Atlantic World in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His current research is on the early American West, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, as well as on print culture and early American cultural and intellectual history more broadly.