[PAST EVENT] "An Empire of Love:  Rethinking the American Confederation, 1776-1789" 

April 18, 2023
5pm - 6pm
Blow Memorial Hall, Room 201
262 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Free food
  • Open to the public
  • Registration/RSVP
Eliga Gould delivers the 2023 Vast Early America Lecture

An Empire of Love: Rethinking the American Confederation, 1776-1789

With the Declaration of Independence, Americans began creating a new federal union based on the Articles of Confederation. That effort is generally viewed as a failure, yet as Professor Gould will suggest, the American Confederation produced several noteworthy innovations, including the expansion of religious liberty, the first efforts to abolish slavery, and the Northwest Ordinance. Meanwhile, the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the Revolutionary War, led to a new round of treaty making in Indian country, while it forced Congress and the states to grapple with the legal status of overseas debtors and loyalists. Together, the Confederation and the Treaty produced a dizzying range of possibilities — a new order for the ages. The legacy of that new order, for good and for ill, is with us to this day.

Founded in 1943, the Omohundro Institute is an independent research organization sponsored by W&M and Colonial Williamsburg. We support the scholars and scholarship of vast early America—a term we use to describe the capacious histories of North America and related geographies from the 1450s to the 1820s.


Martha Howard