The book Indivisible: Daniel Webster & the Birth of American Nationalism (Riverhead Books, 2022) by Joel Richard Paul tells the story of how Webster, a young New Hampshire attorney turned politician, rose to national prominence through his powerful oratory and unwavering belief in the United States.
In his speeches, on the floors of the House and Senate, in court, and as Secretary of State, Daniel Webster argued that the Constitution was not a compact made by states but an expression of the will of all Americans.
Paul argues that Webster’s rhetoric convinced Americans to see themselves differently, as a nation bound together by a government of laws, not parochial interests. As these ideas took root, they influenced future leaders, among them Abraham Lincoln, who drew on them to hold the nation together during the Civil War.
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will host Joel Paul of the University of California, UC Law, San Francisco, in conversation with Jan Saragoni, for a talk on the book on Tuesday, May 2nd from 6 to 7 pm. This event will be held both virtually, and in person. Admission is $10 for in person attendance, free for MHS members and virtual attendance. For more information or to register, click here.
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