Author Information

Hannah Novotny


Eighteenth-century American politics does more than simply provide us with the U.S. Constitution. According to Gordon Wood (1991, 32), the stakes of eighteenth-century historical arguments are very high, as they deal with “nothing less than the kind of society we have been, or ought to become.” Barry Shain (1994, xiv) concurs with Wood, arguing that an understanding of the American founding “defines how Americans understand themselves as a historical people, as well as constraining what they might become.” As Wood and Shain indicate, an understanding of eighteenth-century American political thought shapes how we understand our past and informs the decisions we make about our future.

Note on the Author

Hannah Novotny is a graduating senior majoring in Political Science. Her research project was completed in Summer 2019 under the mentorship of Dr. Jordon Barkalow (Political Science) and was made possible through funding provided by an Adrian Tinsley Program summer research grant. This research was accepted for presentation at the 2020 Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Annual Research Conference in Chicago, IL. Following graduation, Hannah plans to pursue a law degree.

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