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Roots of Democracy Resources

Roots of Democracy Discussion Guide

Presentation Transcripts

Additional resources for Turtle Island Confederacies: Relationships & Balance and Post-Contact Indigenous Governance (click here to download as a PDF)



  • Barreiro, J. “Indian Roots of American Democracy. Cultural Encounter I.” Special Constitution Bicentennial Edition, Northeast Indian Quarterly, 1988. 
  • Dahl, Adam. Empire of the People: Settler Colonialism and the Foundations of Modern Democratic Thought. University Press of Kansas, 2018. 
  • Gibson, John Arthur. Concerning the League: The Iroquois League Tradition as Dictated in Onondaga. Translated by Hanni Woodbury, Syracuse University Press, 1992.
  • Grinde, Donald A. Jr. and Bruce E. Johansen, Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy. Los Angeles: American Indian Studies Center, 1991.
  • Johansen, B. E. Debating democracy: Native American legacy of freedom. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1998.
  • Johansen, Bruce E., Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy. Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1982.
  • Miller, Cary. Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845. University of Nebraska Press, 2010. Available as an e-book.
  • Weatherford, Jack, Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. New York: Crown Publishers, 1988.
  • White, Richard. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815. Cambridge University Press, 1991. Available as an e-book.
  • Witgen, Michael. An Infinity of Nations: How the Native New World Shaped Early North America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. Available as an e-book.


Additional resources for Founding Narratives: The Evolution of Ancient Athenian and Early American Democracy (click here to download as a PDF)

Classical Greece 

Primary Sources:


Secondary Sources 

  • Burian, Peter. “Athenian Tragedy as Democratic Discourse,” Why Athens?: A Reappraisal of Tragic Politics, edited by D. M. Carter, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 95-118.  
  • Euben, Peter. "Political Corruption in Euripides' Orestes. " Greek Tragedy and Political Theory, edited by Peter J. Euben, University of California Press, 1986, pp. 43-75. 
  • Goldhill, Simon. “The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology.” Nothing to Do with Dionysus: Athenian Drama in its Social Context, edited by John J. Winkler and Froma I. Zeitlin, Princeton University Press, 1990, pp. 97-129.
  • Hall, Edith. Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun, Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Longo, Oddone. “Theater of the Polis.” Nothing to Do with Dionysus: Athenian Drama in its Social Context, edited by John J. Winkler and Froma I. Zeitlin, Princeton University Press, 1990, pp. 97-129.
  • Ricks, Thomas. First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country. Harper Collins, 2020.  


Enlightenment Thought and Ideologies  

  • Appleby, Joyce. Republicanism in old and new contexts. The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History and Culture, 1986, pp. 20-34.
  • Bailyn, Bernard. The ideological origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2017.  
  • Calvert, Jane E. Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Frank, Jason. Publius and political imagination. Political Theoryvol. 37, no. 1, 2009, pp. 69-98.
  • Greene, Jack P. Colonial history and national history: Reflections on a continuing problem. The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 2, 2007, pp. 235-250.
  • Kramnick, Isaac. The Great National Discussion: The Discourse of Politics in 1787. The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History, vol. 45, no. 1, 1988, pp. 3-32.
  • Maier, Pauline. Ratification: the people debate the Constitution, 1787-1788New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.  
  • Martin, Jay. The Province of Speech: American Drama in the Eighteenth Century. Early American Literaturevol. 13, no. 1, 1978, pp. 24-33.
  • Mayville, Luke. John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy. Princeton University Press, 2018.
  • Orren, Karen, and John W. Compton, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Pears, Emily. Chords of Affection: A Theory of National Political Attachments in the American Founding. American Political Thoughtvol. 6, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-29.
  • Sheehan, Colleen A. The Mind of James Madison: The Legacy of Classical Republicanism. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • Smith, Rogers M. Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz: the multiple traditions in America. American Political Science Review, vol. 87, no. 3, 1993, pp. 549-566.
  • Storing, Herbert J. What the anti-Federalists were for: The political thought of the opponents of the Constitution, Vol. 1. University of Chicago Press, 2008.
  • Wood, Gordon S. The creation of the American republic, 1776-1787. UNC Press Books, 2011.  



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