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Richard B. Morris

Richard B. Morris (1904 - 1989) was an American historian who focused on the constitutional, diplomatic, and political history of the American Revolution and the making of the U.S. Constitution. He was the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of many books.

In 1966 Morris won the Bancroft Prize in History for his book on the diplomacy of the American Revolution, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence (1965). He edited the papers of John Jay and published a biography, John Jay, the Nation, and the Court, focusing on Jay's work as a diplomat and as the first Chief Justice of the United States.

Morris's 1966 book The American Revolution Reconsidered, which he followed in 1970 with his The Emerging Nations and the American Revolution. In 1973, preparing for the impending bicentennial of the American Revolution, he published a collection of biographical essays in Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries.

Prof. Morris also co-chaired Project ’87, a group of historians, political scientists, and jurists formed to encourage a thorough examination of the Constitution for its bicentennial year.

Articles by this Author

The framers of the Constitution were proud of what they had done but might be astonished that their words still carry so much weight. A distinguished scholar tells us how the great charter has survived and flourished.
The Founding, Fathers never did agree about the proper relationship between church and state. No wonder the Supreme Court has been backing and filling on the principle ever since.
“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature , since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do’
President Washington appointed John Jay to be Chief Justice because the eloquent partisan of the Constitution shared a desire to strengthen the machinery of the central government and to bring about conformity to treaty obligations among the states.
States they were, united they were not; while their Secretary for Foreign Affairs sought to pull them together, Europe waited for them to fall apart
Long before Lexington, James Otis’ fight for civil liberties gave heart to the rebel cause. But why did he behave so strangely as the Revolution neared? Which side was he on?
In Pierre Landais the Continental Navy had its own real-life Commander Queeg. His tour as master of the Alliance was a nightmare wilder than any a novelist could invent
The Albany Plan of Union might have made the Revolution unnecessary