Roots of Democracy Resources |
Your shopping cart is empty.

Roots of Democracy Resources

Join our Roots of Democracy Group on Facebook to discuss topics and connect with other people interested in the complex and diverse origins of America's guiding principle.

Additional resources for the February 11 and March 25 sessions (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 the March 4 session (click here to download as a PDF)

Classical Greece and Rome:

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.  



Contact Us

Follow Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusInstagram

Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery

1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25