Name Pauline Maier
Spouse Charles S. Maier
|Full Name Pauline Alice Rubbelke|
Born April 27, 1938 (1938-04-27) St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Alma mater Radcliffe College (B.A.) London School of Economics Harvard University (Ph.D.)
Died August 12, 2013, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Education Harvard University (1968), Radcliffe College, London School of Economics and Political Science
Awards New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
Books Ratification: The People Debate th, American Scripture, From Resistance to Revolu, Inventing America: a History of, The Old Revolutionaries: Political L
Similar People Charles S Maier, Merritt Roe Smith, William W Bosworth
Historian pauline maier on the ratification of the u s constitution
Pauline Alice Maier (née Rubbelke; April 27, 1938 – August 12, 2013) was a revisionist historian of the American Revolution, though her work also addressed the late colonial period and the history of the United States after the end of the Revolutionary War. She was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
- Historian pauline maier on the ratification of the u s constitution
- Pauline maier ratification the people debate the constitution 1787 1788
- Early life, education and family
- Teaching teachers
- Books and scholarly articles
- Texts, online courses, avatar gaming
- Popular reviews and columns
Maier achieved prominence over a fifty-year career of critically acclaimed scholarly histories and journal articles. She was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and taught undergraduates. She authored textbooks and online courses. Her popular career included series with PBS and the History Channel. She appeared on Charlie Rose, C-SPAN2's In Depth and wrote 20 years for The New York Times review pages. Maier was the 2011 President of the Society of American Historians. She won the 2011 George Washington Book Prize for her book Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. She died in 2013 from lung cancer at the age of 75.
Pauline maier ratification the people debate the constitution 1787 1788
Early life, education and family
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1938 as Pauline Rubbelke, she attended parochial schools. Her father was a firefighter and her mother was a homemaker with five children. On entering Radcliffe College as an undergraduate, her original ambition was to be in the newspaper business.
She was a writer on The Harvard Crimson and worked summers at the Quincy, Massachusetts Patriot Ledger. She graduated from Radcliffe in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature. It was on the Crimson that she met her future husband, Charles S. Maier. After graduation, they both attended schools at Oxford on fellowships, she as a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science. On completing their studies, they married and toured Europe together.
The couple returned to Harvard University to pursue doctoral degrees, Charles in European history, and Pauline in 20th century urban studies in line with her interest in contemporary politics. But after taking Bernard Bailyn’s "Colonial and Revolutionary America" seminar, she said, "Once you get into the 18th century, you never get out." Pauline and Charles earned their PhD degrees at Harvard, and Charles began a career there. They raised two daughters and a son in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Maier pursued gardening and cooking at the family weekend home.
Maier taught at University of Massachusetts Boston for nine years, and one year at the University of Wisconsin before taking her position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 as William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History. Her career included various appointments in five prestigious universities, and numerous fellowships and awards. Her lecture classes through 2011 included three courses of Early American history, and she co-taught “Riots, Strikes and Conspiracies in American History” with urban historian Robert M. Fogelson.
Maier chaired a university-wide committee at MIT in 1985 to re-organize its humanities schools and broaden and structure its programs. Its adopted recommendations expanded women’s studies, awarded specific area degrees, and initiated a doctoral program collaborating history and anthropology under Dean Ann Fetter Friedlaender. MIT's faculty voted Maier the Killian Award in 1998, given annually to one senior faculty member for outstanding achievement. The recipient presents on their professional activities over their Lecturer year.
In 1976, she became a member of the American Antiquarian Society. An offprint of its proceedings featured her “Boston and New York in the 18th Century” (1982). In the 1990s, Maier was a charter member of “The Historical Society” group among American Historical Association membership who were concerned about restrictive ‘political correctness’ and collegial civility. Maier was elected as an American Academy of Arts and Sciences “History Fellow” in 1998. In 2010, Maier became one of two women honorary members of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts since 1947.
Maier was the 2011 President of the Society of American Historians (SAH), an affiliate of the American Historical Association. It is dedicated to literary distinction in history and biography. The society's past presidents include Allan Nevins, Eric Foner, James M. McPherson, and David McCullough.
In 2012, President Obama appointed Maier to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation Board of Trustees. The foundation was created by Congress in 1986 as part of the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution and offers $24,000 graduate level fellowships to secondary teachers to undertake a master's degree which emphasizes the study of the Constitution.jamesmadison.gov
Maier’s writing is characterized as serious and unadorned, with a crossover appeal from scholars to intelligent readers who enjoy a well-told story of well-researched scholarly history. In Ratification, Maier attributed her storytelling ability to Barbara Tuchman’s insight that the writer can build suspense by never acknowledging a development until the characters in the narrative could know it.
Professionally, her research-writing technique was self-described as looking for something comparative to come up with new questions. For example, in American Scripture, she found over 90 local declarations and then compared them to that of the Second Continental Congress. Popular support for the Declaration of Independence was built on how much was known and how widely the newspapers circulated. Massachusetts did not control Virginia, there was a confluence of ideas, assumptions, and similar responses to similar events.
As a popular history writer, she sought to understand her subjects as humans as well as their causes. Personal elements may not be important to public life, but they are the kinds of things people want to know. In Hamilton’s famous phrase, he was “unfaithful to my wife, but not to my country.” Historians always ask, What did they do for the public?
Maier won fellowships to write curriculum for college courses and high school teachers. She believed that the interest in American history was not tapped in the curriculum of many states. As a democratic country, the U.S. should give any student a background knowledge of what happened to make the Declaration and the Constitution, and how their uses changed. Assumed things were not always so, students should understand how things can and do change. “Every time you understand what’s distinctive about a different time, you are understanding what is distinctive about our time."
Maier’s scholarship belongs to the “Neo-Whig” school of historiography founded by Bernard Bailyn in reaction to the “Progressive” historians. Her work is likened to that of Gordon S. Wood and Edmund S. Morgan. Radical English libertarian thought changed American beliefs and society and culture. The spreading ideas of natural rights and individual liberty distinctively altered politics, economy and society. These are explained with political analysis apart from ideology, incorporating English and French sources.
Neo-Whigs of the 1950s forward avoided the triumphalism of the 1930s 'Whig historians’ of the Revolution. The neo-Whigs added empire perspective, explored Patriot differences among colonies and within each colony, and added treatment of Tory elements. Maier's account of evolving Patriot differences is "Ratification: the people debate the constitution 1787-1788". Still, neo-Whigs have critics who see no causal imperative to revolution by Lockean ideals. Maier's account of the connections is found in "American Scripture: the making of the Declaration of the Independence".
Neo-Whigs versus neo-Progressives
In contrast to the neo-Whigs, neo-Progressives explain many developments as a conservative return to Coke’s ‘Rights of Englishmen’, a reaction to economic imperatives of expanding Empire. The British of all classes everywhere in the empire were more free than any in the world. Neo-progressives show that the structural economic change in the English Atlantic empire and local profit margins counted as much for merchants and planters as a colonial concern for Parliament's enactments. Control of domestic markets motivated as much as rights and ideals. The Neo-Whigs have difficulty explaining a tipping point from mild protest to sustained violence. At times they have not accounted for the exodus by Tories and ex-slave British. 'Liberty' in 1776 meant different things to different people. Maier's take is found in "From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776".
Neo-Whigs in general answer that doctrine of every kind was underpinned by a colonial social reality that was by its nature uncertain and unstable. Nevertheless, they are charged with favoring those who could read and write. Social historians expanded historical inquiry into urban labor movements and rural militias. Maier contributed to the wider sensibility with her article “Popular Uprisings in 18th Century America” in the William and Mary Quarterly, featured in a reissue of their 50-year best. And while neo-Whigs can explain much of later social, economic and political transformation, see Maier’s “Revolutionary Origins of the American Corporation”, there still remains how marginalized populations (day-laborers, women, blacks slave and free, Amerindians) should be incorporated into the narrative of the American Revolution.
Expanding 'early American' history
Indeed, whatever was once “Early American History” is changed and changing. The field is ‘imperialistically’ reaching chronologically forward fifty years and backwards a century. It has spread geographically over the entire continent and across Atlantic communities. It topically encompasses slavery, gender, ethnicity and borderland outliers. The new intellectual fault line is methodological, based on differences in research standards and how to relate theory and archival research.
A recent collection by Donald A. Yerxa looks towards finding a ‘reconceptualization’ of the field with chronological bounds based on newly researched continuity and change, along with more coherent themes. Maier’s section was a forum on historiography, Peter C. Mancall led ‘the colonial period’, and Gordon S. Wood started ‘revolution and early republic’. Maier began the historiography section with three “Disjunctions” based on her previous work at NEH and a newly written rejoinder following comments by five other scholars.
In the first disjunction considered by Maier, the social 'Colonial' history is unlike the predominantly political and ideological 'Revolution' history. Colonial history from the Amerindian experience reaches a discontinuity at a time when U.S. imperialism overtakes earlier Hispanic developments in the 1800s. Maier agreed, “a disjunction in historical research is not a disjunction in history.” The challenge is to find a bridge from modern fruitful research into the previous scholarship based on national boundaries. The second disjunction is between scholarly interests and the general public. Younger scholars are dropping the history of white men’s politics. While bestsellers are written on Franklin, Washington, Adams, and '1776', many modern, cultural historians shun white male elites. “Nation” is dismissed as an imagined or invented construct and ‘nationalism’ in their critique lacks explanatory power for inclusive historical analysis.
Maier’s third disjunction, related to the second, is between historical scholarship and history taught in secondary schools and college survey courses. While social and cultural historians add to the body of the scholarly literature in their professional careers, Maier asks, “why not synthesize and perpetuate the contributions of previous (political, military and diplomatic) scholars, at least in the classroom?” (Related on this page, see references to Maier’s work in two fellowships at National Endowment of Humanities, Guggenheim Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, PBS, History Channel,and textbooks referenced by scholars.)
Paperback and ebook
These works are cited by scholars in the field as noted. Ebook, paperback, and audiobook editions offer easiest access to Maier's work. See titles re-listed below in "Books and scholarly articles" for approving and critical reviews, online interviews, panel discussion and lectures associated with each one.
Books and scholarly articles
Books and scholarly articles
The ISBN links here and footnoted go to WP’s “Book Sources” for direct links at “find this book” resources. These include online text, formatted bibliographical information, libraries, book sellers, book swappers.
Co-authored and contributed chapters
Texts, online courses, avatar gaming
For a democracy to work, Maier would have its citizens to look beyond assumptions, to know how things can and do change." To “synthesize and perpetuate the contributions of previous scholars … in the classroom,” she writes college textbooks and uses them to teach undergraduates. Maier writes online courses available at her university and used by other universities
Beyond traditional college offerings, Maier integrated participatory learning, political history and social history in a collaboration with online MUVE gaming project in a format that younger "digital divide" learners find engaging. She reaches out to students before college in texts used in high schools for Advanced Placement courses and previously in a text for middle schoolers with a braille edition. She connects with secondary teachers through the "Teaching American History" courses. She has been a TAH presenter and her books are used for required readings in college credit courses around the country for high school teachers to acquire a better background in American history.
Avatar virtual gaming
Lectures and panel discussionsSee below under "Further reading"
Popular reviews and columns
Popular reviews and columns
Maier wrote popular book reviews and opinion columns for several periodicals, including the New York Times (NYT) Books, Arts and Opinion pages, all relating to her scholarly area of expertise. She occasionally appeared as a guest on radio talk programs. Maier was an advisor to History News Network out of George Mason University.
Washington Post reviews
“Liberty's exiles” 02/22/2011. Maier’s approving review of Maya Jasanoff’s well-written “Liberty’s exiles: American loyalists in the Revolutionary world” and recalling Mary Beth Norton’s 1970 prize-winning “British Americans”. Compare with Thomas H. Bender in the New York Times 05/01/2011 “The King's men, after the American Revolution”.
Looking at twenty years as a NYT reviewer, one can see an evolution from (a) 1980s family, women's and children's books, to (b) early to mid 1990s specialty monographs concerning the Revolutionary period, to (c) late 1990s big name authors and best sellers in her field. (Note: keep scrolling through the Arts page ads for text.)
“John Adams” May 27, 2001. Review of David McCullough’s “John Adams”. “The do-it-yourself society” March 1, 1998. On Paul Johnson’s “A history of the American people”. “Sparring for Liberty” November 1, 1998. On Eric Foner’s “The story of American freedom”. “James Madison made us up” July 3, 1988. On Edmund S. Morgan’s “Inventing the people: the rise of popular sovereignty in England and America”.
“Reversal of Fortune” November 16, 1997. on Richard M. Ketchum’s “Saratoga: turning point of America’s Revolutionary War”. “Continent of conquest” July 14, 1996. On John Keegan’s “Fields of battle: the wars for North America”. “The all-purpose bad guy” August 26, 1990. On Willard S. Randall’s “Benedict Arnold: patriot and traitor”. “The dissertation that would not die” July 30, 1989. On Frank Bourgin’s “The great challenge: the myth of laissez-faire in the Early Republic”.
“Children’s books: … getting it right” reviewing ten children’s books on Revolution and Constitution. “A world of women” December 12, 1982. On Barbara Strachey’s “Remarkable relations: the story of the Pearsall Smith women”. “Victorian Women, including Victoria” May 16, 1982. On Janet H. Murray’s “Strong-minded women and other lost voices from 19th Century England”. “A marriage that worked” September 1981. On Lynne Withey’s “Dearest friend: a life of Abigail Adams”.
“Justice Breyer’s sharp aim” December 21, 2010. “Jefferson, Real and Imagined” July 4, 1997.
“Costa Report” interview with California-based Rebecca D. Costa’s radio show features research based scholars with unconventional takes on nonpartisan ‘PBS content’. Costa’s “Maier interview” KSCO radio, Feb 4, 2011. Viewed 05/16/2001. “Wilson Center”, 'strengthening the fruitful relations between the world of learning and the world of public affairs'. “Dialogue Radio: “#946 ‘Ratification’”, Dec 19-26, 2010. Viewed 05/16/2001.
TV and video seriesSee below under "Further reading"