Gretchen Murphy, “How Federalist Women Shaped America” | National Humanities Center


Gretchen Murphy, “How Federalist Women Shaped America”

August 26, 2019

Gretchen Murphy
Gretchen Murphy, University of Texas at Austin

Though its viability as a political party was short-lived, the influence of the Federalists extended well beyond the early years of the American republic. After the election of 1800, the party’s fortunes dimmed, and the party dissolved in 1824, but its ideas have continued to shape American institutions and political attitudes up to the present day. Fellow Gretchen Murphy has researched the ways in which women writers have shaped and preserved the Federalist legacy.

In this podcast, she delves into the fundamental importance of religion for the Federalists and the influence of the French Revolution on the party’s vision for the American nation. Drawing from multiple types of sources, including novels, poetry, essays, and letters by women Federalists, Murphy reflects on the ways in which these women confronted a problem which persists today: how can a democracy function without a shared sense of moral authority?