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Capitol Riots


  • White Terrorism: From Post-Civil-War Lynchings to the Present

    by Walter G. Moss

    The Capitol riots of January 6 echoed elements of mob lynchings in the participants' binary us/them view of society, a conservative white Protestant religious culture, and a willingness to accept rumor and conspiracy as justifications for their actions.



  • The Rise and Fall of the L. Brent Bozells

    by Timothy Noah

    The charging of L. Brent Bozell IV with disorderly conduct for entering the Senate chamber on January 6 prompts reflection on how a series of men named L. Brent Bozell trace the evolution of American conservatism. 


  • Must the Capitol Riots be Included in the Legacy of American Dissent?

    by Ralph Young

    Teachers of history might feel a disconnect between praising American traditions of dissent and condemning the Capitol riots. They shouldn't. Historical evaluation of the grievances of dissenters, whatever their methods, finds real grievances, not lies, at the root of dissent.



  • The 150-Year-Old Ku Klux Klan Act Being Used Against Trump In Capitol Attack

    Ulysses S. Grant championed legislation to apply the power of the federal government against armed conspiracies to prevent the exercise of the vote. A Mississippi Congressman is now suing Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani under a provision of the law that allows victims to file civil lawsuits against conspirators.


  • Not the First Mob Attack on the Government in D.C.

    by Stan M. Haynes

    An angry mob threatened John Tyler and his family in the White House and burnt him in effigy on the grounds after he vetoed the Whig Party's bill for a second Bank of the United States in 1841, leading Congress to authorize a night police patrol for the District of Columbia. 


  • To Save Democracy, We Need Historical Memory to be "Hot"

    by Shannon Bontrager

    Historical memory can run hot or cold; hot memory, when we make ourselves vulnerable to the pain of the past, is a force that will ensure America doesn't just move on from the needless death of the COVID pandemic or the violence of the Capitol insurrection without committing to justice and accountability.


  • Weaponized Whiteness: Invisible Hand and Iron Fist

    by Fran Shor

    There is a link between the summer's BLM protests and the Capitol riots. Both reflect a crisis of a political order based on the maintenance of white supremacy and nonwhite subordination through the "invisible hand" of institutions. 



  • Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

    by Jason Stanley

    Not enough attention has been paid to the video shown to spectators at Donald Trump's January 6th "Save America" rally. A close look shows it to be a work of propaganda firmly in the tradition of fascism. 


  • Democracy, Violence, and the Legacy of the American Revolution

    by David W. Houpt

    Although many of the Capitol rioters claimed to defend the Constitution, their actions reflect ideas derived from the Revolutionary period that the people have the right to resist tyranny by force. The Constitution sought to check that impulse by establishing a representative republic and a cultural bargain to live by the results of elections, but the two ideas have never been resolved.



  • 4 Cautionary Tales from the French Revolution

    by Christine Adams

    A historian of revolutionary France argues that the period presents cautions about the prevalence of disinformation, the potential of rhetoric to incite, the folly of blaming singular figures for broad trends and movements, and the cynicism that flows from efforts to undermine the legitimacy of democratic institutions. 



  • When White Extremism Seeps Into The Mainstream

    Historian Kathleen Belew discusses the history of the far right and the work of separating the hard core of the movement from its fringes and those who might be persuaded to join it.