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2. Colonial and United States, 1619-1857
About this Lecture
In this module, we begin our exploration of the history of gun control in the United States, beginning with the earliest gun control laws in Virginia and ending with the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scot v. Sandford (1857). In particular, we focus on: (i) the correlation between a regime’s (perceived) vulnerability and the extent to which it restricts the possession and use of arms; (ii) the extent to which gun control laws in colonial America were directed at groups who were deemed to represent a particular threat; (iii) the extent to which gun control laws became less discriminatory around the time of the American Revolution; (iv) the extent to which gun control laws became more discriminatory (once again targeting particular groups) in the early decades of the nineteenth century; and (v) Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) and the sense in which the right to bear arms was linked to other freedoms linked to citizenship.
In this course, Dr Kevin Yuill (University of Sunderland) explores the history of gun control in the United States from the colonial period to the present day. In the first module, we think about the history of the right to bear arms in English law, and the precise formulation of the Second Amendment: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’. After that, we trace the history of gun control in the United States from the early 17th-century to the present day in four key periods – 1619-1857, 1865-1911, 1911-34 and 1945-present.
Dr Kevin Yuill is Associate Professor of American History at the University of Sunderland. His primary interests are in the intellectual history of the United States, particularly race and equality in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, attitudes to suicide and death, and attitudes to the possession of firearms. His recent publications include (as co-author) The Second Amendment and Gun Control: Freedom, Fear, and the American Constitution (2017) and Assisted Suicide: the Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization (2013).
Cite this Lecture
Yuill, K. (2021, February 10). US Politics – The Second Amendment and Gun Control - Colonial and United States, 1619-1857 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/us-politics-the-second-amendment-and-gun-control/colonial-and-united-states-1619-1857
Yuill, Kevin. "US Politics – The Second Amendment and Gun Control – Colonial and United States, 1619-1857." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Feb 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/us-politics-the-second-amendment-and-gun-control/colonial-and-united-states-1619-1857