H-Law Podcast Episode 10: Martha Jones

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In this podcast I talk with Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, about her book Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (CUP, 2018). Professor Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose interests include the study of race, law, citizenship, slavery, and the rights of women.

 

 :29 Author Background

 

3:05 How Jones’s time as a public interest lawyer influenced Birthright Citizens

 

7:02 The perspective from which the work is written

 

9:47 How the work relates to the historiography surrounding race and citizenship

 

13:12 The sources Jones drew upon to write Birthright Citizens

 

15:47 Baltimore as a setting

 

18:37 The pressures that catalyzed arguments for birthright citizenship

 

24:03 How antebellum Americans perceived the relationship between rights and citizenship

 

27:56 How antebellum Americans without formal legal training studied law

 

32:26 Ways antebellum black Americans interacted with the law through newspapers

 

35:18 Ways individuals used law as an instrument of change

 

40:48 The concept of rights secured through performance

 

44:47 Black Baltimoreans' interactions with local courthouses

 

48:27 How Baltimore’s men and women sometimes inverted the intention of the black laws

 

52:29 Scott v. Sanford’s impact in Baltimore

 

57:00 Connections between rights and citizenship in the antebellum period and during Reconstruction

 

1:02:00 The relationship between finding justice in the present and remembering the past