Paul A. Gilje



I was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1951.  I attended Brooklyn College from 1969 to 1974.  In 1975 I earned my A. M. from Brown University and in 1980 I received my Ph.D. from the same institution.  Since that time I have taught at the University of Oklahoma.


At graduate school, I worked under Gordon Wood.  My dissertation examined riots in the early national period in New York City.  This research eventually found its way to publication as The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763-1834, published by the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg by the University of North Carolina Press in 1987.

During the next decade I became involved in a wide variety of different projects which included organizing an adult civics program in the state of Oklahoma, consulting for museums, editing several books, and writing a synthetic analysis of rioting in all of American history.  The last project led to the publication of Riots in America (Bloomington, Ind., 1995).  Also during these years I held fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and Washington University in St. Louis.

In all of my published work there has been a consistent theme: I am interested in how common people have been affected by the larger events of history that we read about in textbooks.  My most recent research centers on this question as well.  Specifically, in 2004 I published Liberty on the Waterfront: Society and Culture of the American Maritime World in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850 (Philadelphia, 2004) which examines the varied meanings of liberty for the people of the waterfront in an age of revolutionary change and upheaval.  This book has been awarded the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Best Book Prize for 2004 and the North American Society For Oceanic History John Lyman Book Award for 2004 in the category of United States Maritime History. My Making of the American Republic, 1763-1815 published with Prentice Hall in 2006 is a general history of the period that covers both the experience and contributions of the common people and the more famous leaders of the Revolution.

To see my curriculum vita, click here.


Currently I am professor of history.  I teach the freshman survey, colonial America, Revolutionary America, graduate courses in my period and in historical methods, and an occasional special course on a variety of other subjects.

Click on highlighted links for syllabi.
History 1483

History 3093

History 6400

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