The United States Capitol Historical Society regularly holds conferences at which scholars present the results of their research to a wide public audience. The papers that result are later published to reach libraries and readers unable to attend conferences on Capitol Hill. To date, the Society has held symposia in four series.

Perspectives on the Age of the American Revolution: From 1978 to 1993, the Society’s first symposia series focused attention on the bicentennials of the American Revolution, the Constitution, and the creation of the Federal Government. The series was organized and conducted by Dr. Ronald Hoffman, then professor of history at the University of Maryland and now director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Virginia. The University Press of Virginia published the books that resulted from the conferences. More than 170 leading historians participated in the programs, which were widely praised for their contribution to scholarship.

Perspectives on the History of Congress, 1789-1801: From 1994 to 2001, the Society conducted a series of conferences each spring on the history of Congress in its formative period from 1789 to 1801 directed by Dr. Kenneth Bowling, co-editor of the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress Project at The George Washington University. Ohio University Press published several volumes resulting from the series.

Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol: Between 1994 and 2008 the Society conducted a series of conferences each fall on the art and architectural history of the United States Capitol planned with the cooperation of the Curator of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, Dr. Barbara Wolanin. Ohio University Press published several volumes resulting from this series.

The National Capital in a Nation Divided: Congress and the District of Columbia Confront Sectionalism and Slavery: Since 2004 the Society is conducting a major series of annual conferences on the important issues that confronted the national government in the antebellum period, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras.  Dr. Paul Finkelman, President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School, directs the series.

PAST SYMPOSIUM TITLES:

“The National Capital in a Nation Divided” Congress and the District of Columbia Confront Sectionalism and Slavery: 2004-
  • 2004: Debates Over Sectionalism
  • 2005: Congress in the Age of Jackson
  • 2006: Congress and Slavery in the 1840s and 1850s
  • 2007: Congress and Slavery in the District of Columbia
  • 2008: Congress and the Crisis of the 1850s
  • 2009: Lincoln’s Washington: Abraham Lincoln in Congress and the Presidency
  • 2010: Secession and War Come to Washington
  • 2011: Emancipation during the Civil War
  • 2012: Creating an Army to Preserve the Union
  • 2013: Congress, the Home Front, and the Civil War
  • 2014: “A Just and Lasting Peace”: Ending the Civil War
  • 2015: “Aftermath: The Consequences of the Civil War for Congress and the Federal Government
  • Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol: 1994-2008
    • 1994: Mid-Nineteenth Century Art in the Capitol
    • 1995: Two Centuries of Capitol Architects
    • 1996: Montgomery C. Meigs: Renaissance Man
    • 1997: “Book Palace of the American People”: The Art and Architecture of the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building
    • 1998: Capital Statues: American Sculpture in the United States Capitol
    • 1999: American Pantheon: The Art and Architecture of the Capitol Rotunda
    • 2000: Created Capitols: The U.S. Capitol and the State Capitols
    • 2002: Paris on the Potomac: French Inspired Art and Architecture on and around Capitol Hill
    • 2003: Capitol Additions and Extensions: 1850 to the Present
    • 2004: The Fourth Rome: Roman and Italian Influences on the Art, Architecture and Culture of Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Capitol
    • 2005: The Landscape Architecture of the U.S. Capitol
    • 2006: Capitol Fellowship Twentieth Anniversary Symposium
    • 2007: Recent Capitol Fellowship Research Symposium
    • 2008: “Step by Step” and “The National Mall: Rethinking Washington’s Monumental Core”

    Perspectives on the History of Congress: 1994-2001
    • 1994: Inventing Congress
    • 1995:”A Vessel Just Launched”: The First Federal Congress
    • 1996: Neither Separate Nor Equal: Congress and the Executive and Judicial Branches in the 1790s
    • 1997: The Social and Political Lives of Members of Congress at Philadelphia
    • 1998: Seeking Justice and Influencing Congress: Petitioning and Lobbying, 1789-1801
    • 1999: The Institutional Development of Congress in the 1790s
    • 2000: Created Capitals: Congress Moves to Washington, D.C.

    Perspectives on the Age of the American Revolution
    • 1978: Diplomacy and Revolution: The Franco-American Alliance of 1778
    • 1979: Sovereign States in an Age of Uncertainty
    • 1980: Slavery and Freedom in the Age of the American Revolution
    • 1981: Arms and Independence: The Military Character of the American Revolution
    • 1982: An Uncivil War: The Southern Backcountry during the American Revolution
    • 1983: Peace and the Peacemakers: The Treaty of 1783
    • 1984: The Economy of Early America
    • 1985: Women in the Age of the American Revolution
    • 1986: “To Form a More Perfect Union”: Critical Ideas of the Constitution
    • 1987: Of Consuming Interests: The Style of Life in the 18th Century
    • 1988: Religion in a Revolutionary Age
    • 1989: “The Transforming Hand of Revolution”: Reconsidering the American Revolution as a Social Movement
    • 1990: Launching the Extended Republic: The Federalist Era
    • 1991: The Bill of Rights: Government Proscribed
    • 1992: Native Americans and the Early Republic
    • 1993: A Republic for the Ages