May 17th 2022

Toasting the Revolution

@ Newberry Library

60 W Walton St, Chicago, 60610

Opening Tuesday, May 17th, from 6PM - 7:30PM

This program will be held in person at the Newberry. Please register for free in advance here:

As we welcome visitors to the library, we’re continuing to closely monitor health and safety conditions related to COVID-19 in Chicago. Click here for our visitor policy:

Raise a glass in this celebratory, interactive event on the practice of toasting during the Age of Revolutions.

Historian Caitlin Fitz and Newberry curator Will Hansen will explore how toasts offered at Fourth of July celebrations and other gatherings during the first half of the nineteenth century illuminate popular US attitudes toward the American Revolution and other revolutions in the Americas. Fitz is author of Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions, which shows how Latin America’s independence wars shaped popular understandings of race, rebellion, and republicanism in the early United States. They will be joined by actors from the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, who will lead the audience in performing early toasts from the Newberry’s collection and beyond.

This event is the concluding program of our fifteen-month project, ¡Viva la Libertad! Forming More Perfect Unions Across the Americas.

Caitlin Fitz is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University.

Will Hansen is the Newberry’s Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana.

This program will be presented in English.

This program is part of ¡Viva la Libertad! Forming More Perfect Unions Across the Americas. ¡Viva la Libertad! is a series of public programs bringing together scholars, writers, artists, and community members to explore the independence struggles of the Americas and reflect on their legacies today. Looking back on the Age of Revolutions 200 years ago in Latin America and the United States, ¡Viva la Libertad! examines how new countries emerged from colonial rule, who gained freedom and who was left behind, and why so many are still fighting for liberty, racial justice, and democracy.

¡Viva la Libertad! is being coordinated by the Newberry Library in partnership with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Illinois Humanities, and Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy.

The project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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