Richard B. Morris (1904 - 1989) was an American historian who focused on the constitutional, diplomatic, and political history of the American Revolution and the making of the U.S. Constitution. He was the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of many books.
In 1966 Morris won the Bancroft Prize in History for his book on the diplomacy of the American Revolution, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence (1965). He edited the papers of John Jay and published a biography, John Jay, the Nation, and the Court, focusing on Jay's work as a diplomat and as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
Morris's 1966 book The American Revolution Reconsidered, which he followed in 1970 with his The Emerging Nations and the American Revolution. In 1973, preparing for the impending bicentennial of the American Revolution, he published a collection of biographical essays in Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries.
Prof. Morris also co-chaired Project ’87, a group of historians, political scientists, and jurists formed to encourage a thorough examination of the Constitution for its bicentennial year.
The framers of the Constitution were proud of what they had done but might be astonished that their words still carry so much weight. A distinguished scholar tells us how the great charter has survived and flourished.
President Washington appointed John Jay to be Chief Justice because the eloquent partisan of the Constitution shared a desire to strengthen the machinery of the central government and to bring about conformity to treaty obligations among the states.