Asaf Almog

Field & Specialties

Early American History (to 1877), Atlantic History, Early Modern European Intellectual History, American Conservatism


Ph.D., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, in progress; status: ABD

Advisors: Gary W. Gallagher, Elizabeth R. Varon

Examination Fields Passed: American History 1815-1877 (Major Field); Early Modern European Intellectual History (Special Field); Colonial America (Minor Field); 2016.

MA, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, 2015

Master’s thesis: “’Guilty of a Skin not Coloured like Our Own’: Timothy Pickering on Slavery and Race, and the Complicated Legacy of New England High Federalism”

MA, History, Tel Aviv University, 2013

Master’s thesis:  “Between Individualism, Pessimism, and Liberty: Receptions of Thomas Hobbes's State of Nature in Anglo-American Radicalism from Harrington to Hamilton”

BA, History, Tel Aviv University, 2006

Asaf Almog is a PhD candidate the University of Virginia’s Department of History. Born and raised in Israel, Asaf earned a Masters of Arts at Tel Aviv University in American History (2013) and a second MA in History at the University of Virginia (2015). Asaf successfully completed his comprehensive exams. His dissertation explores the transformation of New England conservatism from 1815 to 1860.   


Papers Presented:

“The Rise of American Nationalism and the Decline of Antislavery in Massachusetts” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accepted for July 2017)

“Nationalist Ironies in Nineteenth-Century America: Representations of the ‘Disunionist Schemes’ of New England Federalists and the Suppression of Slavery’s Place in the Early Republic” Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (Charleston, South Carolina, February 2017)

“’Guilty of a Skin not Coloured like Our Own’: Timothy Pickering on Slavery and Race, and the Complicated Legacy of New England High Federalism,” Institute for Humane Studies Research Colloquium, October 2015

“Alexander Hamilton’s Anti-Slavery Position and its Representation in American Historiography,” Us-Them: Israeli Graduate Symposium on American Studies, June 2013

Book Reviews:

Review of Mark A. Lause, Free Spirits: Spiritualism, Republicanism, and Radicalism in the Civil War Era, in Civil War History (forthcoming)

Review of Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding, in Michigan War Study Review (forthcoming)

Current Research

I am interested in the history of Atlantic political thought from the mid-seventeenth century. Since the beginning of my studies in Tel Aviv University I have been interested in the influence of English natural right theories on the European and American Enlightenments. I have been particularly fascinated by those who believed in natural rights but found that it contradicted their pessimistic view of the human nature. They had to reconcile their belief in what was right with their distrust in mankind’s ability to achieve these rights through peaceful political change. In my Master’s thesis at Tel Aviv University I explored the thought of two men who fall into this category, seventeenth century Englishman Thomas Hobbes and late eighteenth century American Revolutionary Alexander Hamilton. I examined the influence of Hobbesian liberalism on Revolutionary America.


In my studies at the University of Virginia I have continued to explore these connections. I increasingly focused on the American Federalists, who opposed Thomas Jefferson’s radically democratic and highly exclusionary interpretation of the American Revolution. My research has moved beyond Hamilton, who died in 1804. My Master’s thesis here discussed Massachusetts Federalist Timothy Pickering, a close associate of Hamilton and one of Jefferson’s fiercest opponents. I focused on Pickering’s attitude to slavery and to racial differences from the late eighteenth century to his death in 1829. I argued that his actions represented a consistent world-view that could serve as an alternative to Jefferson’s triumphant interpretation of the Revolution’s legacy.


My dissertation examines the transformation of New England Federalism after the party’s disintegration in the aftermath of the War of 1812 and the disastrous Hartford Convention. Exploring a generational shift, it begins with Pickering’s generation and ends with an analysis of the value systems of such radically different New Englanders as Edward Everett and Charles Sumner on the eve of the Civil War. I examine in what way, if at all, members of the New England political and intellectual elite changed their understanding of the meaning of the Revolutionary legacy.


Awards & Honors

Bernard Marcus Fellow, Institute for Humane Studies, 2014-2015

William McMeekin Fellow, Institute for Humane Studies, 2015-2016

Courses Taught

Fall 2016,  University of Virginia: “The Coming of the American Civil War,” Teaching Assistant for Professor Elizabeth R. Varon

Spring 2016, University of Virginia: “The History of the United States from 1865 to the Present,” Teaching Assistant for Professor Olivier Zunz

Fall 2015, University of Virginia: “Genocide,” Teaching Assistant for Professor Jeffrey Rossman    

Spring 2015, University of Virginia: “The Era of the American Revolution,” Teaching Assistant for Professor Alan Taylor    

Fall 2014, University of Virginia: “The Colonial Period in American History,” Teaching Assistant for Professor S. Max Edelson 

 2009-12, Tel Aviv University: “Introduction to the History of the United States,” Grader for Professor Eyal Naveh

2009-12, Tel Aviv University: “The American Century,” Grader for Professor Eyal Naveh

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


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