Peter J. Kastor

History Department Chair; Samuel K. Eddy Professor of History and American Culture Studies


Busch Hall 113

Office Hours:

Wednesdays, 1-3 PM

Mailing Address:

Washington University
Campus Box 1062
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899


I study the intersection of politics, policymaking, and culture during the half-century following American independence, an era that historians generally refer to as the early American republic. 

My current book project, tentatively entitled Creating a Federal Government, will extend beyond the geographic focus of the West to take a national perspective on policymaking.  This study will offer a comprehensive analysis of how the federal government operated in its first decades of existence.

In the process of writing Creating a Federal Government, I am also creating a major digital archive that will reconstruct the scope and scale of the early federal government.  It will contain a full listing of federal officials, both civil and military, and will enable users to analyze the careers of these officials at both the individual and aggregate levels.

Creating a Federal Government continues my commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry.  Previous projects have connected the themes of history, literary criticism, and visual culture.  My current work seeks to bridge important gaps between history and political science, engaging questions in American political development, presidential history, and institutional behavior.