John A. Ragosta

  • Lecturer

John Ragosta, a historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, has taught law and history at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, and Hamilton, Oberlin, and Randolph Colleges. Ragosta has held fellowships at the Jack Miller Center at Colonial Williamsburg and the International Center for Jefferson Studies and is currently a fellow at Virginia Humanities. An award-winning author, he wrote ”Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed and “Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia’s Religious Dissenters Helped to Win the American Revolution & Secured Religious Liberty,” among others. He has published in history, legal and scientific journals.

Before returning to academia, Ragosta was an international trade and litigation partner at Dewey Ballantine and was deeply involved in litigation before the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and U.S. courts and agencies. Ragosta served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Court of International Trade, was admitted to the American Law Institute, and is a member of the American Bar Federation.

Ragosta is a frequent speaker and commentator, having appeared at Monticello, Poplar Forest, Colonial Williamsburg, the David Library of the American Revolution, Montpelier and the Virginia Festival of the Book, among others; his comments have appeared in the pages of The Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and elsewhere.

Ragosta’s current research focuses on the crisis of union precipitated by the Alien & Sedition Acts and Jefferson’s and Madison’s response, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.



  • Ph.D.
    University of Virginia
  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

Faculty in the News