Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America

Author: Edmund S. Morgan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393347494

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 5399

"The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naiveté concerning the governmental process." —Michael Kamman, Washington Post This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has worked in our history and remains a political force today.

A Mighty Empire

The Origins of the American Revolution

Author: Marc Egnal

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 1501723863

Category: History

Page: 412

View: 4941

First published in 1988, Marc Egnal's now classic revisionist history of the origins of the American Revolution, focuses on five colonies—Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina—from 1700 to the post-Revolutionary era. Egnal asserts that throughout colonial America the struggle against Great Britain was led by an upper-class faction motivated by a vision of the rapid development of the New World. In each colony the membership of this group, which Egnal calls the expansionist faction, was shaped by self-interest, religious convictions, and national origins. According to Egnal, these individuals had long shown a commitment to American growth and had fervently supported the colonial wars against France, Spain, and Native Americans. While advancing this interpretation, Egnal explores several salient aspects of colonial society. He scrutinizes the partisan battles within the provinces and argues that they were in fact clashes between the expansionists and a second long-lived faction that he calls the "nonexpansionists." Through close analysis he shows how economic crisis—the depression of the 1760s—influenced the colonists' behavior. And although he focuses on the initiative and leadership of the elite, Egnal also investigates the part played by the "common people" in the rebellion. A Mighty Empire contains insightful sketches of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and other revolutionary leaders and makes clear the human dimensions of the clash with Great Britain. The final chapter provides a new context for understanding the writing of the Constitution and considers the links between the Revolution and modern America. An appendix lists members of the colonial factions and identifies their patterns of political commitment. Now back in print with a new preface, A Mighty Empire is a valuable addition to the debate over the role of ideas and interests in shaping the Revolution. For the 2010 edition, Egnal reviews how interpretations of the American Revolution have developed since the publication of his landmark volume. In his new preface he considers and critiques explanations for the Revolution founded on ideology, the role of non-elite Americans, and British politics. Egnal also looks to a trend in the writing of the history of the Revolution that considers its effects more than its causes and thereby grapple with the conflicts ingredient in the nascent American empire. With great lucidity, he shows where the writing of history has gone since the appearance of A Mighty Empire and makes a case for its continuing relevance.

A Judgment for Solomon

The D'Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America

Author: Michael Grossberg

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521557450

Category: History

Page: 270

View: 8767

The story of the d'Hauteville case, a controversial child custody battle fought in 1840. It uses the story of one couple's bitter fight over their son to explore timebound and timeless features of American legal culture.

King and Congress

The Transfer of Political Legitimacy, 1774-1776

Author: Jerrilyn Greene Marston

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400858755

Category: History

Page: 478

View: 7528

A persuasive reassessment of the nature of the institution that was in the forefront of the American revolutionary struggle with Great Britain--the Continental Congress. Providing a completely new perspective on the history of the First and Second Continental Congresses before independence, the author argues that American expectations regarding the proper functions of a legitimate central government were formed under the British monarchy, and that these functions were primarily executive. Originally published in 1987. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

The Challenge of the American Revolution

Author: Edmund S. Morgan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393008762

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 7640

This volume presents an eminent historian's progress over thirty years in trying to understand the American Revolution. Here is the historian at his best—beginning with the assumption that things are not always as they appear to be, delighting in the discovery of the previously unknown, and offering new interpretations with style, wit, and the good sense to know that there are always more questions to be answered. The Revolution is fertile ground for the historian's craft, as these essays attest. Edmund S. Morgan discovers in American protests against British taxation an affirmation of rights that the colonists adhered to with surprising consistency, and that guided them ultimately to independence. Then, after a general reassessment of the importance of the Revolution, he moves to a study of it as an intellectual movement, which challenged the best minds of the period to transform their political world. Next, in studying the ethical basis of the Revolution, Morgan traces the shaping of national consciousness by puritanical attitudes toward work and leisure. This leads him to an exploration of the paradoxical relationship between slavery and freedom, and the role their relationship played in the Revolution. Finally, thinking about the Revolution on its anniversary, Morgan looks once again at the Founding Fathers and the innovative daring, admiring most their ability to reject what had hitherto been taken for granted.

The Lamp of Experience

Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution

Author: H. Trevor Colbourn

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780865971585

Category: History

Page: 305

View: 2305

In a landmark work, a leading scholar of the eighteenth century examines the ways in which an understanding of the nature of history influenced the thinking of the founding fathers. As Jack P. Greene has observed, "[The Whig] conception saw the past as a continual struggle between liberty and virtue on one hand and arbitrary power and corruption on the other." Many founders found in this intellectual tradition what Josiah Quincy, Jr., called the "true old English liberty," and it was this Whig tradition--this conception of liberty--that the champions of American independence and crafters of the new republic sought to perpetuate. Colbourn supports his thesis--that "Independence was in large measure the product of the historical concepts of the men who made it"--by documenting what books were read most widely by the founding generation. He also cites diaries, personal correspondence, newspapers, and legislative records. Trevor Colbourn is President Emeritus of the University of Central Florida. Please note: This title is available as an ebook for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

John Wilkes

The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty

Author: Arthur Cash

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300133097

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 496

View: 1048

One of the most colorful figures in English political history, John Wilkes (1726–97) is remembered as the father of the British free press, defender of civil and political liberties, and hero to American colonists, who attended closely to his outspoken endorsements of liberty. Wilkes’s political career was rancorous, involving duels, imprisonments in the Tower of London, and the Massacre of St. George’s Fields in which seven of his supporters were shot to death by government troops. He was equally famous for his “private” life—a confessed libertine, a member of the notorious Hellfire Club, and the author of what has been called the dirtiest poem in the English language. This lively biography draws a full portrait of John Wilkes from his childhood days through his heyday as a journalist and agitator, his defiance of government prosecutions for libel and obscenity, his fight against exclusion from Parliament, and his service as lord mayor of London on the eve of the American Revolution. Told here with the force and immediacy of a firsthand newspaper account, Wilkes’s own remarkable story is inseparable from the larger story of modern civil liberties and how they came to fruition.

The Genuine Article: A Historian Looks at Early America

Author: Edmund S. Morgan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393347842

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 9622

"A masterly quarter-century of commentary on the discipline of American history."—Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review "This book amounts to an intellectual autobiography....These pieces are thus a statement of what I have thought about early Americans during nearly seventy years in their company," writes historian Edmund S. Morgan in the introduction to this landmark collection. The Genuine Article gathers together twenty-five of Morgan's finest essays over forty years, commenting brilliantly on everything from Jamestown to James Madison. In revealing the private lives of "Those Sexy Puritans" and "The Price of Honor" on Southern plantations, The Genuine Article details the daily lives of early Americans, along with "The Great Political Fiction" that continues to this day. As one of our most celebrated historians, Morgan's characteristic insight and penetrating wisdom are not to be missed in this extraordinarily rich portrait of early America and its Founding Fathers.

Benjamin Franklin

Author: Edmund Sears Morgan

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300101621

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 339

View: 4623

Draws on Franklin's extensive writings to provide a portrait of the statesman, inventor, and Founding Father.

Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson

The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding

Author: Darren Staloff

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 080905356X

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 9661

The author compares the intellectual understanding of the Enlightenment of Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, and shows how the personal experiences and regional cultural traditions of each man shaped his interpretation of that movement and how those ideals played into the birth of the new nation.

The Declaration of Independence

A Global History

Author: David Armitage

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674020278

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 2575

Not only did the Declaration announce the entry of the United States onto the world stage, it became the model for other countries to follow. This unique global perspective demonstrates the singular role of the United States document as a founding statement of our modern world.

American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America

Author: Edmund S. Morgan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393074260

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 3714

"A wise, humane and beautifully written book." —Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal From the best-selling author of Benjamin Franklin comes this remarkable work that will help redefine our notion of American heroism. Americans have long been obsessed with their heroes, but the men and women dramatically portrayed here are not celebrated for the typical banal reasons contained in Founding Fathers hagiography. Effortlessly challenging those who persist in revering the American history status quo and its tropes and falsehoods, Morgan, now ninety-three, continues to believe that the past is just not the way it seems.

Democracy in Europe

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241959284

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 9977

If the European Union applied to become a member of the European Union it would be rejected as undemocratic. Can the European Union foster greater democracy in Europe, and so protect the dispersal of power, personal freedom and the rule of law? Willit improve our shared lives and increase sense of being useful citizens? Rejecting both nostalgia for the nation state and thoughtless optimism, Larry Siedentop sets out to explore the practical implications of government on a continental scale. He draws on his expertise as an historian of liberal theory to produce an analysis of Europe's various political economies. In creating a framework for thought, this is sure to be a key work in the long deferred debate on Europe.

King and People in Provincial Massachusetts

Author: Richard L. Bushman

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 9780807843987

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 8542

The American revolutionaries themselves believed the change from monarchy to republic was the essence of the Revolution. King and People in Provincial Massachusetts explores what monarchy meant to Massachusetts under its second charter and why the momentous change to republican government came about. Richard L. Bushman argues that monarchy entailed more than having a king as head of state: it was an elaborate political culture with implications for social organization as well. Massachusetts, moreover, was entirely loyal to the king and thoroughly imbued with that culture. Why then did the colonies become republican in 1776? The change cannot be attributed to a single thinker such as John Locke or to a strain of political thought such as English country party rhetoric. Instead, it was the result of tensions ingrained in the colonial political system that surfaced with the invasion of parliamentary power into colonial affairs after 1763. The underlying weakness of monarchical government in Massachusetts was the absence of monarchical society -- the intricate web of patronage and dependence that existed in England. But the conflict came from the colonists' conception of rulers as an alien class of exploiters whose interest was the plundering of the colonies. In large part, colonial politics was the effort to restrain official avarice. The author explicates the meaning of "interest" in political discourse to show how that conception was central in the thinking of both the popular party and the British ministry. Management of the interest of royal officials was a problem that continually bedeviled both the colonists and the crown. Conflict was perennial because the colonists and the ministry pursued diverging objectives in regulating colonial officialdom. Ultimately the colonists came to see that safety against exploitation by self-interested rulers would be assured only by republican government.

Buried by the Times

The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper

Author: Laurel Leff

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521812870

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 426

View: 432

Looks at decisions made at The New York Times that resulted in the minimizing, misunderstanding, and dilution of the Holocaust in a behind-the-scenes study of how America's premier newspaper failed in its coverage of the fate of European Jews.

The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787

Author: Gordon S. Wood

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 080789981X

Category: History

Page: 675

View: 300

One of the half dozen most important books ever written about the American Revolution.--New York Times Book Review "During the nearly two decades since its publication, this book has set the pace, furnished benchmarks, and afforded targets for many subsequent studies. If ever a work of history merited the appellation 'modern classic,' this is surely one.--William and Mary Quarterly "[A] brilliant and sweeping interpretation of political culture in the Revolutionary generation.--New England Quarterly "This is an admirable, thoughtful, and penetrating study of one of the most important chapters in American history.--Wesley Frank Craven