In its early years, the American Republic was far from stable. Conflict and violence, including major land wars, were defining features of the period from the Revolution to the outbreak of the Civil War, as struggles over who would control land and labor were waged across the North American continent. The World of the Revolutionary American Republic brings together original essays from an array of scholars to illuminate the issues that made this era so contested.
Drawing on the latest research, the essays examine the conflicts that occurred both within the Republic and between the different peoples inhabiting the continent. Covering issues including slavery, westward expansion, the impact of Revolutionary ideals, and the economy, this collection provides a diverse range of insights into the turbulent era in which the United States emerged as a nation.
With contributions from leading scholars in the field, both American and international, The World of the Revolutionary American Republic is an important resource for any scholar of early America.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Conflict for a Continent: Land, Labor, and the State in the Revolutionary American Republic, Andrew Shankman
Section I: Movement and Mastery: Eighteenth Century Origins of the Revolutionary Republic
2. Movement of Ideas, Movement of Goods: The British Empire in Theory and Practice, Zara Anishanslin
3. Slavery and the Causes of the American Revolution In Plantation British America, Trevor Burnard
4. Native Nations in the Age of Revolution, Christina Snyder
Section II: The Quest for Continental Control
5. Independent for Whom?: Expansion and Conflict in the South and Southwest, Kathleen DuVal
6. Independence for Whom?: Expansion and Conflict in the Northeast and Northwest, Alyssa Mt. Pleasant
7. "Such Things Ought Not to Be:" The American Revolution and the First National Great Depression, Allan Kulikoff
8. Consolidating a Revolutionary Republic, Max M. Edling
9. The Empire of Liberty: Land of the Free, Home of the Slave, Peter Onuf
10. Atlantic Antislavery, American Ambition: The Problem of Slavery in the United States in an Age of Disruption, 1770-1808, James Alexander Dun
11. The War of 1812: The Struggle for a Continent, Alan Taylor
12. The Theory of Civilized Sentiments: Emotion and the Creation of the United States, Nicole Eustace
Section III: Internal and External Conflicts: The Emergence of a Continental Hegemon
13. Natural Rights and National Greatness: Economic Ideology and Social Policy in the American States, 1780s-1820s, J.M. Opal
14. Land Conflict and Land Policy in the United States, 1785-1841, Reeve Huston
15. The "High-road to a Slave Empire:" Conflict and the Growth and Expansion of Slavery on the North American Continent, John Craig Hammond
16. Dissenters from the Mainstream: the National and International Dimensions of Moral Reform, Emily Conroy-Krutz
17. The Pendulum Swings: The Rise of an Anti-Slavery Sentiment between the American Revolution and the Civil War, Richard Newman
18. The World the Slaveholders Craved: Proslavery Internationalism in the 1850s, Matthew Karp
29. The Republic in Peril: Expansion, the Politics of Slavery, and the Crisis of the 1850s, Michael A. Morrison
Andrew Shankman is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, Camden, and a Senior Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. He is the author of Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism and Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania and over a dozen articles on the early American Republic. He has received the Ralph D. Gray Prize from the Society of the Historians of the Early American Republic and the Program in Early American Society and Economy article prize, both for his scholarly work.
Drawing together a dream team of historians – a mix of rising stars and established luminaries – these essays masterfully synthesize recent work on the early American Republic, offering a fresh portrait of a nation riven by discord and violence and yet, perhaps for that very reason, hanging together nonetheless. This volume will be an indispensable resource for historians in the field.
— François Furstenberg, author of In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation
The essays in this excellent volume both summarize the state of the field and push it toward a new bigger picture, one that pays more attention to war, to the state, to land, to slavery, and to Native Americans. Editor Shankman's introduction is a tour de force. Anthologies don't get more useful than this.
— David Waldstreicher, author of Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification
This volume boldly recasts the period between the Revolution and the Civil War as a coherent whole—a First American Republic unfolding on a continental scale and marked by competing sovereignties, rival political economies, and endemic violence. Featuring established and up-and-coming scholars, The World of the Revolutionary American Republic sets a new agenda for U.S. history.
— Seth Rockman, author of Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore
In this delightfully overstuffed volume, nineteen of the brightest historians working today sometimes jostle, more often agree, and nearly always surprise as they expose the political, economic, and racial dynamics of "the first American republic." There is no better introduction to current scholarship on U.S. history between the Revolution and the Civil War.
— Daniel K. Richter, author of Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts