Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History / Edition 1

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Overview

Is civic identity in the United States really defined by liberal, democratic political principles? Or is U.S. citizenship the product of multiple traditions - not only liberalism and republicanism but also white supremacy, Anglo-Saxon supremacy, Protestant supremacy, and male supremacy? In this powerful and disturbing book, Rogers Smith traces political struggles over U.S. citizenship laws from the colonial period through the Progressive era and shows that throughout this time, most adults were legally denied access to full citizenship, including political rights, solely because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Basic conflicts over these denials have driven political development in the U.S., Smith argues. These conflicts are what truly define U.S. civic identity up to this day. Smith concludes that today the United States is in a period of reaction against the egalitarian civic reforms of the last generation, with nativist, racist, and sexist beliefs regaining influence. He suggests ways that proponents of liberal democracy should alter their view of U.S. citizenship in order to combat these developments more effectively.
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Editorial Reviews

Jeffrey Rosen
"[A] provocative new history of citizenship in American law." -- The New Republic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300078770
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: The Institution for Social and Policy Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 1,140,756
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Hidden Lessons of American Citizenship Laws 13
2 Fierce New World: The Colonial Sources of American Citizenship 40
3 Forging a Revolutionary People, 1763-1776 70
4 Citizens of Small Republics: The Confederation Era, 1776-1789 87
5 The Constitution and the Quest for National Citizenship 115
6 Attempting National Liberal Citizenship: The Federalist Years, 1789-1801 137
7 Towards a Commercial Nation of White Yeoman Republics: The Jeffersonian Era, 1801-1829 165
8 High Noon of the White Republic: The Age of Jackson, 1829-1856 197
9 Dred Scott Unchained: The Bloody Birth of the Free Labor Republic, 1857-1866 243
10 The America That "Never Was": The Radical Hour, 1866-1876 286
11 The Gilded Age of Ascriptive Americanism, 1876-1898 347
12 Progressivism and the New American Empire, 1898-1912 410
Epilogue: The Party of America 470
Notes 507
Bibliography 645
Index of Cases 673
Index 701
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