Distant Revolutions: 1848 and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on BN.com
 

Overview

Distant Revolutions: 1848 and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism is a study of American politics, culture, and foreign relations in the mid-nineteenth century, illuminated through the reactions of Americans to the European revolutions of 1848. Flush from the recent American military victory over Mexico, many Americans celebrated news of democratic revolutions breaking out across Europe as a further sign of divine providence. Others thought that the 1848 revolutions served only to highlight how America’s own revolution had not done enough in the way of reform. Still other Americans renounced the 1848 revolutions and the thought of trans-atlantic unity because they interpreted European revolutionary radicalism and its portents of violence, socialism, and atheism as dangerous to the unique virtues of the United States.

When the 1848 revolutions failed to create stable democratic governments in Europe, many Americans declared that their own revolutionary tradition was superior; American reform would be gradual and peaceful. Thus, when violence erupted over the question of territorial slavery in the 1850s, the effect was magnified among antislavery Americans, who reinterpreted the menace of slavery in light of the revolutions and counter-revolutions of Europe. For them a new revolution in America could indeed be necessary, to stop the onset of authoritarian conditions and to cure American exemplarism. The Civil War, then, when it came, was America’s answer to the 1848 revolutions, a testimony to America’s democratic shortcomings, and an American version of a violent, nation-building revolution.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Common-Place - Elizabeth Kelly Gray
"Distant Revolutions is an intriguing work, well told and with an impressive use of sources. By demonstrating the degree to which domestic and foreign policies influence each other, Roberts' work enhances understanding of both.
Carl Guarneri
A sophisticated, substantial, and groundbreaking work that fills an enormous void on works about the United States and 1848. Roberts presents a fresh and convincing explanation for why the revolutions of 1848 mattered to Americans and to United States history. By unearthing a fascinating trove of transatlantic observations and connections, this book makes a substantial contribution to transnational studies of American history.
Andre Fleche
Distant Revolutions is the first book to comprehensively treat American reactions to the European revolutions of 1848. Roberts challenges the concept of American exceptionalism by examining how the revolutions resonated in American culture and affected American society and government. His research is impressive, and his contributions are original and important.
Common-Place
Distant Revolutions is an intriguing work, well told and with an impressive use of sources. By demonstrating the degree to which domestic and foreign policies influence each other, Roberts' work enhances understanding of both.

— Elizabeth Kelly Gray, Towson University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813927992
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2009
  • Series: Jeffersonian America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Mason Roberts is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Western Illinois University.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)