Independence Hall in American Memory

Independence Hall in American Memory

5.0 1
by Charlene Mires
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812236653

ISBN-13: 9780812236651

Pub. Date: 06/28/2002

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

This is a book I have long awaited, one that tells the life of a single building so as to illuminate American history from almost every angle -- cultural, social, and political." -- Mary Ryan, author of Civic Wars: Democracy and Public Life in the American City During the Nineteenth Century

Independence Hall is a place Americans think they know well. Within its

…  See more details below

Overview

This is a book I have long awaited, one that tells the life of a single building so as to illuminate American history from almost every angle -- cultural, social, and political." -- Mary Ryan, author of Civic Wars: Democracy and Public Life in the American City During the Nineteenth Century

Independence Hall is a place Americans think they know well. Within its walls the Continental Congress declared independence in 1776, and in 1787 the Founding Fathers drafted the U.S. Constitution. Painstakingly restored to evoke these momentous events, the building appears to have passed through time unscathed, from the heady days of the American Revolution to today. But Independence Hall is more than a symbol of the young nation. Beyond this, according to Charlene Mires, it has a long and varied history of changing uses in an urban environment, almost all of which have been forgotten.

In Independence Hall in American Memory, Mires rediscovers and chronicles the lost history of Independence Hall, in the process exploring the shifting perceptions of this most important building in America's popular imagination. According to Mires, the significance of Independence Hall cannot be fully appreciated without assessing the full range of political, cultural, and social history that has swirled about it for nearly three centuries. During its existence, it has functioned as a civic and cultural center, a political arena and courtroom, and a magnet for public celebrations and demonstrations. Portraitist Charles Willson Peale merged the arts, sciences, and public interest when he transformed a portion of the hall into a center for natural science in 1802. In the 1850s, hearings for accused fugitive slaves who faced the loss of freedom were held, ironically, in this famous birthplace of American independence. Over the years Philadelphians have used the old state house and its public square in a multitude of ways that have transformed it into an arena of conflict: labor grievances have echoed regularly in Independence Square since the 1830s, while civil rights protesters exercised their right to free speech in the turbulent 1960s. As much as the Founding Fathers, these people and events illustrate the building's significance as a cultural symbol.

In a fascinating portrait that illuminates the connections between collective memory and history, investigates how traditions and heritage emerge and change, and examines how a heterogeneous society constructs and preserves its history, Mires reveals Independence Hall, the most revered symbol of the American republic, as a place of contradictions, where the nation's ideals have been both defined and contested, expanded and limited.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812236651
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introductionvii
1.Landmark: A British Home for the American Revolution1
2.Workshop: Building a Nation31
3.Relic: Survival in the City57
4.Shrine: Slavery, Nativism, and the Forgotten History of the Nineteenth Century80
5.Legacy: Staking Claims to the Past Through Preservation114
6.Place and Symbol: The Liberty Bell Ascendant147
7.Treasure: Eighteenth-Century Building, Twentieth-Century City182
8.Anchor: A Secure Past for Cold War America213
9.Prism: Redefining Independence for a Third Century242
10.Memory: The Truths We Hold to Be Self-Evident268
Notes281
Index329
Acknowledgments349

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Independence Hall in American Memory 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!