Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World

Overview

After the War of 1812 the United States remained a cultural and economic satellite of the world’s most powerful empire. Though political independence had been won, John Bull intruded upon virtually every aspect of public life, from politics to economic development to literature to the performing arts. Many Americans resented their subordinate role in the transatlantic equation and, as earnest republicans, felt compelled to sever the ties that still connected the two nations. At the same time, the pull of ...

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Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World

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Overview

After the War of 1812 the United States remained a cultural and economic satellite of the world’s most powerful empire. Though political independence had been won, John Bull intruded upon virtually every aspect of public life, from politics to economic development to literature to the performing arts. Many Americans resented their subordinate role in the transatlantic equation and, as earnest republicans, felt compelled to sever the ties that still connected the two nations. At the same time, the pull of Britain’s centripetal orbit remained strong, so that Americans also harbored an unseemly, almost desperate need for validation from the nation that had given rise to their republic.

The tensions inherent in this paradoxical relationship are the focus of Unfinished Revolution. Conflicted and complex, American attitudes toward Great Britain provided a framework through which citizens of the republic developed a clearer sense of their national identity. Moreover, an examination of the transatlantic relationship from an American perspective suggests that the United States may have had more in common with traditional developing nations than we have generally recognized. Writing from the vantage point of America’s unrivaled global dominance, historians have tended to see in the young nation the superpower it would become. Haynes here argues that, for all its vaunted claims of distinctiveness and the soaring rhetoric of "manifest destiny," the young republic exhibited a set of anxieties not uncommon among nation-states that have emerged from long periods of colonial rule.

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel Walker Howe

" Unfinished Revolution is an impressive reinterpretation of United States history between 1815 and 1850, built around the theme of American Anglophobia. In a time when the British Empire was the world's superpower, most Americans resented British condescension and feared British aims, even while many of them also hoped to replicate British industrialization, humanitarian reform, and literary accomplishments. Versatile and learned, Sam Haynes is helping U.S. history overcome its parochialism and become more global."

Steven Mintz

"This is one of those rare works that encourages readers to see the past in a wholly new way, to see totally unsuspected connections between developments in art and politics, to appreciate in a new light the role of cultural values and emotions as shaping forces in history.... This era of American history will never look the same again."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813931807
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Series: Jeffersonian America Series
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,017,705
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam W. Haynes is Professor in the Department of History and the Director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies at the University of Texas Arlington.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction 1

1 The Axials of Independence 3

2 "What Do You Think of Our Country?" 24

3 "Who Reads an American Book?" 51

4 "America Rules England Tonight, by Jesus" 77

5 The Politics of Anglophobia 106

6 "Politically Free, Commercial Slaves" 133

7 The Money Power of England 153

8 "An Army of Fanatics" 177

9 Breaking the "Iron Hoop" 204

10 The Texas Question 230

11 "Looking John Bull Straight in the Eye" 251

12 "Brother Jonathan is Somebody" 274

Notes 297

Bibliography 337

Index 371

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