“The Rights of Man.” What does that mean? In 1789 that question rippled all around the world. Do all men have rights—not just nobles and kings? What then of enslaved people, women, the original inhabitants of the Americas? In the new United States a bill of rights was passed, while in France the nation tumbled toward revolution. In the Caribbean preachers brought word of equality, while in the South Pacific sailors mutinied. New knowledge was exploding, with mathematicians and scientists rewriting the history of the planet and the digits of pi. Lauded anthology editors Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti, along with ten award-winning nonfiction authors, explore a tumultuous year when rights and freedoms collided with enslavement and domination, and the future of humanity seemed to be at stake.
Some events and actors are familiar: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Marie Antoinette and the Marquis de Lafayette. Others may be less so: the eloquent former slave Olaudah Equiano, the Seneca memoirist Mary Jemison, the fishwives of Paris, the mathematician Jurij Vega, and the painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. But every chapter brings fresh perspectives on the debates of the time, inviting readers to experience the passions of the past and ask new questions of today.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Cynthia and Sanford Levinson
Tanya Lee Stone
Sally M. Walker
About the Author
Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the author of numerous picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young people. Her nonfiction work includes Growing Up in Coal Country; Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845–1850; Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow; and They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group. She is the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor, and an Orbis Pictus Award and Honor. The recipient of the Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work, she teaches in the MFA program at Spalding University in Kentucky.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Age of Revolutions 1
"The Fishwives make the Rules" Tanya Lee Stone 9
The Contradictory King Karen Engelmann 20
Pi, Vega, and the Battle at Belgrade Amy Alznauer 32
The Queen's Chemise Susan Campbell Bartoletti 45
The Choice Marc Aronson 63
"All Men are Created Equal" Joyce Hansen 76
The Wesleyans in the West Indies Summer Edward 91
Who Counted in America? Cynthia Levinson Sanford Levinson 103
Mary Jemison and the Seneca Nation Christopher Turner 116
Challenging Time Sally M. Walker 129
Mutiny on the Bounty Steve Sheinkin 141
Author Notes 155
Source Notes 174