Each generation of Americans has a special flavor, a character of its own. Sometimes a memorable decade, such as the "Gay Nineties" or the "Roaring Twenties," imprinted the generation that lived and outlived it. Yet no simple rubric comes easily to mind when one thinks of the Revolutionary generation. Their accomplishments were too grand, their interests too varied, to be encompassed in a single phrase. Risjord divides this book into three sections, each exploring one of the era's dominant themes. The first section, "Nation Builders" follows the careers of military men such as George Washington and Francis Marion and examines life on the homefront through the eyes of Abigail Adams. The section headed "Character Builders" examines the lives of people who sought to mold an American national character, men such as Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin Rush, and Noah Webster. The last section explores the paradox that the Revolutionary generation also gave birth to an empire in which self-governing people ruledsometimes tyrannicallyover others. The founders of the American republic were preoccupied with the fundamentals of society and government. This book reflects this concern and also explores the lives of individuals who contributed to science and the arts.
About the Author
Norman K. Risjord is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he taught for over three decades. He is the author of Chesapeake Politics, 1781-1800; and Jefferson's America, 1760-1815. He is general editor of the American Profiles series for Madison House.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 Nation Builders Chapter 4 Benjamin Franklin: The American Mold Chapter 5 Samuel Adams: Pure Republican Chapter 6 George Washington: Gentleman Revolutionary Chapter 7 Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox Chapter 8 Abigail Adams: Partner in Home Rule Chapter 9 Aaron Lopez: An Immigrant's Story Part 10 Character Builders Chapter 11 Noah Webster: The Search for National Identity Chapter 12 Charles Wilson Peale: Patriotism in Color Chapter 13 Charles Bulfinch: An American Style in Building Chapter 14 Isaac Backus: Crusader Chapter 15 Benjamin Rush: Patriot Physician Chapter 16 Benjamin Banneker: An African-American's Experience Part 17 Empire Builders Chapter 18 Eli Whitney and John Jacob Astor: Pioneers of Business Chapter 19 George Rogers Clark: Conqueror of the Northwest Chapter 20 James Wilkinson: Master of Imperial Intrigue Chapter 21 Tecumseh and The Prophet: A Vision Shattered Chapter 22 Thomas Jefferson: A Summary View