Whose Revolution Was It?

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-09-01
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr

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The meaning of the American Revolution has always been a much contested question, and asking it is particularly important today: the standard, easily digested narrative puts the Founding Fathers at the head of a unified movement, failing to acknowledge the deep divisions in Revolutionary-era society and the many different historical interpretations that have followed. Whose American Revolution Was It?speaks both to the ways diverse groups of Americans who lived through the Revolution might have answered that question and to the different ways historians through the decades have interpreted the Revolution for our own time.As the only volume to offer an accessible and sweeping discussion of the period's historiography and its historians, Whose American Revolution Was It?is an essential reference for anyone studying early American history. The first section, by Alfred F. Young, begins in 1925 with historian J. Franklin Jameson and takes the reader through the successive schools of interpretation up to the 1990s. The second section, by Gregory H. Nobles, focuses primarily on the ways present-day historians have expanded our understanding of the broader social history of the Revolution, bringing onto the stage farmers and artisans, who made up the majority of white men, as well as African Americans, Native Americans, and women of all social classes.

Author Biography

Gregory H. Nobles is Professor of History at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has written extensively on rural society in the era of the American Revolution and Early Republic.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
American Historians Confront "The Transforming Hand of Revolution"p. 13
Introductionp. 13
J. Franklin Jamesonp. 16
The Jameson Thesis: The Textp. 16
The Jameson Thesis: The Contextp. 19
Jameson's Achievementp. 19
Progressives and Counter-Progressivesp. 33
The Progressive Historiansp. 33
The Counter-Progressives: Part 1p. 47
Against the Grain
The Counter-Progressives: Part 2p. 65
New Left, New Social Historyp. 75
The New Leftp. 75
The New Social Historyp. 89
Explorations: New Left, New Social, New Progressivep. 96
Synthesisp. 101
The Transformation of Early American Historyp. 101
Toward a New Synthesis?p. 114
Historians Extend the Reach of the American Revolutionp. 135
Introductionp. 135
Refocusing on the Foundersp. 137
Twenty-first-Century "Founders Chic"p. 137
The Elite Critique of Social Historyp. 141
Redefining Freedom in the Revolutionp. 144
The Contradiction of Slaveryp. 144
The Revolution of the Enslavedp. 146
Emancipation's Fate in the Revolutionary Erap. 152
The Founders' Failures on Slaveryp. 156
Facing the Revolution from Indian Countryp. 172
Native American Perspectives on Euro-American Strugglesp. 172
Eighteenth-Century American Empiresp. 181
Reconsidering Class in the American Revolutionp. 192
The Roots and Resurgence of Class Analysisp. 192
The Urban Context of Classp. 196
Class in the Countrysidep. 208
Writing Women into the Revolutionp. 224
Energy and Innovation since 1980p. 224
New Approaches to Elite Women's Livesp. 230
The Historical Recovery of Ordinary Women's Livesp. 235
Women in the Post-Revolutionary Public Spherep. 246
Afterwordp. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. 265
Indexp. 267
About the Authorsp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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