INHERITING THE REVOLUTION: The First Generation of Americans

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  1. Inheriting the revolution : the first generation of Americans
  2. Inheriting the revolution: the first generation of Americans - Joyce Oldham Appleby - Google Книги
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A novel set in a neoliberal dystopia. Review Joyce Appleby deals with two themes in this book: First Generation of Americans Paperback: Belknap Press; New edition edition September 15, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention american appleby political social women religious country society period economic national south culture cultural historical united religion important politics states.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Joyce Appleby's Inheriting a Revolution: The First Generation of Americans examines a post-Revolutionary America that looked differently than many founders had imagined. The focus of Appleby's book is the altered political, social, economic, and familial environment in which Americans who came of age after had to live--and in which many prospered.

Appleby is prudent, however, to illustrate that not everyone flourished in the new America. Chroniclers recorded the American way of success as the qualities of the period's successful northern white men. White women, enslaved Africans, besieged Native Americans, and white men who did not adapt do not factor into this analysis. The Revolution bequeathed the first generation of Americans a society awash in opportunity. In the eyes of post-Revolution Americans, "Independence made possible the creation of a distinctive American society that honored individual initiative, institutional restraint, and popular public participation" 5.

The subjects of Appleby's study seized new opportunities and recorded their stories of challenge and success in diaries and memoirs. Appleby credits four post-Revolution phenomena for facilitating early national success and growth. Men of different classes and occupations found new voices in local, regional, and national politics. The second phenomenon which helped to shape the American social landscape was a revitalization of religion. Religious movements brought together men and women of different backgrounds--including Africans--and inspired the establishment of voluntary religious associations.

No one could "have predicted that the cool, rationalist attitudes of the Enlightenment would be overwhelmed by the warm passions of religious awakening" 8. The third important element for early America's success was new opportunity for the young.

Inheriting the revolution : the first generation of Americans

The availability of land, access to credit, and increased literacy rates prompted young people to take risks with their career ambitions. More importantly, young men departed rural areas in search of jobs and entrepreneurial experience. Family relationships changed dramatically as boys who would have once stayed at home to carry on his father's name and occupation traversed the expanding country in search of money and adventure. The fourth and most prevalent aspect of Appleby's study is the abolition of slavery in the Northern states.

The decision to outlaw slavery by freed the North of the task of defending the bondage of humans in a post-Revolutionary America and it challenged the region to diversify its economic practices. Artificially cheap labor became a commercial crutch for the South. In addition, "the new distinction of free and slave labor with all its social entailments divided the United States in ways that could not have been imagined at the time of the Revolution" 8. Relations between those on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon Line became and remained frictional for decades.

In Appleby's view, the North is the true winner following the Revolution, and the South's decision to hang on to slavery retarded its political, social, economic, and cultural development. This part of her argument, which is prominent throughout the book, may affront some southern historians. Her not-so-generous view of the South does, at times, reach beyond objectivity. Appleby's zeal of argument, however, should not cause scholars or general readers, from North, South, East, or West, to hesitate to engage a brilliantly-formed and eloquently-reasoned thesis of how first-generation Americans understood their world in the wake of the Constitution.

Inheriting the Revolution rightfully places the early national period at center stage, rather than treat it as a footnote. The book's contents are an assortment of anecdotal information about individuals, comments by foreign travelers in the early United States, historical facts, and the author's analysis and interpretations.

It is not a complete history. It was a time when people had been set loose from the law's and restrictions of England. The constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion and other freedoms caused a splintering of the church into various denominations, and a person could become a preacher simply by declaring himself as such. Likewise, people with a minimum of training if any could hang out shingles as doctors, attorneys, and teachers.

Various entrepreneurs flourished, some successful, some not, as people struck out on their own to seek their fortunes. Schools developed as people sought education to improve their positions, and publishing boomed partly because of the education, partly because the newly affluent bought books, and partly because of the freedom people had to publish their opinions. The author covers many aspects of the era including the split between north and south, the prejudices against African-Americans, the rise of the Baptist church, the rise of the temperance movement, and westward expansion of the nation.

Many other aspects are only brushed over, such as the bloody conflicts with native Americans on the frontiers. The book barely touches on the maritime activities that brought the United States into the forefront of maritime nations see Charles Tyng's autobiography, "Before the Wind," for an interesting account of that , and only briefly mentions the War of which occurred during that period.

It is not an easy reading book as the author seems wrapped up in rhetoric and sometimes writes with an echo, i. The overly long introduction can leave a reader glassy-eyed. We beat the British. The concept of the book is cool enough, but Ms. Appleby makes it real. I am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, so I follow this history in all its forms.

I'd recommend this first to a student with any spark of patriotism and wondering whether American history is at all interesting. Working these experiences into a vivid picture of American cultural renovation, Appleby crafts an extraordinary--and deeply affecting--account of how the first generation established its own culture, its own nation, its own identity.

The passage of social responsibility from one generation to another is always a fascinating interplay of the inherited and the novel; this book shows how, in the early nineteenth century, the very idea of generations resonated with new meaning in the United States. The author focuses on a single generation, those who came of age during the period. Jefferson is her hero and Federalists the enemy, but she acknowledges that Federalists were far more Appleby's argument does not lack for consistency and dedication, but I find her relentless positivism grating after a while.

At the very least a story without a unifying central conflict and without much tragedy isn't a very good story. Appleby acknowledges the existence of slavery but indicates that it belonged to a society, the South, increasingly out of touch with the capitalist American mainstream; Edward Baptist would counter that slavery was a capitalist institution, and that northerners were both economically and culturally complicit in it until the s. Appleby mentions Indian Removal only in passing; her narrative would have benefited from considering the post-revolutionary generation's complex attitudes toward Native Americans, as well as the impact of capitalism and expansion on those Indians who left memoirs, like Blacksnake or Catherine Brown.

Finally, it's worth considering Walter McDougal's point that so many Americans found their new nation a land of opportunity because many of them were con men, sharpers, swindlers, and men on the make. Appleby probably affords entrepreneurs too much trust. I don't ask that the author write a different book or lose her optimistic tone and stories, but deeper shadows usually make for a stronger contrasts and thus, in the end, the more artful narrative.

Mar 05, Laurie rated it liked it Shelves: An interesting conglomeration of biographies of "ordinary" Americans circa May 14, Jeremy Canipe rated it really liked it. In Inheriting the Revolution: Firs, how did Americans born in the generation after the American Revolution define their new society? Second, what sort of society did this new generation produce? To answer this question, her study draws upon written biographies of several hundred Americans.

Inheriting the revolution: the first generation of Americans - Joyce Oldham Appleby - Google Книги

Rather than a social science methodology, Dr. Appleby seeks to provide a nuanced and individualized description of p In Inheriting the Revolution: Appleby seeks to provide a nuanced and individualized description of patterns across a range of areas of life and, eventually, regional differentiation. These areas of life include a the development of a wide range of primarily evangelical Christianity denominations and a number of new faiths of American origin such as Mormonism drawing on Nathan Hatch and those building on his insights: Appleby's study provides a solid overview of patterns noted by other historians and thus a useful synthesis of these trends.

She also provides a solid argument that these social changes which took hold in the North and Mid-West provide the foundation for the regional distinctions which lay at the root of the American Civil War. This later argument is not developed in full, probably due to the author's stated focus on this first generation. She does provide a good overview of the Missouri Crisis of and usefully noted that the positions taken by members of Congress in this dispute quite well foreshadow many of those which would follow, starting with the new position taken by Congressmen from the northern states that slavery was a moral wrong and should be acted against rather than allowed to spread.

In summary, this book has much to recommend. Applebly brings together various interrelated threads of historiography without breaking a substantial amount of new ground and brings out the stories of a great number of very interesting figures, some well-known, others well so. Reinforces how different North and South were from the start. Covers a number of topics based on original sources. Jun 23, Kevin rated it liked it.


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An interesting read, though I found myself frustrated with it at times. Being based largely on autobiographies and memoirs written by members of the titular first generation, the book primarily reflects the perspectives of that era's winners, as the author herself acknowledges.

Proof of evolution that you can find on your body

Still, her methods do enable her to tell an informative story of how many of America's enuring national myths came to be constructed and may even have been somewhat true for a time. One thing that felt sorely lacking was N An interesting read, though I found myself frustrated with it at times. One thing that felt sorely lacking was Native American perspectives.

While the author does occasionally note the existence of indigenous peoples and the results of westward expansion by white settlers on their societies, such references were so fleeting as to be almost insulting.

Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans

Even an indigenous leader as significant as Tecumseh only apparently warranted a mere two paragraphs near the end. Perhaps if Native Americans of the time had published more autobiographies she would've thought their experiences were more important. May 04, KJ rated it liked it Shelves: An interesting take on an era of history that tends to be overlooked.

Each chapter follows a different strain of popular culture, whether it is post-revolutionary careers or religious reform. Appleby brings up an interesting notion that women's lives simultaneously chan An interesting take on an era of history that tends to be overlooked. Appleby brings up an interesting notion that women's lives simultaneously changed and stayed the same, both reinforcing and reforming, and that is merely one strand of her premise.


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  • I found this book very fascinating, although the prose can, at times, become dry or heavy, and I found myself really having to focus on each sentence. This is not a book for light reading, but does make for excellent bedtime reading!

    Jan 25, Samantha rated it really liked it Shelves: We got to pick the book and this just sounded interesting to me. This is a really great book to learn what is not always written in the textbooks. Of particular interest to me was her discussion of religion in early America and branching off of so many sects of Christianity and how this relates to the America we live in today. Mar 08, Amy rated it really liked it Shelves: Not sure how I didn't know about this book until nearly done with all my coursework I would put it down as a must-read for anyone interested in early America, especially the generation that was born during and immediately following the Revolution.

    The endnotes are also particularly helpful for those looking for a wealth of primary sources to mine. Mar 03, Christina Moodie rated it it was amazing. The author never loses sight of the damaging failure to deal with slavery, the blindness inherent in Westward "progress" in regard to Native Americans or the legacy of alcoholism as these things shaped The First Generation. If you want an idea of how American Exceptionalism came to be our defining myth, this is the book to explain it. Mar 26, Randy rated it really liked it. Another must read for the American People. Ever wonder how Colonial Englishmen became Americans?

    How the "American Spirit" can into being?

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    Read this and find out. Another former class assignment- and one that the students actually loved. Sep 23, Craig Bolton added it. Nov 06, Coral rated it liked it. Fiona Deans Halloran rated it really liked it Dec 29, Aaron rated it liked it Feb 19, Matt Stephenson rated it it was amazing Feb 28, Blake Jones rated it really liked it Jul 25, Turbokinny rated it liked it Sep 25, Trevor Smith rated it really liked it Feb 11, Megan rated it it was amazing Jun 15, Ryan rated it liked it Jun 28, American Revolution rated it really liked it Mar 15, Melissa rated it it was ok Feb 25, C Baker rated it liked it Oct 04,