An intellectual dialogue of the highest plane achieved in America, the correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson spanned half a century and embraced government, philosophy, religion, quotidiana, and family griefs and joys. First meeting as delegates to the Continental Congress in 1775, they initiated correspondence in 1777, negotiated jointly as ministers in Europe in the 1780s, and served the early Republic--each, ultimately, in its highest office. At Jefferson's defeat of Adams for the presidency in 1800, they became estranged, and the correspondence lapses from 1801 to 1812, then is renewed until the death of both in 1826, fifty years to the day after the Declaration of Independence. Lester J. Cappon's edition, first published in 1959 in two volumes, provides the complete correspondence between these two men and includes the correspondence between Abigail Adams and Jefferson. Many of these letters have been published in no other modern edition, nor does any other edition devote itself exclusively to the exchange between Jefferson and the Adamses. Introduction, headnotes, and footnotes inform the reader without interrupting the speakers. This reissue of The Adams-Jefferson Letters in a one-volume unabridged edition brings to a broader audience one of the monuments of American scholarship and, to quote C. Vann Woodward, 'a major treasure of national literature.'
The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics in the U.S. provides a broad, inclusive, and rich range of chapters, in the study of religion and politics. Arranged in their historical context, chapters address themes of history, law, social and religious movements, policy and political theory. Broadens the parameters of this timely subject, and includes the latest work in the field Draws together newly-commissioned essays by distinguished authors that are cogent for scholars, while also being in a style that is accessible to students. Provides a balanced and inclusive approach to religion and politics in the U.S. Engages diverse perspectives from various discourses about religion and politics across the political and disciplinary spectra, while placing them in their larger historical context
During the many years that they were separated by the perils of the American Revolution, John and Abigail Adams exchanged hundreds of letters. Writing to each other of public events and private feelings, loyalty and love, revolution and parenting, they wove a tapestry of correspondence that has become a cherished part of American history and literature. With Abigail and John Adams, historian G. J. Barker-Benfield mines those familiar letters to a new purpose: teasing out the ways in which they reflected—and helped transform—a language of sensibility, inherited from Britain but, amid the revolutionary fervor, becoming Americanized. Sensibility—a heightened moral consciousness of feeling, rooted in the theories of such thinkers as Descartes, Locke, and Adam Smith and including a “moral sense” akin to the physical senses—threads throughout these letters. As Barker-Benfield makes clear, sensibility was the fertile, humanizing ground on which the Adamses not only founded their marriage, but also the “abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity” they and their contemporaries hoped to plant at the heart of the new nation. Bringing together their correspondence with a wealth of fascinating detail about life and thought, courtship and sex, gender and parenting, and class and politics in the revolutionary generation and beyond, Abigail and John Adams draws a lively, convincing portrait of a marriage endangered by separation, yet surviving by the same ideas and idealism that drove the revolution itself. A feast of ideas that never neglects the real lives of the man and woman at its center, Abigail and John Adams takes readers into the heart of an unforgettable union in order to illuminate the first days of our nation—and explore our earliest understandings of what it might mean to be an American.
A patriot by birth, John Quincy Adams's destiny was foreordained. He was not only "The Greatest Traveler of His Age," but his country's most gifted linguist and most experienced diplomat. John Quincy's world encompassed the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the early and late Napoleonic Age. As his diplomat father's adolescent clerk and secretary, he met everyone who was anyone in Europe, including America's own luminaries and founding fathers, Franklin and Jefferson. All this made coming back to America a great challenge. But though he was determined to make his own career he was soon embarked, at Washington's appointment, on his phenomenal work abroad, as well as on a deeply troubled though loving and enduring marriage. But through all the emotional turmoil, he dedicated his life to serving his country. At 50, he returned to America to serve as Secretary of State to President Monroe. He was inaugurated President in 1824, after which he served as a stirring defender of the slaves of the Amistad rebellion and as a member of the House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in 1848. In The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams, Phyllis Lee Levin provides the deeply researched and beautifully written definitive biography of one of the most fascinating and towering early Americans.
This book emphasises the centrality of nationhood to Thomas Jefferson's thought and politics, envisioning Jefferson as a cultural nationalist whose political project sought the alignment of the American state system with the will and character of the nation. Jefferson believed that America was the one nation on earth able to realise in practice universal ideals to which other peoples could only aspire. He appears in the book as the essential narrator of what he once called the 'American Story': as the historian, the sociologist and the ethnographer; the political theorist of the nation; the most successful practitioner of its politics; and its most enthusiastic champion. The book argues that reorienting Jefferson around the concept of American nationhood recovers an otherwise easily missed coherence to his political career and helps make sense of a number of conundrums in his thought and practice.
Winner of the Bancroft Prize The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice American Heritage, Best of 2009 In this vivid new biography of Abigail Adams, the most illustrious woman of the founding era, Bancroft Award–winning historian Woody Holton offers a sweeping reinterpretation of Adams’s life story and of women’s roles in the creation of the republic. Using previously overlooked documents from numerous archives, Abigail Adams shows that the wife of the second president of the United States was far more charismatic and influential than historians have realized. One of the finest writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women’s education, denounced sex discrimination, and matched wits not only with her brilliant husband, John, but with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. When male Patriots ignored her famous appeal to "Remember the Ladies," she accomplished her own personal declaration of independence: Defying centuries of legislation that assigned married women’s property to their husbands, she amassed a fortune in her own name. Adams’s life story encapsulates the history of the founding era, for she defined herself in relation to the people she loved or hated (she was never neutral), a cast of characters that included her mother and sisters; Benjamin Franklin and James Lovell, her husband’s bawdy congressional colleagues; Phoebe Abdee, her father’s former slave; her financially naïve husband; and her son John Quincy. At once epic and intimate, Abigail Adams, sheds light on a complicated, fascinating woman, one of the most beloved figures of American history.
Quixotic Fictions of the USA 1792-1815 explores the conflicted and conflicting interpretations of Don Quixote available to and deployed by disenchanted writers of America's new republic. It argues that the legacy of Don Quixote provided an ambiguous cultural icon and ironic narrative stance that enabled authors to critique with impunity the ideological fictions shoring up their fractured republic. Close readings of works such as Modern Chivalry, Female Quixotism, and The Algerine Captive reveal that the fiction from this period repeatedly engaged with Cervantes's narrative in order to test competing interpretations of republicanism, to interrogate the new republic's multivalent crises of authority, and to question both the possibility and the desirability of an isolationist USA and an autonomous 'American' literature. Sarah Wood's study is the first book-length publication to examine the role of Don Quixote in early American literature. Exploring the extent to which the literary culture of North America was shaped by a diverse range of influences, it addresses an issue of growing concern to scholars of American history and literature. Quixotic Fictions reaffirms the global reach of Cervantes's influence and explores the complex, contradictory ways in which Don Quixote helped shape American fiction at a formative moment in its development.
An illuminating analysis of the man whose name is synonymous with American democracy Few presidents have embodied the American spirit as fully as Thomas Jefferson. He was the originator of so many of the founding principles of American democracy. Politically, he shuffled off the centralized authority of the Federalists, working toward a more diffuse and minimalist leadership. He introduced the bills separating church and state and mandating free public education. He departed from the strict etiquette of his European counterparts, appearing at state dinners in casual attire and dispensing with hierarchical seating arrangements. Jefferson initiated the Lewis and Clark expedition and seized on the crucial moment when Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana Territory, thus extending the national development. In this compelling examination, distinguished historian Joyce Appleby captures all of the richness of Jefferson's character and accomplishments.
In this provocative interdisciplinary study, Nicholas and Peter Onuf argue that the American Civil War was the first great war between modern nations, emerging from the wreckage of a federal union that was supposed to secure perpetual peace. Situating conceptions of nationhood and war in the broader context of modern history, the authors draw attention to overlooked aspects of liberal thought that stand in tension with the ahistorical individuals and markets that are so familiar to us today. The liberal conception of the autonomous, rights-bearing individual is the product, not the predicate, of what has actually been a protracted process of development. New ways of historical thinking gave rise to new ideas about the nations that collectively constituted international society; the behavior of sovereign nations in turn provided a liberal model for the reorganization of domestic societies. Changing conceptions of markets provided the impetus for nation-making, as well as for war. In the bookís second part the authors show how controversy over trade policy in the early American republic led to irreconcilable ideas about the nature of the union and the relationship between home and world markets. When Southerners embraced the logic of nationhood of their known region and insisted that slavery promoted the wealth and welfare of the civilized world, Northerners held that an expanding continental republic embodied their national aspirations. In this light, the clash between Southern concerns with free markets and Northern concerns about nation-making, each classically liberal in its own way, looms especially large in the sectional tensions that led to the Civil War. The Union and Confederacy went to war as great nations determined to secure their place in the modern, civilized world because they were so much alike. Their war should not be seen as a tragic, inexplicable anomaly in American history. It was, instead, the precedent for subsequent, and even more horrific, conflicts among nations.