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The citizenship revolution : politics and the creation of the American union, 1774-1804

Author: Douglas Bradburn
Publisher: Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2009.
Series: Jeffersonian America.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Most Americans believe that the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 marked the settlement of post-Revolutionary disputes over the meanings of rights, democracy, and sovereignty in the new nation. In The Citizenship Revolution, Douglas Bradburn undercuts this view by showing that the Union, not the Nation, was the most important product of independence. In 1774, everyone in British North America was a subject  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Douglas Bradburn
ISBN: 9780813928012 081392801X
OCLC Number: 230956919
Description: xii, 415 pages ; 25 cm.
Contents: The revolutionary moment: natural rights, the people, and the creation of American citizenship --
State v. nation: Federalism and the problem of nationhood --
The politics of citizenship: expatriation, naturalization, and the rise of party --
"True Americans": the Federalist ideal and the legislation of national citizenship --
States' rights and the rights of man: the opposition to the alien and sedition acts --
"Hordes of foreigners": the immigrant moment and the potential of the hyphenated citizen --
White citizen, Black denizen: the racial ranks of American citizenship --
The Aristotelian moment: ending the American Revolution --
Conclusion: the fall of the union and the rise of nation.
Series Title: Jeffersonian America.
Other Titles: Politics and the creation of the American union, 1774-1804
Responsibility: Douglas Bradburn.
More information:

Abstract:

"Most Americans believe that the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 marked the settlement of post-Revolutionary disputes over the meanings of rights, democracy, and sovereignty in the new nation. In The Citizenship Revolution, Douglas Bradburn undercuts this view by showing that the Union, not the Nation, was the most important product of independence. In 1774, everyone in British North America was a subject of King George and Parliament. In 1776 a number of newly independent 'states, ' composed of 'American citizens, ' began cobbling together a Union to fight their former fellow countrymen. But who was an American? What did it mean to be a 'citizen' and not a 'subject'? And why did it matter? Bradburn's stunning reinterpretation requires us to rethink the traditional chronologies and stories of the American revolutionary experience. He places battles over the meaning of 'citizenship' in law and in politics at the center of the narrative. He shows that the new political community ultimately discovered that it was not really a 'Nation, ' but a 'Union of States' - and that it was the states that set the boundaries of belonging and the very character of rights, for citizens and everyone else. To those inclined to believe that the ratification of the Constitution assured the importance of national authority and law in the lives of American people, the emphasis on the significance and power of the states as the arbiter of American rights and the character of nationhood may seem strange. But, as Bradburn argues, state control of the ultimate meaning of American citizenship represented the first stable outcome of the crisis of authority, allegiance, and identity that had exploded in the American Revolution - a political settlement delicately reached in the first years of the nineteenth century. So ended the first great phase of the American citizenship revolution: a continuing struggle to reconcile the promise of revolutionary equality with the pressing and sometimes competing demands of law, order, and the pursuit of happiness"--Jacket.

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