In this Book

Founding Fictions
summary
 
Part political history, part rhetorical criticism, Founding Fictions is an extended analysis of how Americans imagined themselves as citizens between 1764 and 1845. It critically re-interrogates our fundamental assumptions about a government based upon the will of the people, with profound implications for our ability to assess democracy today.

 

Founding Fictions develops the concept of a “political fiction,” or a narrative that people tell about their own political theories, and analyzes how republican and democratic fictions positioned American citizens as either romantic heroes, tragic victims, or ironic partisans.  By re-telling the stories that Americans have told themselves about citizenship, Mercieca highlights an important contradiction in American political theory and practice: that national stability and active citizen participation are perceived as fundamentally at odds.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. 1. “Republicanism was an indefinite term”: Political Fictions as Critical Tools for Citizenship
  2. pp. 9-41
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  1. 2. “The Revolution was in the minds of the people”: Citizens as Romantic Heroes, 1764–1776
  2. pp. 42-82
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  1. 3. “The American Constitution is that little article of HOPE, left at the bottom of Pandora’s box of evils”: Citizens as Tragic Victims, 1783–1789
  2. pp. 83-119
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  1. 4. “Who would not have been willing to have died such a death?”: Citizens as Reified Patriot Heroes, July 4, 1826
  2. pp. 120-146
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  1. 5. “I will not look up to the weather-cock of popularity, to see which way the gale is blowing”: Citizens as Ironic Partisans, 1816–1845
  2. pp. 147-201
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 202-218
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 219-268
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 269-274
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