Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

On October 19 and 20, 2000, Georgia Southern University celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Series. The speaker was Don H. Doyle, who holds the Nelson Tyrone Jr. Chair in History at Vanderbilt University. He approached the series' theme, "Regions and Identities," from an ...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvii

This book deals with the two most important features of American history: the creation of a new nation and the secessionist rebellion that tore it apart. The American Revolution and the American Civil War define one nation's special history, but they also have meaning to the world of nations that has taken form since the late ...

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1. A Death at Gettysburg

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pp. 1-10

During a research trip to Mississippi some years ago I came across a collection of papers and letters between Jeremiah Gage, a student at the University of Mississippi from 1857 to 1861, and his parents in Holmes County. His early letters were filled with much the same thoughts that young men today write in letters (or e-mails) when ...

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2. Making Nations

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pp. 11-34

The English lexicographer Samuel Johnson in his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language defined "nation" as "a people distinguished from another people, generally by their language, origin or government." Noah Webster in his 1828 Dictionary of American English gave the word the following definition: "a people born in ...

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3. The Daily Plebiscite

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pp. 35-64

The making of new nations was not a once-and-for-all event to be finished with the achievement of independence and statehood. National identity and loyalty often took hold slowly, unevenly, and incompletely among the citizenry. Each new generation, each new wave of immigrants, meant that nationbuilding would be an ...

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4. Imagined Enemies

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pp. 65-89

The national idea did not always triumph over competing loyalties in the daily plebiscite. Nation building often failed to win the allegiance of opposing ethnic or provincial enclaves. Even after establishing its authority over diverse groups of its citizens, the modern nation often faced opposition from within. Regional ...

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5. Nationalism Reconsidered

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pp. 90-96

The United States of America, instead of being exceptional, in many ways predicted the experience of European nations in the twentieth century. America was a vast container into which poured a multitude of immigrant cultures, languages, and religions. Becoming American called on newcomers to speak English and adopt ...

Notes

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pp. 97-108

Bibliography

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pp. 109-124

Index

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pp. 125-130