The Athens of America
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Contemporary developments affecting the personal and professional lives of historians invariably cause them to reflect upon those various periods of history in which they conduct their research, looking for contrasts and similarities that might help them make sensible judgments and prudent decisions. The subject of the city of Boston has long ...
1 A New Day Dawning
On January 8, 1788, a special convention of 364 delegates assembled in Boston in accordance with the order of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts to act upon the proposed Constitution of the United States. Late in the afternoon of February 6, 1788, after a month of heated and often acrimonious debate, the “grand question” was moved: Should Massachusetts ratify the Constitution? ...
2 From Town to City
“In choosing Old Hickory over John Quincy Adams in the election of 1828,” observes Harlow Sheidley in her 1998 study Sectional Nationalism, “the nation rejected the political ethos of New England conservatives in favor of an expansive, individualistic, and competitive political order.” Realizing that Jackson’s election had put an end to any hopes they had of influencing the nation’s future by political means, members of ...
3 Reshaping a Community
Considering the extraordinary energy and vigorous determination of Mayor Josiah Quincy, it is easy enough to ascribe the extensive physical changes, the material improvements, and the professional bureaucracy, which arose in Boston during the mid-1820s, to the leadership qualities of a single individual. In many ways, however, this desire for reform, ...
4 An End to Pain and Suffering
Mayor Josiah Quincy could take great pride that his extensive program of urban renewal and restoration had transformed Boston, he boasted, into one of the cleanest and healthiest cities in the United States. Members of the city’s elite establishment had undertaken successful efforts to lessen crime, reduce poverty, improve conditions for the homeless, modernize the prisons, and make inroads against the debilitating effects of public ...
5 The Grecian Model
It was a matter of enormous pride, but also of soul searching concern, to be a direct descendant of a member of that great generation of Americans, known collectively as the Founding Fathers, who had led Boston through the precarious years of rebellion and revolution against the powerful domination of Great Britain, who had won their independence ...
6 Progress and Popery
In the enthusiasm of Bostonians to raise their city to such an elevated level of intellectual achievement and human accomplishment that it would be universally recognized as the Athens of America, the emergence of the Roman Catholic Church as a recognizable influence was the source of considerable anxiety. Most Protestants regarded the city’s growing Irish Catholic immigrant community as one of the most serious ...
7 A New Generation
The intensity of the efforts to prevent the religious beliefs and social attitudes of Roman Catholics from impeding the progressive reforms of the Boston establishment was just one indication of changing attitudes and disturbing impulses. Up to a certain point, Boston’s serious and self-conscious efforts to achieve an exalted status as the modern version ...
8 The Politics of Righteousness
The decision of a number of well-educated, fiercely determined, upper-class Boston women to involve themselves in the controversial Abolition movement marked a distinct change not only in the activities of females well outside the strictly defined limits of their “domestic sphere” but also in the character of the Boston abolition movement itself. ...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2006
OCLC Number: 607745768
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