In this Book

Experiencing Empire
summary

Born of clashing visions of empire in England and the colonies, the American Revolution saw men and women grappling with power— and its absence—in dynamic ways. On both sides of the revolutionary divide, Americans viewed themselves as an imperial people. This perspective conditioned how they understood the exercise of power, how they believed governments had to function, and how they situated themselves in a world dominated by other imperial players.

Eighteenth-century Americans experienced what can be called an “imperial-revolutionary moment." Over the course of the eighteenth century, the colonies were integrated into a broader Atlantic world, a process that forced common men and women to reexamine the meanings and influences of empire in their own lives. The tensions inherent in this process led to revolution. After the Revolution, the idea of empire provided order—albeit at a cost to many—during a chaotic period.

Viewing the early republic from an imperial-revolutionary perspective, the essays in this collection consider subjects as far-ranging as merchants, winemaking, slavery, sex, and chronology to nostalgia, fort construction, and urban unrest. They move from the very center of the empire in London to the far western frontier near St. Louis, offering a new way to consider America’s most formative period.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction: Imagining an American Imperial-Revolutionary History
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. Part I. Empire and Provincials
  1. The Baubles of America: Object Lessons from the Eclectic Empire of Peter Williamson
  2. Timothy J. Shannon
  3. pp. 27-49
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  1. Imperial Vineyards; Wine and Politics in the Early American South
  2. Owen Stanwood
  3. pp. 50-70
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  1. Sex and Empire in Eighteenth-Century St. Louis
  2. Patricia Cleary
  3. pp. 71-87
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  1. On Their Own Ground: Native Power and Colonial Property on the Maine Frontier
  2. Ian Saxine
  3. pp. 88-108
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  1. Part II. War, Revolution, Empires
  1. Efficient and Effective: The Deceptive Success of British Strategy atFort Stanwix during the Seven Years’ War
  2. James Coltrain
  3. pp. 111-126
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  1. Rethinking Failure: The French Empire in the Age of John Law
  2. Christopher Hodson
  3. pp. 127-146
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  1. John Almon’s Web: Networks of Print, Politics, and Place inRevolutionary London, 1760–1780
  2. Michael Guenther
  3. pp. 147-168
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  1. Part III. The Ghosts of Empire
  1. Forgiving and Forgetting in Postrevolutionary America
  2. Donald F. Johnson
  3. pp. 171-188
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  1. Abbe’s Ghost: Negotiating Slavery in Paris, 1783–1784
  2. David N. Gellman
  3. pp. 189-211
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  1. Seeing Like an Antiquarian: Popular Nostalgia and the Rise of a Modern Historical Subjectivity in the 1820s
  2. Seth Cotlar
  3. pp. 212-232
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  1. Conclusion: What Time Was the American Revolution?Reflections on a Familiar Narrative
  2. T. H. Breen
  3. pp. 233-246
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  1. Afterword
  2. Joyce E. Chaplin
  3. pp. 247-262
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 263-264
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 265-269
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  1. Early American Histories
  2. p. 270
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