In this Book

American Honor
summary
The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom, it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as "honor" and "virtue." As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans' ideological break from Europe and shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution—notably John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington—Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

By also interweaving individuals and groups that have historically been excluded from the discussion of honor—such as female thinkers, women patriots, slaves, and free African Americans—Smith makes a broad and significant argument about how the Revolutionary era witnessed a fundamental shift in ethical ideas. This thoughtful work sheds new light on a forgotten cause of the Revolution and on the ideological foundation of the United States.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: What Are Honor, Virtue, and Ethics and How Did They Influence the American Revolution?
  2. pp. 1-21
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter One. The Old World Meets the New: Colonial Ethical Ideals before the Revolution
  2. pp. 22-46
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Two. A Shared Identity: Colonial Colleges and the Shaping of Pre-Revolutionary Thought
  2. pp. 47-64
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Three. A Matter of Honor and a Test of Virtue: Riots, Boycotts, and Resistance during the Coming of the Revolution
  2. pp. 65-97
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Four. Maintaining Moral Superiority: How Ethics Defined the Early War Years
  2. pp. 98-126
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Five. From Tension to Victory: Overcoming Civilian and Martial Differences on Honor and Virtue during the Later War Years
  2. pp. 127-166
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Six. Expanding Ethics: The Democratization of Honor and Virtue in the New Republic
  2. pp. 167-211
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Seven. The Counterrevolution in American Ethics: Reinterpretations of the Next Generations
  2. pp. 212-240
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue: March 16, 1824
  2. pp. 241-246
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 247-304
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 305-358
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 359-368
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.