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Jeremy Engels

Publication Year: 2010

The Declaration of Independence is usually celebrated as a radical document that inspired revolution in the English colonies, in France, and elsewhere. In Enemyship, however, Jeremy Engels views the Declaration as a rhetorical strategy that outlined wildly effective arguments justifying revolution against a colonial authority--- and then threatened political stability once independence was finally achieved. 
     Enemyship examines what happened during the latter years of the Revolutionary War and in the immediate post-Revolutionary period, when the rhetorics and energies of revolution began to seem problematic to many wealthy and powerful Americans.
     To mitigate this threat, says Engles, the founders of the United States deployed the rhetorics of what he calls "enemyship," calling upon Americans to unite in opposition to their shared national enemies.

Published by: Michigan State University Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-xi

As solitary and, frankly, lonely as the work of an academic can be and often is, good scholarship is the product of many conversations and interactions. Several people had a direct role in making this book happen. Stephen Hartnett, Cara Finnegan, Ned O’Gorman, Fred Hoxie, and David Zarefsky read this manuscript back in 2006 when ...

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Introduction. The Second American Revolution

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pp. 1-32

The date was April 13, 1943—the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth. The place was Washington, DC. The occasion was the dedication of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. “Today in the midst of a great war for freedom we dedicate a shrine to freedom,” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed, using Jefferson’s memory to ...

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Chapter One. How Enemyship Became Common Sense

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pp. 33-66

It is one of the most famous lines in American history: echoed in movies; recited by schoolchildren. On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry told his audience at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, to “Give me liberty or give me death.” Like many episodes in American mythology, this defining moment might not have happened. The text of Henry’s speech ...

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Chapter Two. The Dilemmas of American Nationalism

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pp. 67-112

Victory in the Revolutionary War was greeted with jubilation and a big sigh of relief. But Americans who lived through the war won something they had not bargained for, for victory required cooperation across far-flung communities and between people who had little in common besides their foes. The colonists who tangled with the British ...

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Chapter Three. The Army of the Constitution

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pp. 113-156

On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the federal Constitution. In celebration, local federalists planned a parade in Carlisle on December 26. They were met with the shouts, taunts, and blows of determined anti-federalists, who stole a cannon intended to mark the occasion with bombast. The next ...

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Chapter Four. The Contract of Blood

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pp. 157-206

The date was July 4, 1793, and, as John Adams had hoped in 1776, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence was “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”1 Independence ...

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Conclusion. Hobbes’s Gamble and Franklin’s Warning

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pp. 207-222

In Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787), Noah Webster asked a question that was on the minds of all the founders—a question that if adequately answered would solve all of the problems posed by the nation-building project: “In what consists the power of a nation or of an order of men?”1 Significantly, he returned ...


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pp. 223-278

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 279-298


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pp. 299-316

E-ISBN-13: 9781609172107
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870139802

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 774285414
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Enemyship

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Social aspects.
  • Political culture -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • Nationalism -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • Enemies -- Political aspects -- United States -- History.
  • Democracy -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1809.
  • Political socialization -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
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