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Coming to Terms with Democracy

Federalist Intellectuals and the Shaping of an American Culture, 1800-1828

Marshall Foletta

Publication Year: 2001

In Coming to Terms with Democracy, Marshall Foletta contends that by calling for a new American literature in their journal, the second-generation Federalists helped American readers break free from imported neo-classical standards, thus paving the way for the American Renaissance. Despite their failure to reconstitute in the cultural sphere their fathers' lost political prominence, Foletta concludes that the original contributors to the North American Review were enormously influential both in the creation of the role of the American public intellectual, and in the development of a vision for the American university that most historians place in a much later period. They have earned a prominent place in the history of American literature, magazines and journals, law and legal education, institutional reform, and the cultural history of New England.

Published by: University of Virginia Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. vii


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pp. viii

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pp. ix-x

Scholarship is usually a very private affair, requiring hours of solitary study and the acceptance of personal responsibility for whatever shortcomings exist in the end. This attempt is no different. But like most others it has also benefited...

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1. 1815

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pp. 1-21

In January 1815 Harrison Gray Otis left Hartford, Connecticut, for Washington, D.C. Having spent several weeks in Hartford discussing with his Federalist colleagues their opposition to the present war with England, he now carried the convention report...

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2. Fathers

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pp. 22-44

For the Federalists of Harrison Gray Otis’s generation, the events surrounding 1815 were as unexpected as they were grim. The embarrassment of Hartford and the subsequent collapse of the party were not a part of the world they expected to inherit...

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3. Sons

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pp. 45-75

On most any Sunday evening in 1810, the candles would burn late in the parsonage of the Brattle Street Church as its young pastor, Joseph Stevens Buckminster, indulged himself after a day in the pulpit with an evening of music and conversation....

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4. Literature: The Prospects

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pp. 76-100

When the North American Review began publication in 1815, there was much in it that no doubt reminded readers of the Monthly Anthology. Although its articles were published anonymously, its readers must have recognized many of the same contributors....

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5. Literature: The Problems

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pp. 101-134

During the first years of the North American Review’s existence, the journal advanced a vision for American literature that was indeed promising.Weaving together the old and the new, neoclassical principles and romantic theories, the journal’s young...

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6. Institutions

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pp. 135-181

Not all of the young Federalist intellectuals coming of age during these years, traveling in the same social circles and contributing to the North American Review, rested all their hope in the power of culture. To rely solely on the influence of literature and literary...

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7. History

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pp. 182-208

In the years between 1815 and 1828, the contributors to the North American Review elaborated a vision that promised both their continued influence and the preservation of social order. In implementing the vision, they met considerable resistance....

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8. Legacy

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pp. 209-246

As Andrew Jackson rode triumphantly into the city of Washington for his inauguration, the old guard of the Federalist Party looked on in disbelief and despair. The revolution in American politics initiated by Thomas Jefferson seemed completed in the election...


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pp. 247-270


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pp. 271-289


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pp. 291-303

E-ISBN-13: 9780813921693
E-ISBN-10: 0813921694
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813920597
Print-ISBN-10: 0813920590

Page Count: 303
Illustrations: 9 b&w illus. (9 redacted)
Publication Year: 2001