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The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World

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The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World

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The Civil War as Global Conflict

Transnational Meanings of the American Civil War

David T. Gleeson

In an attempt to counter the insular narratives of much of the sesquicentennial commemorations of the Civil War in the United States, editors David T. Gleeson and Simon Lewis present this collection of essays to highlight the war not just as a North American conflict but as a global one affected by transnational concerns. The book, while addressing the origins of the Civil War, places the struggle over slavery and sovereignty in the U.S. in the context of other conflicts in the Western hemisphere. Additionally Gleeson and Lewis offer an analysis of the impact of the war and its results overseas. Although the Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in America’s history and arguably its single most defining event, this work underscores the reality that the war was by no means the only conflict that ensnared the global imperial powers in the mid–nineteenth century and was in some ways just another part of the contemporary conflicts over the definitions of liberty, democracy, and nationhood. The editors have successfully linked numerous provocative themes and convergences of time and space to make the work both coherent and cogent. Subjects include such disparate topics as Florence Nightingale, Gone with the Wind, war crimes and racial violence, and choices of allegiance made by immigrants to the United States. While we now take for granted the values of freedom and democracy, we cannot understand the impact of the Civil War and the victorious “new birth of freedom” without thinking globally. The contributors to The Civil War as Global Conflict reveal that Civil War–era attitudes toward citizenship and democracy were far from fixed or stable. Race, ethnicity, nationhood, and slavery were subjects of fierce controversy. Examining the Civil War in a global context requires us to see the conflict as a seminal event in the continuous struggles of people to achieve liberty and fulfill the potential of human freedom. The book concludes with a coda that reconnects the global with the local and provides ways for Americans to discuss the war and its legacy more productively.

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Creating and Contesting Carolina

Proprietary Era Histories

Michelle LeMaster

The essays in Creating and Contesting Carolina shed new light on how the various peoples of the Carolinas responded to the tumultuous changes shaping the geographic space that the British called Carolina during the Proprietary period (1663–1719). In doing so, the essays focus attention on some of the most important and dramatic watersheds in the history of British colonization in the New World. These years brought challenging and dramatic changes to the region, such as the violent warfare between British and Native Americans or British and Spanish, the no-less dramatic development of the plantation system, and the decline of proprietary authority. All involved contestation, whether through violence or debate. The very idea of a place called Carolina was challenged by Native Americans, and many colonists and metropolitan authorities differed in their visions for Carolina. The stakes were high in these contests because they occurred in an early American world often characterized by brutal warfare, rigid hierarchies, enslavement, cultural dislocation, and transoceanic struggles for power. While Native Americans and colonists shed each other’s blood to define the territory on their terms, colonists and officials built their own version of Carolina on paper and in the discourse of early modern empires. But new tensions also provided a powerful incentive for political and economic creativity. The peoples of the early Carolinas reimagined places, reconceptualized cultures, realigned their loyalties, and adapted in a wide variety of ways to the New World. Three major groups of peoples—European colonists, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans—shared these experiences of change in the Carolinas, but their histories have usually been written separately. These disparate but closely related strands of scholarship must be connected to make the early Carolinas intelligible. Creating and Contesting Carolina brings together work relating to all three groups in this unique collection.

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The Irish in the Atlantic World

David T. Gleeson

The Irish in the Atlantic World presents a transnational and comparative view of the Irish historical and cultural experiences as phenomena transcending traditional chronological, topical, and ethnic paradigms. Edited by David T. Gleeson, this collection of essays offers a robust new vision of the global nature of the Irish diaspora within the Atlantic context from the eighteenth century to the present and makes original inroads for new research in Irish studies. These essays from an international cast of scholars vary in their subject matter from investigations into links between Irish popular music and the United States—including the popularity of American blues music in Belfast during the 1960s and the influences of Celtic balladry on contemporary singer Van Morrison—to a discussion of the migration of Protestant Orangemen to America and the transplanting of their distinctive non-Catholic organizations. Other chapters explore the influence of American politics on the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, manifestations of nineteenth-century temperance and abolition movements in Irish communities, links between slavery and Irish nationalism in the formation of Irish identity in the American South, the impact of yellow fever on Irish and black labor competition on Charleston's waterfront, the fate of the Irish community at Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, and other topics. These multidisciplinary essays offer fruitful explanations of how ideas and experiences from around the Atlantic influenced the politics, economics, and culture of Ireland, the Irish people, and the societies where Irish people settled. Taken collectively, these pieces map the web of connectivity between Irish communities at home and abroad as sites of ongoing negotiation in the development of a transatlantic Irish identity.

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Jewish Sanctuary in the Atlantic World

A Social and Architectural History

Barry L. Stiefel

Jewish Sanctuary in the Atlantic World is a blend of cultural and architectural history that examines Jewish heritage as it expanded among the continents and islands linked by the Atlantic Ocean between the mid fifteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Barry L. Stiefel achieves a powerful synthesis of material culture research and traditional historical research in his examination of the early modern Jewish diaspora in the New World. Through this illustrated work, Stiefel examines forty-six synagogues built in Europe, South America, the Caribbean Islands, colonial and antebellum North America, and Gibraltar to discover what liturgies, construction methods, and architectural styles were transported from the Old World to the New World. Some are famous—Touro in Newport, Rhode Island; Bevis Marks in London; and Mikve Israel in Curaçao—while others had short-lived congregations whose buildings were lost. The two great traditions of Judaism—Sephardic and Ashkenazic—found homes in the Atlantic World. Examining buildings and congregations that survive, Stiefel offers valuable insights on their connections and commonalities. If both the congregations and buildings are gone, the author re-creates them by using modern heritage preservation tools that have enriched our understanding of the past, tools from such diverse sources as architectural studies, archaeology, computer modeling and rendering, and geographic information systems—all of which, when combined, can bring an even richer understanding of the past than incomplete, uncertain traditional historical resources. Buildings figure as key indicators in Stiefel’s analysis of Jewish life and social experience, but the author’s immersion in the faith and practice of Judaism invigorates every aspect of his work.

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Religion, Space, and the Atlantic World

John Corrigan

While the concept of an Atlantic world has been central to the work of historians for decades, the full implications of that spatial setting for the lives of religious people have received far less attention. In Religion, Space, and the Atlantic World, John Corrigan brings together research from geographers, anthropologists, literature scholars, historians, and religious studies specialists to explore some of the possibilities for and benefits of taking physical space more seriously in the study of religion. Focusing on four domains that most readily reflect the importance of Atlantic world spaces for the shape and practice of religion (texts, design, distance, and civics), these essays explore subjects as varied as the siting of churches on the Peruvian Camino Real, the evolution of Hispanic cathedrals, Methodist identity in nineteenth-century Canada, and Lutherans in early eighteenth-century America. Such essays illustrate both how the organization of space was driven by religious interests and how religion adapted to spatial ordering and reordering initiated by other cultural authorities. The case studies include the erasure of Native American sacred spaces by missionaries serving as cartographers, which contributed to a view of North America as a vast expanse of unmarked territory ripe for settlement. Spanish explorers and missionaries reorganized indigenous-built space to impress materially on people the “surveillance power” of Crown and Church. The new environment and culture often transformed old institutions, as in the reconception of the European cloister into a distinctly American space that offered autonomy and solidarity for religious women and served as a point of reference for social stability as convents assumed larger public roles in the outside community. Ultimately even the ocean was reconceptualized as space itself rather than as a connector defined by the land masses that it touched, requiring certain kinds of religious orientations—to both space and time—that differed markedly from those on land. Collectively the contributors examine the locations and movement of people, ideas, texts, institutions, rituals, power, and status in and through space. They argue that just as the mental organization of our activity in the world and our recall of events have much to do with our experience of space, we should take seriously the degree to which that experience more broadly influences how we make sense of our lives.

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