Journal of the Early Republic

Journal of the Early Republic
Volume 25, Number 3, Fall 2005

CONTENTS

Articles

    Holton, Woody.
  • An "Excess of Democracy" -- Or a Shortage?: The Federalists' Earliest Adversaries
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    Subject Headings:
    • United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1789.
    • Finance, Public -- United States -- History -- To 1789.
    • Finance, Public -- United States -- States -- History -- 18th century.
    Abstract:
      At the Constitutional Convention, both Elbridge Gerry (on May 31) and Alexander Hamilton (on June 18) identified the principal problem facing the United States in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War as an "excess of democracy." In short, the American Revolution had gone too far. Although prominent modern scholars tend to echo that judgment, we will never fully understand the context in which the Constitution was created until we give serious consideration to the people who took the contrary position that the Revolution had not gone far enough. They demanded annual elections, the right to instruct their representatives, small legislative districts, an ample money supply, low farm taxes, lower-house legislative supremacy, and a roughly equal distribution of property. Their diverse tools for obtaining these objectives included conventions, committees of correspondence, rhetorical broadsides accusing their opponents of lacking the natural human capacity for fellow-feeling, efforts to harmonize divergent proposals using the printed word, insurrections (and, much more commonly, appeals to public officials' fear of rebellion), and, perhaps most strikingly, the deliberate withholding of assembly representatives. In many ways, their critique of the Framers' elitist economic and political ideas was considerably more fundamental than the issues raised by the Framers' next (and considerably better-known) round of adversaries, the Anti-Federalists.
    Pierson, Michael D.
  • "Slavery Cannot Be Covered Up with Broadcloth or a Bandanna": The Evolution of White Abolitionist Attacks on the "Patriarchal Institution"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    • Pariarchy -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    • Family -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    • Sex role -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      This article argues that white abolitionist rhetoric about families, patriarchy, and sex roles changed significantly in the late 1850s. From 1830 to about 1855, white abolitionists critiqued slavery for failing to live up to the generous patriarchal standards that southern planters claimed for themselves. Slavery, abolitionists argued, entailed sexual assault, slave breeding, and the division of families, not kindness and sympathy. In the 1850s, three new reform movements influenced abolitionist rhetoric. The women's rights movement, sex reformers, and the anti-Mormon polygamy campaign taught many white abolitionists that even generous patriarchy was a flawed familial model. Because the memberships in the reform movements overlapped, abolitionists soon found themselves willing to question whether patriarchy was an acceptable benchmark for judging slavery. Many abolitionists now proclaimed that the issue of whether slaves lived in luxury or want was irrelevant; what mattered was that slaves did not possess political, religious, or economic free will. This argument was most fully developed by Lydia Maria Child in "the Patriarchal Institution," a pamphlet published in 1860. Because the article shows that abolition was influenced by three newer reform groups, it argues that historians need to study the broader world of reform. We have long established the influence of abolition on women's rights, but we can also recognize that the newer groups returned the favor by developing ideas that fundamentally altered the logic of abolitionism.
    Keywords:
      Abolition, Abolitionist, Abolitionism, Antislavery, Patriarchy, Patriarchal, Feminism, Polygamy, Garrisonian, Reform, Antebellum, Rape, Adultery, Mormons, Anti-Mormonism, Slavery, Rhetoric, Race, Independence, Dependence, Family
    Sleeper-Smith, Susan.
  • "[A]n Unpleasant Transaction on this Frontier": Challenging Female Autonomy and Authority at Michilimackinac
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mitchell, Elizabeth.
    • La Framboise, Magdelaine Marcot.
    • Schindler, Thérèse Marcot Lasaliere.
    • Women fur traders -- Michigan -- Mackinac Island (Island) -- History.
    • Indians of North America -- Mixed descent -- Michigan -- Mackinac Island (Island) -- History.
    • Fur trade -- Social aspects -- Great Lakes Region -- History.
    Abstract:
      In the decades that followed the War of 1812, the United States swiftly and effectively established its sovereignty over the western Great Lakes. In the interstices of nation and empire, the political standing of Indians shifted from relatively autonomous subjects in a diffuse English empire to being wards within an exclusive model of statehood promoted through the Northwest Ordinance. The old French fur trade communities, like Michilimackinac, become part of a hierarchically structured antebellum world, with racial identifiers that consigned people of mixed ancestry to the margins of that society. During the last half of the nineteenth century, memories about the interracial nature of fur trade society were submerged, rejected by the prejudices of hypothetically mixing blood. In negotiating the boundaries of this newly emerging world, mixed-ancestry women proved particularly vulnerable. These women had acquired significant economic authority and increased autonomy under the French and British regimes, particularly when they were left fur trade widows. This article examines the pathways that government agents, particularly Indian agents, used to establish U.S. sovereignty in the region and how undercutting female agency became part of that process. This research suggests that some women often successfully responded to those threats while others were less successful. Memories about who these women were and the role that intermarriage played in this colonial world has been both whitened and homogenized by Great Lakes histories.
    Keywords:
      fur trade, voyageurs, Middle Ground, Catholic kin networks, Madame La Framboise, Magdelaine Marcot La Framboise, Thérèse Marcot Lasaliere Schindler, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Mitchell, Michilimackinac, Patrick Sinclair, John Jacob Astor, American Fur Company, Henry Puthuff, American Fur Company, Henry Baird, Elizabeth Baird
    Cray, Robert E.
  • Remembering the USS Chesapeake: The Politics of Maritime Death and Impressment
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    Subject Headings:
    • Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, 1807.
    • United States -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain.
    • Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- United States.
    • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1801-1815.
    • Sailors -- United States -- Public opinion.
    • Public opinion -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      The bombardment of the USS Chesapeake by the HMS Leopard on June 22, 1807, outraged citizens of the young republic. Not only had three sailors been killed and eighteen more wounded, but the British had forcibly removed four other men that they claimed belonged to them. Angry Americans condemned the incident, demanded satisfaction, and prepared for war. Although the crisis abated, diplomatic negotiations failed to resolve the issue until late 1811, and the surviving sailors were not returned until the start of the War of 1812. How Americans recalled the Chesapeake disaster has never been satisfactory examined. The episode was, to be sure, a diplomatic cause celebre, suggesting that the U.S. flag afforded no protection against a British navy intent upon impressment. Yet the memory of the incident also reveals the contours and limits of American compassion toward sailors. If mariners received praise for economic contributions and wartime heroism, they nonetheless attracted suspicion when ashore. While concerned about issues of trade and neutral rights, Americans proved less interested in protecting and retrieving sailors seized by the British. The four impressed men from the ChesapeakeĞJenkin Ratford, David Martin, John Strachan, and William WareĞillustrate this social phenomenon. If Ratford received publicity because of his 1807 execution, the other three men, two of whom were persons of color, generally remained unnamed and ignored, not unlike other impressed sailors. As such, the Chesapeake episode illuminates American ambivalence toward the sailors of the young republic. Class and race rendered sailors anonymous in the public memory.
    Keywords:
      USS Chesapeake, HMS Leopard, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Impressment, Death, Maritime, Memory, James Barron, John Rodgers, Class, Sailors, Naval, Politics, Race

Editor's Page

Book Reviews

    Sassi, Jonathan D., 1967-
  • Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Holifield, E. Brooks. Theology in America: Christian thought from the age of the Puritans to the Civil War.
    • Theology, Doctrinal -- United States -- History.
    Nelson, Lynn A.
  • Virginia's Western Visions: Political and Cultural Expansion on an Early American Frontier (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Philyaw, Leslie Scott. Virginia's western visions: political and cultural expansion on an early American frontier.
    • Virginia -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
    Fea, John.
  • The Delaware Valley in the Early Republic: Architecture, Landscape, and Regional Identity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lanier, Gabrielle M. Delaware Valley in the early republic: architecture, landscape, and regional identity.
    • Delaware River Valley (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) -- History, Local.
    Neem, Johann N.
  • Manufacturing Revolution: The Intellectual Origins of Early American Industry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Peskin, Lawrence A., 1966- Manufacturing revolution: the intellectual origins of early American industry.
    • Manufacturing industries -- United States -- History.
    Gilje, Paul A., 1951-
  • Minding the Machine: Languages of Class in Early Industrial America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rice, Stephen P. (Stephen Patrick), 1963- Minding the machine: languages of class in early industrial America.
    • Social classes -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Carney, Thomas E.
  • The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kramer, Larry, 1958- People themselves: popular constitutionalism and judicial review.
    • People (Constitutional law) -- United States.
    Banner, Lois W.
  • Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men's Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Zakim, Michael. Ready-made democracy: a history of men's dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860.
    • Men's clothing -- United States -- History.
    Nash, Gary B.
  • Moral Visions and Material Ambitions: Philadelphia Struggles to Define the Republic, 1776-1836 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Foster, A. Kristen. Moral visions and material ambitions: Philadelphia struggles to define the republic, 1776-1836.
    • Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Politics and government -- 18th century.
    Jaede, Mark G.
  • The Nation's Crucible: The Louisiana Purchase and the Creation of America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kastor, Peter J. Nation's crucible: the Louisiana Purchase and the creation of America.
    • Louisiana Purchase.
    Nichols, Roger L.
  • The Life of George Rogers Clark, 1752-1818: Triumphs and Tragedies (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Carstens, Kenneth Charles, ed. Life of George Rogers Clark, 1752-1818: triumphs and tragedies.
    • Son Carstens, Nancy, ed.
    • Clark, George Rogers, 1752-1818.
    Warshauer, Matthew.
  • Jacksonian Antislavery & the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Earle, Jonathan Halperin. Jacksonian antislavery & the politics of free soil, 1824-1854.
    • Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Rothman, Joshua D.
  • Divided Mastery: Slave Hiring in the American South (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Martin, Jonathan D. Divided mastery: slave hiring in the American South.
    • Slavery -- Southern States -- History.
    Isenberg, Nancy.
  • Jane Grey Swisshelm: An Unconventional Life, 1815-1884 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hoffert, Sylvia D. Jane Grey Swisshelm: an unconventional life, 1815-1884.
    • Swisshelm, Jane Grey Cannon, 1815-1884.
    Mulford, Carla, 1955-
  • U.S. Women Writers and the Discourses of Colonialism, 1825-1861 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Taketani, Etsuko, 1960- U.S. women writers and the discourses of colonialism, 1825-1861.
    • American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
    Konkle, Maureen.
  • History's Shadow: Native Americans and Historical Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Conn, Steven. History's shadow: Native Americans and historical consciousness in the nineteenth century.
    • Indians of North America -- History -- 19th century.



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