In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

136 Canadian Review of American Studies Revue canadienne d etudes americames mansion in 1822 (speaking out in favour of education, Calvinism, Masonry, medicine, science) represented a broad, deliberate strategy to refash10n classical republicanism to fit with the market culture of the 1820s. But their evidence is ambiguous. They do not effectively link his public speaking on the issues of the day (not unusual for an elder Jeffersonian statesman) to his political designs. Only after the Bucktails passed an unpopular personalty tax in 1823, which equalized taxation between financial and landed wealth, did Clinton find a cause sufficient to resurrect his moribund career. One could reason-without stronger data to the contrary-that Clinton's subsequent marriage to merchants and professionals was of convenience, the old political warrior acting as the figurehead of a new movement that he only partly understood or embraced. His disposal of his New York City allies after the tax issue no longer proved useful in state politics supports the conclusion that Clinton the crafty, cynical politician, not an enlightened liberal statesman, had returned to power-a charge levelled by many of his contemporary critics and subsequent scholars. In spite of their inability to prove that Clinton made a decisive shift in his political ideology, the Banyans nonetheless achieve their primary goal-to reconstruct the vital role elites played in fashioning political culture in the age of the common man. Their findings underscore the intensity of the debate over the meaning of democracy in Jacksonian America and help clarify the origins of middle-class political reform movements of the era. Thomas Summerhill Michigan State University W. Fitzhugh Brundage. A Socialist Utopia in the New South: The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia 1594-1901. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996. Pp. xi + 263, bibliographic essay and illustrations. The centennial anniversary of the founding of the Ruskin Colony in 1594 some fifty miles west of Nashville, Tennessee, produced no civic celebrations or historical conferences. No national monuments commemorate the communitarian experiment that for the short span of seven years drew a few hundred true believers in the principle of "cooperation" first to the hills of Book Reviews 137 central Tennessee and subsequently to land near the Okeefenokee swamp in south Georgia. Standard historical accounts of communal and utopian societies during the period move quickly through the story of this unsuccessful socialist colony named after John Ruskin, the British critic and reformer, in part, because few firsthand records remain from this short-lived movement. Therefore it seems an unlikely subject for a monograph. But none of these limitations dissuaded W. Fitzhugh Brundage, a professor at Queen's University, from exercising his skills as a historian in writing the first major study of this community. The result is a very readable and highly instructive account that situates the Ruskin colony in its times and shows the manifold ways it reflects fundamental tensions in that turn-of-the-century period. The founder of the Ruskin experiment was Julius Wayland (1854-1912), a much-travelled native of Indiana who became the editor and publisher of the extremely successful publication, The Coming Nation, a national voice for the cooperative movement. He used the pages of that publication with its wide circulation to promote that cause and the establishment of the community of Ruskin. A veritable stew of social, economic, and political sources influenced Wayland, including Edward Bellamy, the Populist Party, and European socialism. He hoped the colony would provide an alternative to the system of "wage slavery" that dominated the life of American workers. Ironically, within little more than a year the founder and inspiration for the community had a falling out over his demands for special power and privilege with the result that he left the colony and gave up the editorship of its publication. Wayland's departure proved a bad omen for the future of Ruskin. Brundage traces the story of the Ruskin colonies from Wayland's earliest plans through initial establishment in Tennessee, subsequent failure and sale, reestablishment of a smaller colony by a remnant near Waycross, Georgia, and final breakup and sale. All of this took place in less than a decade, a decade that included perhaps...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 136-138
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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.