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summary
Professor Callcott's analysis of the rise of historical consciousness in the United States from 1800 to 1860 offers a new dimension to American historiography. Other books have provided insight into the works of Bancroft, Parkman, and others, but Callcott goes beyond to explain the meaning of the past itself rather than the contributions of particular historians. As the anatomy of an idea, this is an important contribution to American intellectual history; and as a study of humans' need for the past and their use of it, it is an important contribution to American social history. The author begins by analyzing the European and Romantic background for American historical thought. He then explores the rise of historical themes in literature, education, the arts, and scholarship. By describing the type of historical subject matter, the methods of writing history, the interpretive themes historians used, and the standards by which critics judged history, Callcott offers a new understanding of the social and personal meaning that history had for Americans at the time. The American people were especially convinced of the utility of history—its social use in supporting accepted values, its personal utility in extending human experience, and its philosophical value in pointing people toward ultimate reality. The idea of history possessed a remarkable coherence that reflected the preoccupations and aspirations of the young nation. Callcott also demonstrates, however, that when basic historical assumptions were challenged by controversy, the entire edifice collapsed.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
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  1. Copyright Page
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  1. Halftitle
  2. p. i
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Halftitle 1
  2. p. ix
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  1. I. The Intellectual Origins of Romantic History
  2. pp. 1-23
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  1. II. The People Discover the Past
  2. pp. 25-53
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  1. III. History Enters the Schools
  2. pp. 55-66
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  1. IV. The Writers of History
  2. pp. 67-82
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  1. V. The Subject Matter of History
  2. pp. 83-107
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  1. VI. Antiquarianism in the Age of Literary History
  2. pp. 109-119
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  1. VII. Methods of Historical Writing
  2. pp. 121-150
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  1. VIII. Interpreting the Past
  2. pp. 151-173
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  1. IX. The Social Uses of History
  2. pp. 175-191
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  1. X. The Personal Uses of History
  2. pp. 193-203
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  1. XI. History as Ultimate Reality
  2. pp. 205-214
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  1. XII. The Decline of Romantic History
  2. pp. 215-225
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  1. Biographical Note
  2. pp. 227-231
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 233-239
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421430638
Related ISBN
9781421431048
MARC Record
OCLC
1117489789
Launched on MUSE
2019-09-12
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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