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Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Synopsis:
Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that Americans were and#147;forever forming associationsand#8221; and saw in this evidence of a new democratic sociabilityand#151;though that seemed to be at odds with the distinctively American drive for individuality. Yet Kevin Butterfield sees these phenomena as tightly related: in joining groups, early Americans recognized not only the rights and responsibilities of citizenship but the efficacy of the law. A group, Butterfield says, isnand#8217;t merely the people who join it; itand#8217;s the mechanisms and conventions that allow it to function and, where necessary, to regulate itself and its members. Tocqueville, then, was wrong to see associations as the training grounds of democracy, where people learned to honor one anotherand#8217;s voices and perspectivesand#151;rather, they were the training grounds for increasingly formal and legalistic relations among people. They were where Americans learned to treat one another impersonally.

Synopsis:

Alexis de Tocqueville was among the first to draw attention to Americansandrsquo; propensity to form voluntary associationsandmdash;and to join them with a fervor and frequency unmatched anywhere in the world. For nearly two centuries, we have sought to understand how and why early nineteenth-century Americans were, in Tocquevilleandrsquo;s words, andldquo;forever forming associations.andrdquo; In The Making of Tocquevilleandrsquo;s America, Kevin Butterfield argues that to understand this, we need to first ask: what did membership really mean to the growing number of affiliated Americans?

Butterfield explains that the first generations of American citizens found in the concept of membershipandmdash;in churches, fraternities, reform societies, labor unions, and private business corporationsandmdash;a mechanism to balance the tension between collective action and personal autonomy, something they accomplished by emphasizing law and procedural fairness. As this post-Revolutionary procedural culture developed, so too did the legal substructure of American civil society. Tocqueville, then, was wrong to see associations as the training ground for democracy, where people learned to honor one anotherandrsquo;s voices and perspectives. Rather, they were the training ground for something no less valuable to the success of the American democratic experiment: increasingly formal and legalistic relations among people.

Synopsis:

In 1869 six London families arrived in Nemaha County, Kansas, as the first colonists of the Workingmenand#8217;s Cooperative Colony, later fancifully renamed Llewellyn Castle by a local writer. These early colonists were all members of Britainand#8217;s National Reform League, founded by noted Chartist leader James Bronterre Oand#8217;Brien. As working-class radicals they were determined to find an alternative to the grinding poverty that exploitative liberal capitalism had inflicted on Englandand#8217;s laboring poor. Located on 680 acres in northeastern Kansas, this collectivist colony jointly owned all the land and itsand#160;natural resources, with individuals leasing small sections to work. The money from these leases was intended for public works and the healthcare and education of colony members.

The colony floundered after just a few years and collapsed in 1874, but its mission and founding ideas lived on in Kansas. Many former colonists became prominent political activists in the 1890s, and the colonyand#8217;s ideals of national fiscal policy reform and state ownership of land were carried over into the Kansas Populist movement.

Based on archival research throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, this history of an English collectivist colony in Americaand#8217;s Great Plains highlights the connections between British and American reform movements and their contexts.

About the Author

John L. Brooke is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University. He has won the Bancroft Prize for The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807833230
Subtitle:
Law and Association in the Early United States
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Author:
Butterfield, Kevin
Author:
Brooke, John L.
Author:
Newman, Andrew
Author:
Entz, Gary R.
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Eighteeth century; national revolution; Martin Van Buren; Jacksonian Era; American History; political history; Alexis de Tocqueville s civil society; American public life; Enlightenment; new republic; Age of Jackson; New World Republic;
Subject:
Regency
Subject:
; American Revolutionary settlement; legitimacy; consent; Hudson Valley; slavery; race; antirent; insurrection; microhistory; United States; print culture; political party; Martin Van Buren; gender; Shakers; New York; Columbia Country;
Subject:
Eighteeth century
Subject:
national revolution
Subject:
Martin Van Buren
Subject:
Jacksonian Era
Subject:
American history
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Alexis de Tocqueville s civil society
Subject:
American public life
Subject:
Enlightenment
Subject:
New Republic
Subject:
Age of Jackson
Subject:
New World Republic
Subject:
American Revolutionary settlement
Subject:
Legitimacy
Subject:
Consent
Subject:
Hudson Valley
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Race
Subject:
antirent
Subject:
insurrection
Subject:
microhistory
Subject:
United states
Subject:
print culture
Subject:
political party
Subject:
Gender.
Subject:
Shakers
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Columbia Country
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
New Yor
Subject:
K
Subject:
Native American Studies
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
American Beginnings, 1500-1900
Series Volume:
Civil Life on the Up
Publication Date:
20151123
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 maps
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
Age of Jackson

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
History and Social Science » World History » General

Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807833230 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that Americans were and#147;forever forming associationsand#8221; and saw in this evidence of a new democratic sociabilityand#151;though that seemed to be at odds with the distinctively American drive for individuality. Yet Kevin Butterfield sees these phenomena as tightly related: in joining groups, early Americans recognized not only the rights and responsibilities of citizenship but the efficacy of the law. A group, Butterfield says, isnand#8217;t merely the people who join it; itand#8217;s the mechanisms and conventions that allow it to function and, where necessary, to regulate itself and its members. Tocqueville, then, was wrong to see associations as the training grounds of democracy, where people learned to honor one anotherand#8217;s voices and perspectivesand#151;rather, they were the training grounds for increasingly formal and legalistic relations among people. They were where Americans learned to treat one another impersonally.
"Synopsis" by ,
Alexis de Tocqueville was among the first to draw attention to Americansandrsquo; propensity to form voluntary associationsandmdash;and to join them with a fervor and frequency unmatched anywhere in the world. For nearly two centuries, we have sought to understand how and why early nineteenth-century Americans were, in Tocquevilleandrsquo;s words, andldquo;forever forming associations.andrdquo; In The Making of Tocquevilleandrsquo;s America, Kevin Butterfield argues that to understand this, we need to first ask: what did membership really mean to the growing number of affiliated Americans?

Butterfield explains that the first generations of American citizens found in the concept of membershipandmdash;in churches, fraternities, reform societies, labor unions, and private business corporationsandmdash;a mechanism to balance the tension between collective action and personal autonomy, something they accomplished by emphasizing law and procedural fairness. As this post-Revolutionary procedural culture developed, so too did the legal substructure of American civil society. Tocqueville, then, was wrong to see associations as the training ground for democracy, where people learned to honor one anotherandrsquo;s voices and perspectives. Rather, they were the training ground for something no less valuable to the success of the American democratic experiment: increasingly formal and legalistic relations among people.

"Synopsis" by , In 1869 six London families arrived in Nemaha County, Kansas, as the first colonists of the Workingmenand#8217;s Cooperative Colony, later fancifully renamed Llewellyn Castle by a local writer. These early colonists were all members of Britainand#8217;s National Reform League, founded by noted Chartist leader James Bronterre Oand#8217;Brien. As working-class radicals they were determined to find an alternative to the grinding poverty that exploitative liberal capitalism had inflicted on Englandand#8217;s laboring poor. Located on 680 acres in northeastern Kansas, this collectivist colony jointly owned all the land and itsand#160;natural resources, with individuals leasing small sections to work. The money from these leases was intended for public works and the healthcare and education of colony members.

The colony floundered after just a few years and collapsed in 1874, but its mission and founding ideas lived on in Kansas. Many former colonists became prominent political activists in the 1890s, and the colonyand#8217;s ideals of national fiscal policy reform and state ownership of land were carried over into the Kansas Populist movement.

Based on archival research throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, this history of an English collectivist colony in Americaand#8217;s Great Plains highlights the connections between British and American reform movements and their contexts.

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