Comments on: Nationalism FAIL: suck it, Revolution. http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:58:43 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Publick Occurrences 2.0 » Baby steps back to blogging http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-906959 Fri, 18 Nov 2011 03:23:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-906959 [...] Historians of colonial America really seem to have issues with the nation-state, as a phenomenon of historical importance that one might deal with when writing or teaching. But, honestly, without the United States, would there even be people employed as historians of colonial America? I thought not. [...]

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By: Publick Occurrences 2.0 » Baby steps back to blogging http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-906960 Fri, 18 Nov 2011 03:23:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-906960 [...] Historians of colonial America really seem to have issues with the nation-state, as a phenomenon of historical importance that one might deal with when writing or teaching. But, honestly, without the United States, would there even be people employed as historians of colonial America? I thought not. [...]

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By: mec http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-902116 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:10:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-902116 The work of J.C.D. Clark could do some good here, especially his essay on the inevitability of the American Revolution (or lack thereof) in his volume of essays, Shadow of History. Old school imperial stuff, and broadly conservative, but no time for American self-congratulation.

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By: bcsmith http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-902039 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 15:01:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-902039 Another angle of vision on the Am Rev: You might use it as an opportunity to teach about political (and social and cultural) change by showing that, despite all the historiography that focuses on elite leadership, revolution happened only when vast numbers of ordinary, free people mobilized and pressed the elite toward a more participatory and radical position. Who led whom, and who joined whom? Those matters were ambiguous at best, as you can see in the revolutionary committees and crowds that swept the colonies and organized on the common ground of North American societies. (And why have historians through the years missed or misrepresented that mobilization?) Likewise, even if elites managed to contain the most fundamental calls for change, the Revolution did unleash popular thinking. No matter what Jefferson and other Congressmen thought they were saying by linking “all men” and “created equal,” other Americans who were distinctly their social inferiors immediately took possession of the phrase. You can trace a lot of themes from that revolutionary moment, on into the 19th century and beyond, as people built democracy (such as it is and has been) from the bottom up.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-898573 Thu, 03 Nov 2011 18:33:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-898573 @Matt_L: You forgot Canada.

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By: Ken http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-898116 Wed, 02 Nov 2011 23:14:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-898116 @Brian Ulrich – not sure that would have solved much. The colonies were fairly adamant they could never have been adequately represented in Parliament owing to the distance involved. And, after all, it was the advice of colonial agents like Franklin which helped start the Stamp Tax anyway.

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By: henry http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-897865 Wed, 02 Nov 2011 14:45:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-897865 Edmund Burke, “Speech to Parliament” March 22, 1775. From SELECT WORKS OF EDMUND BURKE eds Payne and Canavan (Indianapolis 1999). I also found a speech “To the Inhabitants of the Province of Mass Bay 1774-75″ by Daniel Leonard, which argued for loyalty to the British. These are both in READING THE AMERICNAN PAST volume 1, 4th edition by Johnson (Bedford St Martins).

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By: henry http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-897844 Wed, 02 Nov 2011 14:06:00 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-897844 Edmund Burke wrote a pro-British essay on why the colonists should stay loyal. I make my students read it and it’s an interesting contrarian view.

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By: Chip http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-897816 Wed, 02 Nov 2011 13:01:40 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-897816 I want to agree with Canuck Down South’s comments above. I’m American but have been exposed to a lot of the Canadian perspective on US revolution, war of 1812, etc, and it really does show you a very different side.

Not only the loyalists who moved north and became the core of the anglophone population of what became Canada, but other things, for example the fact that a significant number of people in the colonies (1/3 is the figure I remember) opposed the revolution, while another significant chunk were neutral on the issue; the fact that there were actually 15 British colonies, two of which refused to go along with the rebellious 13 (Florida and Nova Scotia, which was populated by people who’d migrated up the coast from New England; and yes both were sparsely populated which is part of the story…); the fact that the revolutionaries targeted as enemies pacifists such as Quakers for refusing to support armed rebellion, which resulted in them being accosted, robbed and therefore many of them (including some of my wife’s ancestors) fleeing along with Loyalists in 1783 to Nova Scotia.

Not being a historian I haven’t followed this literature indepth, but since I am very familiar with other revolutions, esp. the Russian one(s), I think it’s important to note that the US “revolution” wasn’t really a revolution at all…

Finally, I wonder if the nationalism/resistance of students to other versions varies by region? I’m in the northeast and teach about US foreign policy, including perspectives that are very much against the US nationalist, exceptionalist perspective, and I find that when I introduce them in the right way, students tend to understand those perspectives.

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By: Notorious Ph.D. http://www.historiann.com/2011/11/01/nationalism-fail-suck-it-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-897672 Wed, 02 Nov 2011 06:15:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=17034#comment-897672 My favorite revolution-related quote from my best friend in grad school, who was teaching an early US survey: “Saying ‘The colonies won independence with help from France and Spain’ is like saying ‘Me and daddy killed the bear!’ ”

(I have no idea how accurate that is; I just liked it a great deal.)

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