By Colin Woodard
The writer of American Nations examines the heritage of and options to the most important American query: how top to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a loose society
The fight among person rights and the great of the neighborhood as an entire has been the foundation of approximately each significant war of words in our historical past, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil conflict to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the recent purchasers, the civil rights circulation, and the Tea celebration. In American Character, Colin Woodard lines those key strands in American politics throughout the 4 centuries of the nation’s life, from the 1st colonies in the course of the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how diversified areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The autonomous streak chanced on its such a lot pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet used to be balanced within the Gilded Age by means of communitarian reform efforts; the hot Deal used to be an instance of a profitable coalition among communitarian-minded japanese elites and Southerners.
Woodard argues that preserving a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among maintaining individual liberty and nurturing a unfastened society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes ends up in tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate neighborhood cultures that experience regularly strongly disagreed on those matters? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally trained and pragmatic feedback on how one can accomplish that stability and holiday the nation’s political impasse may be of curiosity to someone who cares concerning the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.
Read or Download American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good PDF
Best american history books
To coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the liberty summer time murders, this may be the 1st booklet for teenagers to discover the harrowing actual tale of 3 civil rights staff slain via the KKK.
In June of 1964, 3 idealistic younger males (one black and white) have been lynched through the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They have been attempting to check in African americans to vote as a part of the liberty summer time attempt to deliver democracy to the South. Their disappearance and homicide prompted a countrywide uproar and used to be the most major incidents of the Civil Rights circulate, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
THE FREEDOM summer season MURDERS stands out as the first publication for teens to take a complete examine the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, via to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen.
One of many nation's quickest becoming towns and a middle for the aerospace and security industries, Palmdale all started in 1886 with the doomed colony of Palmenthal in a land considerable with Joshua bushes and jackrabbits yet little or no water. The gateway to the southern Antelope Valley, Palmdale has loved a wealthy, various, and eventful historical past whereas innovative pioneers created neighboring groups of designated personality.
<i>This Delta, This Land</i> is a accomplished environmental heritage of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta--the first one to put the Delta's monetary and cultural heritage in an environmental context. The Delta, the floodplain among nice rivers within the northwestern nook of Mississippi, has replaced vastly because the Civil conflict.
The pink Lake state has a special and deeply very important heritage. not like another reservation in Minnesota, crimson Lake holds its land in common--and, accordingly, the tribe keeps its whole reservation land base. the folk of purple Lake built the 1st glossy indigenous democratic governance procedure within the usa, many years ahead of the other tribe, yet in addition they maintained their process of hereditary chiefs.
- Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (Dear America Series)
- Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
- The Bourgeois Frontier: French Towns, French Traders, and American Expansion (The Lamar Series in Western History)
- Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
- Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766
Extra info for American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good
If this sounds tautological, that’s because it is. America is built on a tautology: Indians must have disappeared because we’re here now; we’re here now because Indians must have disappeared. The cyclic reasoning of this racist formulation overlooks the facts of Indian presence and American pluralism— because of a contradiction prior to the tautology: American history is unique among modern nations, following on the Iroquois model, in the Constitution’s originary claim, if not its achievement, of uniting diverse states and, by extension—by incremental legislation—uniting diverse immigrants, freed slaves, and original Indigenous inhabitants of this land.
10 Although it defines America’s self-concept, the frontier is more of a myth than race itself. The frontier is a fantasy built upon a fantasy. ” To borrow from Rennard Strickland, an Osage/Cherokee scholar, professor, and former dean at the University of Oregon School of Law, this is a historiography of justification (“The Eagle’s Empire” 261). Other historians have summarized Turner’s thesis as they critiqued it: “Euro-America’s frontier expansion into ‘free land’ explained the development of American democracy” (Klein, Frontiers of Historical Imagination 13), and “the frontier experience had a lasting if not permanent impact on the American character and society” (Ridge, “Turner” 1090).
My rationale for choosing these five writers is both historical and thematic, both diachronic and synchronic. Each writer speaks to and from his or her time to ours and to each other. Each is both representative and unique. Apess and Winnemucca bracket the nineteenth century. McNickle and Silko bracket the twentieth, though the lines begin to blur as McNickle also moves chronologically into the later twentieth and Silko crosses into the twentyfirst century, and both write of earlier periods as well.
American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good by Colin Woodard