This work brings together 16 essays in cultural history. Taken together, the essays aim to provide a reassessment of the complex process of cultural adjustment among the settler societies of colonial British and revolutionary America. ""Imperatives, Behaviors, and Identities"" looks at aspects of the formation and development of English, or, after 1707, British-American cultural spaces during the colonial and revolutionary eras. It focuses on the special character of those new and rapidly changing spaces as dependent and derivative entities on the far periphery of the established core culture in England. Stressing the extent to which each of them was the product of a distinctive physical space and set of socio-economic and political circumstances, the work examines some of the ways in which those circumstances affected emerging social priorities and operated to produce cultures that both diverged sharply from that of Britain and which need to be understood and analysed in their own terms. The volume addresses many important themes in American cultural history. These include the ways in which immigrant expectations shaped behaviour and social objectives and provided standards for social evaluation; the role of considerations of place, time and social organisation in the formation and changing character of collective identities; the bearing of inherited social and behavioural standards on the evaluation of self and society; the interaction between social experience and inherited terms of political analysis; the effects of the broad scope of the private sphere upon activities and attitudes towards the public sphere; the relationship between local loyalties and the formation of larger regional and national consciousness during the revolutionary era; and the changing meaning of America for Europe.
Jack P. Greene is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University. He has published extensively, and his books include Peripheries and Center: Constitutional Development in the Extended Polities of the British Empire and the United States, 1607-1783; Landon Carter: An Inquiry into the Personal Values and Social Imperatives of the Eighteenth-Century Virginia Gentry and Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of the Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture.