The last half of the eighteenth century was a period of enormous cultural and intellectual ferment in America-an era of fundamental transformation in law, politics, and religion, as well as deep changes in the American social order. At the center of the turmoil was the American Revolution, an event with roots reaching far back into the colonial period and effects extending well into the nineteenth century. In The Roots of Democracy: American Thought and Culture, 1760-1800 Robert E. Shalhope traces the dramatic shifts in attitudes and behavior from before the Revolution, through the war itself, the creation of republican governments, and the conflicts of the 1790s. This outstanding synthesis addresses a number of recurrent themes in American cultural history, including the persistence of conflict between democratic impulses and elitist tendencies-a conflict that has resurfaced in our own time. Anyone seeking to understand American political thought will find this straightforward and provocative book a useful entry into the subject and will come away with a deeper awareness of the origins and meaning of American democracy. The Roots of Democracy is an outstanding synthesis that provides provocative insights into a vital time in which the forces that formed modern American democracy took shape.
Robert E. Shalhope is George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of History at Oklahoma University.
Chapter 1 About the Author Chapter 2 Foreword Chapter 3 Preface Chapter 4 Acknowledgements Chapter 5 Chronology Chapter 6 The Old Order in America Chapter 7 Revolutionary Republicanism Chapter 8 The Arts in the New Republic Chapter 9 The Creation of Republican Governments Chapter 10 A Republican Culture Chapter 11 The Emergence of a Democratic Society Chapter 12 Epilogue Chapter 13 Notes and References Chapter 14 Bibliographic Essay Chapter 15 Index