The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press)

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9781469626635: The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press)
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When the Revolutionary War began, the odds of a united, continental effort to resist the British seemed nearly impossible. Few on either side of the Atlantic expected thirteen colonies to stick together in a war against their cultural cousins. In this pathbreaking book, Robert Parkinson argues that to unify the patriot side, political and communications leaders linked British tyranny to colonial prejudices, stereotypes, and fears about insurrectionary slaves and violent Indians. Manipulating newspaper networks, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and their fellow agitators broadcast stories of British agents inciting African Americans and Indians to take up arms against the American rebellion. Using rhetoric like "domestic insurrectionists" and "merciless savages," the founding fathers rallied the people around a common enemy and made racial prejudice a cornerstone of the new Republic.

In a fresh reading of the founding moment, Parkinson demonstrates the dual projection of the "common cause." Patriots through both an ideological appeal to popular rights and a wartime movement against a host of British-recruited slaves and Indians forged a racialized, exclusionary model of American citizenship.

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About the Author:

Robert G. Parkinson is assistant professor of history at Binghamton University.

Review:

What did it mean to belong to the American People in the Revolutionary era? Robert Parkinson presents a new origin story based on the centrality of matters of exclusion, especially race, to the Revolution. Bringing colonists into 'the common cause' meant excluding native and black people, whether they supported it or not. They would have no place among 'the People of the United States' as that People gave itself identity and form.--Edward Countryman, Southern Methodist University
Robert Parkinson's extraordinary book persuasively makes the case that 'propagation,' not 'propaganda,' created unity in America during the Revolutionary War. Newspapers throughout the continent propagated 'war stories' that stressed the threat from internal enemies. Parkinson offers an innovative interpretation of the Revolution and its aftermath that not only explains much about the disconnect between the revolutionaries' rhetoric and their attitudes toward non-Anglo peoples, but that also reveals the origins of a bifurcation evident in historical scholarship to this day.--Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University
The field of the American Revolution has not seen many game-changing books in the twenty-first century, but this is one. Political history meets military history meets cultural history here in an argument about both the nature of the Revolutionary War and the emerging U.S. political culture. The narrative integrates white fears of native Americans and African Americans into the story, explaining what happened between 1775 and 1783 with tremendous implications for the future of the nation.--David Waldstreicher, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
In a brilliant reexamination of the American Revolution, Robert Parkinson shows how American patriots deployed newspapers to unite the colonies in common cause against the British. Through these 'founding stories,' white Americans marginalized, demonized, and excluded enslaved people and native Americans, shaping the Revolutionary narrative down to the present day.--Rosemarie Zagarri, George Mason University

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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 640 pages. When the Revolutionary War began, the odds of a united, continental effort to resist the British seemed nearly impossible. Few on either side of the Atlantic expected thirteen colonies to stick together in a war against their cultural cousins. In this pathbreaking book, Robert Parkinson argues that to unify the patriot side, political and communications leaders linked British tyranny to colonial prejudices, stereotypes, and fears about insurrectionary slaves and violent Indians. Manipulating newspaper networks, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and their fellow agitators broadcast stories of British agents inciting African Americans and Indians to take up arms against the American rebellion. Using rhetoric like domestic insurrectionists and merciless savages, the founding fathers rallied the people around a common enemy and made racial prejudice a cornerstone of the new Republic. In a fresh reading of the founding moment, Parkinson demonstrates the dual projection of the common cause. Patriots through both an ideological appeal to popular rights and a wartime movement against a host of British-recruited slaves and Indians forged a racialized, exclusionary model of American citizenship. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9781469626635

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