The Reinterpretation of American History and Culture.


SO 006 696

ED 0e7 648 AUTHOR

Cartwright, William H., Ed.; Watson, Richard L., Jr.,


The Reinterpretation of American History and


Culture. National Council for the Social Studies, Washington,



D.C. 73 570p.


National Council for the Social Studies, 1201 16th Street, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20036 ($8.50)


MF-$0.65 HC Not Available from EDRS. *American Culture; Bibliographies; Civil War (United States); Colonial History (United States); *Historical Criticism; *Historiography; Minority Groups; Reconstruction Era; Resource Materials; Revolutionary War (United States); *Social Studies; Teaching Guides; Theories; *United States History; Urban Culture; Womens Studies


The materials gathered in this volume are part of a continuing 30 year effort to help the social studies teacher develop understandings in United States history related to contemporary social issues, to stimulate student and teacher thinking, and to relate recent historical scholarship to the classroom. This book contains 25 studies by distinguished historians which reinterpret various periods of United States history and related topics. The first section, along with an introduction, describes the state of American history. Part two, presenting five chapters on the topic of race and nationality in American history, covers native, Afro, European, Mexican, and Asian Americans. The third section, on perspectives in the study of American history, includes the topics of women, the American city, war, and intellectual history. In the last section, a substantial part of the book concerned with the reappraisal of the American past, fifteen chapters reinterpret United States history chronologically from the colonial period to 1970. Each author has included extensive references or bibliography. (KSM)



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Reinterpretation of American Hitory and Culture


William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Wat.z,D, J



The Reinterpretation of

American History and Culture

William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr. Editors


NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES A National Affiliate of the National Education Association 1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W.

Washington, D. C. 20036 Price $8.50


Harris L. Dante Kent State University Kent, Ohio President-Elect

Stanley P. Wronski Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Vice-President

Jean Tilford Cincinnati (Ohio) Public Schools Executive Secretary

Merrill F. Hartshorn Washington, D.C. Associate Secretary

T. Marcus Gillespie Washington, D.C. Editor Daniel Roselle Washington, D.C.


Joan Alcorn James A. Banks Charles E. Billings H. Thomas Collins Dorothy L. Dunn Shirley H. Engle Jean Fair John Jarolimek Dana G. Kurfman John McAulay Lee H. Smith Ida Fabian Spirawk Bob L. Taylor George G. Watson, Jr. Publications Board ROBERT BEERY, Chairman ROBERT BARR CHARLES BILLINGS MARK KRUG ANNA S. OCHOA NANCY SPRAGUE

The National Council for the Social Studies is a National Affiliate of the National Education Association of the United States. It is the professional organization of educators at all levelselementary, secondary, college, and universitywho are interested in the teaching of social studies. Membership in

the National Council for the Social Studies includes a subscription to the Council's official journal, Social Education, and a copy of the Yearbook. In addition, the Council publishes bulletins, curriculum studies, pan-?hlets, and other materials of practical use for teachers of the social studies. Membership dues arc $15.00 a year. Applications for membership and orders for the purchase of publications should he sent to the Executive Secretary, 1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W. , Washington, D.C. 20036.

Copyright © 1973 by the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-84548

Acknowledgments The editors are indebted to many people who have cooperated in the

production of this book. We are particularly grateful to the authors, all with many other commitments, who have, without remuneration. contributed the chapters. It is remarkable that twenty-five authors, representing eighteen institutions, completed difficult assignments involv-

ing bibliography and interpretation within less than two years after accepting the invitation to participate in the project. The biographical section gives a brief academic sketch of each author, but does not try to include the numerous fellowships and other forms of recognition which the authors have been accorde :. Eric Smith, a graduate assistant in the Department of Education, and his wife, Asta, painstakingly checked and assisted in standardizing the

hundreds of footnotes. The editorial work was carried out with the help of a grant from the Research Council of Duke University. Daniel Roselle and Willadene Price, of the editorial staff of the National Council

for the Social Studies, put the volume through the final stages before publication. We also appreciate the constructive suggestions made by the members of the Publications Board of the National Council. Although it has been a cooperative project in the fullest sense of the

term, the editors must take full responsibility for errors in editorial judgment. WILLIAM H. CARTWRIGHT AND RICHARD L. WATSON, JR., Editors

Foreword Edward H. Carr has written that history is "a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue

between the present and the past." Modern social studies educators might well contemplate and apply to the present Carr's further statement that: "I hope I am sufficiently up-to-date to recognize that anything

written in the 1890's must be nonsense. But I art: not yet advanced enough to be committed to the view that anything 'written in the 1950's necessarily makes sense." Certainly the best history is that which is interpretative, and history does not need to be mere description, narration, or exposition. In fact, historians have always recognized that their chief purpose has been to interpret the past to their own generatio. This is why each generation writes its own history anew. The past must be used to serve the present. Just as the progressive role of the Supreme Court has been to interpret the Constitution to fit the changing conditions of modern times, so can history relate the past to future hopes. This is the role that history has to play in a contemporary social issues social studies program. Every modern problem has its roots, and history provides the necessary perspective. As has often been said, it is difficult to know where we are without some understanding of how we got there and where we have been. A knowledge of history can also alert one to the logically weak and sometimes dangerous use of historical analogies. Many understandings related to contemporary society require more than quantitative analysis (although historians today are making use of empirical studies, including psychology and psychiatry), since they deal with man, his motives, his capacity to change, and even the part played by historical accident. The point is often missed that there are various levels of generalizations and that while some may be less definitive than others, they can, nevertheless, provide the student with some meaningful insights.

Alan Griffin, one of the architects of the "new" social studies, often used illustrations from history to put the student in an intellectual jam and to stimulate reflective thinking. Thus, he not only developed a very vi

useful teaching strategy, but the generalizations which finally emerged were those that had a universal application. Since historical scholarship is continually arrivitg at new conclusions and since each generation is rewriting history i*1 the light of current emphases, it is necessary to take stock periodically of areas of agreement and disagreement and to be aware of the discoveries of new historical knowledge. Thus, for example, there have been significant new changes in interpretation related to the colonial period, the American Revolution and the Constitution that are the result of meticulous scholarship. Again, the pendulum of revision has swung back and forth in several areas since the end of World War II. In the late forties and fifties the views of the neo-revisionist consensus historians were prominent. Under the impact of the great social upheavals of the sixties their conclusions are being rewritten and more history is being written from the bottom up. Thus, the influence of the Civil Rights movement has taken a more positive

view of the work of Radical Reconstruction and the leaders of this period are given credit for the Fourteenth Amendment, which stands as the basis for much of our current struggle for equality.

It might seem that to present to students changing historical interpretations might only confuse them and cause them to lose faith. On the contrary, such teaching of history would probably be the most effective way to learn. By studying various sources and divergent conclusions the student can come to understand that most great issues are complex and that there are no simple causes or solutions. Furthermore, in many classes the old legends persist. There is often a

considerable gap between the most recent historical scholarship and what is found in textbooks and in the classroom. The classical example of a piece of historical research which took years to change the textbooks was that published by A. H. Lybyer in 1914 entitled "The Influence of the Rise of the Ottoman Turks upon the Roots of Oriental Trade." He showed that Italian trade with the Orient did not decrease following the fall of Constantinople in 1453 but only after 1500 when the Portuguese had established an all-water route to the East. Despite Lybyer's conclusion, the old storythat Columbus had sailed west because the Turks had captured Constantinople and had cut off the trade routeswas still to be

found in some textbooks and in the thinking of many teachers and students fifty years later. Many more significant illustrations could be given of the need for historical accuracy and the importance for teachers to keep abreast of historical scholarship.

It is for the reasons noted above that the National Council for the Social Studies has periodically issued significant volumes designed primarily to reinterpret United States history. The 17th Yearbook, pubvii

lished in 1946 and edited by Richard E. Thursfield, was entitled The Study and Teaching of American History. This was followed by the 31st

Yearbook in 1961, Interpreting and Teaching American History, coedited by William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr. The same editors have cooperated again in making this current volume possible. In both the 1961 and the 1973 books the editors have been successful in bringing together a group of distinguished historians to write the various chapters. This latest study not only has chapters dealing with the various periods of American history, but it has added chapters on ethnic and minority groups and on such topics as urban history, war, and intellectual history. Any teacher of the social studies should find the substantive content and the extensive bibliographies provided by the authors to be extremely useful. The National Council for the Social Studies is once again indebted to William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson,

Jr. and is grateful to the professional historians for their significant contributions. HARRIS L. DANTE, President

National Council for the Social Studies


The Authors WILLIAM W. ABBOT. A.B., University of Georgia, 1943; M.A. and Ph.D.,

Duke University, 1949 and 1953. He has taught at the College of William and Mary, Northwestern University, and Rice University. He has been on the faculty at the University of Virginia since 1966 and is presently Chairman of the Corcoran Department of History. He served as editor of the Journal of Southern History from 1961 to 1963 and of the William and Mary Quarterly from 1963 to 1966. His publications include The Royal Governors of Georgia, 1754-1777. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959. RODOLFO ACUIVA. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University

of Southern California in 1968. He began teaching in the late 1950's and has taught in junior and senior high schools, in adult education courses, as well as on the university level. Convinced of the ignorance in regard to the Mexican experience in the United States, he helped found the Chicano Studies department at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge) in 1969. Among his publications are The Story of the Mexican Americans: The Men and the Land. New York: The American Book Company, 1969; Cultures in Conflict. Anaheim, Calif.: Charter Text Books, 1970; A Mexican American Chronicle, 1971; Occupied America: The Chicano Struggle Toward Liberation. New York: Harper & Row, 1972; Sonoran Caudillo Ignacio Pesqucira. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, I573. B.A., New York State Teachers College, Albany; M.A. and Ph.D., Cornell University, 1955 and 1960. He has taught at Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and, since 1973, at the University of Michigan. He participated in the "Project Social Studies" at the University of Minnesota. His publications include Salvation and the Savage: An Analysis of Protestant Missions and American Indian Response, 1787-1862. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965; /-1 Behavioral Approach to Historical Analysis. New York: Free Press, ROBERT F. BERKHOFER, JR.


1969; and he edited The American Revolution: The Critical Issues. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1971. JOHN W. BLASSINGAME. B.A., Fort Valley (Ga.) State College, 1960;

M.A., Howard University, 1961; M.Phil., and Ph.D., Yale University, 1968 and 1971. He has taught at Howard University, and was assistant editor of the Booker T. Washington Papers and Lecturer, University of Maryland, 1968-1969. He has been on the faculty at Yale since 1970 and served as acting chairman of Afro-American Studies there in 19711972. His publications include The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972, and Black New Orleans, 1860-1880. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.

WILLIAM H. CARTWRIGHT. B.S., M.A., and Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1937, 1942, and 1950. He has taught in the public schools of Minnesota, at Boston University, and, since 1951, at Duke University

where he was chairman of the Department of Education from 1961 to 1965 and from 1967 to 1970. He served as president of the National Council for the Social Studies in 1957. His publications include (with Edgar B. Wesley) Teaching Social Studies in Elementary Schools. Boston: D. C. Heath, 3rd ed., 1968, and Interpreting and Teaching Amer-

ican History (edited with Richard L. Watson, Jr.). 31st Yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies: Washington, D.C.: NCSS, 1961. PAUL K. CONKIN. B.A., Milligan College (Tennessee), 1951; M.A.

and Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1953 and 1957. He has taught at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and the University of Maryland, and has been on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin since 1967. His publications include Tomorrow a New World: The New Deal Community Program. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1959, and Puritans and Pragmatists,. Eight Eminent American Thinkers. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1968. ROGER DANIELS. B. A., University of Houston, 1957; M.A. and Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1958 and 1961. He has taught at Wisconsin State University at Platteville, UCLA, and the University of Wyoming. He is currently chairman of the Department of History, State University of New York College at Fredonia. He is an elected member

of the Executive Board, Organization of American Historians. His

publications include The Politics of Prejudice; The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 196.' ..'^c1 Concentration Camps, USA: Japanese Americans and World War II. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

B.A. and M.A., Emory University, 1947 and 1948; M.A. and Ph.D., Princeton University, 1950 and 1952. He has taught at Duke University since 1952 and occupied the James Pinckney Harrison Chair at the College of William and Mary in 1970-71. His publications include James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850-1882. Durham: Duke University Press, 1957; The Climax of Populism: The Election of 1896. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965; and The Gray and the Black: the Confederate Debate on Emancipation. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University ROBERT F. DURDEN.

Press, 1972.

B.S. in Ed. and B.A., Bowling Green State University, 1946 and 1947; M.A. and Ph.D., Yale University, 1948 and 1951; LL.D., Bowling Green, 1971. He has taught at Michigan ROBERT H. FERRELL.

State University, at Yale University, and, since 1953, at Indiana University. His publications include Peace in Their Time: The Origins of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1952; Amer-

ican Diplomacy in the Great Depression: Hoover-Stimson Foreign Policy, 1929-1933. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957; The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy, Vol. XI, Frank B. Kellogg and Henry L. Stimson. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1963; The Teaching of American History in High Schools (with Maurice G. Baxter and John E. Wiltz). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964.

B.A., The College of the City of New York, 1956; M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard University, 1958 and 1960. He has


taught at the University of Maryland, Stanford University, several Latin American universities, and, since 1965, at the University of California,

Los Angeles. His publications include John Gorham Palfrey and the New England Conscience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963, and Democracy and Union; the United States, 1815-1877. New York:

Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972 (with Paul Goodman). He is coeditor with Allen Weinstein of American Negro Slavery: a Modern Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1973. xi

B.A., Yale University, 1957; M.A. and Ph.D., Columbia University, 1961 and 1966. He has taught at Mount Vernon College, California State College at Hayward, and, since 1966, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His publications include An Encore for Reform: The Old Progressives and the New Deal. New York: Oxford, 1967; The Great Campaigns: Reform and War in America, 1900-1928. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971; and (as editor) The New Deal; The Critical Issues. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. OTIS L. GRAHAM, JR.

B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1951; M.A., Indiana University, 1952; Fulbright Fellow, University of Bristol, 1953-54; Ph.D., Duke University, 1956. He has taught at Michigan State University, Western Reserve University, University of Michigan, and, since 1966, at The Johns Hopkins University. His publications include The Quest for Power; the Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern Royal Colonies, /689-1776. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963, and The Reappraisal of the American Revolution in Recent Historical Writing. Washington, D.C.: Service Center for Teachers of History of the American Historical Association, JACK P. GREENE.


B.A., Reed College, 1948; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Washington, 1949 and 1953. He has taugh at the University of Washington, at the University of Kansas, and, since 1959, at the ROBERT W. JOHANNSEN.

University of Illinois, where he was chairman of the Department of History from 1963 to 1967. His publications include Frontier Politics and the Sectional Conflict The Pacific Northwest on the Eve of the Civil War. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1955; The LincolnDouglas Debates of 1858 (which he edited). New York: Oxford University Press, 1965; and Stephen A. Douglas.. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. RICHARD S. KIRKENDALL.

B.A., Gonzaga University, 1950; M.S. and

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1953 and 1958. He has taught at Wesleyan University and, from 1958 to 1973, at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he served a term as chairman of the Depart-

ment of History from 1968 to 1971. He is now profes.or of history at Indiana University and executive secretary of the Organization of American Historians. His publications include Social Scientists and Farm

Politics in the Age of RoosevAt. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1966; The Truman Period as a Research Field. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1967; and The Global Power: The United States Since /941. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1973. xii

B.A., Harvard College, 1948; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1951 and 1959. He has taught at Princeton University and, since 1964, at the University of Michigan. His publications include The Twilight of Federalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962. SHAW LIVERMORE, JR.

RAYMOND A. Mom.. B.A., Hamilton College, 1961; M.A.T., Yale

University, 1962; M.A. and Ph.D., New York University, 1965 and 1967. He has taught at Valhalla High School, New York, at New York University, at Indiana University Northwest, and, since 1970, at Florida

Atlantic University. His publications include Poverty in New York, 1783-1825. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971; Urban America in Historical Perspective (co-edited with Neil Betten). Weybright and Talley, 1970; and The Urban Experience (co-authored with James F. Richardson). California: Wadsworth, 1973. J. CARROLL MOODY. B.S., University of Corpus Christi, 1956; M.S., Texas A & I University, 1960; Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1965. He has taught in the public schools of Corpus Christi in Texas, at the University of Toledo, and, since 1968, at Northern Illinois University. His publications include The Credit Union Movement: Origins and Development, 1850-1970 (with Gilbert Fite). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971.


B.A. M.A., Ph.D., Duke University, 1950, 1952, 1956.

He has taught at New Mexico State University and, since 1960, at Louisiana State University. His publications include Teapot Dome: Oil

and Politics in the 1920's. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1962, and "The Twenties: A New Historiographical Frontier." Journal of American History. LIII, Sept. 1966, No. 2. WALTER T. K. NUGENT. B.A., St. Benedict's College, 1954; M.A., Georgetown University, 1956; Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1961; D. Litt., St. Benedict's College, 1968. He has taught at Washburn University, at Kansas State University, and, since 1963, at Indiana University. His publications include The Tolerant Populists: Kansas Populism and Nativism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963; Creative History; An Introduction to Historical Study. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1967; Money and American Society 1865-1880. New Yotk: The Free Press, 1968; and Modern America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. xiii


B.A., Oberlin College, 1934; M.A. and Ph.D.,

Harvard University, 1935 and 1937. He has taught at Harvard University and. since 1938, at Duke University. He has served as the Ernest J. King professor at the Naval War College, and professor, U. S. Army Military Research Collection at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. His publications include War in the Modern World. Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, rev. ed., 1962, and "Continental Doctrines of Sea

Power," Ch. XVIII in Edward Mead Earle, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy; Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler. Princeton: Prince-

ton University Press, 1943.

B.S.S., The College of the City of New York, 1935; M.A."and Ph.D., Columbia University, 1937 and 1948. He has taught at New Mexico Highlands University, the New School for Social Research, Texas Lutheran College, Dartmouth College, Kyoto University, and, since 1968, has been Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York College at Fredonia. His publications include American Historians and European Immigrants, 1875-1925. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948; Understanding the American Past: American History and Its Interpretation (editor). Boston: Little, Brown, 1954; and American History and the Social Sciences (editor). New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1964. EDWARD N. SAVETH.

B.A., University of Georgia, 1941; M.A., Northwestern University, 1944; Ph.D., Radcliffe University, 1958. She has taught at Haverford College, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and, since 1961, at Duke University. She served as chairman of the North Carolina Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in 1964 E was a member of the President's Advisory Council on the Status of Women (appointed by President Johnson, June, 1965). Her publications include The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830-1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970; Women in American Life: Selected Readings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970; and The American Woman: Who War She? Prentice-Hall, 1970. ANNE FIROR SCOTT.

B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1949, 1950, 1954. He has taught at Stanford University and, since 1957, at the University of Colorado, wherc he has also been chairman of the department of history since 1969. His publications include Robert Lansing and American Neutrality, 1914-1917. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958; The Great Departure; The United States DANIEL M. SMITH.


and World War I, 1914-1920. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1965; and The American Diplomatic. Experience. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.

GADDIS SMITH. B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Yale University,. 1954, 1958, 1961. He has taught at Duke University and, since 1961, at Yale University. His

publications include American Diplomacy During the Second World War, 1941-1945. New York: Wiley, 1965, and Dean Acheson. New York: Cooper Square, 1972. RUDOLPH J. VECOLI. B.A., University of Connecticut, 1950; M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1951; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963. He was Foreign Affairs Officer, Department of State, 1951-1954, and has taught at Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, i:.utgers University, and the University of Illinois. He has been Professor and Director of the Center for Immigration Studies at the University of Minnesota since 1967. His publications include The People of New

Jersey. Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand, 1965, and "Ethnicity: A Neglected Dimension of American History," in Herbert J. Bass, ed. The State of American History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1970. RICHARD L. WATSON, JR. B.A., and Ph.D., Yale University, 1935 and 1939. He taught at the University of Sydney in 1971 and has been on the faculty at Duke University since 1939. His publications include Bishop Cannon's Own Story, edited with introduction. Durham: Duke Univer-

sity Press, 1955, and Interpreting and Teaching American History (edited with William H. Cartwright). 31st Yearbook, National Council for the Social Studies. Washington, D.C.: NCSS, 1961. ROBERT H. WIEBE. B.A., Carleton College, 1951; Ph.D., University

of Rochester, 1957. He has taught at Michigan State University, at Columbia University, and, since 1960, at Northwestern University. His publications include Businessmen and Reform: A Study of the Progresfilm. Movement. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962, and The Search for Order: 1877-1920. New York: Hill and Wang, 1967.


Contents FOREWORD by Harris L. Dante THE AUTHORS



PART ONE The State of American History 3 Introduction. HISTORICAL STUDY IN A CHANGING CURRICULUM William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr. 17 1. A DECADE OF AMERICAN HISTORIOGRAPHY: THE 1960's

Edward N. Saveth

PART TWO Race and Nationality in American History 37 2. NATIVE AMERICANS AND UNITED STATES HISTORY


John W. Blassingame 81 4.




Roger Daniels xvii

PART THREE New Perspectives in the Study of American History 151 7. WOMEN IN AMERICAN LIFE



Theodore Ropp 227 10. INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

Paul K. Conkin

PART FOUR The Reappraisal of the American Past

249 11. THE COLONIES TO 1763

William W. Abbot



Jack P. GTzne 297 13. THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD, 1789-1823

Shaw Livermore, Jr. 309 14. THE JACKSONIAN ERA, 1824-1848

Frank Otto Gate!!


Robert W. Ichannsen xviii


Robert F. Durden 377 17. POLITICS FROM RECONSTRUCTION 20 1900

Waiter T. K. Nugent 401 18.


J. Carroll Moody 425 19. THE PROGRESSIVE YEARS, 1900-1917

Robert H. Wiebe 443 20. RISE TO GREAT WORLD POWER, 1865-1918


Burl Nogg le 491 22. THE AGE OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, 1929-1940

Otis L. Graham, Jr. 509 23. FOREIGN POLICY,1929-1941

Robert H. Ferrell 525 24. THE DOMESTIC LIFE OF A GLOBAL POWER, 1945-1970

Richard S. Kirkendall 543 25. THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD AFFAIRS SINCE 1945

Caddis Smith



The State of American History


Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr.

ANALYSIS of representative literature treating the social studies curriculum and of speeches delivered at conferences devoted to the social studies during the 1960's indicates that the study of history was being de-emphasized. Large proportions of the books, articles, and speeches relating to social studies dealt with the contemporary social sciences, with current problems and issues, with processes of contemporary inquiry, and with current value systems. Some pointed to history

courses in the schools as an evil force that had perpetuated false and damaging mythology and prevented the learning of matters relevant to contemporary youth and society.' Such developments were not necessarily bad. The contemporary social

sciences have much to offer that is necessary to understanding our society and to developing ways of resolving its problems. Most learning will come about through inquiry; therefore the means of inquiry must be

ltnned. And it is past time that the social studies could ignore values and value systems, gloss over either past or present evil, or confuse careful scholarship with neutrality about fundamental values. Both through commission and omission, school history has perpetuated myths,

and too much of it has been irrelevant to matters of enduring value, which is a more serious charge than that it has been irrelevant to contemporary youth and society.

All these statements may be granted. And far more must be done to meet their implications for improving the social studies. But none of the criticisms justifies the removal of history from an important place in the curriculum. Too frequently critics have confused the misuse of something with the thing itself and called for the abolition of the substance as a remedy for its misuse. The error can be observed with 3



regard to a host of things, including medicines, religion, government, and formal education as a whole. Further, and incongruously, the critics even the critics of historyturn to history as their chief aid in sustaining their charges. Yet, such must be the case, for most of what we know or claim to know comes from a study of history. Before we decide to dispense with history in the curriculum, we might well give serious consideration to the values that have been claimed for

it through the generations during which it developed into what was deemed to be an essential school subject. For the most part, the historical profession did not assert itself with regard to these matters during the generation following World War II although both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians established committees to improve the teaching of history in the schools. Under the aegis of these committees, conferences of historians and schoolteachers were held in many parts of the nation and scores of pamphlets were published to provide teachers with fresh interpretations and bibliographies. Beginning in 1969, the History Education Project of the American Historical Association organized teams of historians, social studies educators, and teachers, who worked with varying effectiveness with

several school systems to develop materials and met!lods for the improvement of the teaching of history. However, unlike learned societies in the contemporary social sciences, neither of the historical societies sponsored major curriculum projects for the purpose of developing school programs in history that would have the support of the organized

profession. On the contrary, although individual historians supplied many useful essays, addressed many meetings of teachers, and served as consultants to many curriculum projects, the organized historical profession seemed to assume that the values of historical study were well known and its place in the curriculum assured. Of all scholars, historians should have known that people tend to forget that of which they are not frequently reminded. One of the most recent studies of American history in the curriculum

to be sponsored by the organized profession was made in 1944 by the Committee on American History in Schools and Colleges.2 The Committee reported the status of the subject, set forth a rationale for its study, related it to other subjects and activities both within and without the

school, and recommended content for the curriculum. Of the

purposes for studying American history, the Committee said,

Laymen and educators are generally agreed that knowledge of our own history is essential in the making of Americans. The reasons for this belief may be summed up under four main heads. History makes loyal citizels because memories of common experiences and common aspira-

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


tions are essential ingredients in patriotism. History makes intelligent voters because sound decisions about present problems must be based on knowledge of the past. History makes good neighbors because it teaches tolerance of individual differences and appreciation of varied abilities and interests. History makes stable, well-rounded individuals because it gives them a start toward understanding the pattern of society and toward enjoying the artistic and intellectual productions of the past. It gives long views a perspective, a measure of what is permanent in a nation's life. To a people it is what memory is to the individual; and memory, expressed or unconscious, guides the acts of every sentient being.3

The Committee did not rest with these assertions. It said that while history is essential to achieving these purposes, many other subjects also contribute to them. It called for a broad approach to the study of history, emphasizing that all human activities are interrelated. It recognized that the purposes of history could be abused by twisting the data and condemned chauvinism in history teaching. It placed stress on interpretation as well as fact. In the twentieth century a number of scholars have studied the history of the teaching of the social studies in the schools, and have been particularly interested in the purposes and values of history in the curriculum. Social studies entered the curriculum of American schools almost with the birth of the nation, as geography and history, with considerable attention to government. Economics, psychology, sociology,

and anthropology had not yet emerged as subjects for formal study. During most of the national period, most writing on history as a school subject was strongly in its support. Three studies, by William F. Russell,

Rolla M. Tryon, and Agnew 0. Roorbach, dealt with pre-Civil War conceptions of the purposes of history teaching. In 1914, Russell wrote, In general, history came into the curriculum for the purpose of moral training, to provide for the leisure period, to give religious training, to inspire patriotism, to obviate international prejudice, to train for citizenship, and to provide discipline for the mind.4

Twenty years later, Tryon listed the same purposes except that he omitted the obviation of international prejudice.5 Russell's sole source

for asserting that this had been an early purpose was one textboolon the history of New York. Roorbach, writing in 1936, reiterated the same six purposes and added two others, "to prepare for more extensive reading" and "to equip with practical knowledge." In 1949 and 1950, William H. Cartwright discussed twelve purposes that had been claimed for American history as a subject of instruction



in the previous two hundred years. The research was based on analyses of hundreds of textbooks and on the writings of scores of persons concerned with the teaching of history. He classified the purposes into three categories. The first category included five purposes that were set forth very early and had endured. They were to inspire patriotism, to train for citizenship, to develop moral standards, to train for the use of leisure

time, and to broaden the cultural background. Two purposes were claimed earlier, but did not endure in public education. One of these was the training of the mind, which disappeared early in the twentieth century as the theory of mental discipline fell into disrepute. The other was religious training, which has continued in sectarian schools. Four purposes were set forth later than the others. These were the achievement of international understanding, the elimination of prejudice, the

attainment of certain intellectual skills, and the understanding of society.' In 1969, Richard S. Craddock reported the views of American professional historians on the purposes and values of historical study based on a massive study of writings published since 1880. He grouped the many values which he identified into several categories which included development of citizenship and patriotism, preparation for life, development of historical method and perspective, a guide to action, and development

of better persons!' He found that the purposes and values asserted by the professional historians included all those asserted also by persons primarily concerned with the teaching of history and other social studies.

Such are the values and purposes that have been ascribed to the study of history in the United States. It may be argued against them that they are unworthy or that they may be achieved better through some means other than history. Let us look at them from these points of view.

Certainly wise use of leisure time and broadening the cultural background are worthy purposes. The study of history can contribute much toward the achievement of both, but it is no more essential for these purposes than are many other activities. One need know nothing of the history of art, music, horticulture, or sports to enjoy passive or active

participation in them. Yet the testimony of those who have some knowledge of their history is that such knowledge often brings greater appreciation. Many a boy who is thought by his teacher to be a poor

student of history prides himself on being able to identify athletic record-holders. And both history as a body of knowledge and history as method are necessary to sound interpretation of much that comes to us via the communications media and the fields of popular entertainment.

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


History can be and has been misused, both to teach moral standards and behavior for which there is only a local or provincial standard and to teach that evil people are always punished and good people always

rewarded. Careful study of history will not support either purpose. History is not the best vehicle for teaching what are commonly thought of as standards of conduct. Mythology is probably more effective. And yet history can help. In thoughtful study of history, as Henry Johnson said,

Man will be seen at the lowest and worst, as he is already seen in any serious study of history. The reaction to that, if healthy, may, as the eighteenth century so firmly believed, be intense hatred of the lowest and worst and a stimulus to conduct more becoming to the dignity of human

nature. Man will also be seen at his best and highest. There will be examples of heroism, of patience under suffering, of loving service, of eloquence moving men to better things, of passionate pursuit of the good, the beautiful and the true, moments which, if properly presented, will make children at any stage of school instruction feel that they are standing on holy ground. Experience has shown that emotional appeals of any kind, instead of being minified. are greatly enhanced by a sense of historical trueness.9

These sentiments should meet with a sympathetic reception from those designers of curriculum who emphasize consideration of values and those

who are popularizing the term "the affective domain." History has been misused to inspire a blind patriotism, even a vicious chauvinism. It has been misused to lead the adherents of national,

ethnic, racial, and religious groups to believe that they were the best, and

others the worst, of their kind. Thus history has been Americanized, Germanized, Italianized, Japanized, Chinaized, Sovietized, Celticized, Nordicized, Caucasianized, Africanized, Judaized, Christianized, Moslem-

ized, Catholicized, and Protestantized. Mere persons, not all of them good, have been made into heroes and demi-gods. But the fact that loyalty has been perverted does not justify the condemnation of loyalty itself. Nor does the fact that history has been perverted to help develop a vicious loyalty justify the condemnation of history itself. Enlightened loyalty is an honorable trait. Loyalty is necessary to the survival of any cultural institution or group, be it family, nation, religion, or the totality of humankind. And history is essential to the development

of loyalty. One cannot conceive of any organized group of people enduring long without knowledge of a common past. Such knowledge is one of the strongest bonds of social cohesion. We can recognize the essential unity of humanity, and we can strive toward a history that will contribute to general recognition of that unity.



But even if that history and that general recognition are achieved, group loyalties will continue to exist and will seem desirable. In our own country, both social studies educators and society as a whole have discarded the idea of the "melting pot" and strive to keep alive the identity and

pride of the various groups of which the country is comprised. And those groups, Irish and Italian, Afro-American and Chicano, insist that their part in history must be taught and recognized in order for that identity and that pride to exist. The kind of patriotism advocated by most twentieth-century historians and teachers was an enlightened patriotism faithful to the best traditions of a people. Indeed, international and intercultural understanding have become major purposes of history. Such understanding cannot be brought about without history. The study

of history can support both group loyalty and human unity. Some members of various groups will continue to pervert history in the interest of misguided loyalty, but we can strive toward an ideal history. And we can try to make local, state, parochial, ethnic, and national history parts of that ideal history rather than subversive of it. Citizenship is closely related to loyalty and is subject to similar perversions. It can, and sometimes has, come to mean a blind subservience to the will of the state. And, as has been demonstrated in totalitarian societies, history can be perverted to help bring about such a condition. But that kind of citizenship and that perverted history are not in the best traditions of an enlightened society. Thomas Jefferson, in explaining

the statute that he proposed in 1781 and 1782 for establishing public education in Virginia, said,

But of the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of

the actions and designs of men: it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.10

In our best tradition we want citizens to make up their on minds on issues on the basis of the best information available, to take action and join with others in action designed to bring about the best situations possible and to defend their own rights and those of others. History is not sufficient for the task of developing such citizens, but history is essential to that task. If, as is reported, a large proportion of our population would support action subversive of the Bill of Rights and oppose action supportive of it, a major reason may well be that they did not

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


learn enough history well enough to appreciate the struggles against tyranny that brought that Bill into existence, that brought about its subsequent extension, and that arc and ought to be going on for its further extension.

International and intercultural understanding have been alluded to as being among the purposes of history. History is not sufficient for achieving these purposes, but it is essential. to them. One cannot understand peoples of other nations and other cultures without some knowledge of their history. He cannot understand them well unless he knows much of their history. These statements are part of the larger generaliza-

tion that knowledge of history is necessary to an understanding of society.

No social institution, development, or event can be understood without consideration of history. The crises of the Middle East have little meaning unless long-standing associations and values of Arabs, Jews, and great powers are corn; .-....hended. The problems of minority groups are not likely to be solved without serious attention to the long history of the oppression of subject peoples by dominant ones. History offers a means of studying peoples and persons. Through it,

the student should see people at work on matters of universal and enduring importance in different times and settings. Thus, he should come to a sympathetic underst: nding of peoples different from his own

and persons different from him. And he should gain an appreciation of the essential unity of humankind. In its capacity to sift out of the mass of knowledge those elements which have enduring value, history has unique importance in the social studies. In times of troubles, the concept of stability that can come only from history is especially important. The knowledge that people in other times and places have endured similar trials should help establish a sense of stability. As the Committee on American History said, history is for a society like memory for a person, and without it stability cannot be achieved.

if a sense of stability and of continuity is necessary to an understanding of society, a sense of change and of development is also essential. And that sense cannot come except through the study of history. "Educa-

tion for a Changing World" has long been a slogan of progressive educators. Since the study of such a topic requires the historical approach, it is almost incredible that the slogan has been employed in advocacy of lessening the attention given to history as a school subject. The content of history is the story of change. The substance of history is social development. Properly taught or learned, history tries to tell how things were becoming more than how things were. This feature is



unique to history. To the extent that any other subject presents social development in an organized fashion, that subject becomes history. If the concept of social development were the only contribution that history had to offer, the study of history would be justified as being necessary for anyone seeking to understand society. There remains for consideration as a purpose of history the develop-

ment of certain intellectual skills. This purpose is shared with many other subjects, but the historical method has much to offer. It is used by scholars in other disciplines, but it was first systematized by historians. It has been employed in an unsystematic way since the beginning of time. The word "history" comes from the Greek word meaning "inquiry." Insofar as anyone makes thoughtful decisions about social issues, it is the historical method he uses, whether or not he is conscious of it. But, unless it is employed consciously, the resultant decisions are not likely to be as sound as would otherwise be the case. The historical method requires that the available evidence be gathered.

It requires a determination as to whether the evidence is what it is claimed to be. If evidence is spurious, it must be rejected. If it is authentic, many tests must be applied to it. If it is an original source, what meaning may be derived from it? How does that meaning hold up

when compared with that derived from other original sources? If it consists of firsthand observation, was the observer in a position to know

what he observed? Was he in a position to understand and interpret what he observed? How do his observations hold up when compared with those of others and with available original evidence? If the evidence

consists of opinions and interpretations of those removed from the scene, what is the degree of their expertness? What purpose did they have in making their study and interpretations? What were their biases and fundamental assumptions? To what extent were they influenced by the biases and fundamental assumptions of the time and place in which they did their study? What generalizations and inferences can be arrived at from these kinds of considerations of the evidence? What meaning can be derived for the time and place from which the evidence comes, for us here and now, for the future? It is a joy to watch classes in which students are engaged in these kinds of activities. (These classes may well show that one of the purposes of studying history can be pure enjoyment.) Such classes, however, are all too few. When they are found, it usually does not take much investigation to discover that the students' habits of demanding and r-iticizing evidence, of making and challenging interpretations, of derivtrig, agreeing, and disagreeing on meaning with regard to assertions of their peers, their teacher, and the media, are traceable to the purposeful

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


and skillful instruction of a teacher, or of teachers, who brought them to realize the importance of these activities. That too few teachers of history exploit the subject as method does not justify abolishing the subject any more than does the fact that too few teachers teach the substance of history as continuity and change. These conditions only require continued and intense efforts to improve the teaching of history. Perhaps the newly intensified emphasis placed on method by many of the current leaders and projects in the social studies will have the desired effects.

A cry of the critics of school history today is for relevance. And they seem to mean relevance to the present. A study of history would show that this cry is not new. Only the name changes. Henry Johnson, who devoted much study to the history of history teaching, said of the idea a generation ago, It was certainly an old idea in the fifth century B.C. when the Father of History discovered it, and he simply took it for granted. It was still old

when Jacob Wimpheling wrote the first known textbook in history for schools, and he simply took it for granted. In this book, published in 1505, every page is plainly inspired by the present in which Wimpheling . . . The idea began to be new when Christ'n..i Weise discovered it in 1676, became generally new in the eighteenth century, and since then has always been as new as it was to the Committee on Social Studies in 1916 and still is to its youngest discoverer. How can any idea so old be regarded as new? An explanation is not far to seek. The conditions which educational reformers strive to meet are actually new. There is always an old education to attack. There is always a new education implying a break with the past, inviting us to begin at the beginning as if nothing had ever been begun before, and leaving an impression that any principle called into play by new conditions must be as new as the conditions themselves. With here and there an unnoticeu exception, the sccond generation of history teachers, and their critics and advisers, thus forgot the first, the third generation forgot the second, and the process of forgetting continued down to the present." lived.

The present is important; we live in it. And much of a sound social studies program must be relevant to it. But whole curricula based on it have never worked and will not work. The present is fleeting, and any program based on it will also be fleeting. In fact any such program will

be out of date before it can be put into op,:ration. The "new" social studies promulgated by the critics of a decade ago are already under attack by younger critics who seek curricula relevant to a new present. At the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in 1966, one of the editors of this volume presented a paper entitled, "Can History Maintain Its Place in the Curriculum?" His answer was that it



could, but only if it was taught in such a way that it seemed significant to society and students. The New York Times reported the remarks on the obituary page.'- The speaker did not mean to be announcing the death of history. A social studies program, to endure, must be relevant to enduring values. In such a program there will be an important place for history.

There are movements to de-emphasize history in the curriculum. They arc finding some success, and a relative de-emphasis on history is necessary in order to make room for other social studies that are needed by individuals and society. In part, however, the de-emphasis is the fault of historians who have not come to a vigorous defense of their subject, of teachers who have not developed skills in relating the present to the past and both to the future, and new "new curriculum" makers who have fallen victim to a recurrence of presentism. But the values of history will be maintained by some and will be rediscovered by others.

Enduring purposes that have been asserted for history cannot be achieved without it. Its fundamental subject matter of development is

necessary to sound social thought. Its method is necessary to sound social action.

Reasons for New Interpretations

It has been twelve years since the publication of Interpreting and Teaching American History, the Thirty-First Yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies. The fact that that volume was kept in print for more than a decade may indicate that many readers found a

volume of nterpretations of American history to be useful. But the Thirty-First Yearbook is out-of-date in several ways. It is in the nature of historical interpretations that they require frequent revision. Historical interpretations change in part because of the discovery of new evidence. They change also because social development continues, bringing new problems and shifts in the seeming relative importance of old ones. Further, interpretations change because of changes in the fundamental assumptions of historians and the society of which they are a part. Social change in the United States was dramatic in the 1960's as its society was affected by a remarkable number of developments. These included spectacular refinements in the technology of communication, a:most incredible exploration of space, the Vietnam War, struggles of minority groups against oppression and increasing recognition of them, the women's liberation movement, the population explosion, a continued shift of population to the cities with an accompanying intensification of urban problems, a startling growth of the drug problem, increasing fear

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


of pollution of the environment, a dramatic increase in enrollments at institutions of higher learning, an increase in the relative numbers of the young and the aged, the youth movement, tremendous advances in knowledge of medicine and surgery accompanied by great increases in health costs, and continuing inflation along with high rates of unemployment.

Amid the welter of successes and failures, many people saw more decline than advance of the cause of humanity. As a consequence, many assumptions that had been held almost without question were challenged.

Once nearly sacred social, political, and economic institutions were called into question.

Historians were not immune to these shifts in thought. On the con-

trary, they were often leaders in the movements. There had been revisionist historians in earlier generations, but they did not create so great a stir as those of the present generation are creating. The study and writing of history cannot remain unaffected by the course of events. David Potter put the situation well in the Thirty-First Yearbook. Having described the controversial nature of the literature on the background of the Civil War and having emphasized the disagreement among historians on "the interpretation of every link in the chain of sectional clashes which preceded the final crisis," he wrote, The irony of this disagreement lies in the fact that it persists in the face of vastly increased factual knowledge and constantly intensified scholarly research. The discrepancy, indeed, is great enough to make apparent a reality about history which is seldom so self-evident as it is here- namely that factual mastery of the data alone does not necessarily lead to agreement upon broad questions of historical truth. It certainly narrows the alternatives between which controversy continues to rage, and this narrowing of alternatives is itself an important proof of objective progress. But within the alternatives the determination of truth depends more per-

haps upon basic fundamental assumptions which are applied in interpreting the data, than upon the data themselves. Data, in this sense, are but the raw materials for historical interpretations and not the determinants of the interpretive process.13

It often comes as a shock to beginning students of history and it too

often comes as a shock to history teachers to discover the truth of Potter's statement. Yet, unless that truth is recognized, the study of history is woefully incomplete and its teaching is likely to be rank indoctrination. The essays in this volume should aid in this recognition.

It should be added that as one means of insuring that this volume would be more than a revision of the Thirty-First Yearbook, the editors turned to a completely different list of authors as contributors.



Only one author contributed to both volumes, and his contributions are on two fundamentally different topics. Only a very few of the historians

who were invited to contribute declined, and their refusals without exception were regretfully made on the basis of previous scholarly commitments. Those who accepted did so in spite of heavy commitments and made their contribution without compensation.

Organization of the Volume The editors hold to the value of a chronological organization as one that lends itself to disclosing continuity and change and to showing that people confront many problems at the same time. Accordingly, twothirds of the chapters in this book are arranged chronologically.

Recognition of the values of the order of development does not preclude recognition of the tenor of the times in which history is written. It seemed especially important to recognize pressing current problems and developments in a volume written for teachers and designed to help

them keep their teaching up-to-date. So much more history had been written since 1960 that the editors asked a distinguished American historian to introduce this work with a chapter on the historiography of the period. They also asked specialists in nine particular topics to contribute chapters on those topics. Those chapters shouid help teachers to learn about, to "brush up" on, to gain further leads to understanding the background of matters of current importance to Americans growing up in the 1970's. The combining of topical and chronological chapters necessarily leads to overlapping among the chapters. For example, while a separate chapter is devoted to the history of women in American life, it is recognized that women contributed to social development in all periods, they par-

ticipated in all cultural groups, they lived in cities, they thought and wrote about matters of deep import, and they were involved in wars. The editors hope that the unavoidable overlapping among chapters will have value in reinforcement rather than bringing redundancy. The editors and authors also faced the knotty problem of combining interpretive and bibliographical material. The authors were asked to employ both approaches but to emphasize interpretation and writings published since 1961. The chapters vary in relative emphasis on bibliography and interpretation, but both approaches are used in all of them. Many of the references will not be readily available to most teachers, but to give interpretation without evidence would violate principles of scholarship by which both writers and teachers of history should be bound. Moreover the fact that a book may not be readily available does

Historical Study in a Changing Curriculum


not mean that a teacher will not profit from knowing that the book exists. Indeed, many of the citations should aid teachers in building both institutional and personal libraries.

Purpose of the Volume

The purpose of this book is to make available as authoritative and up-to-date an account of the state of scholarship in American history as the editors and authors were able to present in a volume of reasonable size. This volume was not commissioned as a work on pedagogy. Hence,

it does not treat the great changes in the teaching of history that took place in the last decade. New textbooks and courses of study, and revisions of earlier ones, called into question perspectives of the past that had seemed settled. They gave much more attention to the contributions and abuses of minority groups. A flood of teaching materials in media other than print came into use. Materials and methods previously considered to be in the domain of other social sciences were employed increasingly in the teaching of history. Coverage of the subject through narrative yielded more and more to emphasis on the development of concepts and of skills of inquiry. These changes were hastened by a host of curriculum projects

financed in large part by the Federal Government and carried out by consortia of institutions of higher education and schools. Thus, the knowledge and experience of scholars in the social sciences and pedagogy were combined with those of school personnel. The results of many of

the projects were on the commercial market in 1972.

Although this book does not deal with the pedagogy of history, readers will see that many of the concerns that affected curriculum makers were shared by professional historians. Thus, this volume reflects new perspectives of past developments and new emphases on minority

groups, on conceptual approaches, and on use of the methods of the social sciences. Because the labors of most historians along these lines are of recent origin, it should not be surprising if their results seem less certain and less satisfying than those of the traditional historians once seemed. Curriculum making and scholarship are different enterprises, yet in matters of knowledge and understanding of a subject it is difficult for sound curricula to be very far ahead of sound scholarship. Teachers and other curriculum makers who seek to create new, challeng-

ing, and useful school programs should find assistance from the new scholarship reflected in this book. And they will want to follow further developments in that scholarship.



The Reinterpretation of American History and Culture is not expected

to serve as a textbook for the instruction of students in the schools. Rather, it is designed as a resource for teachers and students of American history as they struggle with the task of making every person his own historian. FOOTNOTES

' One of the most challenging and widely-cited articles is Edgar B. Wesley. "Let's Abolish History Courses." Phi Delta Kappan 49: 3-8; No. 1, September 1967. W:iile Wesley condemned the teaching of separate history courses, the burden of opprobrium fell on the traditional practice of memorization. Far from proposing the removal of historical study from the curriculum, the article contains much praise for history as distinguished from history courses. An early mimeographed version was entitled "The Place of History in the School Program." Edgar B. Wesley, Director. American History in Schools and Colleges: Vie Report of the Committee on American History in Schools and Colleges of the American Historical Association, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, the National Council for the Social Studies. New York: Macmillan, 1944. 3 Wes!ty. American History in Schools and College. p. 14. 4 William F. Russell. The Early Teaching of History in the Secondary Schools of New York and Massachusetts. Philadelphia: McKinley, 1914. p. 13.

3 Rolla M. Tryon. "One Hundred Years of History in the Secondary Schools of the United States." School Review 42: 94-95; No. 2, February 1934. s Agnew 0. Roorbach. The Development of the Social Studies in American Secondary Education Before 1861. Philadelphia: the author, 1937. p. 71. 'William H. Cartwright. "Values Claimed for American History." Unpublished paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association. Boston, December 30, 1949; and "A History of the Teaching of American History." Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1950. pp. 107-230. 8 Richard S. Craddock. "Why Teach History?" Unpublished paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies. New York, November 2, 1970; and "The Views of Professional American Historians on the Values and Purposes of Historical Study." Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Duke University, 1969. 9 Henry Johnson. Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools With Applications to Allied Subjects. Revised Edition. New York: Macmillan, 1940. p. 126. "'Thomas Jefferson. Notes on the State of Virginia. Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1629. pp. 155-156.

" Henry Johnson. The Other Side of Main Street. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943. pp. 240-241. "January 20, 1967. 13 David M. Potter. "The Background of the Civil War," in William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr., editors. Interpreting and Teaching American History. Washington: National Council for the Social Studies, 1961. pp. 118-119.


A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's Edward N. Saveth

WHY," asked Sydney E. Ahlstrom, a historian of American religion, "did the fair weather, the complacency, moral composure, national self-confidence, and optimism of the fifties, of the Eisenhower years and even of Kennedy's early New Frontier days become so quickly clouded? . . . Why . . . have so many long-term processes dropped their bomb load on the sixties?" In seeking an explanation, Ahlstrom concludes, "we touch upon an edge of the mysterium tremendum."'

The historiography of the 1960's reflected some of this awesome crisis but not the fall intensity of it. There was, of course, anxiety and despair among historians as there was among everyone else. Historians, however, had the benefit of the long view, which is to say that from the beginnings of American history there had always been anxiety and despair. So the mood of the 1960's represented an extension and intensification of what had been previously. Did intellectuals who were not

historians have more fun with the sense of doom that haunted the i 960's?

The historian's long view, too, ameliorated his sense of crisis. In the decade of the 1960's, poverty, racism, and various urban problems were

inescapable for the historian as they were for everyone else. While radical historians focused their researches on these and related problems looking toward social change, it was at least possible for conservatives

in the historical guild to conclude that the republic, in the past, had survived with these ills and the mere highlighting of them in the 1960's

did not mean that radical change was essential to the survival of the nation. What had existed for so long could conceivably go on forever.2 17



Nevertheless, the most sensitive historiographic barometerreported in the American Historical Review as well as in the Wall Street Journal

was the group of historians clustered under the vague rubric, New Left.3 To anyone who had lived through the Old Left of the 1930's and was familiar with the New History earlier in the twentieth centurythe writings of Frederick Jackson Turner, Charles A. Beard, James Harvey Robinson, Carl L. Becker, Arthur Meier Schlesinger, and Vernon L. Parringtonthe New Left was not very new. In his introduction to an

uneven collection of historical essays that could pass as a sort of Summa of New Left historiography, the editor of the collection, Barton J. Bernstein, acknowledges an indebtedness to the New History. Bernstein quotes Turner saying in 1910 that "a comprehension of the United

States today, an understanding of the rise and progress of the forces which have made it what it is, demands that we should rework our history from the new points of view afforded by the present." Bernstein then quotes Arthur Meier Schlesinger who said about the same thing

in 1923 and gives less attention than he should to what Beard was trying to do when he published An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution in 1913. Vernon L. Parrington's Main Currents in American Thought (1927-30) and Charles and Mary Beard's The Rise of Ameri-

can Civilization (1927) mark for Bernstein "the triumph of the progressive synthesis. In broad outlines, it viewed much of American history as a struggle between the privileged and the less privileged: sometimes, as in the lingering influence of Turner, between sections; at other times,

as in the works of Beard, Schlesinger and Becker, between class or economic interests." This history, according to Bernstein, "was marked by emphasis upon upheaval and 'revolutions,' upon conflicts between rival ideologies."4

The New Left borrowed another leaf from the book of the New History: the latter's conception of history's role in pointing the way toward social reform, which was an aspect of the allied themes of relevance and presentism. Many of the issues of presentism and relevance in today's historiography were present in Schlesinger's New Viewpoints in American History. On the other hand, Turner and Beard wrote

very little about blacks and ethnicsindeed, a case for racism could be made against them. Relevancy, it would seem, is a sometimes thing.5 An additional element of continuity between the New History and the New Left is the tendency of both to confuse Marxism, the economic interpretation of history, and economic determinism. Beard was an economic determinist to the extent that Marx never was, and Beard also gave less scope to the force of ideas in history than Marx did. Beard, if he knew and understood Marxist dialectic and the meaning

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


of Marxist historical materialism, was unimpressed by them. Historical materialism, not economic determinism, is central to Marxism. Parring-

ton, too, was no Marxist insofar as his Main Currents in American Thought postulated a closer relationship between ideas and economic forces than did Marx. There were in the era of the New History tracts on American history written from the Marxist viewpointmindful that it is hard to establish with any degree of definity what precisely is the

Marxist viewpointby Algie M. Simons, who had been a student of Frederick Jackson Turner, and by Herman Schluter.° Between 1917 and 1919, there appeared A. W. Calhoun, A Social History of the American Family, vaguely Marxian in orientation and wrongheaded in its assump-

tion of a direct relationship between family structure and stages of capitalist development.'

During the depression decade of the 1930's, Beard and Parrington were very popular among left-thinking historians. Again the category is difficult to define, even as there was continued confusion among the latter between Marxism and mere recognition of the significance of economic forces. Around 1935, there was an effort by the Stalinist Communists in America to sway historiography by bending it to the purposes of their slogan that Communism was twentieth-century Americanism devised after the Party adopted the united front tactic. This envisioned a proletarian view of American history designed to rescue the American heritage from "bourgeois" historians, the word "elitist" being not yet popular. Yet, despite all the talk and ideological ferment caused by the impact of Marxism upon young historians of the 1930's, there was no significant Marxist historiography.

What we today call the "Old Left" produced only two professional historians: Herbert Aptheker and Philip S. Foner. Their doctoral dissertations, Aptheker's American Negro Slave Revolts (1943) and Foner's Business and Slavery ( 1941), were not Marxist tracts. Foner was more

of a Beardian than a Marxist, and Aptheker, busily counting slave "revolts," tended to confuse "revolt" and minor incident, but without ideological overtones. W.E.B. Du Bois' Black Reconstruction appeared in 1935, but its central theme reached back to earlier work by the author around 1900. Where to place this volume in the Marxist spectrum is difficult to say.

Falling more clearly within the Marxist-Stalinist orbit was James S. Allen's tract on the Reconstruction era which was far inferior to Du Bois' work. Science and Society, which began publication in 1936 and continues to publish, provided an outlet for Marxist historiography. There was, too, the abortive Marxist Quarterly which represented, in its

brief career, a dissident Marxist viewpoint. It contained one notable



article by Louis M. Hacker, "American Revolution: Economic Aspects," which is still worth reading.' The New Left is heir to the confusions of the Old. There is no little disagreement as to what Marxism is and where Marxism parted company with mere reformism. The Marxism or Marxiodism of Eugene Genovese is different from that of Staughton Lynd, and they had differences with historians of the Old Left, Philip Foner and Herbert Aptheker." Is Lynd

a Marxist when he writes: "I believe Marxism is correct in its understanding of where humanity has been and is going. Think of it as a backdrop to the stage on which historical protagonists play their selfdetermined parts. It is nonetheless an essential element in the drama."? Convinced Communists would want a doctrine more stringent than this blend of "soft" Marxism and existentialism. Moreover, Lynd has a habit of talking ideology one way and writing history another. His historical writing is geared more to Beard than to Marx. Lynd, one feels, would have a rather short life span in the Marxist paradises of Brezhnev and Mao.

Lynd, however, is a man seeking direction and asking that history provide it, which, of course, asks too much. The past, he asserts, is to be ransacked "not for its own sake, but as a source of alternative models of what the future might become.""' Similarly, Arnold Waskow at the

meeting of the American Historical Association in December 1969 demanded that politics and scholarship be brought together and that historians "rebuild themselves; to reconnect body and mind, morals and information; to do that precisely in resistance to a dehumanizing social system." Thus, Waskow concluded, "the urge is no mere idiosyncratic

hang-up: it is the most political of events, and the radical historians, like other newly radical intellectuals, are questioning the whole bureau-

cratic- `rational' assumption of the split in roles between citizen and scholar."" Most of Waskow's hearers did not agree with his point of view and some, recalling the 1930's, had a sense of dejd vu. Still, the New Left, interacting with the events of the decade, provided direction for historical research. Black history was a key area as were the slave system, slavery, abolitionism and abolitionists who were New Left heroes, foreign policy and expansion, labor history, protest groups like the Populists, the IWW and non-elitist, including inarticulate groups in the American population. Yet, even as all historians who addressed themselves to these themes were not of the New Left, not all New Left

historians were agreed as to how these themes should be handled. Staughton Lynd, for example, disagreed with Jesse Lemisch over the possibility and practicability of writing the history of the inarticulate 12

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


Despite the interest in radical historiography, the radicals hardly dominated American historiography. Most historians are not radicals and this is a reflection of a certain amount of conservatism that has always characterized American historians and, more importantly, the profession's indifference to ideology and theory in history generally. There is ample indication that the consensus" school of historical writing which attracted so much attention in the fifties was not eclipsed during the sixties." Despite concern with the issues of relevance and reform, the New Left failed to establish a historical background for a major American tradition of political dissent. This failure is a reflection of the relationship between ideology and politics in America which is not a problem of the New Left alone. Late in 1950, Samuel Eliot Morison, in his presidential address to the American Historical Association, spoke of history written

in the Jefferson-Jackson-Franklin Delano Roosevelt tradition and the need to formulate an opposing Federalist-Whig-Republican tradition in American historiography. "We need," he said, "a United States history written from a sanely conservative point of view. . . .1,14 Morison's hope went unfulfilled. One reason was Louis Hartz's argu-

ment in 1955 that owing to the absence of a feudal pattern in the United States, it was questionable whether there were separate liberal and conservative traditions. It was all liberalism, Hartz concluded, more or less. Or it was all non-ideological pragmatism, as Daniel Boorstin had claimed in 1953. When Clinton Rossiter tried to put together a conservative synthesis in 1955, it went nowhere." Moreover, it is questionable whether there was, as Morison said, a liberal synthesis in American historiography except for Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s enormously popular Age of Jackson and its rather simplistic final chapter which presents American history in terms of capitalism being rescued from its worst tendencies by liberal leaders like Jackson and Franklin Roosevelt. No historian followed through in terms of this perspective. On the other hand, there were many Jacksonian scholars, none with the audience that Schlesinger reached, however, who faulted Schlesinger's scholarship and his conclusions. As for the fate of liberalism as an ideology in the 1960's, Schlesinger is himself an indicator. He began the decade in the service of President John F. Kennedy and Schlesinger's Politics of Hope, which was published in 1962, was strong in the liberal faith. His 1969 volume, The Crisis of Confidence: Ideas, Power and Violence in America, manifested less faith in liberal solutions." There were other efforts, apart from politics, in terms of which attempts were made to forge a core historical tradition. Carl Bridenbaugh,



in his presidential address to the American Historical Association in December 1962, spoke of a synthesis separate from the liberal-conservative dichotomy which, in the 1950's, as John Higham said, seemed to be

less of a dichotomy than a consensus. Ignoring politics, Bridenbaugh pointed to the loss of a "shared culture." This was caused in part by the fact that "many of the younger practitioners of our craft, and those who are still apprentices, are products of lower middle-class or foreign origins, and their emotions not infrequently get in the way of historical reconstruction." Origins such as these, according to Bridenbaugh, influenced the capacity of historians "to recapture enough of a sense of the past to enable them to feel and understand it and to convey to their readers what the past was even remotely like." Bridenbaugh's address was entitled, meaningfully, "The Great Mutation," and it raised eyebrows and hackles among his fellow professionals. Bridenbaugh was reflecting a style in terms of which the historical profession had long operated; in which he matured as a scholar; and which

was waning in the 1960's. That is, there were significant overtones of WASPishness in the profession which did not really fade until after World War II and about which not much has been said. Moreover, Bridenbaugh's idea of the relationship between the historian's origins and the capacity to feel history, while labelled reactionary and mossbacked when it was advanced, takes on a different coloration in the light of what was said at the end of the decade concerning the relationship between being black and the teaching of black history. Bridenbaugh's stress upon history as identityand it was a relatively restrained emphasis compared to what was said later in the decade on this theme was simply a bad idea that was ahead of its time.

In addition, Bridenbaugh did not want the seamlessness of the American past cut into by considerations of relevance and social science analysis especially "that Bitch-goddess, QUANTIFICATION."" Since the

historiography of the 1960's went in the very directions that Bridenbaugh opposed, he must have been increasingly unhappy as the decade progressed. However, Bridenbaugh did produce in the decade Mitre and Sceptre's and Vexed and Troubled Englishmen,''' two good books which reflected his conception of the grass-roots history of the English-speaking peoples. It is ironic that at the end of the decade of the 1960's Oscar Hand lin in his article "History: A Discipline in Crisis?" adopted a position very

similar to aspects of Bridenbaugh's argument at the beginning of the sixties. Hand lin, whose background included elements of urbanism and foreignism to which Bridenbaugh objected, complained about the inroads

of quantification and relevance even as he lamented the absence of a


Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


community of scholars in a profession grown outsize. There are some remarkable similarities of viewpoint despite the diverse backgrounds of the two historians.2" Along with the historians of the New Left, Bridenbaugh and Hand lin,

in their individual ways, were seeking unity and synthesis in the profession and data of history. So were many other historians during the sixties since an instinct for synthesis seems to be implicit in historical writing. The two previous decades, the 1940's and 1950's, witnessed an assault upon the so-called Progressive synthesis of Turner, Parrington

and Beard, the beginnings of which went back to even before the 1940's. During the 1960's, areas of explanation narrowed still further. In the field of Puritan studies, for example, there was a significant attack upon the work of Perry Miller as too "monolithic" and as failing to take into account the "pluralistic" character of Puritan culture.21 Instead of synthesis, there was what Professor Rotenstreich has described as "a multiplicity of particular contents, ac partial and piecemeal

as the particular portion of time to which particular men direct themselves."22 Synthesis was hard to come by, not alone in the realms of grand

theory and covering law but even if sights were lowered to the hazy and indefinite middle level of generalization. A historian of American science complained of the "aggressively atheoretical tradition" in this field leading to "a bland and unquestioning eclecticism. . . ."23 Professor

Harold D. Woodman called for direction and synthesis in American agricultural history, a tentative synthesis even, between grand theory and minute detail. But there was none, Woodman complained. Instead, there were only insights: a rivalry of insights that stood each other off without explaining social change. The latter was an unsighted goal.24 The theme of the historian's relationship to public policy provided a

focus for attempts at historical synthesis.25 John F. Fairbank, in his presidential address before the American Historical Association, drew upon the ancient and dubious theme of historical didacticismthe socalled lessons of history. Fairbank admitted that this idea had been frequently voiced in presidential addresses before the American Historical Association since 1885. He nevertheless proposed "a Sinified updating of the familiar theme of history for use, history the handmaiden of statesmanship. . . I would not deny its applicability here. . . . .

Our inadvertent war in Vietnam . . [is] an object lesson in historical . . Suppose that our leaders in the Congress and the executive branch had all been aware that North Vietnam is a country older than France with a thousand-year history of southward expansion and militant independence maintained by using guerrilla warfare to expel invaders from China, for example, three times in the thirteenth century, .





again in the fifteenth century, and again in the late eighteenth century, to say nothing of the French in the 1950's. With this perspective, would we have sent our troops into Vietnam so casually in 1965?28

Fairbank expected "no" as an answer to his rhetorical question. Hannah Arendt, instead, replied, in effect, "yes." The Pentagon Papers and other sources, she said, reveal that the history of Southeast Asia was known to the policymakers who, having elected for war, pursued a policy of deliberate defactualization in order to reach a predetermined conclusion.27

Further on the subject of the relationship between policy and history, Professor Louis Morton did not deny the value of the historian's training in the shaping of decision and policy but assigned limits to its utility.

History is not predictive; it has a limited capacity for generalization and is not repetitive: there are "wrong" as well as "right" lessons that the past can teach us. Writes Morton: Whether the historian, qua historian, should play a direct role in the formulation of policy is another matter. By instinct and training, the historian avoids the present. .. It is in dealing with the contemporary world that he is most vulnerable professionally, since it is in precisely this area that the qualities for which he is most valued and from which he draws his strengthperspective, objectivity, accuracy, and completenessare .

least evident.28

Richard C. Wade has suggested that understanding the urban crisis' of

of the 1960's required "the patient reconstruction of our entire urban past," even as he warned against "panic history."29 Robert H. Bremner pointed out that the historical background of the social welfare problem

had only limited policy-making utility. "My own feeling," wrote Bremner, "is that what the historian can offer those who contend with current social issues is not historical precedents or information about right or wrong turns in the road map to the presentnot knowledge, not solutionsbut method, openness, and sensitivity."" The impact of the social sciences upon American historiography, a major development of the 1960's, brought the historian closer to matters of public policy because of the interrelationship between the so-called policy sciences and the social sciences. This was particularly true of the historian's study of voting behavior, economic growth, and the sociopsychological elements of status and motivation, with the social science concepts serving to lock the past into the present. Among the social science oriented historians, there were quantifiers and non-quantifiers. The latter had their day during the 1950's and on

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


into the following decade with the application of such concepts as career line, intergroup conflict, status anxiety, reference group, class, mobility, social structure, leadership, power, public opinion, image, type,

role, conscious and subconscious motivation, microanalysisand many others, depending upon how one wanted to define concept and, particularly, social science concept as distinguishedif there is a distinc-

tionfrom the historian's traditional process of conceptualization."' Non-quantitative social science concepts served as a framework for historical generalization and synthesis. Richard Hofstadter's The Age of Reform, for example, made the concept of status anxiety a central theme. There were other volumes and articles written along similar lines. Yet, however popular and convincing certain of these volumes were, especially Hofstadter's The Age of Reform, critical reviews as distinct from appreciative blurbs steadily eroded the utility of the concept as covering explanation.' The closer the scholarly examination, the less the concept explained.""

One reason fo the inexactitude of non-quantitative social science concepts as cover,ag explanations centers in the problem of defining group structural outlines and relating group structure to behavior.34 There was need for greater exactitude in establishing group definition. Toward the middle of the 1960's, quantitative social science concepts seemed to offer this possibility. Quantification involved the isolation of variables pertaining to group definition that were capable of being measured statistically. These variables lent themselves to tabulation, machine processing, and evaluation in terms of rather complex statistical

procedures which the traditionally-trained historian had difficulty in mastering. The technique offered at least the possibility of concepts being more rigidly defined than were non-quantitative concepts, and capable of statistical illustration in terms other than impressionistic data.

Again, there was talk of a "new" history, this time centered in quantifiable data and quantitative techniques: "new" political history; "new"

economic history; and "new" social history. The focusbut not the exclusive focuswas upon group behavior with the group outline defined by the kind of variables that could be quantified or that lent themselves to statistical expression.35 However, not all group behavior could be expressed statistically." It is impossible, for example, to quantify so significant a variable as motivation. That motivation cannot be quantified, comments Professor Woodman, does not mean that it should be

committed to a secondary role in accounting for economic growth. Similarly, Professor Allan Bogue suggests that the emphasis of behavioral historians upon ethno-cultural factors might reflect the visibility of these



variables, that they are capable of being measured, rather than their true significance in influencing voting patterns." There was a considerable range of opinion within the historical profession concerning cliometrics, the name by which quantitative techniques applied to history came to be known. The traditionally-trained historian tended to find quantitative studies microcosmic and limited in scope;

tedious to execute and difficult to read. Less and less of the past seemed to be explained by more and more effort, and the historian's fascination with technique and computer hardware had the potential of outstripping love for history. Certain historical themes considered important by the cliometricians were seen as less significant by traditionally-trained historians to whom history conceived as "problem" was less intriguing. Even after prodigious efforts, the results of small-scale inquiry were not always conclusive insofar as there was frequently some variable, either overlooked or incapable of quantification, that put the whole inquiry in doubt.38 On the other hand, there were historians who expected a great deal of cliometrics, perhaps more than it was capable of yielding. Lee Benson, for example, expressed the belief that quantification had the potential of

making history the kind of science that Henry Buckle envisioned in 1857."" Robert F. Berkhofer's book entitled A Behavioral Approach to Historical Analysis" and an article by Mario S. De Piths." were stronger

in developing the theory of the relationship between history and behavioralism than in its actual practice and application. Perhaps cliometrics can be most sensibly evaluated as one of many techniques and methods available to the historian, to be used where relevant and without reference to the extravagant hopes for the method held out by some historians and the equally extravagant dislikes expressed by others. The social science approach, quantitative and non-quantitative, as it developed in the 1960's, was essentially value neutral. These techniques

could have been used by the historians of the New Left, without ideological sacrifice, but were not used by them to any great extent. Why, it is difficult to say. Their suspicions of the technique could conceivably have been aroused by Professor Samuel P. Hays, a leading quantifier, who spoke of the need for social history to develop categories

of structure and change as its proper mode of organization; of the dangers of social history being influenced by forces of relevance in American society; of social history absorbing a problem-policy approach and, therefore, a bias. Hays would put aside the reformist orientation of social historya heritage from the New History which included the use of social science as a tool of social change. Hays warned, for example,

the historian against being captured by ideology and urged that the

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


black problem be approached not as a moral issue but as an aspect of the concept of social mobility.42 Nor could the New Left, in the light of its commitment, be expected to embrace Professor David Donald's de-emphasis of moral judgments

and moral issues in dealing with the issues of Reconstruction, and Donald's assertion that the process whereby Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 "can best be described in quasimechanical terms as an equilibrium achieved by a resolution of quantitatively measurable forces. "43 Donald's detachment, geared to his method, led to an altogether different historiographic orientation than the late Robert Staro-

bin's insistence upon "the centrality of the Negro, the South and of racism to American development. . . .9944 The social science approach to history represented an effort to get at

basic units of analysis; to uncover the "grass roots" of history. The search for "grass roots" did not begin with the decade of the sixties. Professor Bridenbaugh was interested in the grass roots of the English people in America; Professor Hays believed that in compiling voting statistics and studying voting behavior he was getting at grass roots.43 Black history and the history of white ethnic groups were also supposed

to reveal grass roots. So, too, was the emphasis in the 1960's upon "organizational" history; the history of organizations and administrative systems by means of which the historians hoped to approach closer to people and their behavior than would have been the case in conventional historiography's concern with the traditional categories of political, social and economic history.4" This was part of the search for smaller and, presumably, more viable units of analysis; of the trend from macro-units to micro-units dictated by the assumption that the latter were less complex than the former an assumption which the late David Potter, for one, questioned. According to Potter, "a microcosm is just as cosmic as a macrocosm. Moreover, relationships between the factors in a microcosm are just as subtle and

the generalizations involved in stating these relationships are just as broad as the generalizations concerning the relation between factors in a situation of larger scale."47 Potter's reservations did not inhibit the microanalytic trend. This is

manifest in the shift in emphasis by some historians from group and class with their numerous variables to the microunit of family. The family, long neglected by historians as an area for research,48 began to receive attention in the 1960's because there was interest in it for itself and partly because, as John Demos noted, "as the smallest and most intimate of all social environments" it offered the hope of providing insight into behavior in politics, society and economics. In mid-decade,



three very capable young historians, Demos, Philip Greven, Jr., and Kenneth Lockridge, enhanced our knowledge of the colonial family. Also, since their research techniques are demographically oriented, they have increased understanding of social structure and social process in colonial America.'"

Yet, the family microunit as a determinant of behavior has limitations, with Professor Demos saying that what has been done in the area of family research "has not been enough to stake out a definite area of study, with its own boundaries, internal structure, and guiding themes

and questions. There is as yet no sense of the major outlines of the story and little agreement even about research procedures, source materials, and terminology."5" Beyond the colonial period, family history and the use of family as a determinant of behavior is even more of a wilderness for the investigator. "In the face of so many uncertainties" in family history, continues Professor Demos, "one response, more instinctive than reasoned, has been to descend to the level of local, almost personal history." This involves reductionism beydnd the family to the individual and his immediate environment. During the decade of the sixties there was much interest in psychohistory. In 1965 Erik Erikson and Robert Jay Lifton along with Kenneth Keniston, Bruce Mazlish and Philip Rieff formed the Group for the Study of Psychohistorical Process sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Of the founders Erik Erikson loomed particularly large. There was no one of equal prominence among those who applied psychoanalytical methods to the study of American history, although the names of William B. Willcox, who wrote a biography of Sir Henry Clinton, and David Donald, biographer of Charles Sumner, come readily to mind."

Yet, the analysis of the individual in history, the analysis of his motivation, conscious and subconsciousdespite some good theory on the subject by Robert Jay Lifton among othershas its own inherent limitations.52 Far more frequently than not, the historian has an inadequate grasp of personality, especially the role played by early childhood experience. Despite parallels, some of them valid, between biographical and psychoanalytical methods, a major and probably insurmountable difficulty

is the absence of personal data available to the historical

biographer. No amount of theory, regardless of how original, can transcend the lack of hard data about individual development. The limitations of analytical history have bred a certain amount of despair among professional historians about their ability to describe what happened in the past. Such despair is not new and not unique to the decade of the sixties. Historians have long pondered whether they are

A Decade of American Historiography: The 19tin's


dealing with the absolute and inherent meaning of events or whether, on the other hand, knowledge of them is considered by the "ever-changing frames of reference" of the historian observer.53 Martin Duberman, for one, was pessimistic concerning the possibility of ascertaining his own

motives in writing history and of the motives of those who were participants in the historical process. Early in 1969, Duberman doubted the wisdom of his having selected history as a profession.54 Such a feeling of doubt was suggestive of that of Henry Adams who said, after he had completed his great History of the United States during the Jefferson and Madison Administrations, that it was pointless to have written it. i5 Adams gave up traditional history and, instead, embarked

upon the marvelous head trip into the Middle Ages, Mont St. Michel and Chartres, followed by a venture still further divorced from reality, the application of the second law of thermodynamics to history. This, from the historian's point of view, was all wrong but it expressed a mood in terms of which an unfathomable universe was confronted. In the decade of the 1960's, a period of Coming Apart as one cultural historian described it,5" the Adamsian mood was still with us. Which is to say that history and the universe continued to be unfathomable. Yet, with all of the crises of the decade, amplified by the historian's

fear that technology would destroy us and that his work would not live on in the psychic experience of mankind, there were fewer signs of crisis mentality among historians than were apparent in other fields of literary-cultural endeavor. The average historian went about

his main businessdredging up the data of the pastrelatively unaffected by ideology. As the decade progressed, my impression is that fewer historians contributed to the theoretical publication History and Theory which seemed to be more and more taken over by the philosophical guild. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History began publication with the Autumn 1970 issue. One response to the challenge of an unpredictable universe in which the distinction between chaos and order is subjective, in which meaning in life and history is dubious, in which the modern situation is one of non-relation and disrelation, is revival of interest in narrative history, that oldest form of history writing that approximates to storytelling. The English scholar G. R. Elton justified narrative history because, as he said, there is something unnatural about the process of historical analysis which involves taking history apart and putting it together again in a different way from the manner in which it actually happened. Thus far, the philosophers of history have manifested greater interest in the possibilities of narrative history than has the historical guild, reflecting the traditional dichotomy between the philosophy of history



and the writing of history." However, there was this significant development. In 1971, the final volumes of Allan Nevins' monumental narrative history, Ordeal of the Union, appeared. The first of the eight big volumes, embracing the history of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the end of the American Civil War, were published in 1947,

and the twenty-four year publication history of the series represents both a remarkable personal achievement and an accomplishment in the writing of narrative history that is not likely to be duplicated soon. Narrative history offers the historian proper ground upon which to stand because of its emphasis upon the unique. In addition, it enables the historian to employ multiple approaches to the data of the past, as

varied as the past itself, so that he is not committed to a particular approach. In Nevins' work, for example, there were large blocs of analysis within an overall narrative framework. The medium, however, is not easy to handle and Nevins' ability to manage a large-size historical canvas is difficult to match or surpass. Despite Nevins' achievement, the

multi-volume narrative history was not a popular form of historical expression in the 1960's.

Nor do certain non-traditional techniques, like the uses of counterfactual data and events, seem to hold out much promise in terms of their integration into the methodology of historiography.58 Even less can be expected from the suggestion at the 1971 meeting of the American His-

torical Association that drugs should be taken by "responsible and tough-minded scholars" to enhance the historian's understanding of, say, President James K. Polk.5" Most historians and most teachers of history, especially toward the end

of the decade, were concerned with declining enrollments in history courses both in the high schools and colleges. The full significance of these figureswhether the decline was relative or absolute, temporary or long-term--cannot be determined. At the 1971 meeting of the American Historical Association, jobs, and not the doings of the radical caucus, were the primary concern." There was a growing feeling among history teachers that history's place in the curriculum must be justified in terms of meaning, purpose, and utility, especially in comparison with the social sciences with which it was competing for enrollments. On both the high school and college

levels attempts were made to make history courses more attractive. Many of the new course designs stressed relevance, the idea of a usable American past, and the use of social science concepts as a basis

for the organization of historical data.' There was also stress upon brevity and simplicity of presentation because an increasing number of high school and college students experienced reading and comprehension difficulties.

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


As the decade concluded, historians, history teachers, and the publishers of teaching materials all felt that history had a message for the in-school generation, but no one was certain as to what this message was or how it was to be conveyed. FOOTNOTES ' Herbert J. Bass, editor. The State of American History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1970. pp. 103-4.

' Page Smith. "Anxiety and Despair in American History." William and Mary Quarterly 26: 416-424; 3rd series, No. 3, July 1969; Michael Walzer. The Revolution of the Saints. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965. ' Irwin Unger. "The 'New Left' and American History: Some Recent Trends in United States Historiography." American Historical Review 72: 1237-1263; No. 4, July 1967: Wall Street Journal, October 19, 1971.

Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History. New York: Pantheon, 1967. p. vi. Charles Crowe. "The Emergence of Progressive History." Journal of the His-

tory of Ideas 27: 109-124; No. 1, January-March 1966; Jesse Lemisch. "The American Revolution Bicentennial and the Papers of Great White Men." American

Historical Association Newsletter 9: 7-12; No. 5, November 1971; Edward N. Saveth. American Historians and European Immigrants, 1875-1925. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948.

" A. M. Simons. Social Forces in American History. New York: Macmillan, 1911; Herman Schluter. Lincoln, Labor and Slavery.. A Chapter from the Social History of America. New York: Socialist Literature Co., 1913. Cleveland: Arthur W. Clark Co.. 1917-1919. The Marxist Quarterly 1: 46-67; No. 1, January-March 1937. p. 46. D. M. Bluestone. "Marxism Without Marx: The Consensus-Conflict of Eugene Genovese." Science and Society 33: 231 -243: No. 2, Spring 1969. ""A Profession of History." The New Journal I: November 12, 1967. " American Historical Association Newsletter 8: 27-28: No. 8, February 1970. " Philip S. Foner. "Some Reflections on Ideology and American Labor History."

Science and Society 34: 467-478; No. 4. Winter 1970; August Meier. "Black

America as a Research Field: Some Comments." American Historical Association Newsletter 6: 18-23; No. 4, April 1968; Ernest Kaiser. "Recent Literature on Black Liberation Struggles and the Ghetto Crisis." Science and Society 33: 1688196; No. 2, Spring 1969. For Lynd's critique of Lemisch's proposal for non-elitist history see "The Historian as Participant," in R. A. Skotheim, editor. The Historian and the Climate of Opinion. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1969. p. 117. Swirls of ideology within the loose framework of New Left historiography are treated in Irwin Unger. "The 'New Left' and American History," op. cit.; Eugene D. Genovese. "Marxian Interpretations of the Slave South," in Bernstein, editor. Towards a New Past. pp. 90-125, especially the footnotes; "Dr. Herbert Aptheker's Retreat from Marxism." Science and Society 27: 212-226; No. 2, Spring 1963; review by Staughton Lynd of W. A. Williams. The Contours of American History. Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1961. ibid. pp. 227-31. "Paul Goodman. The Democratic-Republicans of Massachusetts. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964; Alfred Young. The Democratic-Republicans of New York. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967; Carl E. Prince. New Jersey's Republicans, 1789-1817. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967.

" "Faith of a Historian." American Historical Review 56: 272-273; No. 2, Jan-

uary 1951.



'5 Hartz. The Liberal Tradition in America. . . . New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955; Boorstin. The Genius of American Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953; Rossiter. Conservatism in America. New York: Knopf, 1955. For a

fuller discussion see my introduction to Edward N. Saveth, editor. Understanding the American Past. 2nd edition. Boston: Little, Brown, 1965. pp. 37-42. " Age of Jackson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1945; The Politics of Hope. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962; The Crisis of Confidence. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968. " "The Great Mutation." American Historical Review68: 315-331; No. 2, January 1963. p. 326.

"New York: Oxford University Press, 1962. " New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. "American Scholar 40: 447-465; No. 3, Summer 1971. This is the text of an address which Handlin delivered at the December 1970 meeting of the American Historical Association. 21 Michael McGiffert. "American Puritan Studies in the 1960's." William and

Mary Quarterly 27: 36-67; 3rd series, No. 1, January 1970. An example of the microcosmic approach is Sumner Chilton Powell. Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1963. " Nathan Rotenstreich. "The Idea of Historical Progress and Its Assumptions."

History and Theory 10: 197-221; No. 2, 1971. p. 220. " Bass. op. cit. Harold D. Woodman. ibid. p. 233. " For earlier examples of historical didacticism and the so-called lessons of his-

tory applied to public policy see Herman Ausubel. Histori'ns and Their Craft. New York: Columbia University Press, 1950. pp. 17-119. "John K. Fairbank. "Assignment for the '70's." American Historical Review 74: 861-879; No. 3, February 1969. pp. 869, 873.

""Lying in Politics." New York Review of Books. November 18, 1971. For a similar point of view expressed in 1937 see William A. Dunning. "Truth in History," in Truth in History and Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press, 1937. p. 17. George 0. Kent. "Clio the Tyrant: Historical Analogies and the Meaning of History." The Historian 32: 99-106; No. I, November 1969. " Louis Morton. "The Historian and the Policy Process." History Teacher 4: 23-29; No. 1, November 1970. 1" Bass. op. cit. p. 49. Ibid. p. 96. 'Edward N. Saveth. "The Conceptualization of American History," in Saveth, editor. American History and the Social Sciences. New York: Free Press, 1964. pp. 3-22. 32 Richard Hofstadter. The Age of Reform. Vintage edition. New York: 1955.

pp. 131-73; David Donald. Lincoln Reconsidered. Vintage edition. New York: 1961. pp. 19-36; Marvin Meyers. Jacksonian Persuasion. Vintage edition. New York: 1960. pp. 33-56; Ari Hoogenboom. Outlawing the Spoils: A History of the Civil Service Reform Movement, 1865-1883. Urbana, III.: University of Illinois Press, 1961; Rowland Berthoff. "The American Social Order: A Conservative Hypothesis." American Historical Review 65: 495-514; No. 3, April 1960; George Mowry. The California Progressives. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1963. c. 1951; Era of Theodore Roosevelt, 1900-1912. New York: Harper, 1958. Hofstadter qualified his position in "Pseudo-Conservatism Revisited: A Postscript-1962," in Daniel Bell, editor. The Radical Right. Garden City: Doubleday, 1963. pp. 81-86. "Status Revolution and Reference Group Theory," in Edward N. Saveth, editor. American History and the Social Sciences. pp. 196-197; Richard B. Sherman. "The Status Revolution and Massachusetts Progressive Leadership." Political Science Quarterly 78: 59-65; No. 1, March 1963; Bonnie R. Fox. "The Philadelphia Progressives: A Test of the Hofstadter-Hays Thesis." Pennsylvania History 34: 372-394; No. 4, October 1967.

A Decade of American Historiography: The 1960's


" Edward N. Saveth. "American History and Social Science: A Trial Balance." International Social Science Journal 20: 319-330; No. 2, 1968. 33 Allan G. Bogue. "United States: The 'New' Political History." Journal of Con-

temporary History 3: 5-27; No. I, January 1968; Lance E. Davis. "'And It Will Never Be Literature'The New Economic History: A Critique." Explorations in Entrepreneurial History. Second Series. 6: 75-92; No. I, Fall 1968; Stephan Thernstrom. "The Dimensions of Occupational Mobility," in Stephan Thernstrom. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964. pp. 80-114, 255-59. "Christopher Lasch and George Frederickson. "Resistance to Slavery." Civil War History 13: 315-329; No. 4, December 1967. " "The 'New' Political History." p. 24.

" Useful collections of articles in the


of quantitative history include

Robert P. Swierenga, editor. Quantification in American History: Theory and Research. New York: Atheneum, 1970. For quantitative political history see Joel H. Silbey and Samuel T. McSeveney, editors. Voters, Parties, and Elections: Quanti-

tative Essays in the History of American Popular Voting Behavior. Waltham, Mass.: Xerox College Publishing Co., 1972. For quantitative techniques applied to ethnic groups see Robert P. Swierenga. "Ethnocultural Political Analysis: A New Approach to American Ethnic Studies." Journal of American Studies 5: 59-79; No. I. April 1971. and the forthcoming article in the International Migration Re-

view, "Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Conflicts, and Recent Quantitative Research in

American Political History," by Samuel T. McSeveney. " "Quantification, Scientific History, and Scholarly Innovation." American Historical Association Newsletter 4: 11-13; No. 5, June 1966; "Middle Period Histori-

ography: What is to be Done?", in George Athan Billias and Gerald N. Grob, editors. American History: Retrospect and Prospect. New York: Free Press, 1971. pp. 154-190.

"New York: Free Press, 1969. " "Trends in American Social History and the Possibilities of Behavioral Approaches." Journal of Social History I: 37-60; No. 1, Fall 1967. 42 "A Systematic Social History." in Billias and Grob, editors. op. cit. pp. 315366.

"The Politics of Reconstruction, 1863-1867. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. p. 82. " Robert Starobin. "The Negro: A Central Theme in American History." Journal of Contemporary History 3: 37-53; No. 2. April 1968. "Samuel P. Hays. "History as Human Behavior." Iowa Journal of History 58: 193-206; No. 3, July 1960. "Louis Galambos. "The Emerging Organizational Synthesis in Modern American History." Business History Review 44: 279-290; No. 3, Autumn 1970. "Quoted in Saveth, editor. American History and the Social Sciences. "Microanalysis." p. 370.

" Edward N. Saveth. "The Problem of American Family History." American Quarterly 21: 311-329; No. 2, Pt. 2, Summer 1969. 9 Kenneth A. Lockridge. "The Population of Dedham, Massachusetts, 16361736." Economic History Review. 2nd Series. 19: 318-344; No. 2, August 1966; Philip J. Greven, Jr. "Family Structure in Seventeenth-Century Andover, Massa-

chusetts." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd Series. 23: 234-256; No. 2, April 1966; John Demos. "Notes on Life in Plymouth Colony." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd Series. 22: 264-286; April 1965; Philip Greven, Jr. "Historical Demography and Colonial America." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd Series. 24:

438-454; No. 3, July 1967; J. Potter. "The Growth of Population in America, 1700-1860," in D. V. Glass and D. E. C. Eversley, editors. Population in History. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co.. 1965. pp. 636-663; Robert Higgs and H. Louis

Stettler, III. "Colonial New England Demography: A Sampling Approach."

William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd Series. 27: 282-294; No. 2, April 1970.



so John Demos. A Little Commonwealth. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; Saveth. "The Problem of American Family History." op. cit. 51 Robert Jay Lifton. History and Human Survival. New York: Random House,

1970; Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton. . . . New York: Knopf, 1964; Charles Sumner and the Corning of the Civil War. New York: Knopf, 1960;

Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man. New York: Knopf, 1970. " Lifton. History and Human Survival. pp. 288-310. " John T. Marcus. 'The Changing Consciousness of History." South Atlantic Quarterly 60: 217-225; No. 2, Spring 1961; John Huizinga. "The Idea of History," in Fritz Stern, editor. The Varieties of History. New York: Meridian Books, 1956. 54 "On Becoming an Historian" and "History: A Play," in Evergreen Review 13: 49-59+; No. 65, April 1969. 55 Edward N. Saveth, editor. The Education of Henry Adams. . . . New York: Washington Square Press, 1963. Later edition from Twayne Publishers, New York. 56 William L. O'Neill. Coming Apart. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1971.

57 W. H. Dray. "On the Nature and Role of Narrative in Historiography." History and Theory 10: 153-171; No. 2, 1971; Louis 0. Mink. "History and Fiction as Modes of Comprehension." New Literary History 1: 541-548; No. 3, Spring 1970; M. Mandelbaum. "A Note or. History as Narrative." History and Theory 6: 413-419; No. 3, 1967.

" Robert W. Fogel. Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1964. 59 New York Times, December 30, 1971. 1'° Charles G. Sellers. "Is History on the Way Out of the Schools and Do Historians Care?" Social Education 33: 509-516; No. 5, May 1969. p. 10. See also the poll by Louis Harris and Associates, Inc. of "100 schools in representative cities, suburbs, small towns and rural areas for Life." 66: 23, 31; No. 19, May 16, 1969. pp. 23, 31; J. Anthony Lukas. "Historians' Conference: The Radical Need for Jobs." New York Times Magazine. March 12, 1972. pp. 38-40. " On the idea of a usable past see J. R. Pole. "The American Past: Is It Still Usable?" Journal of American Studies 1: 63-78; No. I, April 1967. On relevance see M. M. Postan. "Fact and Relevance in Historical Study." Historical Studies 13: 411-425; No. 51, October 1968. Postan also deals with the relationship between relevance and social science oriented history. The relationship is also developed in C. Vann Woodward. "The Future of the Past." American Historical Review 75: 711-726; No. 3, February 1970. p. 718.


Race and Nationality in American History

Native Americans and United States History Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr. Indian Complaints Against Standard American History

T. Native Americans and their spokesmen today, whites first stole their lands and later robbed them of their history. They charge that textbooks

and classroom materials on general, American history rarely mention Indians, and if they do it is frequently in a derogatory fashion. In line with long dominant American assumptions, writers and teachers presume that those few Indians who did not die in war or of disease became assimilated to white views and ways and therefore disappeared into white society. Since United States history is taught in terms of how we got to be what we are, this assumption of disappearance either through extinction or assimilation permits the neglect of Indian influences earlier in American history. Centuries of white-Indian relations, so much the concern of earlier Americans, receive brief if any mention, although European and American diplomacy, land policy, and western expansion during nearly three hundred years were predicated upon the presence and continued resistance of the many Indian tribes. Even if books and courses dealt with Indians earlier, their existence is denied in the present century. Perhaps for those white children near reservations they are treated as indigents upon the welfare rolls or in jail for drunkenness, but in general Indians are not even granted the status of a problem in the pages of most texts dealing with contemporary trends.'

According to Indian leaders and scholars, when Indians are not omitted from the story of the American past, they arc deprecated or defamed. From the beginning of European contact to the present, Native Americans are usually presented as inferior in some way to the whites, whether in customs, technology, or government. Sometimes the authors bluntly state Indians are degraded, idle, warlike, and simple; other times 37



the writers use words to imply the same moral judgements without saying so explicitly. Indians are "nomadic," while whites "travel.'' When Indians slew whites a "massacre" resulted, but whites only "fought" or "battled" Indians. Indians are pictured as hunting and gathering peoples; whites farmed. Indian agricultural practices, except for Squanto's aid to

the Pilgrims, are neither described nor considered important, although white pioneer life is lovingly detailed. At the same time as these good pioneers are shown protecting their homes and loved ones from the

savage "menace" or "peril," authors rarely point out how red men fought for their lives and lands against greedy, genocidal whites. When texts and teachers concentrate on Indians, they more frequently portray their faults than their virtues, and even the latter are treated as inferior to those of white civilization. All in all, red scholars assert, Indian life is depreciated by word and assumption in favor of white ways and views of the past and the present." So pernicious are these assumptions behind Indian-white relations,

that they long held the field as the chief interpretation of American history. Frederick Jackson Turner combined long-standing American myths into an interpretation of the United States' past which accounted for both white American character and American history in terms of a westward-moving frontier. In his view, Indians like mountains, rivers, deserts, and wild animals posed obstacles for the freedom-loving white

farmers. In short, Turner pictured the progress of Anglo-American agriculture as the manifest destiny of the United States, and the Indian gave ground inevitably and deservedly to a superior people and culture. Although historians today seriously question Turner's whole interpretation, it still reigns supreme as a synthesis in many texts and classrooms, and, more significantly, its assumptions continue to inform the basic outlook on the subject. If white technology is portrayed as more efficient than Indian ways, if white governments are described as more complex than Indian ones, if white cultures are pictured as more sophisticated

than red ones, then the teacher and the textbook lead the student to think in terms of better and worse, of civilization and savagery, in the same way basically as Turner's American history portrayed the past. No wonder white and many red children alike believe white society deserved to triumph over "primitive" people here and abroad.3

As Indian leaders and their friends are fond of pointing out, even when Indian life and ways are included in class and text, elements of the various cultures are ripped out of the context of a whole culture. To represent all Indian societies as hunting and gathering is to falsify the place of agriculture in almost all the societies. Even for most peoples who

Native Americans and United States History


hunted and fished, agriculture was important to subsistence and economy. Perhaps the most blatant disregard for context occurs in the description

of red military activities. Seldom are warriors' lives presented in the total context of male role, of religious beliefs, of the political system, or

of the cultural values of a particular Indian people. Peaceful Indian tribes and what role militarism played in the other societies are passed over in favor of a generalized, out-of-context description for all Indians according to the old stereotype. Moreover, the economic and military aspects of Indian life are featured to the disregard of the many religious, musical, political, and other phases of Indian cultures. Perhaps the omission is deliberate, for in these realms of culture a decision as to what is sophisticated or primitive is far more diffict. than in technology or warfare. In brief, the multiplicity of Native American societies and the variety

of aboriginal cultures are homogenized into a stereotypical "Indian": warlike, crude of technology, and devoid of thought and aesthetics.{

Lastly, the stereotype makes the Indian as unbending in the face of time as he is popularly supposed to be under torture. Indian societies and cultures are understood only as they once were. Subsequent changes from pre-white contact days are not attributed to dynamic, innovative Indian leadership and adaptive societies but rather seen as loss of Indian ways for white culture. Change, in this perspective, only destroys Indian cultures, never adds to them. Yet historians do not see. for example, English history as a progressive loss of Anglo-Saxon culture over the years. By not applying the same measure to the past of Indian societies that they do to others, scholars and teachers deny versatility and change to Indian histories. They, in fact, deny Indians a life as Indians, for all changes, for better or for worse, are seen to result purely from white influences. Indian leaders and their societies, under this view, never innovate in religion, politics, or economics but merely respond by meek adoption of white ways after at best militant or passive resistance. A tribe's history therefore becomes entirely the story of white stimulus and Indian response. Each tribe is doomed to extinction as Indians because its people must change and that change involves a compromise with white ways. Indian originality, creative adaptation, or even survival in the face of overwhelming odds, receive no credit under the once-was aboriginal view of history. Internal tribal dynamics are overlooked in favor of external white influences and relationships. The latter are assumed to determine the former, so why bother looking for Indian actions? In this perspective, the historian presumes the cause and limits the possibilities of response by the Indians solely according to stere-




Passive Object Problem Common to Many Minorities

In light of these charges no wonder Native Americans see history books, television programs, and popular imagery snuffing out their history and present-day existence through denial, defamation, distortion,

and stereotype. Too late to undo the wrongs of the past, they feel impelled to correct the story of their past and to convince other Americans of their growing numbers and continued existence. Convinced that omission and detraction of their past is no mere accident but a deliberate use of the Indian stereotype to "whitewash" the nefarious activities of past Anglo-Americans and to forget present-day neglect, Indian activists, scholars, and their white friends seek to resurrect Indian history both

to teach the whites what they did and do and to encourage renewed pride among Indians in their own heritage. By reclaiming the Indians' past as they understand it, these leaders hope to use its story for the welfare and cultural identity long denied the original inhabitants and owners of America. Their search and its use differs little from that of others who see themselves neglected in the American history customarily taught by and for

the middle-class whites. In short, Indians share with Blacks, women, lower classes, and others what we can call the "passive object" problem in interpreting American history. That history as traditionally told omits these groups or treats them as passive rather than active in determining their destinies. Blacks, females, and poor people, like Indians, complain that they too are left out of the telling of United States history, or they are portrayed as lacking innovative leaders and merely following the cues of the dominant white, master class. Scholars, for example, question Whether the lower classes could provide their own leaders, or whether they must be led by middle-class politicians seeking their own personal ends. Other scholars wonder whether women constitute a separate analytical category, that is, whether they should be analyzed apart from class, color, husband's status, or family background. Perhaps the passive object problem is pinpointed best by the changing interpretation of the Black experience in the United States. So much of recent scholarship on Afro-American history concentrated on discovering Black people in the past where history books omitted them or on recapturing

the thoughts and actions of Black leaders and their followers when evidence of such was believed nonexistent. In short, in each case, the complaints of all these minority groups boil down to accusing traditional

American history of being a one-sided story as usually told in text, classroom, and scholarly monograph. Spokesmen for all these submerged

groups now hope to produce the other side of the story to show how

Native Americans and United States History


active each group was in creating the history of the nation considered as a whole as well as in directing its own destiny. Because the general problem of being treated as passive objects is common to Blacks, Indians, women, and the lower classes, many of the historiographic remedies proposed by spokesmen for each group are similar. Thus all seek admission into the mainstream of United States history by tracing their role in the American heritage and detailing their leaders and contributions. On the other hand, each group has a special role and problems unique to understanding its place in American history, and so I will restrict further discussion to Native American solutions to the passive object problem. Overcoming the passive object status

for each group, but especially for Indians, is not so easily achieved as many minority spokesmen would lead us to believe. Significant morally and important as rectifying their traditional image in American history is for the future welfare of Indians, the conceptual problems involved in doing so have not been squarely faced by most scholars, red or white. Indian-Proposed Remedial Approaches In common with Blacks and European immigrants, Indians utilize the "contributions" approach as one way of rounding out the one-sided story of the American past. Thus in the pages of the Indian Historian and in pamphlets and books by Indian scholars, the reader finds long lists of the contributions Native Americans made to the general American way

of life: pioneering trails and sites, words in the language, games, medicinal lore and drugs, foods and crops, inventions and artifacts. Without doubt, American geography, language, and life would be far poorer without the vocabulary and items derived directly or inspired indirectly by Indian sources, but Indian and other scholars claim subtler

and more significant contributions to American life than names and artifacts. All point out the influence of the Indian on the American imagination from the popular captivity narratives of the eighteenth century to the dime novels of the nineteenth and the movies and television programs of the twentieth century. William Brandon in a reasoned assessment of the Indian contribution to American history raises the question

whether whites could have settled the New World without the open, friendly greeting and aid proffered by Indian societies to the invaders. Since Native American allies helped white conquerors defeat other Indian groups when the Europeans were too weak to control the natives, Brandon argued that only Indian help enabled initial white settlement and later conquest of the Americans.6 Perhaps the most extreme claims for Indian contributions were put forth by the longtime friend



and lawyer for Indian groups, Felix Cohen, in an article with the satirical title, "Americanizing the White Man." To the usual list of con-

tributions, he added the American conception of freedom, lack of respect for hierarchical authority, universal female suffrage, and the pattern of United States union and federalism (inspired by the League

of the Iroquois).? In these days of environmental concern and the prospect for a cultural revolution by the young, new influences and inspiration are seen in the land ethic, ecological philosophies, and communalism practiced by the first Americans. In short, many white and Indian spokesmen argue that only by following traditional Indian respect for land and the sharing presumed common to Indian tribes in the past can Americans as a whole solve the present-day crisis brought on by previous white greed, racism, and cultural imperialism." In addition to the "contributions" approach to the forgotten or passive

object problem, Indians, like Blacks and European immigrants, have stressed the "great man" or "heroes" approach. They have searched their

past for those leaders who worked in the interests of Indian peoples against white adversaries. Alvin Josephy provided a good example of this approach in his book, whose title reveals its criterion of selection, The Patriot Chiefs: A Chronicle of American Indian Leadership.9 Not the compromiser or the politician but the tragic hero opposing overwhelming white odds for the sake of a lost cause are the heroes and true patriots in this approach. In the opinion of Josephy and Indian scholars, such men as Pope, Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Chief Joseph deserve the same place of importance in American history texts as Nathan Hale, George Washington, or Robert E. Lee. Not only do such Indian leaders go unhonored in the history books, they claim, but those men

who exploited or killed them, individuals like Andrew Jackson, are extolled. An approach unique to the Indian tale of American History as opposed

to that of other passive object groups is the story of the treaties made between Anglo-American governments and various tribes. Although most European nations denied aboriginal inhabitants sovereignty over themselves or their soil, still they treated Indian peoples as foreign powers and as possessors of their lands for sale purposes. From this incongruous situation in European conception and law came the

hundreds of negotiations and documents called treaties when first Europeans and then Americans wished allies, peace, or lands from various

native societies. To many Native Americans these treaties could be characterized, as Virgil Vogel has those of the Jackson period, as "masterpieces of intimidation, bribery, threats, misrepresentation, force, and fraud." Thus we could label the history of treaty wrongs the "fraud-and-

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dispossession" approach to American Indian history. The devious side of treaty-making is well known to scholars but seldom finds much of a place in general American history texts. As a result, Indians claim that other Americans rarely realize the full extent of the fraudulent practices and broken promises of their ancestors, although Helen Hunt Jackson as early as the year 1881 detailed these swindles in her A Century of Dishonor." Allied to the "fraud-and-dispossession" approach in its implications for moral judgments on past white actions is the "who-is-more-civilized" approach. In checking the annals of white-Indian relations, the researcher can find as many barbarities committed by whites against Indians as the usual vice-versa image. White atrocities of scalping., skinning victims, torture, and other practices gruesome to modern sensibilities occur as frequently in the record as those done by so-called savages. Certainly

for whites to claim all the civilized virtues on their side and all the barbaric vices on the Indian side as they once did in captivity narratives or in yesterday's movies is to falsify the past. We are beginning to see a reversal of victim and villain in recent movies, so that greedy, vicious whites now destroy hapless Indian innocents." The "who-is-more-civilized" approach embraces also the correction of distortions about Indian cultures of the past. When Indian writers point out that their ancestors farmed or hunted more often than warred, they seek to show how "civilized" their forebears were. Indian claims to systems of irrigation, a complicated calendar, and toy wheels as well as to beautiful arts and dances, a vast treasurehouse of oral literature, and meaningful philosophies of existence are all efforts to weigh the balance more evenly between the New and Old World cultures and thus refute the invidious equation between civilization and savagery with the two hemispheres. In the same way the "contributions" approach can be used to bolster the "who-is-more-civilized" approach. As traditional middleclass values in the dominant American culture become increasingly questioned, Indian ways of thought and living become more "civilized" than previously appreciated. The current ecological crusade and the modern movement for a cultural revolution, for example, transform the Indian land ethic and communal style of life from a primitive counter-model to the previously civilized Euro-American society to an ideal life-way for modern Americans who wish to preserve civilization from the downfall threatened by a continuation of older American values and practices. A new appreciation of Indian wisdom is spreading through the young population. Thus do the "contributions" and "who-is-more-civilized" approaches join and reinforce each other given the trends of the day in the United States.



Another approach well developed in Black history but more implicit in Indian materials so far is the "crushed-personality" and "cuituraltheft" emphases. Stanley Elkins' famed Slavery put forth the thesis quite explicitly for Afro-American personality and culture." The traumas of the Atlantic voyage added to the removal from native society shocked Blacks out of their cultures. The absolute control and power of coercion

held by the southern slaveholder infantilized the Black person and robbed him of his autonomous personality. To prove the latter, Elkins presented his famous concentration camp analogy. Although scholars and others long have noted the similarity between Indian reservation and con-

centration camp, they have not developed fully the psychological and

cultural implications of the notion in the manner of Elkins. Surely anthropologists provide ample materials to prove such a case in their studies of culture-and-personality and revitalization movements." These studies portray vividly the demoralization among Indians, particularly

male, in military defeat, removal from familiar lands, and placement upon reservations. Monographs upon the severe psychological problems of the Indian child in school or his parents at home as they try to straddle two cultures supply additional confirmation of the approach. Certainly the outlines of the story are sufficiently known to develop a lengthy indictment of the systematic white destruction of Indian personalities and cultures, and we only await an Elkins for the Indians. Indian activists and scholars do not end their search for a usable past with the approaches outlined here, but these constitute the chief trends in the new Indian history as preached and produced. Indians are not the first to condemn traditional American history for omitting or distorting their past in it. Nor are they alone in wanting to produce a heritage that they can be proud of at the same time as it offers a refutation of those white racist and imperialist pretentions that masquerade as the standard history of all the American peoples. Indians basically seek their place in the American history books through some approaches, as "heroes" and "contributions," typical of the Black and immigrant searches for a usable past and through emphases peculiar to their past, as the recital of treaty wrongs and "who is more civilized." The destruction of personality and culture is, so far, more employed by white anthropologists and historians than Indian scholars, and perhaps will remain so, because such a view contradicts Native American emphasis upon the persistence of Indian personality and cultural traits into the present. A white Elkins is sure to advance the thesis as an aid to understanding his red friends only to be repudiated as a racist enemy by Indian leaders. Such a result would only show that often the white search for a usable Indian past is not appreciated by Indians in the way the authors intended.

Native Americans and United States History


Intellectual and Moral Implications of Proposed Remedies The gap between white and Indian searches for a usable past suggests the general problem of the purposes of all the approaches. What ends are

sought through the transformation of American history by these methods? The main goal would seem to be the upgrading of the Indian image in both Indian and white eyes. Providing heroes, elevating customs and peoples previously assumed inferior, and in general showing the larger role of red men in the American past offer a new cultural identity to the Indian child who can view his forebears with respect, and provide the white child with the sensitivity and wisdom to acknowledge the sins committed by his ancestors and rectify the wrongs of the present. In fact, though, do the approaches really accomplish what the advocates intend?

Are the implications of the methods the same in reality as the ends espoused by Indian leaders? At bottom, do the approaches produce a history according to white or Indian views and values? Most of the approaches give only the appearance of denying white values at the expense of submitting to them in the end. The fundamental criterion for selection and emphasis in the approaches is all too often an appeal to white feeling and basically confirms the white way of looking at things. The "contributions" approach most obviously rests upon white standards of what is important to American life today. Whether contributions to language, geography, medicine, agriculture, clothing, or economy

are listed, all are just those elements of native cultures found useful to and therefore adopted by Euro-Americans. Even the new man-innature theme and communalism depend upon the fads of ecology and youth culture. Those many aspects of Indian cultures neither desired nor borrowed by whites are forgotten in the lists of contributions. Indian literature, philosophy, art, and religion can be listed as contributions only insofar as they can be made to be understood and appreciated by white people; otherwise the "contributions" approach fails to work. Its very

criterion of selection is based on white values and needs, not Indian values and needs.

Moreover, the "contributions" approach negates the criterion of not ripping elements out of cultural context. Whether hailing quinine or peyote, the religious ceremonies surrounding their use are denied or minimized. Whether praising ecological adaptation to the natural environment or the tribal sharing of goods, the various economic systems and cultures in which these were embedded are omitted. Indian leaders and scholars as well as their white supporters do an injustice to the very

diversity of Native American societies and cultures by speaking of "Indian" contributions as such. There was no one Indian philosophy, art,



or music, any more than there was one Caucasian or Oriental philosophy, art, or music. The toy wheel was Aztec, and the kayak was Eskimo, not Indian. Thus the very listing of "Indian" contributions supports the an-

cient white stereotype, which called all New World peoples Indians, rather than acknowledging the diverse cultural experiences lived by Native Americans. The other approaches may not appear as blatant in their dependence upon white values, but they too rest upon similar premises. The "fraud and-dispossession" approach and the recital of treaty wrongs eliminate

the problem of cultural context somewhat but still appeal mainly to white guilt and law procedures. Surely the vivid recounting of the grim misdeeds of past white government agents keeps Native American hostilities and mistrust alive, but the primary utility of this method would seem

to hinge upon remedy in white men's courts and consciences. The "who-is-more-civilized" approach, whether as a tale of atrocities or as an upgrading of Indian cultural standing in relation to past white cultures, likewise, appeals to white moral and cultural ends. Insofar as it details the horrible deeds committed by white soldiers and frontiersmen against Indian victims, it relies upon white moral standards and a guilty conscience. To the degree the approach demonstrates the sophistication and complexity of Indian cultures, then it uses a white measurement of progress. Even the "great heroes" approach merely reverses the chauvinism of the whites. In brief we have the same values praised by Indians as do the whites, but the traitor to old-time Americans is now portrayed as the hero to his people. More significant, by praising primarily military heroes, and frequently only in regard to white relationships, the plot of the story is dominated in the end by the white history of westward expansion and leaves out the political innovation, creative adaptation, or the internal dynamics of tribal histories. Concentration upon great men may distort Indian history therefore as much as it does white history, for it minimizes the social and historical context of the leaders in relation to their peoples. Just as the various approaches usually correct the past according to white criteria, so they also depend upon the framework traditional to white American history. Some Indian additions may be made and some moral judgments reversed, but the overall story is still that of white society and values and not Indian societies and cultures. Pontiac and Tecumseh, moccasins and corn, and treaties of Removal are added to Washington and Jackson, the Constitution and automobiles, and the treaties of Paris and Versailles, but the latter series is in the mainstream of the story and the former is obviously side currents of American history in its overall conception. The red additions enhance and change in detail

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the white story, but do they alter the fundamental outlines of American history? Such details may aid interracial understanding and equality, but the basic nature of American history remains unchanged in outlook and

outcome. Not only do the "contributions," "hero," and "fraud-anddispossession" approaches not alter the basic framework of American history but neither do they provide the native cultural contexts deemed so essentiel to the proper understanding of the first Americans, for, in the end, the Indians' actions, artifacts, and attitudes are lodged in a white context. Along with the omission of native cultural contexts goes the failure to present Indian lives as dynamic or changing in a way meaningful to the story of Native Americans in the United States. Restricted by the basic white historical framework, the various approaches neglect perforce the internal dynamics of Indian societies and their relations with each other as well as with white societies. The motive power, so to speak,

of American history generally rests in white actions and attitudes, and so by grafting on Indian contributions, treaties, and heroes, changes in Indian lives result from white contact and forces rather than from Indian creativity in adaptation, resistance, or innovation. Each intended correction, therefore, loses its basic goal in achieving its immediate end. In short, the resolution of the passive-object problem through the various approaches is only apparent, for the fundamental problem remains: Indian history is the by-product of the white story rather than a story in its own right. The Indian moon, although clearly visible in the new historiographic sky, still orbits the white sun and derives its luster from reflecting the larger body. The grossest omissions and distortions are thankfully corrected, but the basic Indian complaint about traditional American history as it has been written and taught holds almost as true for the new Indian history as advocated by so many Native Americans. The Solution: Indian-Centered History

What is clearly needed is a new Indian-centered history, both to accomplish the larger moral ends and to present better history. As the name suggests, Indian-centered history focuses on Indian actors and Indian-Indian relations and relegates white-Indian relations and white actors to the periphery of the main arena of action. Rather than assuming inevitable unilinear progress toward assimilation, Indian-centered history presents Indians as individuals in their cultures and tribes coping with Indian-introduced as well as white innovations to older ways of life. Indian-centered history follows Indian peoples from before white contact to their present lives on reservations, in urban ghettoes, and on



rural farms. The older and the newer Indian history, regardless of moral judgment pro and con white policy and actions, portrayed Indians react-

ing to white stimuli and native societies being extinguished through death or assimilation. lntra-tribal and external relations with other Indian societies were neglected in favor of white relations presumed the main cause of the eventual outcome of the tribal history. On the other hand, Indian-centered history concentrates on the ways Indians and their leaders coped with the course of their destinies. Assimilation and extinction are not presumed; white stimuli are not denied; intraand inter-tribal relations are not omitted." The advantages of such an approach to Indian history as proposed here are manifest in terms of the argument so far. This kind of Indian history retains the benefits of the various approaches to eliminate neglect and distortion but achieves these ends by placing the story of a tribe in its proper cultural and historical context. The beginnings of such history must be rooted in pre-white contact culture and society.The diversity of cultures, societies, and political units is built into the very foundations of such an approach. Indian actors are not only the heroes of lost causes,

but are also the politicians of compromise, the religious leaders, and everyday men and women going about the mundane activities of existence in a dynamic world, whether caused by natural, Indian, or white forces. Neither virtues nor faults, neither contributions nor misdeeds are stressed apart from how they fitted into the specific culture at the particular time. The static quality of Indian cultures and societies as usually described is eliminated in favor of the normal persistence and change evident in any society throughout its history. The actions of past

Indians become natural in terms of their cultural context, and the heritage of Indian-Americans becomes understandable in terms of its historical dynamics and continuity from past to present. In short, what Indian-centered history aims to achieve is what is usually done in any good white-centered history of American society.' To specify the qualities of Indian-centered history is easier than to produce it, given the problems of theory and evidence involved. While the writing of all history involves such problems,'" certain problems peculiar to Indian history exacerbate the situation. First, so much of the documentary evidence derives from white-perceived accounts of whiteIndian relations. To extract Indian-centered history from such sources, the historian and teacher must read between the lines. More Indianproduced evidence will be turned up through careful attention to oral sources and tribal records, but in the end, the historian will never possess the fullness of record he would like for overcoming the passive-object problem. Even for Indian-produced sources the historian faces the per-

Native Americans and United States History


sonal and political biases that gave rise to the materials. Anthropological data and theory aid the teacher and scholar in considering these problems but offer no quick and sure solutions. Ultimately, theory and evidence in Indian-centered history are inextricably bound to past misunderstandings

between whites and Indians and the translation of that confusion into the depiction of both parties' histories. Nothing less than the resolution of these problems of theory and evidence will permit the accomplishment of Indian-centered history, and nothing less than Indian-centered history fulfills the larger moral ends Indian leaders and their white friends see

as necessary to providing a usable Indian past for red and white peoples alike.' 7

The desirability of Indian-centered history does not demand the neglect or elimination of the many books presenting a white-centered version of white-Indian relations. Rather, it suggests that their partiality of approach be recognized for what it is: only part of the whole story. The continued validity of a white-centered book or article depends upon the

claims of the author and the material presented. If the author pretends to and presents nothing more than a partial tale or analysis of one side in the contact situation, then there seems little problem. On the other hand, if the author assumes that a focus on the white side of Indian relations is more than that, then he fools himself, if not his readers. Perhaps the most culpable author is the one who purports to give an "Indian" view by concentrating on a white-centered story of white-Indian relations but reversing the usual moral judgments upon the two sides in contact. Such an approach is naught but the old one falsely dressed in a new ethical guise. Both white-centered approaches to white-Indian relations and Indian-centered histories are legitimate provided the authors and the readers are aware of the province of each type, for both are different but complementary aspects of the total history of the United States." FOOTNOTES ' The American Indian Historical Society issued a comprehensive indictment from the Indian viewpoint of school materials in Textbooks and the American Indian. San Francisco: Indian Historian Press. 1970. Also see the brief pamphlet by Virgil J. Vogel. The Indian in American History. Chicago: Integrated Education Associates, 1968. Both available in paper from the publishers. Contemporary

political currents prompting demands by Native Americans may be followed in Stan Steiner. The New Indians. New York: Harper and Row, 1968 (paper).

Earlier twentieth-century Indian politics are the subject of Hazel


The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1971.

This chapter does not pretend to give the usual bibliography of Indian history because the American Historical Association issued in 1972 a revised edition of William T. Hagan. The Indian in American History. Washington, D.C.: Service



Center for Teachers of History, 1963. (paper). Many of the general books listed below contain good bibliographies, including in note 14 some references to films and other items particularly valuable to the classroom teacher. The Indian Historian published by the American Indian Historical Society, 1451 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, Calif. 94117, contains articles presenting "Indian" views on the American past. For the frontier imagery of white Americans that went into Turner's interpretation, see Henry N. Smith. Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1950 (paper). Books on white images of Native Americans are: Roy H. Pearce. The Savages of America: A Study of the Indian and the Idea of Civilization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1953 (published in paper as .S'avagism and Civilization: A Study of the Indian and the American Mind. 1965); Lewis Saum. The Fur Trader and the Indian. Seattle: University of Washington, 1965 (paper). A comparison of Spanish, Dutch, French, and English perceptions and policies is Howard Peckham and Charles Gibson, editors. Attitudec of Colonial Powers Toward the American Indians. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1969. ' Standard anthropological texts on the various cultures of North America are: Robert F. Spencer, Jesse D. Jennings, and others. The Native American: Prehistory

and Ethnology of the North American Indians. New York: Harper and Row, 1965; Wendell H. Oswalt. This Land Was Theirs: A Study of the North American

Indian. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1966; Ruth M. Underhill. Red Man's America: A History of Indians in the United States. Revised edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, le71 (paper); Harold E. Driver. Indians of North America. Second edition, revised, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969 (paper). The latter volume arranged according to topic to facilitate comparison. Ruth Underhill provides a good introduction to Red Man's Religion: Beliefs and Practices of the Indians North of Mexico. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965. An extensive bibliography, now somewhat out-of-date, classified by tribe is George P. Murdock. Ethnographic Bibliography of North America. Third edition, New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1960. Acculturation studies are frequently accused of assimilationist, if not progress, biases. Two standard acculturation monographs supplying a wealth of historical

information :n many tribes are: Ralph Linton, editor. Acculturation in Seven American Indian Tribes. New York: D. Appleton Century Co., 1940; Edward Spicer, editor. Perspectives in American Indian Culture Change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.

"American Indians and American History." The American West 2:


91-93, No. 1, Spring 1965. For other lists of contributions, see Vogel. The Indian in Arserian History: especially his bibliography published also in The Indian Fr...torian, new series, 1: 36-38; No. 1, Summer 1968; Driver. Indians of North America: A. Irving 14:dinwell. i he Backwash of the Frontier: The Impact of the Indian on American Culture," in Clifton Kroeber and Walker Wyman, editors. The Frontier in Perspective. Madison: University of Wisct,nsin Press, 1965 (paper). American Scholar. 21: 177-191; No. 2, Spring 1952. One of the points, Fir example, of Vine Deloria, Jr. Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: Macmillan, 1969 (paper); We Talk, You

Listen: New Tribes, New Turf. New York: Macmillan, 1970 (paper to be

available). " New York: Viking Press, 1961 (paper). Compare, however, Thurman Wilkins.

Cherokee Tragedy: The Story of the Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People. New York: Macmillan, 1970. '" The approach is exemplified well in the title of a recent monograph by Georgianna C. Nammack. Fraud, Politics, and the Dispossession of the Indians:

The Iroquois Land Frontier in the Colonial Period. Norman: University of

Native Americans and United States History


Oklahoma Press, 1969. Wilcomb Washburn provides a survey of the historical and

present-day legal status of Indian lands and persons in Red Man's Land/White Man's Law: A Study of the Past and Present Status of the American Indian. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971. Overall Anglo-American government policy and its effects is the main subject of William T. Hagan, American Indians. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961 (paper). Also see for the beginnings of United States policy: Reginald Horsman. Expansion and American Indian Policy, /783 -18/2. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1967; and Francis P. Prucha. American Indian Policy in the Formative Years: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts, 1790-1834. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962 (paper). " The popularity of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970 (paper), attests to the efficacy of this approach. 12 Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life. Second edition. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1968. Anthony F. C. Wallace, an outstanding authority on culture-and-personality and revitalization movements, applies hir insights in two histories: King of the Delawares: TePdyttscung 1700-1763. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949; and The Death oral Rebirth of the Seneca: The History and Culture of the Great Iroquois Nation, Their Destruction and Demoralization, and Their Cultural Revival at the Hands of the Indian Visionary, Handsome Lake. New

York: Knopf, 1969 (paper). 14 A good introduction to the early history of Native Americans is William T. Sanders and Joseph Marino. New World Prehistory: Archaeology of the American Indian, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970 (paper). Present-day life and

problems are the subjects of: Jack 0. Waddell and Michael Watson, editors. The American Indian in Urban Soc'ety. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., (paper); Stuart Levine and Nancy 0. Lurie, editors. The American Indian Today. Paper edition, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1970; George Simpson and J. Milton Yinger, editors. "American Indians and American Life," an entire issue of The Amials of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 311: May 1957. Informative efforts and approaches to the total Indian past and present are: Edwaid Spicer. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962 (paper); Jack D. Forbes. Native Americans of California and Nevada. Healdsburg, Calif.: Naturegraph Publishers, 1969 (paper); Eleanor Leacock and Nancy 0. Lurie, editors. North American Indians in Historical Perspective. New

York: Random House, 1971; Murray L. Wax. Indian Americans: Unity and Diversity. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971 (paper); Deward E. Walker, Jr., editor. The Emergent Native Americans: A Reader in Culture Contact. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1972. The possibilities of such history have been exemplified best so far for the native peoples of Mexico and Gudiemala in Eric Wolf. Sons of the Shakim; Earth. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959 (paper). '" A Behavioral Approach to Historical Analysis. New York: Free Press, 1969 (paper). '' The problems of theory and evidenc::-iii producing indian- centered history are

treated in my article, "The Political Context of a New Indian History." Pacific Historical Review. 40: 357-382, No. 3, August 1971. The even more difficult problems posed by such an approach for a general history of Indians are examined

in my new preface for my hook, Salvation and the Savage: An Analysis of Protestant Missions and American Indian Response, 1787-1862. New York: Atheneum, 1972 (paper). But see the interesting effort to overcome the problems of an overall history in Edward Spicer. A Short History of the Indians of the United States. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1969 (paper).



'° Most books and articles listed in the bibliographies on American Indian history are white-centered treatments of white-Indian relations. A representative selection of articles (abridged) in the field it. anthologized by Roger L. Nichols and George R. Adams. The American Indian: Past and Present. Waltham, Mass.: Xerox College Publishing, 1971 (paper). Paul Prucha has collected and abridged essays primarily on some white approaches to The Indian in American History. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971 (paper).



The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality John W. Blassingame

SPURRED by mass uprisings in the streets and on the campuses, young scholars launched a campaign in the 1960's for a "usable black past"a dramatic shift from the conspiracy of silence, vituperation, and misrepresentation of historians bent on preserving white supremacy. Columbia's celebrated John W. Burgess spoke for the white supremacists

of the late nineteenth century when he asserted: "A black skin means membership in a race of men which has never of itself succeeded in subjecting passion to reason; has never, therefore, created any civilization

of any kind."' In the mid-twentieth century, Ellis Merton Coulter went so far as to distort the comments of eyewitnesses to prove his allegation that blacks could not subject their passion to reason during the Reconstruction period.2

The influence of the Dunning, and Coulters caused such black scholars as Vincent Harding and Sterling Stuckey to demand an end to the distortion, deletion, and denial of black humanity. While the riots in Watts and Newark gave a new urgency to such demands, they have been made continuously by black intellectuals for more than a hundred years. Young scholars insist on stripping away the hypocrisy and myths surrounding the black past. According to Sterling Stuckey, Whether writing about Afro-Americans during and since slavery .




the historian must challenge the old assumptions about those on the lower depthsestablishment homilies . . .by revealing the internal values and life styles of the supposedly inarticulate. . . As history has .

been used in the West to degrade people of color, black history must seek dignity for mankind.2

Although some "New Left" historians have applauded the revisions called for by black scholars, Stuckey charges that many white historians 53



"have not been above lecturing blacks on how they should perceive and record their experiences. . . . Of all the people to deliver sermons to blacks, they would be among those least likely to receive a respectful hearing."4

One white historian who has received a respectful hearing is C. Vann

Woodward. "The legitimate demand for a 'new' Negro history is the result," Woodward claimed, "of white historians' ethnocentric selfflattery, complacency, racial chauvinism, and self-righteousness. But the

resulting distortions will not he corrected by imitation of that. same philosophy. . . ." Such a fear of black chauvinism was stated in extreme terms by Stanley Elkins. Practically reducing the movement to the level

of the absurd, Elkins contended that "If Negroes want the kind of usable past that Parson Weems offereda black George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and throwing a silver dollar across the Rappahannock--this can be provided. We can trot any number of black heroes across the stage. "5 Rarely have black intellectuals discussed their historiography in such simplistic terms."

Benjamin Quarles has written in great detail about the "new black history." It is obvious, he argued, that "to properly assess the black past we need newer, non-traditional techniques" embracing several disciplines and approaches. This new history has great potential: For blacks it is a new way to see themselves. For whites it furnishes a new version of American history, one that easily challenges our national

sense of smugness and self-righteousness and our avowal of fair play. Beyond this the new black history summons the entire historical guild writers, teachers and learnersto higher levels of expectation and performance.... A new black history would revitalize education, quickening whatever it touches.?

Whether black history stresses the victories, achievements, and heroes

demanded by the black masses seeking pride; focuses on the black nationalist's white exploiters and oppressors in order to undergird the ideology of black liberation; emphasizes the objective search for truth of the black scholar or white students' interest in the impact of the black

presence on the American past, it adds a new dimension to our traditional outlook on history. For each of these groups, the objectives are perhaps legitimate and certainly intertwined. The ideological debates have forced teachers in black history courses

to take a new approach to the subject. The question for such teachers is not whether to emphasize the "heroic tradition" or the "realistic" story

of blacks. Rather, it is whether to make blacks or whites the major actors in the story. Unfortunately, teachers usually place too much

The Afro.Americans: From Mythology to Reality


emphasis on the role of whites in the black historical drama. This emphasis often leads to weak "Race Relations" courses which could be better taught by sociologists. When the major emphasis is placed on the activities of black individuals and communities, however, teachers are in a better position to answer the difficult questions students are raising about the contemporary actions of blacks and their position in American society. Such an approach also has the virtue of automatically narrow-

ing the focus of black history courses. Then, too, an overwhelming majority of the lightly researched and tangentially related works on blacks are eliminated from consideration. The number of works in this

category alone is enough of a recommendation for taking this approach.

Fortunately, there are many guides which can be helpful. Still, no recent bibliographical aid can pretend to be as extensive as Monroe N. Work's classic, A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America.8 Dorothy Porter's The Negro in the United States: A Selected Bibliography is the most comprehensive short work." Although the format is sometimes idiosyncratic, James McPherson, et al., Blacks in America: Bibliographical Essays is an excellent annotated general guide to articles and books)" Elizabeth W. Miller and Mary Fisher, comps., The Negro in America: A Bibliography contains a relatively comprehensive list of articles and books published between 1954 and 1970." Textbooks on black history are numerous but vary considerably in quality. John Hope Franklin's From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans is the most detailed narrative study'2 while Rayford Logan's The Negro in the United States: A Brief History has no peer as a short text) Logan teamed with Irving S. Cohen to write the best high school textbook, The American Negro: Old World Background and New World Experience, successfully integrating the story of blacks with that of whites and including review questions, documents, maps and illustrations in each chapter." Lerone Bennett combined a journalistic style and hard-hitting generalizations to make his Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 16/9-1966 the most readable and enjoyable of the shorter interpretive histories."' While weak on urbanization and cultural and intellectual life, From Plantation to Ghetto by August Meier and Elliott Rudwick is the only really sophisticated interpretive black history text with a wealth of detail.'" The premier collection of primary sources is still Herbert Apthcker's A Doctimeritir y History of the Negro People in the United States."

More comprehensive than Aptheker on recent events is John Hope Franklin and Isidore Starr, eds., The Negro in Twentieth Century America: .4 Reader on the Struggle for Civil Rights." John H. Bracey,



August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick, eds., The Afro - Americans: Selected Documents emphasizes a case study approach with many sources rarely found in other collections.'" The best collections designed for high school students are William L. Katz, ed., Eyewitness: The Negro in American History and Milton Meltzer, ed., In Their Own Words: A History of the American Negro. :2"

Increasingly, scholars have abandoned the well-nigh impossible task of compiling general collections in favor of documents on specific topics. Illuminating works on civil rights cases include Richard Bardolph, ed.,

The Civil Rights Record: Black Americans and the Law, 1849-1970, Albert P. Blaustein and Robert L. Zangrando, eds., Civil Rights and the American Negro: A Documentary History, and Joseph Tussman, ed., The Supreme Court on Racial Discrimination.'" 1 ouis Ruchames' Racial Thought in America: From the Puritans to Abraham Lincoln is indispensable for understanding white racism and Herbert J. Storing, ed., What Country Have I? Political Writings by Black Americans, August Meier, Elliott Rudwick, and Francis L. Broderick, eds., Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century, and Floyd Barbour, ed., The Black Power Revolt: A Collection of Essays for insights on the black response.2

As of 1972, there are only two really comprehensive collections of essays on black history. Of these, the two-volume The Making of Black America: Essays on Negro Life and History edited by August Meier and Elliott Rudwick is the most illuminating.'' Eric Foner's America's Black Past: A Reader in Afro- American History is by far the best one-volume collection.2' The other collections are, by and large, pale reflections of these works, hashed out too quickly by persons unfamiliar with the field and frequently reprinting the same undistinguished essays. Recent exceptions to the general mediocrity of such collections include the original and often provocative essays contributed to Nat Huggins, et al., eds.,

Key Issues in the Afro-American Experience and the multi-volumed Explorations in the Black Experience edited by John H. Bracey, August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick.2' Explorations, with several 200-page books on such topics as Free Negroes and the Rise of the Ghetto, marked a

new departure in interpretive collections which promises to be extremely useful to teachers and students interested in a serious examina-

tion of the black experience or including specific topics in general American history courses. Drawing on a wide reading in the sources, the authors have chosen the essays in their collections so carefully that they can often replace textbooks. The poor quality of most collections and textbooks reflects the failure of :iistorians to grapple with the dilemma that W.E.B. Du Bois posed in

The AfroAmericans: From Mythology to Reality


1903: the duality of the black experience. According to Du Bois, blacks

always felt their twoness: "an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."2" The most crippling effect of the refusal to recognize this fundamental principle is the paucity of sophisticated historiographical works on

blacks. Earle E. Thorpe in The Mind of the Negro: an Intellectual History of Afro-Americans: Negro Historians in the United States; Black Historians: A Critique; and The Central Theme of Black History was the pioneer in this area.27 A number of recent articles, while less compre-

hensive than the works of Thorpe, are frequently more critical and suggestive of thematic approaches.28 Teachers in black history courses must begin with the nature of tribal societies in West Africa, the ancestral home of the American Negro. It is

not enough to discuss briefly the ancient African kingdoms of Ghana, Melle, and Songhay since few American blacks actually came from these

kingdoms. Even so, they must be examined in order to appreciate Africa's diversity. A most fascinating, profusely illustrated, authoritative, and readable work on the subject is Margaret Shinnie's Ancient African Kingdoms.'" Based on the latest archaeological investigations, Shinnie's

volume surpasses most others in its richness of detail. Olivia Vlahos' African Beginnings is also an authoritative text suitable for high school students."" Henri Labouret's Africa Before The White Man places the ancient kingdoms within the context of African tribal societies.31 The

serious reader should also consult John de Graft-Johnson's African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilizations, Roland Oliver, ed., The Middle Age of African History, and Basil Davidson's The Lost Cities of Africa.32

In order to understand the cultural baggage Africans brought with them to the United States it is necessary to examine some of the general features of their life. The best overviews are provided by Jan Vansina's Kingdoms of the Savanna, E. G. Parrinder's African Traditional Religion, Daryl! Forde, ed., African Worlds: Studies in the Cosmological Ideas and Social Values of African Peoples, Paul Bohannan's Africa and

Africans, and J. F. Ade Ajayi and Van Espie, A Thousand Years of West African History: A Handbook for Teachers and Students."" These

general studies should be supplemented by descriptions of speCific African societies. The most revealing study is Georges Balandier's Daily

Life in the Kingdom of the Kongo: From the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries."' Although lacking Balandier's sophistication, Jacob

Egharevba's A Short History of Benin, M. M. Green's Iho Village Allairs, K. L. Little's The Mende of Sierra Leone: A West African



People in Transition, S. 0. Biobaku's The Egba and Their Neighbours, 1842-1872, and J. F. Ade Ajayi and Robert Smith's Yoruba Warfare in the Nineteenth Century can be read with profit.5 There are no studies of the slave trade which focus on the hapless Africans. Instead, we learn a great deal about the traders, their profits and the treatment of white sailors. There is, however, some emphasis on the blacks in Daniel Mannix and Malcolm Cowley.. Black Cargoes: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1518-1865 and Basil Davidson's Black Mother: The Years of the African Slave Trade, while Philip D. Curtin's masterful The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census gives the best estimate of the numbers involved." Unfortunately, the weakest section of Curtin's book is that dealing with the United Sates. If the African has been ignored as an agent in the slave trade, he practically disappears in studies of the colonial period. By focusing almost exclusively on the development of the slave's legal status and "the chicken or the egg" debate over which developed first, slavery or prejudice, historians have neglected to examine the initial efforts of the Africans to

cope with a hostile new environment."' Gerald Mullin's Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth Century Virginia is in many ways the most satisfactory study of the transplanted Africans and the

first work to examine systematically the problem of "adjustment."" Darold D. Wax's "Negro Resistance to the Early American Slave Trade" also gives some glimpses of the enslavement process."" Both Mullin and Wax, however, stressed "resistance" to the virtual exclusion of the other kinds of "adjustments" the Africans made. Scholarly neglect of blacks in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has seriously crippled efforts to deal with the question of African survivals in black culture. Melville J. Herskovits in The Myth of the Negro Past" argued that there were many survivals while E. Franklin Frazier

in The Negro in the United States contended that there were few.4' Neither man did enough research in the sources to support his theory. The prevailing view is that slavery stripped the black of all manifestations of his African culture. Lorenzo D. Turner, Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect,{- Romeo B. Garrett, John F. Szwed, Daniel J. Crowley,

Richard A. Waterman, Alan Lomax, and Robert F. Thompson argue persuasively, however, that there were many African survivals.48 Still, the debate has not advanced far beyond the questions raised by Herskovits in 1941. The institution of slavery has been studied for more than one hundred years by historians. Only recently, however, are we beginning to learn something about slaves. Forced to deal for generations with the towering

figure of U. B. Phillips and the compelling logic of the theories he

The AlroAmericans: From Mythology to Reality


expounded in American Negro Slavery and Life and Labor in the Old South, most scholars have takcn the easy way out and concentrated almost exclusively on the white planter." Consequently, we have long-

standing debates on profitability, large vs. small planters, antebellum racial (white) attitudes, and plantation management with hardly a glance at the life style of slaves. We know much more about how planters tried to recover fugitive slaves than we do about what the slaves did when they ran away. There are massive studies of efforts of Southern churches to convert the slaves but no systematic examination of slave religion. Events in the quarters are so insignificant in most studies of slavery that they are useless in black history courses. How could it be otherwise when they devote an average of four pages to the slave family, three to slave religion, and a few lines to spirituals, folklore, and leisure-time activities and follow the narrow focus of Phillips on plantation documents? Assuming that because some of the slave narratives were edited by abolitionists, none of them could be considered as evidence, these scholars automatically guaranteed that the slaves would remain silent. Yet, there were many narrators who had no abolitionist amanuenses and countless other former slaves who wrote their autobiographies after the Civil War. While there are numerous problems involved in using such sources, they are no different in character from those which the historian usually encounters. Beginning in 1963, scholars attempted to make the debate over slavery

less one-sided by bringing the slave forward as a witness. Charles H. Nichols' Many Thousand Gone: The Ex-Slaves' Account of the Bondage and Freedom was the first of these suggestive works:15 Stanley Feldstein examined more narratives than Nichols in his Once A Slave: The Slave's View of Slavery but limited his analysis to reporting what the slaves said about a limited number of sometimes unconnected topics. Rather than an intense study of the quarters, Feldstein dealt with too many of the usual topics included in institutional studies of slavery (provisions, crops, types of slaves, and slavery as a national issue). When, however, Feldstein looked at plantation life and attitudes he came closer to the slave.4" Unfortunately, both Nichols and Feldstein treated the narratives as literature, reporting what the narrators said rather than using them to analyze certain subjects. The methodological weaknesses of Nichols and Feldstein contrasted sharply with Norman R. Yetman's critical introduction and careful selection of WPA interviews for inclusion in his Life Under the "Peculiar Institution": Selections from the Slave Narrative Collection.'? In spite of his care, Yetman had the impossible task

of sifting through the reminiscences of blacks who were at least seventy years removed from slavery when they were interviewed in the 1930's.



The selective memory of the ex-slaves is such that their reminiscences generally are more valuable as folklore than as eyewitness accounts. The reprinting of many black autobiographies presents the teacher with the best opportunity to study the plantation from the slave's vantage point. The most revealing of the autobiographies are those of Frederick Douglass, Henry Bibb, Josiah Henson, Gustavus Vassa, Austin Steward,

Henry Clay Bruce, Louis Hughes, and Elizabeth Keck ley. Several anthologies include the best narratives." Kenneth Stampp made a valiant effort to characterize slave life in

The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South but let Phillips set the terms of the debate and was too wedded to viewing the quarters through the eyes of whites to succeed. In spite of the methodological shortcomings, Stampp presented the most accurate portrait of the plantation.'"

The most provocative study of slavery to appear in the 1960's is Stanley Elkins, Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life!" Arguing persuasively that Southern slavery differed so much from the Latin American institution that a distinctive personality type emerged on American plantations, Elkins theorized that a majority of Southern slaves were Sambos. The child-like docility of the Southern slave was, according to Elkins, analogous to the behavior of the survivors

of the German concentration camps and explainable in terms of role psychology and interpersonal theory. Critics of Elkins have proven conclusively that there were more similarities than differences in Southern and Latin American slavery. So far, however, the underlying assump-

tions of his Sambo thesis have not been challenged. By and large, critics have accepted Elkins' psychological theories, characterization of the German concentration camp, and the pervasiveness of Sambo in

"Southern lore." The most serious charge made against Elkins was his failure to support his theory with primary sources.52 John W. Blassingame in The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the

Antebellum South examines a variety of primary sources, analogous institutions, and psychological theories in his look at slaves and masters." Interpersonal theory, analysis of the autobiographies of slaves and masters, and travel accounts lead to a less deterministic and far more complex view of the plantation and slave personality than Elkins' hypothesis. The primary importance of Blassingame's study, however, is that it is the first attempt to study enslavement, family life, rebelliousness,

religion, culture, and behavior from the vantage point of the slave quarters. Profusely illustrated, The Slave Community tried to show what it was like to he a slave.

The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


An earlier study by Richard Wade, Slavery in the Cities: The South,

1820-1860 detailed the unique impact of urbanization on slavery." Utilizing unreliable statistics, Wade concluded that urban slavery declined in importance in the 1850's. Apparently, however, the alleged decline in the number of slaves in southern cities was due to a change in the censustaking procedure. In 1850 the slaves belonging to inhabitants of a city

had been credited to that city regardless of where the blacks actually resided in the state. The procedure was reversed in 1860: slaves living in a city were credited to that city regardless of where their masters Practically all studies of slavery mention the problem of resistance. With the exception of Blassingame and Mullins, none of them approach the subject in the systematic fashion of Herbert Aptheker's American Negro Slave Revolts. 5" Focusing primarily on conspiracies and white fears rather than actual revolts, Aptheker's book is sadly mistitled. His overenthusiasm and misguided attempt to force black resistance into a Marxian framework have frequently led historians to ridicule the whole idea of rebelliousness. The unkindest cut of all was given by Chase C. Mooney when he described the work as "so subjective and lacking dis-

crimination that the bookin any of its formsscarcely deserves to be classed as history."57 Fortunately, most historians have not been so given to hyperbole as Mooney and have admitted that Aptheker's study was more solidly grounded in the sources than most of his predecessors. It stands in sharp contrast, for example, to the undocumented volume of Nicholas Halasz's The Rattling Chains: Slave Unrest and Revolt in the Antebellum South." Studies of individual revolts and conspiracies in-

clude John Lofton's Insurrection in South Carolina: The Turbulent World of Denmark Vesey; Robert S. Starobin, ed., Denmark Vesey: The Slave Conspiracy of 1822; Herbert Aptheker's Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion; F. Roy Johnson's The Nat Turner Slave Insurrection; and Eric Foner, ed., Nat Turner." Larry Gara's The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad explores the myth and reality of organized escapes.6°

Fictional treatments of slavery which rise above the banal are infrequent. While most scholars will begin with Harriett B. Stowe's Uncle

Tom's Cabin, Richard Hildreth's The Slave; or Memoirs of Archy Moore is a more accurate portrait of the institution."' Several recent treatments by black novelists are extremely perceptive. Alston Anderson's All God's Children: A Novel and Margaret Walker's Jubilee are especially illuminating."2 The best fictionalized characterization of slave resistance is Arna Bontemps' account of Gabriel Prosser, Black



Thunder.63 The strength of Bontemps' novel is a result of his wide reading of the slave narratives.

While Bontemps depended on primary sources as the basis for his novel, William Styron used his imagination and the writings of U. B. Phillips and Stanley Elkins in composing his "meditations on History," the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Confessions of Nat Turner." Praised by white scholars for his historical accuracy, Styron was lambasted by black writers for the unbelievable mental gyrations which led to a "rebel" who

was a "Sambo." Although the novel itself was born of ignorance, and simply repeated the errors made by Phillips and Elkins, few scholars had done enough research in the sources to evaluate its historical accuracy. The same was true of the black writers. If one concedes (as this writer does ) that a novelist has the license to use his imagination to attempt to explain reality, then Styron deserved his Pulitzer Prize. When, however, that novelist claims that he is "meditating on history" or writing a historical novel, he should be held accountable for his deviation from the facts. As a novel Confessions is superb, as a historical novel it is absurd. Having praised the novel, white historians rushed to the barricades to defend their "liberal" credentials when John Henrik Clarke, ed., William Styron's Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond appeared."'" Generally, the historians missed the essential point that the blacks were trying to make. The award of a Pulitzer Prize to Styron for his emasculation of

Nat Turner indicated to blacks that the Great American Novel had become a woman-hating glorification of homosexuality which reduced

the black man to the only position in which he is accepted in white America: impotence. Understandably, blacks rejected Styron's effort to kill one of their folk heroes. Their anger could be comparable only to the probable reaction of American whites if some English author wrote a fictional account of George Washington with him fawning on Englishmen, hating other American colonists, masturbating at an age when all of his friends were wenching, having Patrick Henry entering his outhouse

and searing his anus with a blazing pine knot, looking longingly at Martha but having homosexual relations with Thomas Jefferson, struck dumb with passion at every English woman he sees and ravishing her in his mind or as he masturbates, so paralyzed with fear that he can not even shoot an English soldier, and then vomiting, retching, and heaving his guts out before, during, and after each battle. However much license a novelist has, such a work would be viewed rightly as the murder of a folk hero. Unlike the slave, the antebellum free Negro has had few novelists or historians to chronicle his story. There is still (as of 1972) no general history of free Negroes in the South and John Hope Franklin's The Free

Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860 and Luther P. Jackson's Free

The AfroAmericans: From Mythology to Reality


Negro Labor and Property Holding in Virginia, 1830-1860 stand alone as comprehensive state studies." Letitia Brown's Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846 is a pioneering though limited study of urban free blacks.ti7 The standard monograph on northern free blacks

is Leon Litwack's North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860 but it is so concerned with race relations that it reveals little about the internal dynamics of the black community." The most essential sources for studying the free Negroes are the autobiographies they wrote. John Malvin, Daniel Peterson, Samuel Ringgold Ward, John

Mercer Langston, Daniel A. Payne, Mifflin Gibbs, John P. Green, Jeremiah Asher, and James Still present the most intimate picture of their communities." Benjamin Quarles has almost singlehandedly recon-

structed many important activities of the free Negroes in his justly acclaimed Black Abolitionists and The Negro in the American Revolution.'"

The drama inherent in the Civil Wat auci the central role of blacks in the conflict has made it one of the most thoroughly examined periods in black history. Benjamin Quarles' The Negro in the Civil War, Dudley T. Cornish's The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, 1861-

1865, and James McPherson, ed., The Negro's Civil War are indispensable for the union story" while James H. Brewer's The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsmen and Military Laborers, 1861-1865 and Bell I. Wiley's Southern Negroes, 1861-1865 recount developments in the confederacy.72 The movement toward emancipation is explored in John Hope Franklin's The Emancipation Proclamation, Benjamin Quarles' Lincoln and the Negro, V. Jacque Voegeli's Free but Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro During the Civil War, Charles L. Wagandt's The Mighty Revolution: Negro Emancipation in Maryland, 1862-1864, and Forrest G. Wood's Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction."'" The closest rival to the Civil War in scholarly interest is Recor truedon. Recent writings on the period contrast sharply with earlier racist

tracts in viewpoint and, more importantly, in the extent of research. Robert Cruden's The Negro in Reconstruction is an excellent synthesis of contemporary monographic studies which goes beyond the traditional fascination with politics." While Lerone Bennett's Black Power, U.S.A.: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877 is less comprehensive than Cruden, it is more readable.75 Theodore Wilson's The Black Codes

of the South, Otis A. Singletary's Negro Militia and Reconstruction, Howard A. White's The Freedmen's Bureau in Louisiana, and Martin Abbott's The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, 1865-1872 treat some of the essential special topics."



The much maligned black politician is rarely considered seriously in most studies. E. Merton Coulter's Negro Legislators in Georgia During

the Reconstruction Period is one of the few exceptions, but it is an antediluvian racist diatribe reminiscent of his strictures on blacks in his The South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877.77 A historiographical curiosity, Negro Legislators is an indispensable reminder that Reconstruction history has long been and still remains a "Dark and Bloody Ground." W.E.B. Du Bois' Black Reconstruction . . ., 1860-1880 and James S. Allen's Reconstruction: The Battle for Democracy, 1865-1876, though marred by strained Marxist interpretations, are crucia1.78 Of similar vintage, and lightly researched, are Samuel D. Smith's The Negro in Congress, 1870-1901, Luther P. Jackson's Negro Office-holders in

Virginia, 1865-1895, and J. Mason Brewer's Negro Legislators of Texas." Okon E. Uya's From Slavery to Public Service: Robert Smalls, /839 -1915 is an imaginative study of the South Carolina leader

but is weakened by the paucity of manuscripts available." The most complete data on black politicians are found in Laurence Bryant's Negro

Lawmakers in the South Carolina Legislature, 1869-1902 and Negro Senators and Representatives in the South Carolina Legislature, 18681902."' Including age, slave or free status, education, wealth, occupations, and offices held, Bryant inexplicably chose not to analyze his data. Even so, the material culled laboriously from wills, manuscript censuses, tax records, and newspapers presents the most comprehensive portrait of black politicians. Eugene A. Feldman's Black Power in Old Alabama: the Life and Stirring Times of James T. Rapier, Afro-American Congressman front Alabama, 1839-1883, suffering from all of the weaknesses

of Uya's work with few of its strengths, is notable primarily for its brevity.82 The most reliable information on such black politicos as P.B.S. Pinchback, Francis L. Cardozo, John R. Lynch, and Blanche K. Bruce is found in their autobiographies and a few articles." Finally, historians are expanding their purview beyond the political controversies of Reconstruction. Joe M. Richardson examined manuscript census returns in an effort to uncover the social and economic outlines of the black community in his The Negro in the Reconstruction of Florida, 1865-1877 and Joel Williamson utilized an impressive array of sources to determine economic, social, and racial patterns in After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina During Reconstruction, 18611877. "' Eschewing the traditional state approach, Willie Lee Rose produced a perceptive study of blacks during the first years of freedom in Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment.'5 W. McKee Evans followed Mrs. Rose's example in Ballots and Fence Rails: Reconstruction on the Lower Cape Fear!'" Narrowing the focus even further,

The Afro-AmericariV From Mythology to Reality


John Blassingame ignored the staples of politics and agricultural labor in favor of an urban study, Black New Orleans, 1860-1880.87 The descent of blacks to their nadir at the beginning of the twentieth

century has been analyzed by several scholars. Rayford Logan's The Negro in American Life and Thought: The Nadir, 1877-1901 is a masterful examination of the racism pervading American thought and its role in the disfranchisement and oppression of blacks." Comprehensive state studies focusing primarily on politics include Frenise Logan's The Negro in North Carolina, 1876-1894, George B. Tindall's South Caro-

lina Negroes, 1877-1900, Lawrence D. Rice's The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900, and Helen G. Edmonds' The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina, 1894-1901.89 One of the most influential treatments of the period is C. Vann Woodward's The Strange Career of Jim Crow." Arguing that legal segregation was largely a product of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Woodward's volume has stirred up considerable controversy. While Albert Sanders, John Hammond Moore, Henry C. Dethloff, and Charles Wynes support the thesis, Joel Williamson, Richard Wade, Roger A. Fischer, Barry Crouch, and Meier and Rudwick find strong evidence of segregation during or before Reconstruction."' The movement, toward segregation (but little else) in Northern cities is described in Seth M. Scheiner's Negro Mecca: A History of the Negro in New York City, 1865-1920, Gilbert Osofsky's Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto; Negro New York, 1890-1930, and Allan Spear's Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 18901920.92 Carol K. R. Bleser's The Promised Land: The History of the South Carolina Land Commission, 1869-1890 and Phillip Durham and Everett L. Jones' The Negro Cowboys are excellent explorations of the largely neglected field of nineteenth-century black economic developments."' Twentieth-century economic developments are treated perceptively in

E. Franklin Frazier's Black Bourgeoisie, Morton Rubin's Plantation County, F. Ray Marshall's The Negro and Organized Labor, Raymond Wolters' Negroes and the Great Depression: The Problem of Economic Recovery, and Donald H. Grubbs's Cry from the Cotton: The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union and the New Deal. °4 The most useful examinations of twentieth-century black politics appear in James Q. Wilson's Negro Politics: The Search for Leadership, Samuel Lubell's White and Black: Test of a Nation, Margaret Price's The Negro Voter in the South, and Andrew Buni's The Negro in Virginia Politics, 1902-1965.95 Since few historians other than Buni have written book-length studies of black political movements, most works on the subject are quickly outdated and cluttered with the jargon of the political scientist. Detailed informa-



tion on the military service of blacks since the Civil War can be found in John M. Carroll, ed., The Black Military Experience in the American West, William H. Leckie's The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West, Arlen L. Fowler's The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891, Richard Dalfiume's Desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces: Fighting on Two Fronts, 1939-53, and Ulysses Lee's The Employment of Negro Troops: United States Army in World War II." The relationship betv.z.en blacks and the Communist Party has not (as of 1972) been studied adequately but there are several works which deal with the question. The starting point is still Wilson Record's The Negro and the Communist Party and Race and Radicalism: The NAACP and the Communist Party in Conflict."' Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual gives a sensitive portrait of the strugi,les between black artists and white communists, Dan T. Carter's Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South is the definitive account of the fight black leaders waged against the communists to save nine black boys accused of raping two white women, and Benjamin J. Davis's The Negro People On the March and Claude M. Lightfoot's Ghetto Rebellion to Black Liberation raise anew the perennial animosity between the communists and black nationalists." The extent of black protests against white proscriptions is revealed in several excellent volumes. Loren Miller's The Petitioners: The Story of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Negro is an impressive

summary of the legal struggle for rights while Mary Berry's Black Resistance, White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America describes the federal government's persistent refusal to protect the lives of blacks." Although unimaginatively, Benjamin Muse has outlined the Civil Rights movement since 1954 in Ten Years of Prelude: The Story of Integration Since the Supreme Court's 1954 Decision and The Ameri-

can Negro Revolution: From Non-violence to Black Power, 19631967.100 Anthony Lewis's Portrait of a Decade: The Second American Revolution and Lerone Bennett's Confrontation: Black and White are excellent introductions.10' The major black protest organizations are examined in Howard Zinn's SNCC: T-- New Abolitionists, Langston Hughes' Fight for Freedom: The Story of the NAACP, and Arvarh E. Strickland's History of the Chicago Urban League.1°2 Comprehensive studies of CORE, SCLC, the Urban League, and the NAACP still have not appeared. The ideological positions of recent black leaders are surveyed in Louis Lomax's The Negro Revolt and Lerone Bennett's The Negro Mood.'" Although none of the analyses prepared American whites for the riots which occurred in the 1960's, historians and report s have described

The AlroAmericans: From Mythology to Reality


them and their predecessors in great detail. Among the best of these studies are Robert Conot's Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness, Fred C. Shapiro and James W. Sullivan's Race Riots, New York, 1964, Tom Hayden's Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response, Robert Shogan and Tom Craig's The Detroit Race Riot . . ., Ben W. Gilbert's Ten Blocks from the White House, Elliott M. Rudwick's Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917, and William M. Tuttle's Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Sununu- of 1919.104 Several general perspectives are presented in Joseph Boskin's Urban Racial Violence in the Twentieth Century, Allen D. Grimshaw, ed., Racial Violence in the United States, Arthur I. Waskow's From Race Riot to Sit -!n, 1919 and the 1960's . Robert H. Connery, ed., Urban Riots: Violence and Social Change, and

Robert M. Fogelson's Violence as Protest: A Study of Riots and Ghettos. 105

The marchings, sit-ins, and riots of the 1960's heralded a resurgence in black nationalism. 'T ditionally, nationalists (blacks stressing group or racial solidarity, praise, and loyalty) have received a bad press in the

United States. Since the nationalists focus on a common racial and cultural identity, many of their movements are equated with the Ku Klux Klan. Especially when considei ing separatist and back-to-Africa movements, white scholars treat them as pathological responses to discrimination. Yet, scholars recognize that a majority of AI national movements have involved responses to increased frustrations. And, given the fact

that blacks have been struggling for more than 350 years to be integrated into American society, there is a great deal of doubt as to whether integration is more realistic than separatism. Since many of the back-to-Africa movements have arisen during times

of apparent increases in economic, social and political deprivation, scholars have dismissed them as signs of the black man's hopelessness and escapist fantasy. They were indeed this, but at the same time they differed in no important way from the large-scale migration of Europeans to the New World and Australia. Unlike the back-to-Africa movements, scholars when treating European migration focus on the dreams the

migrants had for future success, rather than the fact that they were giving up on their native land in the face of economic, political, and religious oppression and deprivation. Such attitudes indicate a kind of myopia about the black experience which is frightening. Take, for example, the oft repeated observation that separatist and African colonization movements arise during periods of increased racial discrimination. First of all, this observation implies that there has been a long golden age in race relations broken periodically by riots, Jim Crow, and Ku Kluxism. Just the opposite seems to be true. For the mass of Negroes, economic



deprivation and white oppression have been constant realities with much

heralded changes in forms (as during Reconstruction or the 1960's) which made little impact on the structure of discrimination. Martin Delany, antebellum Negro conventions, Alexander Crummell, studies of the American Colonization society, Edwin Redkey's examination of late nineteenth-century back-to-Africa movements, analyses of the rise of Negro towns, Geis and Bittle's imaginative reconstruction of

Chief Albert Sam's efforts just before the first world war, E. David Cronon's biography of Marcus Garvey, and Essien-Udom and Lincoln's sensitive portraits of the Black Muslims indicate that emigration and separatism have been constants in black thought.'"" The most influential general work stressing nationalism as pathology

is Theodore Draper's The Rediscovery of Black Nationalism.'" The paucity of research, however, undermines the reliability of Draper's volume. The reader with a serious interest in the subject must consult the excellent documentary collection of John H. Bracey, Jr., August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick, eds., Black Nationalism in AmPrica.'" Pan Africanism, or the belief in the kinship, and solidarity of peoples

of African descent, has been a vital force in black nationalism since the antebellum period. The most informative studies of the subject are Harold Isaacs' The New World of Negro Americans, Adelaide C. Hill and Martin Kilson, eds., Apropos of Africa: Sentiments of Negro American Leaders on Africa from the 1800s to the 1950s, American Society of African Culture, Pan-Africanism Reconsidered,'" several essays, 11" and the voluminous writings of W.E.B. Du Bois. Social history is the least studied aspect of the black experience. The

most important black institutionthe familyhas been virtually ignored by historians. Consequently, sociologists, with their penchant for .unearthing the pathological side of life, have been swimming along in a sea

ignorance. ignoring E. F. Frazier's impressive and careful research

in his masterful The Negro Family in Chicago while accepting (or distorting) the undocumented speculations in his The Negro Family in the United States, sociologists and historians have perpetuated the myth of the monolithic matriarchal black family."' Recent scholarship has almost entirely revised the Frazierian thesis. The best of this growing body of literature is Andrew Billingsley's Black Families in White America and Joyce A. Ladner's Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman."'

A general overview of black education is furnished by Henry A. Bullock's A History of Negro Education in the South from 1619 to the Present and Earl J. McGrath's The Predominantly Negro Colleges and Universities in Transition.' The most authoritative and revealing

The Alx-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


studies of specific colleges include Rayford W. Logan's Howard Univer-

sity, the First Hundred Years, 1867-1967, Clarence A. Bacote's The Story of Atlanta University: A Century of Service, 1865-1965, Edward A. Jones' A Candle in the Dark: A History of Morehouse College, and Florence M. Read's The Story of Spelman College."' The incomparable Benjamin Mays discussed his years as Morehouse's president in Born to Rebel: An Autobiography."5 If the test of an educational institution is the contributions of its graduates, then black schools have been successful. The occupations and roles of the "talented tenth" are described in G. Franklin Edwards' The Negro Professional Class and Herbert M. Morais' The History of the IN'gro in Medicine."9 The significant contributions of blacks to American 'ntellectual and cultural life arc evaluated in a number of works. The music of black America is treated in great detail in LeRoi Jones' Blues People: Negro Music in White America.'" Although Jones is by far the most comprehensive and readable, he often tries to see too much of black life and history through the prism of music. The best sociocultural study of jazz is Marshall W. Stearns' The Story of Jazz while Eileen Southern's The Music of Black Americans: A History is a general work based on a wealth of primary sources."8 The spirituals are treated in Howard Thurman, Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals and Bernard Katz, ed., The Social !iniplications of Early Negro Music in the United States."9 Obsessed by the debate over the purpose of fiction, scholars have produced few illuminating critical studies of black literature. There is no sophisticated study of nineteenth-century black novelists and poets and most studies of twentieth-century writers are overly narrow in scope. .

One attempt to study the most important intellectual and cultural movement of the twentieth centurythe Harlem renaissanceis Nathan Huggins' Harlem Renaissance.'29 Huggins' volume is, however, hardly

definitive. A remnant of an older genre concerned with racial interaction and the impact of whites on blacks, Harlem Renaissance contains questionable assessments of the major renaissance figures and ignores the internal dynamics of the black community which fostered and nurtured the movement. Instead, we get many speculations on Carl Van Vetchten's influence and what whites projected onto the "primitives" in Harlem but

no discussion of the "salons" rt_n by blacks, or the literary contests sponsored by Crisis and Opportun'fv. Even if Huggins' thesis that there was a symbiotic relationship between black artists and white America has some validity, he has failed to prove it. After postulating his theory, Huggins neglected the manuscripts of black writers, their published memoirs, and, even more important, failed to read the reviews of black



novels written by whites. These sources frequently reveal a different kind of renaissance than that which Huggins found.

Unbelievably, no one has yet (as of 1972) written a sophisticated, general survey of black poetry. Anthologies, on the other hand, are abundant.'21 Appreciation of the black novelist is only a little higher than

that of the black poet. For the most part, scholars have been intrigued more by the way white novelists have caricatured blacks than by the

black novelists' perception of reality. The essential works on black writers are Hugh M. Gloster's Negro Voices in American Fiction, Edward Margolies' Native Sons: A Critical Study of Twentieth Century

Negro-American Authors, and Robert Bone's The Negro Novel in America.'22 Gloster was so obsessed with racial consciousness that he ignored the literary form and quality of the works he analyzed. Bone and Margolies took the opposite view. Stressing "art for the sake of art," they were too quick to denigrate black writers who saw their works as weapons to use against racist America. Analyses of the role of blacks in the theatre combine historical and artistic develop ents on a much higher level than studies of black novelists. Loften Mitchell's Black Drama: The Story of the American Negro in the Theatre, Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, and Doris E. Abramson's Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1959 provide comprehensive detailed surveys which are fascinating to read.12" In contrast to the theatre, studies of blacks in films are paltry. Peter Noble's The Negro in Films and V. J. Jerome's The Negro in Hollywood Films, though outdated, provide an introduction'24 while two articles by Thomas R. Cripps, "The Death of Rastus: Negroes in American Films since 1945" and "Movies in the Ghetto, B.P. [Before Poitier]" are the most reliable essays on the subject.1 5 Revelations about practically every aspect of the black experience appear in the growing list of biographies. Collective biographies suitable for high school students include Russell L. Adams' Great Negroes, Mast and Present, Lerone Bennett's t-imzeers in Protest, Arna Bontemps'

Famous Negro Athletes, Lavinia G. Doblei and Edgar A. Toppin's Pioneers and Patriots: the Lives of Six Negroes of the Revolutionary Era, Langston Hughes' Famous Negro Heroes of America, Wilhelmena S. Robinson's Historical Negro Biographies, and Charlemae Rollins' Famous Negro Entertainers of Stage, Screen, and TV.12" Popularly written biographies are so numerous that students czn easily find Ci fie which will illuminate both the "heroic" and "realistic" aspects of black history. Including scientists, frontiersmen, athletes, ministers, scholars, doctors, lawyers, and slaves and free men, these volumes engender more interest in and empathy with black history than most other works.'27

The AlroAmericans: From Mythology to Reality


Scholarly biographies of major black figures are fewer in number than

the popular ones because only a limited number of blacks preserved the letters and diaries written during their lifetimes. In spite of this, there are informative studies of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King.12" Booker Washington is the only black leader whose life has been discussed in any comprehensive fashion. The indispensable works are August Meier's Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915: Racial Ideologies in the Age of Booker T. Washington and the first volume of Louis Harlan's detailed and heavily documented study, Booker T. Washington: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856-1901.'2" While Meier explores the economic, social, and intellectual developments in the black community and Washington's role in them, Harlan describes, for the first time, all of the forces which made the man into one of the most complex and least understood figures in American history. A decade of research in the Washington papers, an impressive list of other sources, empathy, and considerable literary skill led Harlan to produce the best biography

of Washington so far. Data on less famous blacks can be found in Richard Bardolph's The Negro Vanguard, William E. Farrison's William Wells Brown: Author and Reformer, Stephen R. Fox's The Guardian of Boston: William Monroe Trotter, and Emma Lou Thornhrough's T. Thomas Fortune: Militant Journalist.'" However good biographies are, they rarely allow students to view the world the way blacks have. The best way to gain intimate knowledge of

the way blacks think, act, and view themselves, white America, and their community is through autobiographies. The perennial favorites of

students are Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, first published in 1901, W.E.B. Du Bois' The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois, and Malcolm X's The Autobiography of Malcolm X.'"' The autobiographies of Anne Moody, Paul Robeson, John C. Daney, Horace

Cayton, Langston H;ghes, Reba Lee, and Ellen Tarry are also perceptive and extremely interesting.''" These and other autobiographies move blacks to the center stage in their historical drama and forcefully portray what it means to be black in white America. A review of writings on Afro-Americans is an important corrective to the mythology of the black past. A realistic portrayal of Afro-Americans will contain black and white villains, heroes, and ordinary black men and women struggling against extraordinary odds. Only those who know nothing of the black past or who still insist that history is limited to the mythological exploits of kings and presidents contend that since blacks have been largely powerless their history is necessarily unheroic. The proper view, it seems to me, was presented by the black scholar



C. V. Roman in 1911. Arguing that a dispassionate study of the past would inevitably add many blacks to America's pantheon of heroes, Roman contended that: A Negro woman crossing a mad and swollen river on floating pieces of ice, barefooted and with a child in her arms, that she might find liberty for herself and child, presents a picture of magnificent heroism, fit for song and story. I am not preaching ethnic antagonism nor endeavoring to give a racial tinge to the facts of history, but I do wish to widen sufficiently the field of taught history to include Negroes who justly belong there. . . . It is a long way from a log cabin in Kentucky to the Presidency of these United States, but from the slave-pens of Maryland to the marshalship of the District of Columbia is further. While we justly honor Lincoln for the first, we should remember Douglass made the second."3

Since white historians have long written about the American past as if blacks did not exist, it is easy to understand the demands of contemporary blacks that they be given some visibility. Few fair-minded men will deny the legitimacy of their claims. Teachers must abandon the myth-

ology of the white supremacists and present the reality of the black experience in America. FOOTNOTES ' Sterling Stuckey. "Twilight of Our Past: Reflections on the Origins of Black History." Atnistad 2 (1971), 275. 'John Hope Franklin. "Whither Reconstruction Historiography?" Journal of Negro Education 17: 446-61; No. 4, Fall 1948. Contains a devastating critique of Coulter.

'Stuckey. "Twilight of Our Past...." pp. 272, 290. Ibid. p. 291.

John A. Garraty, editor. Interpreting American History: Conversations with Historians. New York: Macmillan, 1970. For Woodward, pt. 11, 62; for Elkins, pt. I, 199. " Vincent Harding. "Beyond Chaos: Black History and the Search for the New

Land." Alaska 1: 267-92; C. Vann Woodward. "Clio with Soul." Journal of American History 56: 5-20; No. 1, June 1969; John W. Blassingame. "Black

Studies and the Role of the Historian," in Blassingame, editor. New Perspectives on Black Strafes. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971. pp. 207-226; Nathan Hare. "The Teaching of Black History and Culture in the Secondary Schools." Social Education 33: 385-88; No. 4, April 1969; John Hope Franklin. "Discovering Black American History," in Joseph S. Roucek and Thomas Kiernan, editors.

The Negro Impact on Western Civilization, 1970. pp. 23-31; Earl E. Thorpe. The Old South: A Psychohistory. Durham, N.C.: privately printed by Seeman Printery. 1972. pp. 262-287. ' Benjamin Quarles. Black History's Diversified Clientele, 1971. pp. 20-21. " New York: The H. W. Wilson Company. 1929. ° Washington: Library of Congress, 1970. "'Garden City: Doubleday, 1971.

The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


" 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970.

"3rd. ed. New York: Knopf, 1967. " Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1957. " Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970. '' 3rd ed. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1966. ''" Revised edition. New York: Hill and Wang, 1970. '' New York: Citadel Press, 1951. " New York: Vintage, 1967. " Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1972. 20 Eyewitness. New York: Pitman Pub. Corp., 1967; In Their Own Words. New York: Crowell, 3 vols., 1964-1967.

The Civil Rights Record. New York: Crowell, 1970; Civil Rights and the American Negro. New York: Trident Press, 1968; The Supreme Court on Racial Discrimination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963. Racial Thought in America. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1970; What Country Have I? New York: St. Martin's Press, 1970; Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed., Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971; The Black Power Revolt. Boston: P. Sargent, 1968. "New York: Atheneum, 1969. " New York: Harper and Row, 1970. " Key Issues in flue Afro-American Experience. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt, 1971; Explorations in the Black Experience. Belmont, Calif.; Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1971. W.E.B. Du Bois. The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1903. p. 3. " The Mind of the Negro. Baton Rouge: Ortlieb Press, 1961; Negro Historians in the United States. Baton Rouge: Fraternal Press, 1958; Black Historians. New York: Morrow, c. 1969; The Central Theme of Black History. Durham: Seeman Printery, 1969. "Samuel D. Cook. "A Tragi:: Conception of Negro History." Journal of Negro History 45: 219-40; No. 4, Oct. 1960; Howard N. Meyer. 'Overcoming the White Man's History." Massachusetts Review 7: 569-78; No. 3, Summer 1966; J. H.

O'Dell. "Colonialism and the Negro American Experience." Freedomways 6: 296-308; No. 4, Fall 1966; Robert Starobin. "The Negro: A Central Theme in American History." Journal of Contemporary History 3: 37-53; No. 2, April 1968. " New York: St. Martin's, 1965.

"New York: Viking, 1967. " New York: Walker, 1962. " African Glory. New York: Praeger, 1954; The Middle Age of African History. London: Oxford University Press, 1967; The Lost Cities of Africa. Revised ed., Boston: Little, Brown, 1970. " Kingdoms of the Savanna. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966; African Traditional Religion. London: Hutchinson's University Library, 1954; African Worlds. London: Oxford University Press, 1954; Africa and Africans. Garden City: Natural History Press, 1964; A Thousand Years of West African History. Revised ed., Ibadan: Ihadan University Press, 1969. ' London: Allen and Unwin, 1968. A Short History of Benin. 4th ed., Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1968; /ho Village Affairs, 2nd ed., New York: Praeger, 1964; The Mende of Sierra Leone. Revised ed., I.ondon: Routledge and K. Paul, 1967; The Egha and Their Neighbors. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; Yoruba Warfare in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge. Eng.: Cambridge University Press. 1964. "" Black Cargoes. New York: Viking Press, 1962; Black Mother. Boston: Little, Brown, 1961: The Atlantic Slave Trade. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969.



Carl N. Deg ler. "Slavery and the Genesis of American Racial Prejudice." Comparative Studies in Society and History 2: 49-66; No. I, Oct. 1959; Winthrop D. Jordan. White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968; Oscar and Mary Hand lin. "Origins of the Southern Labor System." William and Mary Quarterly 7: 199-222; No. 2, April 1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. " ° Journal of Negro History 51: 1-15; No. 1, Jan. 1966. '" New York: Harper & Bros., 1941. " Revised ed., New York: Macmillan, 1957. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949. " For example: Garrett. "African Survivals in American Culture." The Journal

of Negro History 51: 239-45; No. 4, Oct. 1966; Norman E. Whitten, Jr. and

John F. Szwed, editors. Afro-American Anthropology: Contemporary Perspectives.

New York: Free Press, 1970; Crowley. "Negro Folklore: An Africanist's View." Texas Quarterly5: 65-71; No. 3, Autumn 1962; Waterman. "African Influence on the Music of the Americas," in Sol Tax, editor. Acculturation in the Americas: Proceedings and Selective Papers. International Congress of Americanists. 29th ed. New York, 1949. pp. 207-218; Alan Lomax. "The Homogeneity of African-AfroAmerican Musical Style," in Whitten and Szwed. pp. 181-201; Thompson. "African Influence on the Art of the United States," in Armstead L. Robinson, et al., editors. Black Studies in the University. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. pp. 122-70.

"American Negro Slavery. New York: Appleton and Company. 1918; life and Labor in the Old South. Boston: Little, Brown, 1929. l.eiden: Brill, 1963. "' New York: Morrow, 1971. New York: Holt, 1970. The collection is in the Library of Congress. Frederick Douglass. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Hartford, Conn.: Park Publishing Co., 1881 and New York: Macmillan, 1962; Gilbert Osofsky. editor. Pullin' on Ole Massa: The Slave Narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, and Solomon Northrup. New York: Harper and Row, 1969; Anna Bontemps, editor. Great Slave Narratives. Boston: Beacon, 1969; John Bayliss, editor. Black Slave Narratives. New York: Macmillan, 1970; Julius Lester, editor. To Be a Slave. New York: Dial Press, 1968. Each autobiography originally published separately.

'" New York: Knopf, 1956. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1959; 2nd ed., 1968. `' Laura Foner and Eugene D. Genovese. editors. Slavery in the New World: A Reader in Comparative History. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1969; David B. Davis. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966; Marvin Harris. Patterns of Race in the Americas. New

York: Walker, c. 1964; Carl N. Deg ler. Neither Black nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States. New York: Macmillan. 1971; Charles R. Boxer. The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750: Growing Pains of a Colonial Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962: Stanley J. Stein. Vassouras:.4 Brazilian Coffee County, 1850-1900. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957; Franklin W. Knight. Slave Society in Cuba Dia :ng the Nineteenth Century. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970. '1 Ann J. Lane, editor. The Debate Over Slavery: Stanley Elkins and his Critics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971. "New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. " New York: Oxford University Press, 1964. " William L. Richter. "Slavery in Baton Rouge, 1820-1860." Louisiana History 10: 125-145; No. 2, Spring 1969; Terry L. Seip. "Slaves and Free Negroes in Alexandria, 1850-1860." Louisiana History 10: 147-165; No. 2, Spring 1969.

The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.

"Quoted in Bennett H. Wall. "African Slavery," in Arthur S. Link and Rembert Patrick, editors. Writing Southern History: Essays in Historiography in Honor of Fletcher AI. Green. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. p. 190.

"New York: McKay. 1966. '" Insurrection in South Carolina. Yellow Springs, Ohio: Antioch Press, 1964; Denmark Vesey. Englewood Cliffs. N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1970: Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion. New York: Humanities Press, 1966; The Nat Turner Slave Insurrection. Murfreesboro, N.C.: Johnson Publishing Co., 1966; Nat Turner. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1971. "" Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1961. "' Uncle Tom's Cabin. Boston: J. P. Jewett and Company, 1852: The Slave. Boston: J. H. Eastburn, 1836. Both novels have been reprinted. "' All God's Children. ,ndianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965; Jubilee. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966. "' New York: Macmillan, 1936. "'New York: Random House, 1967. Boston: Beacon Press, 1968.

"" The Free Negro in North Carolina. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1943; Free Negro Labor and Property Holding in Virginia. New York: D. Appleton Century Company, 1942. "' New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. "'Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961. "" John Malvin. North into Freedom: The Autobiography of John Malvin. Free Negro, 1795-1880. Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1966; Daniel Peterson. The Looking-Glass: Being a True Report . . of the Life . . of

the Rev. Daniel H. Peterson, a Colored Clergyman. New York: Wright, 1854; Samuel Ringgold Ward: Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro, London: J. Snow. 1855; John Mercer Langston. From the Virginia Plantation . , the First and Only Negro Representative in Congress from the Old Dominion. New York: .





Arno, 1969; Daniel A. Payne. Recollections of Seventy Years. Nashville, Tenn.: Publishing House of the A. M. E. Sunday School Union, 1888; Mifflin Gibbs. Shadow and Light: an Autobiography. . . . Washington, D.C., 1902; republished, New York: Arno, 1968; John P Green. Recollections of the Inhabitants . . . and Kuklux Outrages. . . Cleveland, 1880; Jeremiah Asher. An Autobiography. . . . Philadelphia: the author, 1862; James Still. Early Recollections. and Life of Dr. James Still. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1877. The Arno Press has reprinted many autobiographies of nineteenth-century blacks. '" Black Abolitionists. New York: Oxford University Press. 1969; The Negro in the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 1961. "The Negro in the Civil War. Boston: Little, Brown, 1953; The Sable Arm. New York: Longmans, Green, 1956; The Negro's Civil War. New York: Pantheon Books. 1965.

"The Confederate Negro. Durham: Duke University Press. 1969; Southern Negroes. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938. "The Emancipation Proclamation. Garden City: Doubleday, 1963; Lincoin and the Negro. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962; Free but Not Equal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967; The Mighty Revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1964; Black Scare. Berkeley: University of Califorr, s Press, 1968.

" Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1969. `Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1967. "The Black Codes of the South. University. Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1965; Negro Afilitia and Reconstruction. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1957; The Freedman's Bureau in Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University



Press, 1970; The Freedman's Bureau in South Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967. " Negro Legislators. Athens: Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1968; The South During Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1947. "Black Reconstruction. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1935; Reconstruction. New York: International Publishers, 1937.

"The Negro in Congress. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1946; Negro Office-holders in Virginia. Norfolk, Va.: Guide Quality Press. 1946; Negro Legislators of Texas. Dallas: Mathis Publishing Co., 1935. '" New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. "` Both edited by Lawrence C. Bryant. Orangeburg: School of Graduate Studies, South Carolina State College, 1968. "Chicago: Museum of Africa-a American History, 1968. John Hope Franklin, editor. Reminiscenses of an Active Life: The Autobiography of John Roy Lynch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970; Edward F. Sv'eat. "Francis L. Cardozo: Profile of Integrity in Reconstruction Politics." Journal of Negro History 46: 217-32; No. 4, Oct. 1961; Melvin I. Urofsky. "7.1anche K. Bruce: United States Senator, 1875-1881." Journal of Mississippi History 29: 118-41; No. 2, May 1967. "The Negro in the Reconstruction of Florida. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1965; After Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964. *" Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c. 1967. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973. "" New York: Dial Press, 1954. The Negro in North Caroling. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964; South Carolina Ne,t,Proex. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1952; The Negro in Texas. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971; The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1951. "" 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966. "' Roger A. Fischer. "Racial Segregation in Ante Helium New Orleans." American Historical Review 74: 926-37; No. 3, Feb. 1969; Henry C. Dethloff and Robert Jones. "Race Relations in Louisiana, 1877-1898." Louisiana Higtory 9: 301-23; No. 4, Fall 1968; Charles E. Wynes. Race Relations in Virginia, /8701902. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1961; John Hammond Moore. "Jim Croy, n Georgia." South Atlantic Quarterly 66; 554-65; No. 4, Autumn 1967; Barr, .1. Crouch and I.. J. Schultz. "Crisis in Color: Racial Separation in Texas During Reconstruction." Civil War History 16: 37-49; No. I, March 1970. "2 Negro Mecca. New York: New York University Press, 1965; Harlem. 2nd ed.

.Jew York: Harper and Row, 1971; Black Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.

"" The Promised Land. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1969; The Negro Cowboys. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1965. "Black Bourgeoise. New York: Free Press, 1957; Plantation County. Revised ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963; The Negro and Organized Labor. New York: John Wiley, 1965; Negroes and the Great Depression. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Corp., 1970; Cry from the Cotton. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971. "' Negro Politics. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 196(1; White and Black. 2nd ed.

New York: Harper and Row. 1966; The Negro Voter in .he South. Atlanta: Southern Regional Council, 1957; The Negro in Virginia Politics. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1967. "" The Black Military Experience in the West. New York: tiveright, 1972; The Buffalo Soldiers. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967; The Black In-

The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


fantry in the West. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Corp., 1971; Desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969; The Employment of Negro Troops. Washington: Office of the Chief of Military

History, United States, 1966. " The Negro and the Communist Party.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1951; Race and Radicalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1964.

"The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. New York: Morrow, 1967; Scottsboro. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969; The Negro People on the March. New York: New Century Publishers, 1956; Ghetto Rebellion to Black Liberation. New York: International Publishers, 1968. "The Petitioners. New York: Pantheon Books, 1966; Black Resistance, White Law. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1971. 'Ten Years of Prelude. New York: Viking Press, 1964;The American Negro Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968. "" Portrait of a Decade. New York: Random House, 1964; Confrontation. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1965. "" SNCC. 2nd ed. Boston: Beacon Press, 1965; Fight for Freedom. New York: Norton, 1962; History of the Chicago Urban League. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966. "The Negro Revolt. New York: Harper, 1962; The Negro Mood. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1964. "' Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness. New York: Bantam, 1967; Race Riots, New York, New York: Crowell, 1964; Rebellion in Newark. New York: Random House, 1967; The Detroit Race Riot. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1964; Gilbert and the Staff of the Washington Post. Ten Blocks from the White House. New York: Praeger, 1969; Race Riot at East St. Louis. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964; Race Riot: Chicago. New York: Atheneum, 1970. "Urban Racial Violence in the Twentieth Century. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Glencoe Press, 1969; Racial Violence in the United States. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., 1969; From Race Riot to Sit-In. Garden City: Doubleday, 1966; Urban Riots.

New York: Vintage, 1968; Violence as Protest. Garden City: Doubleday, 1971. Edwin S. Redkey. Black Exodus: Black Nationalist and Back-to-Africa Movements, 1890-1910. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969; P. J. Staudenraus. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961; Robert G. Weisbord. "The Back-to-Africa Idea." History Today 18: 30-37; No. I, Jan. 1968; M. R. Delaney and Robert Campbell. Search for a Place: Black Separatism and Africa, 1860. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969; E. David Cronon. Black Moses: The' Story of Marc.'c Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1955; William E. Bittle and Gilbert Geis. The Longest Way Home': Chief Alfred C. Sam's Back-to-Africa Movement. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964; Howard H. Bell. "Negro Nationalism: A Factor in

Emigration Projects, 1858-1861." Journal of Negro History 47: 42-53; No. 1, Jan. 1962; Easien Udosen Essien-Udom. Black Nationalism: A Search for an Identity in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962; Eric Lincoln. The Black Muslims in America. Boston: Beacon, 1951. "'' New York: Viking Press, 1970. "'" Indianapolis: Bohbs- Merrill, 197(1.

The New World of Negro Americans. New York: John Day Co., 1963; Apropos of Africa. New York: Humanities Press, 1969; Pan-Africa:ism Reconsidered. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962. "" Harold Isaacs. "Du Bois and Africa." Race 2: 3-23; No. 1, Nov. 1960; George Shepperson. "Notes on Negro American slfluences on the Emergence of African Nationalism." Journal of African History 1: 299-312; No. 2, 1960; E. U. Essien-Udom. "The Relationship of Afro-Americans to African National-



ism." Freedomways 2: 391-407; No. 4, Fall 1962; John H. Clarke, editor. Harlem: A Community in Transition. New York: Citadel Press, 1964, pp. 77-96; Okon E. Uya, editor. Black Brotherhood: Afro-Americans and Africa. Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1971.

'" The Negro Family in Chicago. Chicago University of Chicago Press, 1932;

The Negro Family in the United States. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1939.

Black Families in White America. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Tomorrow's Tomorrow. Garden City: Do.iHeday, 1971. History of Negro Education in the South. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967; The Predominantly Negro Colleges and Universities in Transition. 1968;


New York: Bureau cf Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1965. Howard University. New York: New York University Press, c. 1968: The Story of Atlanta University. Atlanta: At,dnta University Press, 1969; A Candle in the Dark. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1967; The Story of Spelman College. Atlanta: United Negro College Fund, 1961. ''' New York: Scribner, 1971.

"" The Negro Professional Class. Glencoe, 111.: Free Piess, 1959; The History of the Negro in Medicine. 3rd ed. New York: Publishers Co., 1969. '" New York: Morrow, 1963.

""The Story if Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press, 1956; The Music. of Black Americans. New York: Norton, 1971. Deep River. New York: Harper and Brofters, 1955; The Social Implications of Early Negro Music in the United States. New York: Arno, 1969, ''" New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Arnold Adolf, editor. I Am the Darker Brother: An Anthology of Mo,!ern Poems by Negro Americans. New York: Macmillan, 1968; Robert E. Hayden, editor. Kaleidoscope: Poems by American Negro Poets. New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1967; Rosey Pool, editor. Beyond the Blues: New Poems by American Negroes. Lympnc, Kent: Hand and Flower Press, 1962; Clarence Major. editor. The New Black Poetry. New York: International Publishers, 1969; LeRoi Jones and Larry Neal, editors. Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing. New York: Morrow, 1968. Negro Voices in American Victim?. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1948; Native Sons. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1968; The Negro Novel in America, Revised ed. New Haven: Yak University Press, 1965. "" Black Drama. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1967; The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. New York: Morrow, 1967; Negro Playwrights in the American Theater. New York: Columbia University Press. 1969. The Negro in Films. London: S. Robinson, 1948; The Negro in Hollywood Films. New York: Masses and Mainstream, 19511 "The Death of Rastus." Phylon 28: 267-275; No. 3, Fall 1967; "Movies in the Ghetto." Negro Digest 18: 21-27; No. 18, Feb. 1969. 'Great Negroes. Chicago: Afro-American Publishing Co., 1963; Pi-meers in Protest, Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1968; Famous Negro A dews, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1964; Pioneers and Patriots. Garden City; Doubleday, 1965; Famous Negro Hero's of America. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1958; Historical Negro Biograpk, 2nd ed.. revised. New York: Publishers Co., 1969; Famous Negro Entertainers. 'ew York: Dodd. Mead, 1967. Anna Bontemps. Frederick Douglass: Slave-FighteI.-Freentan. New York: Knopf, 1959: Jacqueline Bernard. Journey Toward Freedom: The Story of Sojourner Truth. New York: Norton. 1967; Harold W. Felton. Edward Rose, Negro Trail Blazer. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1967; Jean Gould. That Dunbar Boy: The Story of America's Famous Negro Part. New York: Dodd. Mead. 1958: Shi 'ey Graham. Booker T. Washington. . New York: Messner, 1966, Harold W. Felton. Jim Beekwourth, Negro Mountain Man. New York: Dodd. Mead, .


The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality


1966; Rackham Holt. George Washington Carver. . . . Garden City: Doubleday, 1963; Edwin Hoyt. Paul Robeson: The American Othello. Cleveland: World, 1967; Frances T. Humphreville. Harriet Tubman: Flame of Freedom. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967; J. Alvin Kugelmass. Ralph J. Bunche: Fighter For Peace. New York: J. Messner. 1962; Charles Osborne. / Hav, A Dream, The Story of Martin Luther King in Text and Pictures. New York: 1 ime-Life Books, 1968; Finis Farr. Black Champion: The Life and Times of Jack Johnson. New York: Scribner's, 1964. '" Philip S. Foner. Frederick Douglass. . . New York: Citadel Press, 1964; Benjamin Quarles. Fred, rick Douglass. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1948, also Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1968; Samuel R. Spencer. Booker T. Washington and the Negro's Place in American Life. Boston: Little Brown, 1955;

Hugh Hawkins, editor. Booker T. Washington and His Critics: The Problem of Negro Leadership, Boston: Heath, 1962; Emma Lou Thornbrough, editor. Booker T. Washington. Englewood Cliffs. N.J.: Prentice Hall, c. 1969; Fran I.. Broderick. W.E.B. Du Bois, Negro Leader in a Time of Crisis. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1959; Elliott M. Rridwick. W.E.B. Du Bois: A Study in Minority Group Leadership. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960; F.D. Cronon. Black Moses. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1955; David L. Lewis. King: A Critical Biography. New York: Praeger, 1970.

"" Negro Thought in America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1963; Booker T. Washington. New York: Oxford, 1972.

1 The Negro Vanstriard. New York: Rinehart, 1959; William Wells Brmn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969; The Guardian of Boston. New York: Atheneum, 1970; T. Thomas Fortune. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972. "" Up From Slavery. New York: Doubleday Page & Co.; The Autobiography

of W.E.B. Du Bois. Reprinted New York: International Publishers, 1968; The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Grove Press, 1965. "'John C. Dancy. Sand Against the Wind.. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1966; Langston Hughes. I Wonder as I Wander. . . New York: Rinehart, 1956; Reba Lee. / Passed for White. New York: Longmans, Green, 1955; Paul Robeson. Here 1 .Stand. New York: Othello Associates, 1958; Ellen Tarry. The Third Door: The Autobiography of an American Negro Woman. New York: .


Guild Press, 1967; Horace R. Cayton. Long Old Road. New York: Trident Press, c. 1964; Anne Moody. Coming of Age in Mississippi. New York: Dial Press, 1968.

"'Charles V. Roman. A Knowledge of History is Condi' !ve to Racial Solidarity, and Other Writings. Nashville: Sunday School Union Print, 1911, pp. 31-32.



European Americans: From Immigraits to Ethnics Rudolph J. Vecoli

ETHNICITY has exercised a persistent and pervasive influence upon American history. Americans have traditionally defined themselves and others as members of ethnocultural groups. On the basis of their origins,

national, racial, religious, and regional, they have shared with "their own kind" a sense of a common heritage and collective destiny. Ethnic cultures have sustained patterns of values, attitude

and behaviors which

have differentiated various segments of the population. The resulting ethnic pluralism has profoundly affected all aspects of American life. Religion, politics, social mobility, even the conduct of foreign affairs, have reflected this extraordinary diversity of ethnic identities. A series of migrations, internal as well as external, brought together peoples of various cultural, linguistic, racial, and religious backgrounds. The peopling of this continent by transoceanic migration has gone on

for over fot r hundred years. The original inhabitants, the true native Americans, were gradually displaced and dispossessed by successive waves of immigrants. They came from all over the world, Africans by the millions, brought to this land in chains, Asiatics by the hundreds of thousands, and others from countries to the north and south and from the islands of the Caribbean. But the vast majority came from Europe. In the greatest population movement in human history, some t sty-five

million Europeans immigrated to the United States in the century -f ter 1830. This fact determined the basic character of American so( it was to be predominantly Caucasian, Christian, and Western. The study of immigration history involves not only the process:, of physical migration, but the long-range consequences of this mingling of peoples as well. Despite its importance, the European immigration has been relatively neglected by American historians until recent decades.





The reason appears to have been the general acceptance of an assimila-

tionist ideology by scholars and laymen alike. The "Melting Pot," it was assumed, would transform the foreigners into indistinguishable Americans in a generation or two at most. Bemused by the alleged uniqueness of the American character

.1 institutions, historians turned

to environmental explanations.' The frontier, :naterial abundance, or mobility, rather than Old World influences, determined the values and behavior of the American people. In this light, immigration appeared to be an ephemeral episode.' These assimilationist assumptions have been called into question by the "rediscovery of ethnicity" in recent years. White ethnic groups, as well as blacks, Indians, and Hispanic Americans, have demonstrated an unanticipated longevity. This "New Pluralism" has inspired historians and others to explore the ethnic dimension of American life in the past as well as the present. As a consequence we are in the midst of a renaissance of immigration history. A rich and growing literature awaits the student of European American ethnic groups, one which is enlivened by divergent interpretations and differing methodologies.

We Stand on Their Shoulders

The writing of immigration history was initiated by a handful of scholars a half century ago when the field was less fashionable than it is today. Their thorough and scrupulous scholarship rescued the subject from the partisan concerns of the advocates of immigration restriction and the filiopietists.2 The major works of these historians remain essential reading for the serious student of the European immigration. Among these pioneers, Marcus Lee Hansen advanced the most com-

prehensive interpretation of the Atlantic migration considered as a whose.' Viewing emigration as a basic force in European history, Hansen emphasized the underlying demographic, economic, and social causes which transcended political boundaries. Although sensitive to the "pull"

of the "Common Men's Utopia," Hansen stressed the "push" of European conditions as of equal importance. Hansen also traced the transatlantic routes of commerce which provided ready-made paths for the westward-bound emigrants.

In his volume of essays, The Immigrant in American History,4 Hansen integrated the story of immigration with certain major themes, such as the westward movement, political democracy, and Puritanism.

Viewing the immigrants as "carriers of culture," he focused on the interaction between their heritage and the American environment. Rather

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


than a threat to American democracy, Hansen thought the immigrants had exercised a basically conservative and stabilizing influence. Stressing their receptivity to American values, he declared that "they were Americans before they landed." Reflecting his own rural origins as well

as the influence of his mentor, Frederick Jackson Turrer, Hansen's writings dealt with the midwestern agrarian rather than the eastern urban phase of the immigrant experience.

Hansen's perspective was shared by his contemporaries who contributed solid studies dealing with specific immigrant groups. Theodore C. Blegen wrote extensively on the Norwegians, his major work being a two-volume history which vividly depicts the Old World conditions as well as American experience of the immigrants." Blegen was particularly skillful in locating and exploiting "America letters," emigrant ballads, and other documents in reconstructing the everyday lives of common folk. His colleague, George M. Stephenson, wrote with equal mastery of the Swedish immigration. The Religious Aspects of the Swedish Immigrations' is a cultural and social as well as institutional history of the Swedish American churches. In 1926, Stephenson published the first general history cf American immigration,' one which deals with the role

of the immigrant in the political development of the United States. Meanwhile Carl Wittke established himself as the historian of the German Americans; among his studies, those of the "Forty-eighters" and the German language press in America are particularly noteworthy.° Wittke was also the author of a survey of immigration history,

We Who Built America.'" Viewing the central motif of American history as "the impact of successive immigrant tides upon a New World environment," Wittke's history is a descriptive rather than interpretive account of the various nationalities comprising these tides. In the tradition of Turner, these historians like Hansen conceived of immigration as the interaction between European culture and American geography. Oscar Handlin's Boston's Immigrants (1941) marked a new departure in immigration history." Handlin's theme was one of acculturation, the mutual impact of Irish Catholics and Yankee Protestants in a sea-

board city. Through adaptation to the stern conditions of urban life, the Irish created their own ethnic community. Unable and unwilling to assimilate the Irish, Boston became a divided city. Wedding immigration history and urban history, Boston's Immigrants served as a model for the

coming generation of historians. Robert Ernst's study of immigrant groups in New York City was another early example of this new genre

of ethnic history.'2 Ernst skillfully delineated the interplay of the various nationalities in the culture, politics, economy, and other aspects of urban life.



Hand lin has written prolifically on the subject of immigration and ethnicity. His major work, The Uprooted, depicts the effects of migration upon the immigrants themselves.'" "The history of immigration," he observed, "is a history of alienation and its consequences." Torn from a traditional peasant community, Hand lin's immigrant became an estranged individual without meaningful ties to his fellow men. In dramatic prose, Hand lin told of the breakup of European rural society, the flight from disaster, the horrors of the voyage, and the anxieties of life in a strange land. Though the newcomer seeks to regain his lost community by creating ethnic institutions, he fails to escape from his alienated condition. This grim interpretation of the immigrant experience has had a profound influence, but the question has been raised whether Handlin's immigrant was indeed typical of the many different groups represented in the European immigration." In subsequent writings, Hand lin portrayed American society as a mosaic of competing ethnic and racial Despite the resulting prejudice and conflict, Hand lin judged pluralism to be a positive value. By providing a focus for personal identity as well as a vehicle for collective activity, ethnic groups served as a bulwark of liberty against the centralizing and dehumanizing tendencies of modern technocratic society. New General Interpretations

Traditionally, Americans viewed immigration as a single-minded flight from the "Old World" to the "Land of Opportunity." Hansen first noted that the immigration to the United States was to be understood as much in terms of European conditions and that it was a part of a much more complex population movement. These insights have been further developed in the writings of Brinley Thomas and Frank Thistlethwaite. In his Migration and Economic Growth, Thomas offered a more sophisticated interpretation of the dynamics of nineteenth-century European migration."' Rather than being a simple reflex to the American business

cycle, he analyzed the flow of labor and capital within the Atlantic economy in response to business fluctuations on both sides of the ocean.

Thomas also stressed the push factor of the "Malthusian Devil," the frontier of surplus population which moved from west to east across Europe in the nineteenth century. Rather than being pulled by American opportunity, huge fragments of the European population were expelled by societies which could not absorb their labor. As the European countries industrialized, internal migrations became alternatives to overseas movements. Thomas also noted the changing character of emigration in

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


response to altered technological and labor conditions in the United States.

In a seminal paper, Thistlethwaite declared that the European migrations must be understood in terms of the transformation of European society in the nineteenth century." The impact of the demographic and industrial revolutions dislodged vast numbers of people from their ancestral homes and sent them wandering over the face of the earth. Thistlethwaite elaborated upon the complex patterns of movement within

Europe and between Europe and other continents. While the majority of overseas migrants did come to the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Canada were also receiving heavy immigrations. The high incidence

of repatriation, perhaps a third of all immigrants to the United States,

was another aspect of the migratory pattern commented upon by Thistlethwaite. Rather than viewing the immigrants as an anonymous, nondescript mass, Thistlethwaite called for the study of the specific characteristics and peculiar migratory patterns of particular occupational and village groupings. The realization that the United States was not unique as a host society has stimulated interest in the comparative study of immigration history.

Louis Hartz's The Founding of New Societies is a pioneering work in this field." Its thesis is that the character of the "new societies" created by European migrations was determined by the stage of historical development of the mother country at the time of mass exodus. These "fragments," removed from the stream of European history, thus retained and reinforced their original ideological cast. In a series of essays, the thesis is applied to the United States, French Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil. The Hartz thesis is utilized by John Higham in his provocative essay which places immigration history in a comparative setting.'" Rather than being immigrants, the original colonists, Higham contends, constituted a "charter group" which set the initial character of the society and the terms upon which later arrivals were admitted. To this dominant coreculture, newcomers have been progressively assimilated. Higham contrasted the limited impact of the immigration upon American society as compared with Argentina or Brazil. One factor, he suggested, accounting for this difference was the tremendous variety among the immigrants to the United States while the immigration to Latin America was concentrated in a few nationalities. Thus the cultural diversity of American ethnic groups diluted their impact and hastened their assimilation. With Nathan Glazer, Higham viewed the mass immigration as disruptive of the established American culture and contributing to the emergence of a mass culture.20



Several general histories of American immigration which incorporate

the more recent findings have appeared since 1960. Maldwyn Allen Jones in an admirably concise and literate volume surveyed this "greatest folk-migration in human history." Acknowledging his debt to Hansen, Hand lin, Higham, and others, Jones sought "to tell briefly the story of

American immigration from the planting of Virginia to the present." Rejecting traditional distinctions between "colonists" and "immigrants" and "old immigrants" and "new immigrants," Jones, while mindful of the changes taking place in both those who came and in the country which received them, stressed the fundamental sameness of the immigrant and his experience. "As a social process," Jones concluded, "(immigration) has shown little variation throughout American history."

A more recent work by Philip Taylor focuses more narrowly upon the century of mass emigration, 1830-1930.22 Its point of view is primarily that from the European side of the Atlantic. Though acknowledging "the attracting force of America's economic opportunities and of its free institutions," the volume describes in detail the disruptive forces at work in Europe which stimulated the impulse to emigrate. Though

drawing upon the work of others, Taylor brings to bear much fresh material in his discussion of the emigration business and its regulation, the conditions of the journey, and the recruitment of emigrants. Briefer discussion is reserved for the working and living conditions of the immigrants in America, nativism, immigration legislation, and the evolution of ethnic communities. The merit of this volume lies not so much in new interpretations as in the richness of its factual rendering of the subject. Immigration and ethnicity are major themes in Rowland Berthoff's interpretive social history, An Unsettled People.'` Berthoff projects a cycle of historical development, "from adequate order through a period of excessive disorder and hack again toward some satisfactory order," as the paradigm of American history. In this scheme, the massive influx of foreigners joined with intense internal mobility contributed to the general social disorder of nineteenth-century America. In a search for community, new social groups were formed, mainly along ethnic lines. Thus ethnic consciousness became a source of identification of self and others, one which was expressed in institutional patterns such as jobs and housing. Reform, including efforts to ,exclude or Americanize the immigrants, represents for BertholT an attempt to bring social order out of chaos.

European Backgrounds and Reactions Since Hansen's general discussion in The Atlantic Migration, the European backgrounds of the emigration have been the subject of a

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


number of specialized studies. Wilbur Shepperson's British Emigration to North America deals with a variety of colonization projects in the

Victorian era.-{ Shepperson traced the issue of emigration, as it is debated in the press and in state councils, among humanitarians and trade unionists. Was it a panacea or a pandora? Shepperson's account of various ill-fated schemes suggests that for many it was a pandora. In a perceptive essay, Charlotte Erickson analyzed the agrarian myth which lured English emigrants, fleeing from the disruptive effects of the industrial revolution, to the American "Garden of the World." Cecil Woodham-Smith has written a vivid account of the Irish potato famine

and of the mass exodus it triggcred.2" The impact upon Irish society and culture of the American emigration is the subject of a monograph by Arnold Schricr.27 The official and press reaction to the population drain, its effects on Irish agriculture, and the cultural-folkloristic reaction

(including the development of the "American wake") to the mass exodus are recounted. The "constructive opposition" to the Swedish emigration has been described by Franklin Scott.2' Mack Walker has authored a thorough study of the German emigra-

tion of the nineteenth century.2" Rather than being of one piece, the Auswanderung affected the various regions of Germany at different times. Walker analyzed the interplay of population growth, land tenure,

technical innovations, and state policy in determining the rates and directions of the outward movement. John S. MacDonald has argued that the differential rates of emigration among the various regions of Italy are related to the various patterns of land ownership and to the resulting ethos of the peasantry." In areas where landownership was widely distributed and an individualistic outlook prevailed, emigration rates were highest; while in those areas characterized by large estates

and collective forms of action on the part of agricultural laborers, emigration rates were lowest. Depending on the character of the rural social structure then, militant working-class organization and migration were alternative responses of the cultivators to poverty. Historians have also been interested in the American influences which filtered back to the homeland through the emigration process. In their article on "The Immigrant and the American Image in Europe, 18601914," Merle Curti and Kendall Birr emphasized the role of emigration promotional literature, as well as "America letters," as media through which information and misinformation regarding the United States reached the common folk."' Ingrid Semmingsen explored similar influences at work, particularly in Norway, finding that the "America letters" and the returned emigrants were often the agents of change, introducing new ideas regarding agricultural methods, politics, and social



relationships." However, she observed that, as in the case of the Irish, the conservative milieu in some countries was not receptive to impulses from America. Schrier's study confirmed that the "re:urned Yank" had impact upon Ireland; American money, he con.luded, was more important than the repatriate in effecting changes in Irish society." Since perhaps as many as a third of the immigrants returned to their homelands, the phenomenon of repatriation is important in evaluating the significance of the transatlantic migration for both the United States and Europe. Theodore Saloutos was a trailbreaker in this field with his study of returned Greek-Americans."4 Primarily through interviews, Saloutos studied a group of repatriates, analyzing their motives and attitudes, their readjustment and status in the Old Country. While many were well-to-do, he found an ambivalence in their feelings toward both Greece and America, as well as generally negative attitudes toward the repatriates on the part of other Greeks. Saloutos has also written a useful summary article on the repatriation in the twentieth century."5 In a volume suggestively entitled Emigration and Disenchantment, Shepperson sketched the portraits of some seventy-five English returnees."" While he found great diversity among them, his general conclusion was that those Britons who had migrated to escape change were disillusioned by their failure to find stability in America. Another study by Shepperson deals

with the return of British working class immigrants! The heavy return migration of the Italians has been the subject of studies by George R. Gilkey"" and Francesco Cerase."" Gilkey found that the americani with their new ideas and dollars had a disruptive effect upon their native villages, but did not affect basic changes in the oppressive conditions of southern Italy. A similar conclusion was arrived at by Cerase: "Their reabsorption into the life of the corwriunity has had no consequence of innovation on the economic or political patterns of behavior in the community itself." Other studies of repatriation are needed to fill out this dimension of the history of the Atlantic migration.

The Making of Americans The making of Americans has been a basic theme in the writing of American immigration history. What was to be the significance of this "foreign invasion" for the emerging American nationality? Was America a "Melting Pot" in which all diverse elements would be fused into a new human type or was it a mosaic composed of distinct ethnic groups? These issues have long been debated, and the echoes of these debates resound in the writings of historians and social scientists. The ideologies are themselves a part of the history of immigration, since they shaped

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


attitudes and public policies. Philip Gleason's article, "The Melting Pot: Symbol of Fusion or Confusion?", traced the changing content, use and meaning of this metaphor." In his work, Assimilation in American Life, Milton Gordon summarized three contending ideologies of ethnic group relations: Anglo-Conformity; the Melting Pot; and Cultural Plur ilism."'

Gordon then offered his own theory of assimilation, one which envisioned the persistence of structural pluralism, in terms of inter-personal relations, along with a pervasive cultural assimilation in terms of such things as langauge, manners, and values. Seeking to explain the "religious revival" of the 1950's, Will Herberg proposed the concept of the "triple

Melting Pot" as an explanatory hypothesis.42 While rejecting ethnic definitions, the grandchildren of the immigrants were manifesting the phenomenon of "third generation return" by affirming their identities as Protestants, Catholics, or Jews.

Other writers impressed by the persistence of ethnic groups have the continuing pluralistic character of America. In their influential work, Beyond the Melting Pot, Nathan

offered theories to explain

Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan declared: "The point about the melting

pot is that it did not happen."'" Based on an analysis of five ethnic groups in New York City, the authors found that ethnicity pervaded all spheres of life. The explanation they suggested was that ethnic groups

were not only a source of individual identity, they had also become interest groups by which persons sought to defend or advance their position in society.

In his groundbreaking study, Language Loyalty in America, Joshua Fishman advanced the theme of cultural maintenance as a neglected aspect of ethnic history:" Contrary to the notion that the immigrants

gladly shed their native heritage, Fishman argued that they made strenuous efforts to sustain their cultures and languages Detailed studies of the German, French Canadian, Spanish, and Ukrainian groups document their resistance to pressures for total cultural assimilation. Despite the steady inroads of "de-ethnization," Fishman demonstrated that the immigrants' struggles to keep alive their native tongues and cultures are a vital and neglected aspect of American social history.

A contrary view has been advanced by Timothy L. Smith." Rather than being victims of a coercive Americanization policy, Smith has depicted the immigrants as eagerly pursuing assimilation as a means of advancing their fortunes and those of their children. Espousing Hansen's dictum that "they were Americans before they landed," Smith contended that the newcomers shared with the natives basic values of hard work, thrift, and individual ambition. Advocating "new approaches," Smith chose to stress "assimilation, both cultural and structural, rather than ethnic exclusiveness" as the key to understanding immigration history.



Nativism and Immigration Policy

While the response of native Americans to immigrants ranged from cordial to hostile, it has been xenophobia which has attracted the most attention from historians. An early and still useful work in this vein is Ray Allen Billington, The Protestant Crusade, 1800-1860.4" Focusing on the intense anti-Catholic sentiment of the antebellum years, Billington interpreted the antipathy toward the Irish and Germans as stemming primarily from deep-seated religious prejudice. While noting ethnic rivalries over jobs and politics, the volume concentrates on the manifestations of anti-Catholicism ranging from literary slander to physical violence. A psychological interpretation has since been forwarded by David Brion Davis.47 Viewing nativism as stemming from fear of internal subversion, Davis attributed this conspiratorial mentality to the insecurities engendered by "bewildering social change." In his analysis of anti-

Catholic, anti-Mason, and anti-Mormon literature, Davis found that all shared a common rhetoric and view of reality. Richard Hofstadter found this fear of conspiracy, which he styled "the paranoid style of American politics," recurring in times of stress:" The major work on nativism in post-Civil War America, John Higham's Strangers in the Land, also espouses a psychological interpretation.'" Defining nativism as a form of nationalism, Higham identified three major ideologies of xenophobia: anti-Catholicism; anti-radicalism; and racialism. During periods of national well-being, nativist fears declined, but with a crisis of confidence brought on by economic depres-

sion or war, hostility toward foreigners welled up again. While the threat was viewed at various times as Popery, anarchism, and racial degeneracy, all of these phobias fueled the ultimately successful drive for immigration restriction. Higham has had the rare satisfaction of being his own revisionist. Taking a second look at nativism, he pointed out that intergroup conflict could profitably be analyzed from a sociological perspective.5" The "status rivalries" among ethnic groups in their com-

petitive quest for power and place resulted in recurring friction and hostility. E. Digby Baltzell applied Higham's analysis in his interpretation cf the emergence of a "Protestant Establishment."5' Threatened by the rise of new groups, particularly the Jews, the American upper class responded with exclusionary practices based on ethnic and social prejudice. Baltzell details the development of an ideological defense of caste and of institutions to defend caste privileges by the WASP aristocracy, Nativism has also been the subject of specialized studies dealing with particular facets of the phenomenon. Barbara M. Solomon analyzed the role of New England Brahmins in developing a rationale for immigration

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


restriction based on an ideology of race.52 Focusing on the history of the

Immigration Restriction League, she found its roots in the anxieties caused by the changes which were undermining the New England way of life. A parallel study by Charlotte Erickson contends that the

clposition of organized labor to the southern and eastern European immigration was inspired by ethnic prejudice rather than real economic competition.5" In her definitive study of the contract labor controversy, Erickson demonstrated convincingly that by the 1880's few immigrants were coming to America under formal labor contracts. From the debate on the Foran Act on, ethnic prejudice rather than practical considerations determined the views of American labor leaders on the immigration question.

The resurgence of anti-Catholicism in the 1890's and its primary manifestation, the American Protective Association, have been described

by Donald L. Kinzer.'' Fear of the Roman Catholic Church and of its alleged political ambitions caused Protestants to rally to the APA. Seeking to deprive the Church of new recruits and votes, the APA advocated immigration restriction as well as a stiffening of naturalization requirements. Robert K. Murray's Red Scare is a study of the post-World War 1 hysteria regarding an anticipated radical uprising in the United States." Fears of Bolshevism fed by labor strikes and general social unrest created a mood in which official and vigilante violence directed against radicals and aliens was generally applauded. In a psychological interpretation of the "Red Scare," Stanley Coben located its sources in the insecurity caused by the social and economic dislocations of the postwar years.5"

Seeking to eradicate "foreign" threats to American institutions and values, the nativists raised the standard of "One Hundred Percent Americanism." The federal policies concerning immigrant radicals have been thoroughly examined by William Preston, Jr.57 His study is severely critical of the federal government because of the frequent violations of civil rights and injuries inflicted upon persons who were often innocent of any wrong. The development of American immigration policy to the enactment

of the restrictive legislation of the 1920's can best be followed in Higham, Strangers in the Land. Higham has also written a brief summary essay on the subject."" The story of American immigration policy from 1924 to 1952 has been told by Robert A. Divine.5" A dispassionate legislative history, the study traces Congressional and executive policymaking from the enactment of the national origins statute to the passage

of the McCarran Act. While recording lobbying activities and public debate on specific issues, its perspective is that of Capitol Hill and the White House.



The efforts by public and private agencies to facilitate the adjustment and assimilation of the immigrants have been little studied as of 1972.

Edward Hartmann, The Movement to Americanize the Immigrant, focuses on the governmental and voluntary programs during the period of World War 1."" Although inspired by the wartime zeal for national unity, not all of the attention paid to the foreign-born was coercive or mean-spirited. The teaching of the English language and "American ideals" was a primary activity, but there were also sympathetic attempts to safeguard the immigrants from economic exploitation and to assist them to achieve a better life. Another perspective on the Americanization movement is provided by Gerd Korman's account of the response of industrial management to its polyglot labor force.'" Moved by considerations of improved efficiency and productivity, enlightened industrialists introduced welfare and safety programs in their factories. To these were added during the First World War Americanization classes for the immigrant workers. Under this regime of "benevolent paternalism," as Korman describes it, a group of safety and welfare experts emerged as agents of social control. A recent article on the Illinois Immigrants' Protective League by Robert L. Buroker also emphasizes the role of professional social workers animated by a vision of an efficient, harmonious social order.62

A particular episode in the history of American immigration policy has been the subject of several books in recent years. The policy pursued by the United States with respect to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany

has been examined critically by Henry L. Feingold" and David S. Wyman."4 Both studies agree that a combination of factors, bureaucratic inertia, congressional opposition, public indifference, and anti-Semitism, prevented any effective response to the plight of the Jews. While critical

of Franklin D. Roosevelt for not doing more, the authors recognized that the domestic political climate appears to have made any intercession by the United States impossible.

There were the fortunate few who did escape from the tyranny of Hitler and Mussolini and who found refuge in America. Among them were many of Europe's most brilliant scholars, scientists, and artists. Thcir story is told with grace and authority by Laura Fermi, herself one of them, in Illustrious Immigrants."'" The impact of this intellectual migration is a subject of Perspectives in American History." Chapters by various contributors, some of them participants in the migration, detail the extraordinary influence exerted by this band of emigres upon the arts and sciences in America.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


Studies of Particular Ethnic Groups By its very nature, immigration history lends itself to studies of particular ethnic groups. The "America fever" struck the various countries of Europe at different times; the arriving immigrants sharing a common language, culture, and sometimes religion formed ethnic communities in the United States. The histories of single ethnic groups tend to follow a common pattern; they begin by examining the causes of the emigration

in the Old Country; they trace the routes of migration and patterns of settlement; and conclude with a discussion of the social, economic, and cultural adjustments to American conditions. Such single group studies have the merit of permitting the analysis of the migrant experience in depth, but they are open to the criticism that they neglect the common aspects of that experience which transcend ethnic differences. Although studies of the British in colonial America abound, historians have only recently (as of 1972) taken note of the large emigration from

the British Isles in the nineteenth century. Rowland T. Berthoff has written about the English, Scots, Welsh, and Ulstermen who came to man America's burgeoning industries." Their occupational and cultural skills facilitated their economic and social assimilation. Yet Berthoff pointed out the difficulties they sometimes experienced as well as their retention of particular identities and customs. From their hostile en-

counters with the American Irish emerged a sense of their common British identity. Frank Thistlethwaite has also described the cultural continuity in the communities of British merchants and artisans." The potters who migrated from the Five Towns of Staffordshire carried on their traditional way of life as well as their craft in Trenton, New Jersey and East Liverpool, Ohio. The role of British immigrants in the Amer-

ican labor movement has been traced by Clifton K. Yearley, Jr." Following the careers of some fifty labor leaders of British origins, Yearley found their Chartist and trade union experience an important influence during the formative period of labor organization in America. The British agrarian immigration has received less attention (as of 1972). Wilbur Shepperson described the establishment of various agricultural settlements," while Charlotte Erickson has studied the expectations of those British immigrants who sought in America a pastoral Utopia." Prairie Albion by Charles Boewe tells the story of an early English settlement in Illinois.72 The migration of British Mormon converts to Utah is the subject of P.A.M. Taylor, Expectations Westward." The study concentrates on the Mormon proselytizing, the planned emigration and the journey, rather than on the immigrants' settlements in Utah. Recently the ethnic minorities within the British emigration have



found their historians. Edward G. Hartmann celebrated the achievements of the Welsh,74 while A. L. Rowse performed the same function for the Cornish."5

The Catholic Irish immigration has been the subject of a separate and extensive historical scholarship. Carl Wittke's The Irish in America is the most thorough treatment of the subject.'" Individual chapters deal with

such topics as the Irish and the Church, politics, and business. More interpretive and provocative are the works by George W. Potter" and William V. Shannon.'" The harsh urban conditions which the Irish encountered and their successful adaptation to these conditions are depicted by Oscar Hand lin, Robert Ernst, and Earl F. Niehaus for Boston, New

York, and New Orleans respectively.'" James P. Shannon's Catholic Colonization on the Western Frontier recounts the largely unsuccessful efforts of the Church to settle the Irish immigrants on farms in Minnesota.'"

The Irish reputation for violence was reinforced by the mayhem allegedly committed by the Molly Maguires. Wayne G. Brochl, Jr., has interpreted the patterns of violence in the Pennsylvania anthracite fields as an expression of the heritage of secret societies and terrorist tactics brought over by the Irish miners."' The American Irish were also involved in the long struggle to free Erin from British rule. The origins and

character of Irish-American nationalism are the subject of an astute study by Thomas N. Brown."2 The nationalist movement served as a school for the Irish in which they cultivated an appetite and aptitude for politics which made them a force in American public life. Brian Jenkins has reexamined the episode of the Fenian Brotherhood, particularly in

terms of its effect upon Anglo-American relations." The policies of Woodrow Wilson with respect to Ireland and the reactions of Irish Americans have been analyzed in articles by William M. Leary, John B. Duff, and Joseph P. O'Grady."' Although the Germans figured as the largest element in the nineteenthcentury immigration, the historical literature dealing with them is quite

slim. John A. Hawgood's The Tragedy of German-America is (as of 1972) the only general overview of the subject.":' Accounts of the Germans in New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee can be found in the works by Ernst, Bessie Pierce, and Bayrd Still." The Germans of New Orleans are the subject of a mongraph by John F. Nau," while the Cincinnati Germans have been studied by G. A. Dobbert." Despite the fact that many Germans entered agriculture, there has been little written (as of 1972) about their rural settlements. Terry G. Jordon has studied the relative success of the Germans as farmers in Texas," and Hildegard Johnson has analyzed the pattern of German settlement in the Midwest."

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


Carl Wittke's writings are a major contribution to an understanding of various aspects of the German immigration. His study of the German "Forty-Eighters" describes the influence and careers of these political refugees who served as the cultural leaven and the spiritual yeast for the whole German element."" Wittke's history of the German language press in America, a definitive treatment of the subject, concludes that the newspapers served both as instruments of cultural maintenance and as agencies of Americanization."' The role of German Americans in the Catholic Church has been assessed by Colman J. Barry." Focusing upon

the "Cahenslyism" controversy of the late nineteenth century, Barry dissected the ethnic rivalries between the Irish and the Germans. Another valuable study of the German-American Catholics is Philip Gleason's history of the Central-Verein, a national federation of German-American Catholic societies." Gleason interpreted the involvement of the CentralVerein in social reform as a "creative response to a critical phase of the

process of assimilation." Utilizing quantitative methods, Frederick C. Luebke traced the changing patterns of political behavior of German Americans in Nebraska in the closing decades of the nineteenth century."5 Ethnocultural rather than economic issues had the major impact upon voting patterns, and political behavior reflected the diversity, particularly religious, among the Germans. Of the other Germanic groups, the Dutch immigrants have been the subject of a comprehensive history by Henry S. Lucas." While reference is commonly made to the Scandinavian immigration, its historiography is compartmentalized within national lines. William Mulder's excellent study of the Mormon migration is an exception in that it encompasses Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes." Some 30,000 Scandinavian converts, the greater part from Denmark, came to Utah between 1850 and 1905. Mulder discussed the factors causing the emigration, as well as the pioneering life of the immigrants in the "New Zion." The Norwegian Americans have been particularly fortunate in their historians. Blegen's two volumes remain the classic work on the Norwegian immigration." Carlton C. Qua ley's analysis of Norwegian settle-

ment patterns is also a study of enduring value."" The volume and character of the Norwegian emigration are succinctly summarized in an article by Ingrid Semmingsen.l"" Einar Haugen's linguistic history of the

Norwegian Americans is an impressiye work of scholarship.'"' Two volumes by Kenneth 0. Bjork add yet other dimensions to Norwegian American history. Saga in Steel and Concrete is a thorough study of Norwegian immigrant engineers and architects and of their contributions

to American technology,''" while West of the Great Divide tells the story of the Norwegians who settled on the Pacific Coast.'"" The history



of the Lutheran Church among the Norwegian Americans is fully presented by E. Clifford Nelson and Eugene L. Fevold.1"

By contrast, the Swedish immigration has been little studied until recent years. Stephenson's work is a notable exception.105 James I. Dowie has written about Swedish pioneering on the sodhouse frontier.'°° He has also coedited with Ernest M. Espelie a volume of essays which discuss various facets of Swedish-American life.107 A monograph by Finis

Herbert Capps analyzes the attitudes of the Swedish-American press toward the foreign policy of the United States, finding there a propensity for isolationism and conservatism.'" Three major works on the Swedish immigration, all by Swedish historians, were published in 1971. Lars Ljungmark's meticulous study of

the post-Civil War efforts to promote emigration from Sweden to Minnesota concludes that these schemes were largely unproductive.'" Breaking with the rural emphasis of previous writings, Ulf Beijbom has written an important study of the Swedes in nineteenth-century Chicago."" Beijbom exploited manuscript census records, church lists, and city directories for his analysis of demographic and social patterns. An equally valuable work by Sture Lindmark focuses upon the maintenance phenomenon among Swedes in the Midwest for the years 19141932."' Analyzing the activities of ethnic churches, organizations, and

press, Lindmark concluded that contrary to prevailing opinion the Swedes nourished a strong desire "to preserve their national identity, their cultural heritage, and their institutions." The Finnish immigration, set apart by cultural and linguistic differences, has had its own distinctive history. The most comprehensive study is A. William Hoglund's Finnish Immigrants in America, 1880-1920."2 Reviewing the development of Finnish American organizations, Hoglund's thesis is that the immigrants sought a better life through collective effort rather than individual enterprise. A history of the Finns in Wisconsin, by John I. Kolehmainen and George W. Hill, supports this conclusion.'"

Since the emigration from Denmark was the smallest among the Scandinavian countries, it is to be expected that its history should also

be the least studied. Paul C. Nyholm, The Americanization of the Danish Lutheran Churches, has been (as of 1972) the one substantial work available."' A volume by Kristian Hvidt offers a detailed analysis of the emigration from Denmark prior to 1914."5 Based largely on computer-processed data, the study provides a profile of the socioeconomic characteristics of the Danish emigrants. Hvidt also investigated the "international system of emigrant promotion" established by shipping companies which he concluded served as a vital link between the "push" and "pull" factors.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


The literature on the Jews in America, while voluminous, tends to be

sociological rather than historical. No comprehensive history of the Jewish immigration has been written (as of 1972), although the surveys

by Oscar Hand lin and Rufus Learsi are useful."6 Nathan Glazer's American Judaism is a brilliant synthesis of religious and ethnic history."7 Since American Jews have been predominantly urbanites, studies tend to take the form of histories of particular communities. Less atten-

tion has been given to the early German immigration, but Bertram Wallace Korn has written about the Jews in antebellum New Orleans."A Moses Rischin's The Promised City delineates the encounter between New York City and the East European immigration. "" With their Old

World traditions shattered by the brutal conditions of urban life, the Jews created a new consciousness and institutional network to cope with this new environment. The search for community is also the theme of Arthur Goren's history of the Kehillah experiment.12° Although it ultimately failed, this was a significant attempt to transplant this European communal organization in order to sustain Jewish life on American soil. Allon Schoener's Portal to America: the Lower East Side, 1870-1925 brings to life the panorama of immigrant life through photographs and

documents.'2' Other Jewish communities have been written about by competent historians: Buffalo by Selig Adler and Thomas E. Connolly; Milwaukee by Louis J. Switchkow and Lloyd P. Gartner; Los Angeles by Max Vorspan and Gartner; and Rochester by Stuart E. Rosenberg. 122 A history of agricultural settlements in New Jersey by Joseph Brandes

tells the story of the efforts to transform Jewish immigrants into farmers.123 Brandes traced the evolution of these communities from 1882 to the present. The role of the Jewish immigrants in the American labor movement has received less attention than it deserves. An important work by Elias Tcherikower and others, The Early Jewish Labor Movement in the United States, is particularly valuable for its descriptions of sweatshop conditions and labor organization in the garment industry.'24 A useful introductory work is Melech Epstein's Jewish Labor in USA, 18821952.'25 Two interpretive articles on the Jewish labor movement have been authored by Hyman Berman and Moses Rischin.'2" Anti-Semitism, treated in passing by many of the previously mentioned works, has generated considerable scholarly discussion. Historians have debated its sources and causes: was it rooted in Christian theology or racist ideology? was it a rural or urban phenomenon? was it an expression of status rivalries or economic conflict? Charles Herbert Stember's Jews in the Mind of America presents essays from a variety of historical and sociological perspectives, as well as an analysis of a quarter century of survey data.127 In several articles, John Higham has contended that



anti-Semitism in America can best be understood as stemming from status rivalries such as those which resulted from the social climbing of newly wealthy Jews in the Gilded Age.I28 Much attention has centered on the

issue of the alleged anti-Semitism of the Populists. Richard Hofstadter

initiated the controversy by identifying an antisemitic strain in the Populist psyk.he. Among others, Norman Pollack and Walter T. K. Nugent have taken exception to this interpretation, while Irwin Unger and Leonard Dinnerstein have supported it.' 2" Dinnerstein's history of the Leo Frank case provides a full account of this southern outburst of anti-Semitism.'""

The eastern and southern European groups, those of the so-called "new immigration," have only in recent years begun to be the subject of historical study. The Italians, although second in numbers only to the Germans in the post-colonial immigration, were virtually ignored in earlier writings. In 1971 two general histories of the Italian Americans appeared. That by Luciano J. Iorizzo and Salvatore Mondcllo is a brief survey which treats various phases of the Italian immigration in knowledgeable fashion."' A more ambitious study is Alexander De Conde, Half-Bitter, Half-Sweet, which takes as its subject the full sweep of relationships between Italy and the United States from colonial times to the present.'"2 Cultural, literary, and diplomatic contacts, as well as migration, are woven skillfully into a synthesis of Italian American history. Both volumes emphasize the intense prejudice which the Italians encountered as well as their efforts to transcend that barrier. A useful collection of articles dealing with various aspects of the Italian experience in America has been edited by Silvano M. Tomasi and Madeline H. Engel.'" Though city dwellers like the Jews, the Italians in urban communities have been the subject of few studies. Rudolph J. Vecoli and Humbert S. Nel li have both written about the Italians in Chicago. Vecoli stressed the continuing influence of Old World culture in the lives of the immigrants,'" while Nelli argued that the Italians achieved rapid assimilation and upward mobility.'35 The successful adjustment of the Italians in the trans-Mississippi West is the theme of Andrew F. Rolle's The Immigrant

Upraised.'"' Rolle described the agricultural settlements of Italians in the western states; otherwise little attention has been paid (as of 1972) to these immigrants in rural surroundings. An exception is Robert L. Brandfon's study of the employment of Italiatilabor in the cotton plantations of the Mississippi Delta.''' The clash of religio-cultural traditions resulting from the encounter between the Italian immigrants and the American Catholic Church has been described by Vecoli,' "8 while Tomasi has emphasized the role of

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


the national parish as a nucleus for the formation of Italian American communities.'" The coming of age of the Italians in the politics of New York City is a theme of Arthur Mann's splendid biography of Fiore llo LaGuardia.'" The story of LaGuardia's successor, Vito Marcantonio, as the spokesman for the Italians of East Harlem, has been told by Salvatore LaGumina.'4' In his excellent study of the American response to the rise of Mussolini, John P. Diggins interpreted the pro-Fascist attitude of most Italian Americans as an expression of ethnic pride rather than political ideology."' Diggins has also written about the Italian-American opposition to II Duce. The role of the Italians in the American labor movement has been analyzed by Edwin Fenton." Fenton concluded that the Italians were just as susceptible to organization as other nationalities given favorable conditions in their particular 'occupations. Nonetheless, Italians were often viewed as wagecutters by American workers and their coming sometimes incited a hostile reception. Herbert G. Gutman has written a full account of an early episode of labor violence directed against the Italians.'" The striking differences in the part played by Italian immigrants in the labor movements of Argentina, Brazil, and the United

States have been studied by Samuel L. Bally." In a study of the Italian immigrant family, Virginia Yans McLaughlin noted the manner in which cultural values conditioned the employment patterns of wives and daughters.'"

Among the stereotypes of the Italian immigrant was that of the violent anarchist. It was vindicated for some by the trial and conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti. Almost a half century after their execution the

battle of the hooks over their guilt or innocence continued. Among recent writers, David Felix'" argued for the prosecution and Herbert B.

Ehrmann'' for the defense, while Francis Russell" contended that Vanzetti was innocent, but Sacco guilty. Another source of prejudice against the Italians has been the enduring belief in their involvement in secret criminal organizations. Long dominated by journalistic writings, the subject has also been dealt with in a solid work of scholarship by Joseph L. Albini.''" Albini holds that, rather than being an importation from Sicily, the history of organized crime in the United States long antedated the coming of the Italians. The participation of Italian Americans and other ethnic elements in criminal activities was to be understood in terms of the limited opportunities open to such groups for legitimate careers. studies.'51

These are essentially the conclusions

of other

Historians have hardly begun to study the Slavic immigration. No general work encompassing this vast subject has (as of 1972) been



attempted. Certain aspects of the history of Slavic immigrants have been

explored by Victor R. Greene. The Slavic Community on Strike emphasizes the militant participation of Polish, Slovak, and Lithuanian miners in the labor struggles in anthracite.'52 Greene has also analyzed the relationship between the origins of hnic consciousness and religious faith among the Polish immigrants.15' Among the few studies dealing with particular Slavic groups, Joseph A. Wytrwal's America's Polish Heritage is a general history, most useful for its description of the Polish ethnic organizations.15" A similar work is Gerald G. Govorchin's Americans from Yugoslavia, which describes the causes of the emigration as well as the achievements of the South Slav immigrants.'" George J. Prpic's The Croatian Immigrants in America is a comprehensive history of this Slavic group."' Among the non-Slavic peoples of the Balkans, only the Greeks (as of 1972) have been the subjects of a full-scale history. In a deeply researched work, Theodore Saloutos has written an authoritative account of the Greeks in America."7 While following the economic and social lot of the immigrants, Saloutos stressed the continuing involvement of the Greeks with developments in their homeland and the resulting controversies which

often rent the Greek American communities. The struggle between Hellenism and Americanism subsided as the Greeks overcame early obstacles of poverty and prejudice to achieve respectability and wellbeing.

Topical Studies

While the bulk of the writings in immigration history deal with specific ethnic groups, a growing literature addresses itself to issues olich encompass two or more groups. Surprisingly few efforts have !w: -I made (as of 1972) to write the ethnic history of particular states. One of these is Rudolph J. Vecoli, The People of New Jersey, which delineates the successive tides of migration into the Garden State and the persistent ethnic influences on religion, politics, and other spheres of Wilbur S. Shepperson's Restless Strangers portrays the extra-

ordinary mix of Nevada's population during the early years and its in Nevada literature.'" Other studies have focused upon


certain cities. In addition to the works by Hand lin and Ernst, Donald B. Cole described the changing ethnic composition of Lawrence, Massachusetts, over the course of three-quarters of a century.'" The concepts of the "immigrant cycle" and the "immigrants' search for security" are the synthetic themes which unify Cole's account of life and work in this mill town.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


The question of social mobility in America has attracted the attention of an increasing number of historians. Armed with the methodology of quantitative analysis, they have attempted to measure mobility in terms of such variables as occupation, property ownership, and education. The populations analyzed invariably include a variety of immigrant groups and the differentials in mobility among them become one of the phenomena noted if not explained. In The Making of an American Community, Merle Curti sought to test the Turner thesis regarding the democratizing influence of the frontier by the intensive study of a Wisconsin county.'°' Changes in property ownership, office holding, intermarriage, and other socioeconomic characteristics were computed over the course of several decades. Curti concluded that in Trempeleau County at least the frontier did make for a diffusion of economic and political power among the various ethnic groups. But the evidence for Turner's assertion that the frontier was a crucible in which "the immigrants were Americanized, liberated, and fused into a mixed race," was at best inconclusive. Stephan Thernstrom's study of social mobility among Irish unskilled laborers and their sons in Newburyport, Massachusetts, discovered little upward occupational mobility for either generation.162 Thernstrom, however, noted a significant increase in property ownership which he concluded validated the mobility ideology for these workers. In his later studies of occupational mobility in Boston, Thernstrom found that there were dramatic differences not only between immigrants and natives, but among newcomers of different nationalities as well.'6" While the British and the Jews scored a significant rise in occupational status, the Irish and the Italians tended to lag behind. Such differences among various

ethnic groups were also discerned by Clyde Griffen in his study of Poughkeepsie.'" A new sensitivity to group differences has also inspired an ethnocultural analysis of American political history. A critical review of this literature is presented in an article by Robert P. Swierenga.166 Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics, pioneered the ethnic interpretation in this study of recent political devolpments.1" In a volume on Massachusetts politics in the 1920's, J. Joseph Huthmacher stressed the

role of changing loyalties of immigrant groups in bringing about a political realignment in the Bay State.'" A leading proponent of the ethnocultural approach, Lce Benson, in his reassessment of "the concept of Jacksonian democracy," concluded that ethnicity was more closely related to party affiliation than was economic class.'" Benson ventured the proposition that "at least since the 1820's . . . ethnic and religious

differences have tended to be relatively more important sources of



political differences." Study of ethnic influences upon political behavior has also been called for by Samuel P. Hays.'"

Students of Benson and Hays as well as others have pursued the ethnocultural analysis of political history in recent years. Several works which exemplify this approach are Michael Holt's study of the formation of the Republican Party in Pittsburgh, Paul Kleppner's analysis of midwestern politics in the second half of the nineteenth century, John M.

Allswang's history of ethnic politics in Chicago, and Frederick C. Luebke's investigation of the politics of Nebraska Germans.17° All em-

ploy a social analysis of political behavior and all agree on the importance of ethno-religious identity as a determinant of voting patterns. A specific issue, the influence of the immigrant vote in the election of 1860, has been the subject of numerous articles; these have been compiled in a volume edited by Luebke.'" While the impact of Old Country issues on immigrant communities is discussed in many of the studies previously mentioned, the only general

treatment of the relationship between ethnic groups and American foreign policy (as of 1972) is Louis L. Gerson, The Hyphenate in Recent American Politics and Diplonzacy."2 Focusing on the periods of the world wars and the "Cold War," Gerson described the efforts of immigrant lobbies to influence the conduct of American foreign relations. These activities are more thoroughly examined for the World War 1 period in Joseph P. O'Grady, editor, The Immigrant's Influence on Wilson's Peace Policies.'" Essays are devoted to the activities of the various nationalities which tried to promote their homeland's cause, but the overall conclusion is that the immigrants had little influence on Wilson's decisions regarding the peace settlement. As of 1972, little effort has been made to deal with the religious dimension of the immigrant experience in a collective fashion. Will Herberg briefly reviewed the history of the three major immigrant religions as background for his thesis that the religious revival of the 1950's was caused by an affirmation of religious identity on the part of the third generation.17" Herberg viewed the assimilation process as culminating in a "triple melting pot" of religious communities. Historians of Catholicism in America have by and large acceptees this view of the

Church as an agency for the assimilation of immigrants into a deethnicized Catholic population. The concept of a Catholic "melting pot"

was challenged by Harold J. Abramson.'" Noting the persistence of distinctive ethnic styles of religious behavior among American Catholics, Abramson sought an explanation through a comparative analysis of the backgrounds of six ethnic groups. He concluded that societal competition among different religio-cultural traditions in the country of origin

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


"is a positive correlate of the degree of icligio-ethnic activity and consciousness." The concept of societal competition was utilized by Timothy

L. Smith to explain the development of sectarianism not only among, but also within, immigrant nationalities."'" Citing the example of the Finns and other groups, Smith concluded that the immigrant denomination, competing with other religious and non-religious organizations for members, became an ethnic sect. In a more recent article, Smith has argued that the immigrants from central and southern Europe brought with them traditions of lay initiative and responsibility which facilitated their adaptation to the religious voluntarism of America.'" Further, the national ethno-religious organizations which were formed to unite scattered congregations fit the American pattern of denominational pluralism. Rather than the clash of dissimilar religio-ctiltural traditions, Smith found in the religious history of the immigrant groups a confirmation "of the social consensus of which the nation's religious institutions are but one facet."

Smith pressed his thesis of a broad social consensus among newcomers and native Americans in his discussion of immigrant social aspirations and American education.' 8 The value system of the immigrants, he asserted, centered on their aspirations for mOney, education, and respectability, goals consonant with the "Protestant Ethic." Education also served the immigrants' need to create a new structure of family

and communal life and their search for a new ethnic identity. These aspirations, according to Smith, "account for the immense success of the public school system, particularly at the secondary level, in drawing the rm.;s of working-class children into its embrace." A quite different assessment of the relationship between the American educational system and the children of the immigrants was advanced by David K. Cohen179 and Colin Greer.'" Basing their studies on historical evidence of school performance, both concluded that more important than the differences in educational achievement as between native and immigrant children were the differences among children of various ethnic origins. While Scandinavian, British, German, and Jewish youngsters

tended to be as successful in school as those of native parentage, the children of non-Jewish central and southern European immigrants had much higher rates of failure. On every index of educational attainment,

children from these nationalities fared much worse than the others. While recognizing the influence of cultural differences on motivation and aptitude, both Cohen and Greer suggest that the problem may have been

"the inability of public education to overcome the educational consequences of family poverty, and to recognize the legitimacy of working class and ethnic cultures."




Clearly the historical literature on European Americans is rich in variety and high in quality. Yet as this review has demonstrated, there are many gaps in our knowledge, many questions unanswered, and many issues undecided. This is not the place to itemize these lacunae, but one

can mention the most glaring deficiencies as of 1972. The eastern, central, and southern European immigrations with the few exceptions noted are still terra incognita. Even for better known groups such as the Germans, further studies of the patterns of adjustment, particularly of the internal development of ethnic communities, are needed. Little is

known about the interaction of ethnic and racial groups in various geographical and institutional settings. Community, mobility, and political behavior studies should be extended to medium-sized cities and small towns. The history of the immigrant family and the immigrant

woman remain to be written. The impact of mass immigration upon the educational system, the churches, the political system, and popular culture, all deserve further investigation. Aside from the nativist response, the reception of the immigrants, particularly the role of voluntary agencies which sought to assist the newcomers, has been insufficiently studied. Recent writings have advanced challenging hypotheses regarding the relationship between immigration and societal development in the United States. Additional studies must provide the data for testing these concepts. Much research which addresses itself to these questions is now in progress. The scholarship of this decade will surely yield answers to many of these questions and will undoubtedly raise as many new ones. FOOTNOTES ' For a fuller exposition of this argument see Rudolph J. Vecoli. "Ethnicity: a Neglected Dimension of American History," in Herbert J. Bass, editor. The Slate of American History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1970. pp. 70-88, and Moses Rischin, "Beyond the Great Divide: Immigration and the Last Frontier." Journal of American History 55: 42-53; No. I, June 1968.

An excellent account of the early period of immigration historiography is Edward N. Saveth. American Historians and European Immigrants, 1875-1925, New York: Columbia University Press, 1948. "The Atlantic Migration, 1607-1860, A History of the Continuing Settlement of the United States. Edited with a foreword by Arthur M. Schlesinger. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1940.

' Edited with a foreword by Arthur M. Schlesinger. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1940, 'On the influences which shaped Hansen's view of American history see Allan H. Spear. "Marcus Lee Hansen and the Historiography of Immigration," Wisconsin Magazine of History 44: 258-268; No. 4, Summer, 1961.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


Norwegian Migration to America, Vol. 1825-1860; Vol. II. The American Transition. Northfield, Minn.: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 19311


' The Religious Aspects of Swedish Immigrations; a Study of Immigrant Churches. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1932. ' A History of American Immigration, 1820-1924. Boston: Ginn, 1926. " Refugees of Revolution, The German Forty-Eighters in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1952; The German-Language Press in America. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1957.

"' We Who Mali America: the Saga of the Immigrant. New York: Prentice-

Hall, 1939.

" Boston's immigrants, 1790-1880: a Study in Acculturation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1941; rev. and enlarged ed., New York: Atheneum, 1970.

"Immigrant Life in New York City, 1825-1863. New York: King's Crown Press. 1949. An early essay calling for this approach to ethnic history is Caroline F. Ware. "Cultural Groups in the United States," in Ware, editor. The Cultural Approach to History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940. pp. 62-73.

'' The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the

American People. Boston : Little, Brown, 1951.

" Rudolph J. Vecoli. "Contadini in Chicago; A Critique of The Uprooted." Journal of American History 51: 407-417; No. 3, December 1964. " The American People in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954; "Historical Perspectives on the American Ethnic Group." Ethnic Groups in American Life, Daedalus 90: 220-232; No. 2, Spring 1961. " Migration and Economic Growth; a Study of Great Britain and the Atlantic Economy. Cambridge, England: University Press, 1954. " "Migration from Europe Overseas in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries." XIe Congres International des Sciences Historiques, Stockholm 1960, Rapports, V: Histoire Contemporaine. Giiteborg-Stockholm-Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksell, 1960. pp. 32-60. Reprinted in Herbert Muller, editor. Population Movements in Modern European History. New York: Macmillan, 1964. pp. 73-92. 'The Founding of New Societies: Studies in the History of the United States, Latin America, couth Africa, Canada, and Australia. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964.

"Immigration," in C. Vann Woodward, editor. The Comparative Approach to America?: History. New York: Basic Books, 1968. pp. 91-105.

2" Nathan Glazer. "The Immigrant Groups and American Culture." Yale

Review 48: 382-397; No. 3, March 1959. 21 American Immigration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960. " The Distant Magnet: European Emigration to the U.S.A. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

" An Unsettled People: Social Order and Disorder in American History. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. See also Berthoff's article, "The American Social Order: A Conservative Hypothesis." American Historical Review 65: 495-514; No. 3, April 1960. "British Emigration to North America; Projects and Opinions in the Early Victorian Period. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957.

" "Agrarian Myths of English Immigrants," in 0. Fritiof Ander, editor. In the Trek of the Immigrants. Rock Island, Ill.; Augustana College Library, 1964. pp. 59-80. "The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. See

also Oliver MacDonagh. "Irish Emigration to the United States of America and the

Biitish Colonies during the Famine." in Robert Dudley Edwards and T.

Desmond Williams. editors. The Great Faminc: Studies in Irish History, /845 -/852. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1956.



22 Ireland and the American Emigration, (850 -1900. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958.

'" "Sweden's Constructive Opposition to Emigration." Journal of Modern History 37: 307-335; No. 3, September 1965. 2" Germany and the Emigration, 1816-1885. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964. " "Agricultural Organization, Migration and Labour Militancy in Rural Italy." Economic History Review. 2nd series. 16: 61-75; No. I, August 1963. "Italy's Rural Social Structure and Emigration." Occident,' 12: 437-456; No. 5, Septem-

ber-October 1956.

'I' Mississippi Valley Historical Review 37: 203-230; No. 2, September 1950. '- "Emigration and the Image of America in Europe," in Henry Steele Com=ger. editor. Immigration and American History: Essays in Honor of Theodore C. Blegen. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1961. pp. 26-54. "Ireland and the American Emigration.

They Remember America: the Story of the Repatriated Greek-Americans. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1956, "' "Exodus U.S.A.," in Arider. In the Trek of the Immigrants. pp. 197-215. "" Emigration and Disenchantment: Portraits of Englishmen Repatriated from the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965. "' "British Backtrailers: Working-Class Immigrants Return." in Ander. In the Trek of the Immigrants. pp. 179-195. " "The United States and Italy: Migration and Repatriation." Journal of Developing Areas 2: 23-36; No. I, October 1967. "" "Nostalgia or Disenchantment: Considerations on Return Migration," in Silvano M. Tomasi and Madeline H. Engel, editors. The Italian Experience in the United States. Staten Island, N.Y.: Center for Migration Studies, 1970. pp. 217-239.

4" American Quarterly. 16: 20-46; No. I, Spring 1964. See also Marian C. McKenna. "The Melting Pot: Comparative Observations in the United States and Canada." Sociology and Social Research 53: 433-447; No. 4, July 1969.

"Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion and National Origins. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964. Protestant, Catholic, Jew: an Essay in American Religious Sociology. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1955. Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1963. " Fishman, et al. Language Loyalty in the United States: The Maintenance and Perpetuation of Non-English Mother Tongues by American Ethnic and Religious Groups. Janua Linguarum, Series Maior, 21. The Hague: Mouton, 1966.

'New Approaches to the History of Immigration in Twentieth-Century America." American Historical Review 71: 1265-1279; No. 4, July 1966.

'" The Protestant Crusade, 1800-1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism, New York: Macmillan, 1938. "Some Themes of Counter-Subversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, AntiCatholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 47: 205-224; No. 2, September 1960.

'" The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays. New York: Knopf, 1965.

"Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism. 1860-1925. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1955. " "Another Look at Nativism.?,f7::!'wtic Historical Review 44: 147-158; No. 2, July 1958. "The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America. New York: Random House, 1964.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


"Ancestors and Immigrants. .4 Changing New England Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1956. "American Industry and the European Immigrant, 186(1-1885. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957. " An Episode in Anti- Catholicism: The .4merican Protective Association. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964. " Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920. Minneapolis: University

of Minnesota Press, 1955.

` " "A Study in Nativism: The American Red Scare of 1919-20." Political Science Quarterly 79: 52-75; No. 1, March 1964.

" Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963. ""American Immigration Policy in Historical Perspective.' Last. and Contemporary Problems 21: 213-235; Spring 1956. " American Immigration Policy, 1924-1952. New Haven: Yule University Press, 1957. Useful for its detailed summaries of legislation, even though heavily biased

in favor of restriction, is Marion T. Bennett. American Immigration Policies, A History. Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1963.

"" New York: Columbia University Press, 1948. '" Industrialization, immigrants, and Americanizers: The View from Milwaukee, 1866-1921.

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1967. This volume

also includes much information regarding economic and social conditions of immigrant groups in Milwaukee. 'From Voluntary Association to Welfare State: The Illinois Immigrants' Protective League, 1906-1926." Journal of American History 58: 643-660: No. 3, December 1971. " The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Hol.caust, 1938-1945. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1970. "' Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1968. Yet another account is Arthur D. Morse. While Six Million Died. New York: Random House, 1968. " Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration from Europe, 1930-41. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968. "" Donald Fleming and Bernard Bailyn. editors. The Intellectual Migration: Europe and America. 1930-1960 !Perspectives in American History, Vol. 2: published by the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History) Cambridge, 1968. "' British Immigrants in Industrial America, 1790-1950. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953. "` The Anglo-American Connection in the Early Nineteenth Century. Philadel-

phia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959; "The Atlantic Migration of the Pottery Industry." Economic History Review, 2nd Series. 11:264-278; No. 2, December, 1958. "" Britons' in American Labor: ri History of the Influence of the United Kingdom Immigrants on American Labor. 1820-1914. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1957. '" British Emigration to North America. "Agrarian Myths of English Immigrants." "Prairie Albion: An English Settlement in Pioneer Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. " Expectations Westward: The Mormons and the Emigration of Their British Converts in the Nineteenth Century. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1966. Americans from Wales. Boston: Christopher Publishing House. 1967. On the Welsh see also Alan Conway, editor. The Welsh in America: Letters from the Immigrants. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1961. "The Cornish in .4merica. London: Macmillan, 1969.



"' Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1956.

" To the Golden Door: The Story of the Irish in Ireland and America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1960.

"The American Irish. New York: Macmillan, 1963. ?" Hand lin. Boston's Immigrants: Ernst. Immigrant Life in New York City; Niehaus. The Irish in New Orleans, 1800-1860. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. "' New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957. "The Molly Maguires. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.

Irish-American Nationalism, 1870-1890. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966. Fenians and Anglo-American Relations During Reconstruction. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1969. John R. Duff. "1 ne Versailles Treaty and the Irish-Americans." Journal of American Hi...jiffy 55: 582-598; No. 3, December 1968; William M. Leary, Jr. "Woodrow Wilson, Irish Americans, and the Election of 1916." Journal of American History 54: 57-72; No. 1, June 1967; Joseph P. O'Grady. "The Irish," in O'Grady, ed. The Immigrants' Influence on Wilson's Peace Policies. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1967. pp. 56-84.

"The Tragedy of German-America; the Germans in the United States of

America During the Nineteenth Century-and After. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1940.

'" Ernst. Immigrant Life in New York City: Bessie L. Pierce, A History of Chicago. 3 vols.; New York: Knopf, 1937-1957; Bayrd Still. Milwaukee. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin Press, 1948. '' The German People of New Orleans, 1850-1900. Leiden: Brill, 1958. " "German-Americans Between New and Old Fatherland, 1870-1914." American Quarterly 19: 663-680; No. 4, Winter 1967; "The Cincinnati Germans, 18701920; Disintegration of an Immigrant Community." Bulletin of the Cincinnati Historical Society 23: 229-242; No. 4, October 1965. "The 'Zinzinnati' in Cincinnati." idea. 22: 209-220; No. 4, October 1964. "German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966. "" "The location of German Immigrants in the Middle West." Annals of the Association of AmPrican Geographers 41: I-41: No. 1, March 1951. "The Distribution of the German Pioneer Population in Minnesota." Rural Sociology 6: 16-34; No. I. March 1941; "Factors Influencing the Distribution of the German 'Pioneer Population in Minnesota." Agricultural History 19: 39-57; January 1945. "' Ref ueee.s of Revolution.

"'The German-Language Press in America. "'The Catholic Church and German Americans. Milwuakee: Bruce, 1953.

"'The Conservative Reformers: German-American Catholics and the Social Order. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968: "An Immigrant Group's Interest in Progressive Reform: The Case of the German-American Catholics." American Histarkal Review 73: 367-379; No. 2, December 1967. Immigrants and Politics: The Germans of Nebraska, 1880-1900. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1969. "" Netherlanders in America; Dutch immigration to the United States and Canada, 1789-1950. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1955. Lucas has also edited Dutch Immigrant Memoirs aml Related Writings. Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1955.


vols.; Assen,

"' Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957.

"" Norwegian Migration to America. "Norwegian Settlement in the United .States. Northfield, Minn.: NorwegianAmerican Historical Association. 1938.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


"" "Norwegian Emigration in the Nineteenth Century." Scandinavian Economic History Review 8: 150-160; No. 2, 1960. "' The Norwegian Language in America. 2 vols.; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953.

Saga in Steel and Concrete: Norwegian Engineers in America. Northfield, Minn.: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1947.

"'" West of the Great Divide: Norwegian Migration to the Pacific Coast, 18471893. Northfield, Minn.: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1958.

"4 The Lutheran Church among Norwegian-Americans: a History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 2 vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1960.

"" The Religious Aspects of Swedish Immigrations. Prairie Grass Dividing. Rock Island, Ill.: Augustana Historical Society, 1959.

"'' The Swedish Immigrant Community in Transition: Essays in Honor of Dr. Conrad Bergendofi. Rock Island, Augustana Historical Society, 1963. "' From Isolationism to Involvement: The Swedish Immigrant Press in America, /9/4-1945. Chicago: Swedish Pioneer Historical Society, 1966.

For Sale-Minnesota: Organized Promotion of Scandinavian Immigration, 1866-1873. Stockholm: Scandinavian University Books, 1971.

11" Swodes in Chicago: a Demographic and Social Study of the 1846-1880 Immigration. Vaxjii, Sweden: Scandinavian University Books, 1971.

"' Swedish America /9/4 -1932: Studies in Ethnicity with Emphasis on Illinois and Minnesota. Uppsala, Sweden: Scandinavian University Books, 1971. 12 Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1960.

Haven in the Woods: The Story of the Finns in Wisconsin. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1965. "' Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1963.

Flugten til Amerika eller Drivkraefter i masseudvandringen Ira Danmark /868 -19/4. Aarhus, Denmark: Universitetsforlaget, 1971. For an English summary see pp. 490-526. Handlin. Adventure

in Freedom: Three Hundred Years of Jewish Life in

America. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954; Learsi. The Jews in America: a History. Cleveland: World, 1954. 1 " Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957. H" The Early Jews of New Orleans. Waltham, Mass.: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969. See also by Korn. American Jewry and the Civil War. Philadelphia: Jewish PublicatiOn Society of America, 1951. I" The Promised City: New York's Jews, 1870-1914. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962.

12" Neu, York Jest's and the Quest for Community: The Kehillah Experiment, 19084922. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970. 'I New York: Holt. Rinehart and Winston, 1967. '" Adler and Connolly. From Ararat to Suburbia: The History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1960; Swichkow and Gartner. The History of the Jews of Milwaukee. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1963; Vorspan and Gartner. History of the Jews of Los Angeles. San Marino, Cal.: Huntington Library, 1970; Rosenberg. The Jewish Community in Rochester, 18434925. New York: Columbia University Press, 1954. 1112 immigrants to Freedom: Jewish Communities in Rural New Jersey Since 1882. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971. 12' Trans. and rev, by Aaron Antonovsky. New York: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 1961.



'" fle lech Epstein. Jewish Labor in U.S,A.: an Industrial, Political and Cultural History of the Jewish Labor Movement. 2 vols.; New York: Trade Union Sponsoring Committee, 1950-1953.

Berman. "A Cursory View of the Jewish Labor Movement: an Historiographical Survey." American Jewish Historical Quarterly 52: 79-97; No. 2, December 1962; Rischin. "The Jewish Labor Movement in America: a Social Interpretation." Labor History 4: 227-247; No. 3, Fall 1963. '" New York: Basic Books, 1966. """Anti-Semitism in the Gilded Age: A Reinterpretation." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 43: 559-578; No. 4, March 1957; "Social Discrimination Against

Jews in America, 1830-1930." Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society 47: 1-33; No. 1, September 1957.

Hoc3tadter. The Age of Reform: from Bryan to r.1).R. New York: Knopf, 1955; Unger. The Greenback Era. Princeton: University of Princeton Press, 1964; Pollack. "The Myth of Populist Anti-Semitism." American Historical Review 68: 76-80; No. I, October 1962; Nugent. The Tolerant Populists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963. " " The Leo Frank Case. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966. Dinnerstein has also edited Antisemitism in the United States. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971. The Italian-Americans. New York: Twayne, 1971.

Half-Bitter, Half-Sweet: An Excursion into Italian American History. New York: Scribner's, 1971. The Italian Experience in the Uni:ed .States. Staten Island, N.Y.: Center for Migration Studies, 1970. ' " "Contuifini in Chicago."

l"" Italians in Chicago, 1880.1930: a Study in Ethnic Mobility. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. The Immigrant Upraised: Italian Adventurers and Colonists: in an Expanding America. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press. 1968. "'' Cotton Kin.gdom of the New South: A History of the Yazoo Mississippi Delta from Reconstruction to the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Harvard University

Press, 1967; "The End of Immigration to the Cotton Fields." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 50: 591-611; No 4, March 1964. "Prelates and Peasants: Italian Immigrants and the Catholic Church." Journal of Social History 2: 217-268; No. 3, Spring 1969. "" "The Ethnic Church and the Integration of Italian Immigrants in the United States," in Tomasi and Engels, editors. The Italian Experience. pp. 163-193. t"' La Guardia: A Fighter Against His Times: /882 -/933. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1959; La Guardia Comes to Power, 1933. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1965.

'" Vito Marcantonio, The People's' Politician. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 1969.

1" Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America. Princeton: Princeton University Picss, 1972; "The Italo-American Anti-Fascist Opposition." Journal of American History 54: 579-598; No. 3, December 1967. "" "Italian Immigrants in the Stoneworkers' Union." Labor History 3: 188-207;

No. 3, Spring 1962; "Italians in the Labor Movement." Pennsylvania History 26: 133-148; No. 2. April 1959. '" "The Buena Vista Affair. 1874-1875." Penacy/vanin Magn:ine of History and Biography 88. 251-293; No. 3. July 1964. "' "The Italians and the Development of Organized Labor in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States, 1880- 1914," Journal of Social History 3: 123-134; No. 2, Winter 1969-70; "Italians and Organized Labor in the United States and Argentina: 1880-1910," in Tomasi and Engels, editors. The Italian Experience. pp. 111123.

European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics


He "Patterns of Work and Family Organization Buffalo's Italians." Journal of Social History 5 299-314; No. 1, Fall 1971. '" Protest: Sacco-Vanzetti and the Intellectuals. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1965. "a The Case That Will Not Die: Commonwealth vs. Sacco and Vanzetti. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969.

"° Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962. 18° The American Mafia: Genesis of a Legend. New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts, 1971.

"' Humbert S. Nelli. "Italians and Crime in Chicago: the Formative Years, 1890-1920." American Journal of Sociology 74: 373-391; No. 4, January 1%9; Luciano J. lorizzo, editor. An Inquiry into Organized Crime. New York: American Italian Historical Association, Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference, 1970. The Slavic Community on Strike: Immigrant Labor in Pennsylvania Anthracite. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968. 1" "For God and Country: The Origins of Slavic Catholic Self-Consciousness in America." Church History 35: 446-460; No. 4, December 1966. "4 America's Polish Heritage: a Social History of the Poles in America. Detroit: Endurance Press, 1961. See also by Wytrwal. Poles in American History and Tradition. Detroit: Endurance Press, 1969. 1" Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Press, 1961. '" New York: Philosophical Library, 1971. 1" The Greeks in the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.

15° Princeton: D. Van Nostrand, 1965. 1" Restless Strangers: Nevada's Immigrants and Their Interpreters. Reno, Nev.: University of Nevada Press, 1970. Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963.

'" The Making of an American Community; a Case Study of Democracy in a Frontier County. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1959. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.

'""Immigrants and WASPs: Ethnic Differences in Occupational Mobility in Boston, 1890-1940," in Stephan Thernstrom and Richard Sennett, editors. Nineteenth-Century Cities: Essays in the New Urban History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. pp. 125-164.

"'Workers Divided: The Effect of Craft and Ethnic Differences in Poughkeepsie, New York, 1850=1880," in Thernstrom and Sennett, editors. NineteenthCentury Cities. pp. 49-97.

1" "Ethnocultural Political Analysis: A New Approach to American Ethnic Studies." Journal of American Studies 5: 59-79, April 1971.

'" New York: Harper, 1952. '" Massachusetts People and Politics, 1919-1933. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959. '" The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.

1" "The Social Analysis of American Political History, 1880-1920." Political Science Quarterly 80: 373-394; No. 3, September 1965; "History as Human Behavior." Iowa Journal of History 58: 193-206; No. 3, July 1960. "" Holt. Forging a Majority: the Formation of the Republican Party in Pinsburgh, 1848-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969; Kleppner. The Cross of Culture: A Social Analysis of Midwestern Politics, 1850-1900. New York: Free Press, 1970; Allswanj. A House for All People, 1890-1936. Lexington. Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1971; Luebke. Immigrants and Politics.



'' Ethnic Voters and the Election of Lincoln. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1971. "' Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1964. '" O'Grady, editor. The Immigrant's Influence. "' Protestant, Catholic, Jew.

'""Ethnic Diversity within Catholicism: A Comparative Analysis of Contemporary and Historical Religion." Journal of Social History 4: 359-388; No. 4, Summer 1971. See also Vecoli. "Prelates and Peasants." '" "Religious Denominations as Ethnic Communities: A Regional Case Study." Church History 35: 207-226; No. 2, June 1966. " " "Lay Initiative in the Religious Life of American Immigrants, 1880-1950," in Tamara K. Hareven, editor. Anonymous Americans. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prent:ce-Hall, 1971. pp. 214-249. "Immigrant Social Aspirations and American Education.

1880-1930," American Quarterly 21: 523-543; No. 3, Fall 1969. 'Immigrants and the Schools." Review of Educational Research 40: 13-27;

No. 1, February 1970. See also Mary Fabian Matthews. "The Role of the Public Schools in the Assimilation of the Italian Immigrant Child in New York City, 1900-1914," in Tomasi and Engels, editors. The Italian Experience. pp. 124-141. "" The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education. New York: Basic Books, 1972.


Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano in the United States Rodolfo Acuria

THIS chapter is an overview of the Mexican American's quest for self-determination and cultural pluralism in America. This struggle has been one of the most neglected areas of American history. In fact the outline of the Mexican American's participation in the American story was only faintly emerging in 1972. It was lamentable as well as a reflection on the historian that not one major historical work had been published on this ethnic group. Carey McWilliams' North from Mexico' was the first attempt to narrate its history. However, the McWilliams work, although a journalistic masterpiece, is obviously outdated. Acutia's monograph, Occupied America, published in 1972,2 is again a preliminary

description of the struggle. Its main virtues are that it challenges the consensus historians' view of the Mexican American and that it opens new frontiers for research and analysis. The narrative that follows is a précis of the latter work. The Mexican Background

Mexican culture in the United States predates that of the AngloAmerican. Mesoamerica (middle America, or the interior of Mexico and Guatemala) was one of the six cradles of civilization. The philosophy that developed from the early Mexican civilization continues to influence those of Mexican extraction today. The settlement of Mexico began with the migration of hunters and gatherers to middle America many thousands of years ago when water, vegetation, and wild game 113



were abundant. When the climate changed and game dwindled, Mexicans met the challenge by developing agricultural communities. Farming,

and the stability it produced, meant that various tribes could build ceremonial and trade centers, which later evolved into large cities. Mexican civilization reached its highest level of development during the classical period (about 200 B.C. to 900 A.D.). Indian civilizations which

included Mayans, Teothuacanos, and other Indian tribes built on the gains made by the Olmecs during the pre-classical period. They individually ,ttude significant discoveries in science, mathematics (the Olmecs discovered the zero), agriculture, literature and song, and architecture and the arts. During the classical period, emphasis on military concerns was minimal, and the Mexican tribes valued learning and the develop-

ment of agriculture, It was not until the post-classical period, when iiomads from the north invaded Mesoamerica, that war began to play a more dominant role in the civilization.3 In general, life remained the same during these periods; the central unit was the family, then came the clan, the tribe, and the village. The people did not have domestic animals other than the dog and the turkey.

Their dietconsisting mainly of corn, beans, and squash which they raised themselveswas supplemented by other foods obtained through trading, such as tomatoes, chiles, pineapples, and avocados.

Domestic and geographical conditions made the Mexican people vulnerable to the Spanish invasion that began in 1519. Unlike the invaders, they had no horses, and thus they lacked mobility. The mountains of Mexico separated the various tribes and they could not launch a unified defense; as a result, the Spaniards succeeded in conquering one area at

a timedividing and conquering. Furthermore, the Spaniards' experience in the arid, mountainous land of the Iberian peninsula meant that they could acclimate more easily to conditions in Mexico; in fact this adaptability facilitated Spain's colonization of a large portion of the Americas.

The Spaniards found advanced civilizations in Mexico that were rich

in metals and other raw materials. They coveted these treasures and determined to take what they needed for the development of their recently unified nation. Mexico's colonial epoch formally began when the Spaniards subdued the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521. The colonizers then superimposed their language, religion, and culture, as well as their political and economic system, on the Mexican people Based on the right of conquest, the Spaniards created a caste society, which perpetuated their privileged status. Despite its exploitive nature Spain's brand of colonialism was also pragmatic. During the colonial years, many Indians lived apart in communal villages. Although exploited through middle men, they had little individ-

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicar o


ual contact with the colonizers. Moreover, they resisted assimilation into

Spanish culture. Thus, the colonizers found that they had to adapt to their subjects' culture and traditions in order to maintain control; they compromised by adding elements of Indian traditionincluding food, language, architecture, thoughtto that of their own.4 The conquerors married and mixed with the conquered* (unlike the later Anglo-American colonizers), and a new race gradually emergedthat of the mestizo. During the colonial era, the mestizo population increased. In spite of their growing numerical importance, the mestizos were denied the privileges of the full-blooded Spanish. At the same time the mestizos rejected the world of the Indian. They resided primarily in the cities and large villages and slowly forged a separate identity. By the end of the 18th century distinct societies existed in Mexico. The principal ones were the peninsulare (Spaniard born in Spain), the criollo (Spaniard born in Mexico), the mestizo, and the Indian. During the colonial era Indian resentment toward the colonizers increased; their isolation and localism, however, prevented the unification needed to oust the oppressors. A crack in the system began in the Spaniards' ranks. The criollo became increasingly nationalistic and resented the privileged status of the peninsulares. Meanwhile, toward the end of the colonial period the mestizo became more involved in the economic and political life of the nation. Both the criollo and the mestizo saw the economic advantages of independence from Spain.5 The ideals of liberty, equality, and

fraternity espoused by the French Revolution of 1789 affected these groups. Both objected to thc peninsulares' privilege, at their expense. Finally, on September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo began the War for Independence. This launched an eleven-year war during which Mexico received relatively little aid from other nations. Independence in 1821, however, did not secure stability to the Mexican nation; the variety of cultures and Mexico's size worked against it. The new mestizo culture clashed with the firmly rooted Spanish and Indian communities. A power struggle erupted that lasted for one hundred years, with criollo pitted against mestizo. The former championed conservative interests, including the military, the large landowners, and thc Church, and the latter advanced the liberal or federalist ideals committed to ending established privilege. In short, the rising middle class wanted

to make Mexico into a capitalist nation. The power struggle triggered constant warfare, with the liberals finally gaining power in 1855. Conservatives, however, initiated a counter-insurgency to regain their lost privileged status. They led two costly wars against the reformersthe * Miscegenation took place mainly in the urban areas in the interior of Mexico. Many of the Indians of northern and southern Mexico until recent times remained unaffected by the Spaniard or mestizo.



War of Reform (1858-1861) and the War of the French Intervention (1861-1867 ). Under Benito Juarez's leadership, the liberals defeated the conservatives, facilitating Mexico's thrust into capitalism. The process was accelerated when Porfirio Diaz seized the presidency in 1876; he remained in power until 1910.°

During Diaz's tenure Mexico progressed economicallybut at the expense of the peon and the Indian. Financed by foreign capitalists, 15,000 miles of railroad were constructed, linking the plantations and mines within Mexico to trade centers and merging these centers with the

main railway trunk lines that ran from the south to the United States. Diaz also encouraged foreign investment in mining, oil, and agriculture. Meanwhile, Mexican hacendados (hacienda owners) increased their holdings by confiscating Indian communal lands. Despite the apparent prosperity, Mexico suffered from the capitalist economic cycle, with the poor

getting poorer and privilege passing to a handful of Europeanized mestizos and criollos, as well as foreigners. Before Diaz, Mexico had been economically dependent on England and France but anti-Americanism lessened during the Diaz regime, with United States capital flooding

Mexico to the point that by the turn of the century it became an economic fief of Anglo-America.7 Resentment centered among the uprooted Indians, city dwellers, and intellectuals. They objected to the "gringos' " economic encroachments, with even Mexican capitalists attributing their economic plight (caused by depressions) to the Anglo-capitalists. Nationalism became more pronounced, and many Mexicans advocated economic independence from the United States. During the first decade of the twentieth century opposi-

tion to Diaz's dictatorship crystallized, for to the nationalists it represented Mexico's artificial association with European symbols and foreign economic dependence. The climax of this movement to forge a Mexican

society was solidified by the Revolution of 1910; the revolutionaries advocated that the nation be owned by Mexicans, controlled by the people, and that the land be returned to its rightful owners. During the Revolution los de abajo (the underdogs) fought for and, for a time, won control of their institutions. The chaos of the Revolution had a significant impact on the history of Mexicans in the United Statesnot only did it contribute to the mass migration to the north, but it also worked to revitalize nationalism among Mexicanos in Anglo-America.° Mexico's Northwest Historically and geographically, the U. S. Southwest and Mexico are one. Until the middle of the nineteenth century the Southwest, in fact, was Mexico's Northwest. An imperialist war of aggression and conquest

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


(The Mexican-American War of 1846-48) gave the region to the AngloAmericans. When this occurred the area was anything but a wild west,

for a Mexican civilization had taken root there. As a result of their conquest, Anglo-Americans inherited a long tradition of Indian and Mexican settlement without which their development of the area would have been retarded.9 The Southwest is a land of contrasts, marked by mountains, valleys, and vast deserts. The land, like much of Mexico, is arid. (The unpropitious climate initially discouraged many Anglos from settling there; they called it the Great American Desert.) The first Indians lived in harmony with the land, and they survived by using its limited water and vegetation judiciously. They established the first trails and traded over many thousands of miles, east to west and north to south)" They exchanged goods even in times of warfare. The Indians divided themselves into three basic groups: the nomadic tribes hunted, gathered and did some farming; the rancheria tribes, which lived in thatched huts in villages of about 300 inhabitants, were sedentary people, and although they hunted, they primarily relied on agriculture; the pueblo Indians built stone and adobe buildings which housed many hundreds of settlers. The pueblos had ceremonial and trade centers

as well as communal farm lands. In addition to corn, beans, and squashes, they cultivated cotton. Like the other Indians of the Americas, none had domestic animals with the exception of dogs and sometimes turkeys." The Spaniards via Mexico explored the Northwest, mapping most of the area by 1542. Even though led by Spaniards, these expeditions were dominated by Mexican Indians and mestizos. The actual colonization of

the Northwest did not begin until 1598, but by this time, the land between Mexico's interior and the Northwest had been settled. Domestic animals and plants brought from Spain complemented the Mexicans' crops and techniques. The Indian formed the bulk of the labor which made the system function. Life was not idyllic since the conquerors exploited the masses, but miscegenation did take place, and the Indian and the mestizo survived.

In 1598 Juan de Ofiate led a large party of men, animals, supplies,

and tools from what is now northern Mexico to present-day New Mexico. The settlers founded the first Mexican pueblo in the Northwest, San Juan de los Caballeros, which later became the base for the city of Santa Fe in 1609. The settlement of New Mexico was an extension of Mexico's colonization by the Spaniards. Although a F ys tem of privileges

operated, miscegenation again took place, with the mestizo culture evolving in New Mexico.



The Spanish plan was to convert the Indians into loyal subjects of the crown. Over the next two hundred years, the colonial government used the mission, the presidio, the fort, and the pueblo to complete this subjugation. The missions were directed by priests who Christianized the Indians and taught them Spanish language and crafts. The presidio soldiers supported the padres, pi otecting the missions and keeping the Indians "in line." The Spanish imperialist also sent settlers north from Mexico's interior who were settled in pre-planned pueblos which included a plaza (village square), acequits (water canals), communal pasture, and

farmlands. The forests and the water belonged to the pueblos. The population was also augmented by Indians from the area. By the time the Anglo-American arrived in the Southwest, there were hundreds of pueblos, many of which have become centers of population todaySan Antonio, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Jose, and San Francisco are but a few of them.

Footholds had been made in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas." The Mexican legacy was deeply rooted when the United States seized

the Southwest. The Spaniards had transferred desert animals to the region and had established an extensive livestock industry. They established ranchos (ranches). Ranching was a highly developed institution with laws governing its operation. The open range necessitated rodeos ( roundups), held by mandate annually, when the rancheros (ranchers) branded their cattle. The vaqueros (cowboys) had a standard uniform which facilitated their daily work routine. The Anglo learned these skills from the Mexicans. The vaqueros were master horsemen and ropemen

who used the saddle with a horn, developed in Mexico, and la riata (lariat) to round up and herd cattle. The animals themselves were uniquely adaptedthe mestetio (mustang) and the longhorn were hardy breeds that had been brought to Spain from Africa." The Mexican established a tradition of sheep herding, with millions of sheep roaming the Northwest by the time the Anglo arrived. It became New Mexico's principal industry with hundreds of thousands of sheep being driven annually to Mexico's interior. Mexicans institutionalized

this industry, and the pastores (shepherds), followed a set routine." Other animals brought to the Northwest included goats, chickens, burros, mules, and oxen.

Mexico's Northwest had a long tradition of agriculture before the United States conquered it. The Indians knew how to use its wildlife and how to cultivate needed crops. The Indians of Arizona were excellent

farmers, and they used irrigation to its best advantage. The Mexican contributed tools, techniques, the use of domestic animals, and innumerable new crops, plants, and trees to the development of the area. They

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


laid the foundation for today's agricultural industry. Wheat, rice, apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, quinces, mulberries, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, dates, and grapes, among other products, were brought to Mexico from Spain. They mixed with Mexican crops such as beans, squashes, corn, avocados, and tomatoes. In turn, all of these products were taken to the Northwest where, by the 1830's, they flourished.° A transportation system with established trade routes existed. Mule

trains and caravans operated daily over caminos reales. Many early Anglo traders marvelled at the skill of the muleteers." Moreover, when the present arbitrary border divided Mexico from its Northwest, a pool of experienced miners lived in the conquered territory as well as just

across the border. They pioneered mining operations when the big bonanzas were struck. Mexican laws governed the property rights of the individual and the community. Water laws were adapted to the land, with everyone entitled

to use water from communal sources as needed. After the conquest, however, Anglo-American law decreed that water belonged to the person

on whose land it originated, and thus it could be monopolized. Out of necessity, Mexican law was reinstated to stop the range wars which marred the Anglo-American "wild west." Community property laws to protect the family and community were also of Mexican origin." An understanding of the Mexicans' contributions would not be complete without considering the architecture of the region. To this day, it is influenced by the Mexican period; wood was scarce and nature's adobe was common. In addition, certain words from the Mexican vocabulary, such as arroyo, coyote, canon, veranda, patio, barbacoa, have found popular usage today." It must also be emphasized that the Northwest, today's Southwest, was a political unit of Mexico as the result of Spanish imperialism. Nevertheless, the assimilation of cultures and races that took place during the colonial era resulted in the formation of the modern Mexican race. Moreover, the Indians north and south of today's border cannot be segregated from each other. They were, and are, one people. This IndoMexican civilization made possible the Anglo-American settlement of the region. The reader must realize that after 1821 the Northwest was part of the Mexican Republic, legally belonging to Mexico. Culturally and racially it had little in common with the United States; it became part of that nation only through conquest and colonization. The Subjugation of the Mexican in the United States

Excuses should not be made for the seizure of over half of the Mexican nation by the United States. Many Anglo-Americans simply



coveted their neighbor's property and conspired to steal it. The United States committed an act of imperialism in the tradition of England and

other Western European nations when they colonized African and Asian countries. The Mexican venture was not a unique nor isolated act of aggression. The story of early Indian wars, and the subsequent re-

moval of the North American Indians from their tribal lands, is well known. Among the goals of those who supported war with England in 1812 were the acquisition of Canada and the establishment of firm control over the Ohio River Valley. Moreover, Anglo-Americans conducted

border raids on Florida to force Spain to cede that territory to the United States in 1819. To some Anglo-Americans, Texas became the next target, and settlers flocked there in the 1820's. The Mexican govern-

ment allowed Anglos to immigrate there on the condition that they become Catholics and respect Mexican laws. Some did honor their pledge, but an increasing number resented the Mexican authorities and actively planned for the day when the area would be joined with the United States.'" Evidence that they planned to incorporate Texas became apparent during the administrations of James Monroe through those of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; repeatedly, the United States Govel nment pressured Mexico through diplomatic channels to sell Texas. By the end of the decade Anglo-Texan sentiment for annexation to the United States had increased greatly.Anglo-Texans openly protested, and

later defied, Mexican laws, especially those that abolished slavery in 1829 and prohibited further Anglo-American immigration into Texas in 1830. Anglo-Americans considered it their God-given right to own

slaves and to migrate to the area as they pleased. In the early 1830's word spread that there would be trouble in Texas. Anglo-American land speculators and adventurers entered the territoryamong them, accord-

ing to Mexican sources, were the infamous brawlers Sam Houston, William Barrett Travis, James Bowie, and Davey Crockett.'" By 1832 conventions were convened to present grievances to the Mexican government and to demand separate statehood for Texas. The Mexican government reacted by strictly enforcing many of its laws and by moving troops

to the area; they did not want Texas to be a repetition of the Spanish experience in Florida."' Stephen Austin had been in Mexico since 1821 as an "impresario" seeking to advance the Texan cause. strengthening his own power

In 1833 he wrote a letter to the ayuntamiento (city council) of San Antonio, urging it to declare statehood for Texas. The letter's contents fell into the hands of Mexican authorities, and they imprisoned Austin; unfortunately, this action played into the hands of the war advocates. Once Austin was released, he returned to Texas, openly encouraging

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


Anglos in the United States to come to Texas with gun in hand to help their brothers. The Anglo-Texans revolted in 1836, and the Mexican army under the enigmatic Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexico's president, entered the territory to protect the nation's interests. This encounter has been portrayed as that of a tyrannical Mexican dictator in opposition to freedom-loving, peaceful settlers.22 Such simplistic stereotyping is far from the truth. At the first sign of hostilities, soldiers of fortune swarmed into Texas. Many were experienced fighters, whereas the men under Santa Anna were conscripts, many of whom had never fired a gun. Moreover, they had just been marched over thousands of miles of desert and were not prepared for the battles that followed. Nevertheless, they at first dominated the war, winning convincingly at Goliad and the Alamo. The latter was a major undertaking since it had "perhaps the largest collection" of guns "between New Orleans and Mexico City."25 For artillery, Anglo-

Texans at the Alamo had 21 guns versus the Mexicans' 8 or 10.24 Although there were only about 180 defenders versus some 1800 attackers,25 the defenders had Kentucky long rifles with a range of about 200 yards; the Mexicans had smooth-bore muskets with a range of about 70 yards. The men inside the Alamo were anything but peaceful settlers. Travis was a fugitive from justice with military experience; James Bowie,

an infamous brawler and former slave trader; and the aging Davey Crockett, an experienced fighter who had entered Texas cocked for a fight.26 The men inside the Alamo fully expected reinforcements and believed that they could defend the fort. In the end, most died in the battle; however, some like Davey Crockett appear to have surrendered and were tried and executed.27 The loss of the Alamo humiliated the Anglo-Texans. But it also had the effect of triggering considerable support from the United States, and volunteers, arms, and money poured into Texas.28 The United States Government did little to stop the flow, and through its citizens, it became very much involved in the eventual takeover of the province. The incompetency of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna also helped. The battle of San Jacinto was not so much a Texan victory as it was a Mexican mistake. After the Alamo, the Mexicans routed the Anglos at almost every

encounter. Santa Anna, however, did not follow up his victories. In April, he had several skirmishes in the vicinity of the San Jacinto River all successful. On April 20, 1836, Santa Anna camped his army near

the river, expecting Sam Houston to attack on the 22nd. Instead, Houston pulled a surprise attack on the 21st during the siesta hours and completely routed the Mexicans. Santa Anna was captured, and he had no choice but to surrender Texas to the Anglos.26 Even though it could not



reinstate its authority, the Mexican government did not recognize Texan independence, and, for the next nine years, boundary disputes created

tensions between Mexico and the Republic of Texas. Moreover, the Mexicans were bitter over the mistreatment of their prisoners of war by the Texans.3°

Many Texans wanted to expand their holdings at the expense of Mexico and to create a strong Republic, but most wanted annexation to the United States. In the meantime, Washington politicos conspired to take all of the Southwest. Historians have long differed over what actu-

ally took place, but there appear to have been several schemes to manufacture a war. In 1967 Glenn W. Price described persuasively a plot led by Commodore Robert F. Stockton who went to Texas before annexation and tried to convince authorities there to attack Mexico in order to create an incident." Stockton used his own money to finance his scheme, but Texas authorities refused to acquiesce in Stockton's plot even though it was sanctioned by President James Polk. After Stockton's conspiracy failed, Polk ordered Zachary Taylor into the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. As Polk undoubtedly expected, Mexican troops fired at them. Polk assumed the posture of the

injured party and went before the United States Congress and asked for a declaration of war." Mexico was unprepared for war, for it was undergoing civil strife. Moreover, Mexico was financially bankrupt and in the process of centralizing her vast territories. It had great potential, and if it had had a competent general, it conceivably could have defended its territory success-

fully. From the beginning, violence dominated the actions of Zachary Taylor's troops. They invaded northern Mexico, bombarded Matamoros,

and went on a rampageraping, plundering, and murdering as they marched to the interior. Later General Winfield Scott literally levelled Vera Cruz with cannon fire from United States naval ships, destroying hospitals, churches, and the civilian sectors of the city.33 In many instances, although Scott attempted to maintain discipline, the Anglosoldiers could not be controlled. They repeated acts of violence all the way to Mexico City. Simultaneously, Stephen Watts Kearny led the "Army of the West" into New Mexico and California. Again the AngloAmerican subjugation was brutal and Mexicans resisted as best they could." The United States won the "manufactured" war, but left behind a legacy of violence and hate." Mexicans remaining in the conquered land became a conquered people. Mexico had no intention of abandoning its citizens, however, and attempted to protect their rights. These guarantees

were incorporated into the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848. Articles VIII and IX, as well as a letter of protocol signed by Anglo-

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


American ministers in May 1848, specifically provided that Mexicans would be first-class citizens, and that their land, religion, and, by inference, their culture would be respected. The Mexican Congress by a narrow vote ratified the treaty. "6 Many Mexican deputies doubted the good faith of the Anglo-American conquerors, but they had little choice except to sign. Their reluctance proved justified since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has generally been ignored."'

The Anglo-American Occupation of Mexico's Northwest The first Anglo-Americans who entered the Southwest after the war thought of themselves as the anointed defenders of democracy and the

Mexicans as their enemies. Many Anglos had been veterans of the Mexican War and believed that the right of conquest entitled them to special privileges. They resented that so much land belonged to the "greaser" and viewed the brown-skinned half-breeds as social and racial inferiors who should be controlled. Through legal and illegal methods the subjugation began. The result was that the Mexican lost his land and was politically and economically isolated. A master-servant relationship

evolved; the Anglo 5ecame the master and the Mexican became the servant:38

In Texas the Mexican's submergence crystallized in the Rio Grande River Valley where men like Charles Stillman. a merchant, and Richard King, a rancher, seized enormous power through de facto and de lure means." The Texas Rangers aided and abetted these unscrupulous men in their quest for power. The Rangers have been immortalized by Walter Prescott Webb, a Texas historian and past president of the American Historical Association. To the Mexicans, however, the Rangers (or los rinches as they are popularly called) were paid assassins who terrorized the Mexican majority. Americo Paredes, a professor at the University of Texas, in his work With a Pistol in His Hand, documents the atrocities of the Rangers and quotes Webb as calling "retaliatory killings of 1915 an 'orgy of bloodshed' [in which] the Texas Rangers played a prominent part." Webb stated that the number of Mexicans killed had been variously estimated at figures from 500 to 5,000.4° To this day Mexicans in Texas are bitter toward the Rangers; to the conquered. los rinches symbolize an alien occupying army. The submergence of the Mexican throughout the Southwest followed

the Texas pattern. Even in New Mexico, where he remained in the majority until the 1940's, the Mexican was manipulated and robbed of his inheritance.4' One out of ten Anglo-Americans entering New Mexican territory was a lawyer,42 and these Anglos allied themselves with rich New Mexicans in order to plunder the territory. The United States Govern-



ment appointed the territorial governor as well as other high-ranking officials. Several of these officials formed a political machine known as the Santa Fe Ring, which operated for over 65 years and which used its influence with the territorial government to defraud small and large landholders of their property.'" Moreover, the colonial government con-

doned the use of violence toward Mexicans. The governor tacitly approved of the Lincoln County Wars of the 1870's, in which the cohorts of the Santa Fe Ring waged war on Anglo competitors and in which innocent Mexican sheepmen were killed." In these years the Mexican was defrauded of over four million acres of private and communal land." Statehood was not granted to the territory until 1912, at which time native New Mexicans commented that there was nothing left to steal." Arizona was originally part of the New Mexico Territory; however, with the addition of the land south of the Gila after the Gadsden Purchase (1853), Anglo-American colonizers moved to separate Arizona from New Mexico. The major economic activity was mining, although ranching and farming soon flourished as well. The relationship between Anglos and Mexicans there resembled that of Texas and New Mexico; the small number of Anglos who entered the territory believed that they

were entitled to the bounties of the Conquest. They controlled the territorial government and established a system of privilege that benefited

them directly. The most significant difference was that Mexican labor was almost exclusively recruited from the neighboring state of Sonora, Mexico, which Anglo-Americans conspired to seize because of its mineral wealth.47 Until recently, a double wage standard existed, with Anglo-Americans receiving twice as much as Mexicans for the same work." As in Texas and New Mexico, the Mexican resisted his subjuga-

tion, but as with his brothers in other areas, he was overwhelmed. Arizona did not become a state until 1912, largely because it was easier for the privileged Anglo to maintain their control over the large Mexican population in a territorial situation. The Anglo-American imperalists of 1846 especially coveted California. Under the guise of an exploratory expedition United States authorities sent filibusterers to foment a revolution there before the declaration of war. The filibusterers called themselves the Bear Flaggers and were

led by John C. Fremont. They succeeded in alienating Californios by intimidating and terrorizing them." After the conquest veterans poured into the territory, but found most of the land in the hands of Californios. At first the Mexicans and their holdings were safe, mainly because they outnumbered the gringos. But when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, thousands of treasure seekers poured into the territory. By the middle of 1849, the Anglo population had jumped from 13,000 to some

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


100,000, and the Mexican quickly found himself in the minority." Leonard Pitt graphically narrates the Decline of the Californios in his monograph of the same title. In the early 1850's the Anglo-dominated California legislature passed two laws which accelerated the Mexicans' economic and political demise. The Land Act of 1851 cast a shadow over the Mexican Land Grants, making it mandatory for Californians to confirm their land titles. This law opened the door for unscrupulous speculators to confuse land titles. They challenged property titles in the courts, and often prolonged proceedings so long that the cost of litigation became too great for the Californios to bear. They encouraged squatters

to move onto the Mexicans' property and physically intimidate the owners into selling their land for much less than its actual worth. By 1870 most of the Mexican-owned land had passed to encroachers.' The Foreign Miner's Tax of 1850 drove many Mexicans, as well as

other Latinos, from the mines. Those who chose to pay the tax and remain in the area were harassed by Anglo miners. Mexicans became the victims of intense vigilante activity, which many times ended in lynchings.52 The Mexican population, concentrated in i.he southern portion of the state, found that it had been relegated to second-class citizenship, even though the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had guaranteed Mexicans remaining in the conquered area equal rights.

In the face of these onslaughts, the Mexican resisted the AngloAmerican occupation and violence. In Texas Juan Cortina led the Mexican resistance from 1859 to 1876. His stated purpose was to bring justice to his people and to cast off the chains of oppression." A grad-

uate of the University of Notre Dame, Juan Patron championed the Mexican cause during the Lincoln County Wars in New Mexico. He was assassinated for his efforts.54 In Arizona, constant warfare between the

colonizers and the colonized raged and in towns like Tombstone the Mexican became the victim of justice via the six-shooter. Men like Francisco Ramirez, publisher of El Clamor Pablico, a Spanish language newspaper, led nonviolent protest from 1855 through 1859, denouncing racism, lynchings, and injustice." As tactics such as Ramirez's failed, some Mexicans, among them Tiburcio Vasquez, became bandidos." The Mexican resistance nevertheless was suffocated by Anglo-American technology, law enforcement officials, and the overwhelming number of encroachers who entered the Southwest."

Mexican Labor as a Commodity The Mexican became a second-class citizen in what was formerly his land. Thousands fled to Mexico, seeking better opportunity. Economic conditions in Mexico and the United States, however, resulted in the



migration of over one-eighth of Mexico's population to the United States between 1910 and 1930.55 Southwestern agribusiness became big business as a result of the transcontinental railroad and the refrigerated car. Later, reclamation and irrigation made large tracts of land available for exploitation. Moreover, mining boomed. At first in California Chinese

labor provided the bulk of manual labor, later supplemented by other Asians. Gradually, Anglo-American racism and ethnocentricism excluded

Chinese labor and limited the immigration of Asians in general. The need for cheap labor forced capitalists to look to Mexico to fill the vacuum. In Mexico, the 15,000 miles of railroad construction that took place under the Diaz regime linked the interior of Mexico with the Anglo-American lines, making possible the exploitation of minerals and other raw materials by Mexican and foreign capitalists. Many plantations were transformed from semi-feudal to profit-making institutions. In the process many Mexicans were uprooted, and they sought better paying jobs with railroads, processing plants, and service industries in the cities. Tne railroads also facilitated the transportation of Mexican workers to northern Mexico and the United States, and industrialists and agribusi-

nessmen sent agents and labor contractors into the interior to recruit Mexican lahor.59

Agribusinessmen intended that the Mexican would be a temporary supplement to Anglo labor and that he would return home once the work was finished." The number of Mexicans migrating to the United States remained relatively small until the end of the first decade of the 1900's. But then, the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and World War I accelerated the migration of Mexicans from their homeland. Meanwhile, Mexican border towns swelled, and they became employment depots for Southwestern and Midwestern industrialists.'" During the 1920's approximately one million Mexicans entered the United States. Nativists became

alarmed at the large number of Mexicans in the United States, and restrictionists wanted to limit their immigration. Attempts were made to include the Mexicans in the quota provisions of the Immigration Acts

of 1921 and 1924, which mainly applied to Eastern and Southern Europeans. These efforts failed since Mexican labor was vital to the Southwest, where agribusinessmen and industrialists used their power to keep the free flow of Mexicans unimpeded.' Constant debates over Mexican immigration raged in Congress where

Representative John 0 Box of Jacksonville, Texas, led the fight to place the Mexican on quota. Hearings on limiting the Mexican flow were held throughout the 1920's and 1930's. Anglo-American Labor especially supported this action on the basis that cheap laborers depressed wages and were used as strikebreakers. Public opinion, as well

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


as that of many elected officials, was vehement, reflecting racial and cultural prejudice toward the Mexican. The restrictionists contended that the Mexican could never be assimilated into American culture. In 1930 Roy L. Garis, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an authority on eugenics, reported to the Congressional committee that "The follow-

ing statement made. to the author by an American who lives on the border seems to reflect the general sentiment of those who are deeply concerned with the future welfare of this country: Their minds [the Mexicans'] run to nothing higher than animal functions eat, sleep, and sexual debauchery. In every huddle of Mexican shacks one meets the same idleness, hordes of hungry dogs, and filthy children with faces plastered with flies, disease, lice, human filth, stench, promiscuous fornication, bastardy, lounging, apathetic peons and lazy squaws, beans and dried chili, liquor, general squalor, and envy and hatred of the gringo. These people sleep by day and prowl by night like coyotes, stealing anything they can get their hands on, no matter how useless to them it may be. Nothing left outside is safe unless padlocked or chained down. Yet there are Americans clamoring for more of this human swine to be brought over from Mexico."

The response of the champions of the free admission of Mexicans was

that "Mexicans did work that white men would not do and did it cheaply." In this instance, the pressure of the economic royalists won over racism and ethnocentricism. The Mexican Resists Oppression Migrancy worked against the Mexican in his organizational attempts to resist exploitation. Since he was continually on the move, he could not muster sufficient power to force his masters to pay him commensurate wages. The Mexican remained at the mercy of economic interests, which

used his labor as a commodity. Nonetheless, Mexicans did attempt to work together; one of the earliest organizations was the mutualista, which was an insurance group providing burial and other benefits for its members. Such associations also served as social clubs for the Mexican. From the mutualistas other groups evolved, among them civic and political organizations that advocated the Mexicans' cause. In many instances the mutualistas became the basis for collective bargaining." It is in this field that the struggle of the Mexican was most notable. Early organizational efforts concentrated on agribusiness, which has proven to be the most difficult industry to unionize; even Big Labor has traditionally hesitated from challenging the agriculturalists."



In the Imperial Valley of California Mexicans formed La Union de Trabajadores del Valle Imperial in 1928. Cantaloupe workers struggled

for more equitable wages in face of bitter repression. Strikers were harassed, jailed, and deported. The year before, other Mexican workers formed La Confederacion de Uniones Obreros Mexicanos, which eventually included 2000 members in 20 locals, made up of both rural and urban workers."" During the depression of the 1930's Mexicans organized countless strikes in the Southwest, but almost all were put down by authorities in collusion with corporate growers."' The berry strike at

El Monte, California, in 1933 spread the union fervor throughout California and led to the formation of La ConfederaciOn de Uniones de Campesinos y Obreros Mexicanos del Estado de California which by

1934 numbered 10,000 members."' In 1936 Mexicans led the Pecan Sheller's strike in San Antonio, Texas, in which they won union recognition, only to have their workers phased out by automation. "" Mexicans were also involved in organizing relief organizations during the depression years.'" Throughout efforts to acquire a living wage, Mexicans constantly faced deportation or imprisonment. One of the darkest chapters in the history of the Mexican in the United States occurred in the 1930's when local authorities in the Southwest and Midwest repatriated hundreds of thousands of Mexicans to their homeland. Like many other Americans, Mexicans faced unemployment during the depression. But unlike other

groups they were considered foreigners, and authorities pressured or "persuaded" many to return to Mexico or have their welfare payments discontinued. Officially between 1931-1938 some 333,000 Mexicans were repatriated; unofficially the number is estimated at over a half a million. Significantly, the majority of the repatriates were offsprings who

were born in the United States. Many social scientists and AngloAmericans condemned the repatriation program and the motives of its proponents." World War II marked the end of the mass exodus of Mexicans back to their homeland, for they became essential to the war effort as both workers and soldiers. Ratil Morin, in his Among the Valiant, documents the contributions of the Mexican during the war. Many Mexicans died fighting for the United States, and, as a group, they won more Medals

of Honor than any other ethnic minority."2 Still, they did not win acceptance as citizens, for most Anglo-Americans still considered them aliens.

The war years also saw racist persecution of Mexican youth, whom the Anglo public called Pachucos. Los Angeles was the center of antiMexican activity. There the press and local authorities portrayed any

Freedom in a Czge: The Subjugation of the Chicano


Mexican who wore a zoot suit or belonged to a neighborhood club a Pachuco. The term soon became synonymous with hoodlum. In August 1942, members of the 38th Street Club, one of these Mexican groups, were tried for the alleged murder of Jose Diaz. The incidents surrounding Diaz's death became known a3 the Sleepy Lagoon Case. Members of the club were beaten by police authorities and convicted by the Los Angeles press before the trial even started. At the mass trial involving twenty-two Mexicans, the youths were convicted on various charges. Later the verdict was reversed because the district court found that the judge had acted in a prejudicial manner; the higher court also stated that there had been no grounds for the convictions since the prosecution had not even proved that Diaz was murdered." The police and press continued to persecute and libel the Mexican community. Carey McWilliams' North from Mexico graphically nar-

rates the so-called Pachuco Riots which occurred in 1943. The Los Angeles press manufactured an ambience of violence, harping on the theme of "Pachuco crime." They played up altercations between Mexican youth and servicemen, portraying the Mexican as unpatriotic and the servicemen as defenders of the American way. As a result of a relatively minor incident, sailors stationed at San Pedro and San Diego began a reign of terror on June 3, 1943, which lasted through June 7th. During this time, the sailors beat up Mexican youth, broke into movie houses

and business establishments, and marched four abreast through the center of Los Angeles in search of Pachucos. The Los Angeles press cheered the sailors on. Los Angeles police did not check the violence and naval authorities were forced to intervene. During this time, only a few

citizens condemned the racism of the Los Angeles press, police, and elected officials.74

The post-war era brought slight improvement for Mexicans in the United States. Some Anglos considered them citizens and called them "Mexican-Americans." Other significant changes took place: the Mexi-

can community had become more stable and became much more involved in organizational efforts to advance the minority's civil rights. However, Mexican Americans enjoyed few political or social successes during these years and also trailed other citizens in terms of income, housing, and educational opportunities. Efforts to politicize them were frustrated by the continued deportations of Mexican American leaders under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. This Act legalized the de-naturalization of naturalized citizens if they to a subversive organization. During the depression had ever belt, many relief agencies as well as labor unions had been placed on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations. Authorities used the



Act as an excuse to deport Mexican Americans who did not cooperate with their investigations or who were involved in trade union organization. During the fifties, there were also mass roundups of undocumented workers charged with being in the United States illegally. The barrios (Mexican urban communities) were terrorized by these massive raids." In the post-war years, migrant farm laborers had little success in organizing themselvesmainly because of the use of Mexican braceros. Braceros were Mexican contract workers who were imported to the United States during the war years when there was a labor shortage. The use of braceros continued long after the war. They supplied agribusi-

ness with a constant source of workers who could be sent back to Mexico after the harvest season ended. Growers used the braceros to supplant Mexican American farm workers and also as strikebreakers. The program was finally allowed to expire in December 1964, due to the mounting pressure by the Mexican American community, liberals, and union leaders.'"

The Quest for Self-Determination and Cultural Pluralism: The Rise of the Chicano The year 1960 ushered in a new era for the Mexican American community. In that year the United States Census showed that nearly four million Mexican Americans lived legally in the United States. The Census

further illustrated that the Mexican American population no longer confined themselves primarily to the Southwest, but that nearly one million had moved to the Midwest." The political importance of Mexican Americans also emerged in 1960 when they played a leading role in the election of John F. Kennedy to the Presidency of the United

States. The Mexican American vote swung Texas for Kennedy and almost delivered California to the Democrats.'" In retrospect, although the Mexican American became more visible, the community in general gained little from this new recognition. Politically, Mexican Americans received a few more appointments, but in turn, they were exploited by Democrats who took their vote for granted and who gerrymandered the election districts to keep themselves in office.'" Economically, the Mexican American remained far behind the Anglo-American, whereas educationally he trailed both the Anglo and the Black American. By the time the War on Poverty was launched in late 1964, discontent had spread in the Mexican American community. Cesar Chavez had already organized his union and prepared to challenge the Mexican's

oldest enemy and exploiteragribusiness. Activists took pride when Chavez's Farm Workers Association joined the Filipinos on September

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


16, 1965, to commence the now-famous huelga (strike) at Delano,

California." Frustration and anger erupted when the Federal government ignored the plight of Mexican Americans in what was supposed to be a program to uplift all poor people. However, the ferment created by the War on Poverty, the Watts Riots led by the Blacks, and the huelga injected new militancy into the Mexican American community, radically changing its direction. At first it remained within the civil rights framework, but a metamorphosis was beginning to take shape. Not only did Mexican Americans want to be treated as first-class citizens, but they also wanted recognition of their identity. Demands for bilingual-bicultural education were translated into a commitment to cultural pluralism as well as political, economic, and social self-determination. In essence, the Mexican American movement was a revolution that went

beyond the aspirations of many ethnic and racial groups in AngloAmerica. "

Old-time activists in the community were caught in 'he middle between civil rights activities and the movement toward cultural pluralism. When Mexican American youth entered the movement in 1967, a new identity began to emerge; a year later the term "Chicano" symbolized the cause. The new activists rejected the label "Mexican-American," for to them it meant assimilation into Anglo society. "Chicano," on the other hand, was what the middle-class Mexican Americans called the grass roots or the poor sectorwhich formed the majority of Mexicans in the

United States. Youth popularized the terms by stating that they were committed "to the poor Mexican, to the Chicano."82 Chicano youth were attracted by emerging national leaders. Reies Lopez Tijerina, from New Mexico, championed the return of communal lands to the people," Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, from Denver, Colorado, advocated a return to the barrios and a reinforcement of national

identity in order to seize self-determination." In 1968 at St. Mary's College in San Antonio, Texas, the Mexican American Youth Organiza-

tion (MAYO) was organized under the leadership of Jose Angel Gutierrez." In Los Angeles David Sanchez formed the Brown Berets, which advocated that barrios arm themselves in self-defense against police aggression.

Almost simultaneously, other currents emerged. La Raza newspaper in Los Angeles became an advocate of los de abah (the underdog), while in Berkeley, California, a group called Quinto So! Publications under the direction of Dr. Octavio Romano published El Grito, a scholarly journal which contributed greatly to the forging of a Chicano philosophy.TM6 These currents were complemented by the vitality of Luis Valdez's Teatro Campesino, a theatre group which dramatized the plight

of the farmworker and the Chicano."



The East Los Angeles high school blowouts in 1968 reflected the new Chicano awareness and, in effect, declared to the nation that the community would fight for its rights. Walkouts spread to other Chicano schools throughout the Southwest and Midwest. At the college and university level, students demanded that Chicano Studies Programs be established. They wanted a vehicle that would reinforce Mexican values and traditions and help them to forge their own. They wanted to train technicians to service their communities once self-determination was

achieved." In that vein, La Raza Unida Party (LRUP), a Chicano political party, won significant victories in the Winter Garden area of Texas in 1969. Under the leadership of Jose Angel Gutierrez the LRUP won a majority of the seats on the Crystal City Council and its Board of Education. Many activists believed that this was the first step in an all-out assault by Chicanos to recapture political and economic control of their own destinies. Although in many regions Chicanos comprised as much as 85 per cent of the population, they were almost without political representation. In places like California, where large numbers of Chicanos lived in compact districts, they were gerrymandered and thus politically emasculated." For example, although in 1970 one out of six Californians was of Mexican extraction, there were no Mexican state

senators, only two assemblymen, and no statewide or federal-elected representatives." The end of the decade witnessed mounting protest by Chicano youth and activists against the war in Vietnam, as well as against the police oppression that victimized Chicanos in the barrios. The major event of 1970 was the National Chicano Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California, on August 29, 1970. An estimated thirty thousand Chicanos marched through East Los Angeles, a barrio estimated at one million Chicanos, protesting the war in Southeast Asia. As the demonstrators settled down in Laguna Park to enjoy a program planned by the Moratorium Committee, an unrelated incident of alleged shoplifting occurred

one block from the area. Los Angeles Sheriff deputies moved into Laguna Park. The deputies shot tear gas into the crowd; the officers later claimed that they did so only after the crowd had failed to obey their orders to disperse. In any case, the crowd panicked. Those who did not move fast enough were beaten and arrested. These actions triggered a riot. The aftermath was that nearly 400 persons were arrested, hundreds of thousands of dollars of property were lost, and three Chicanos died. One of them was the respected journalist Ruben Salazar, who died from the impact of a tear gas projectile shot into the bar where he was sitting. The Chicano community charged that the police knew he was

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


there and that, in effect, they had assassinated him. The investigative record shows that even if it was not murder, the deputies had acted in a highly reckless and irresponsible manner."

Three more demonstrations followedon September 16, 1970, January 9, 1971, and January 31, 1971. Each ended in violence. At the time of the demonstrations, the press condemned the Chicano community

for the violence, but since then many moderates have had second thoughts. There is considerable evidence that local and federal police agents planted provocateurs in the Chicanos' ranks to incite rioting. One such case was that of Frank Martinez, an informer who became cochairman of the Moratorium Committee. He has testified that federal agents paid him to start trouble.92 After the demonstrations in 1970, the Chicano community turned away from large-scale protests and dedicated itself to solidifying barrio organizations. Welfare rights, ex-convict rehabilitation, student associations, and even organizations of illegals occupied the activists. Again the thrust was toward cultural pluralism and self-determination. The main issues continued to be inferior education, poor housing, unemployment, the lack of political representation, police brutality, drugs, and the harassment of United States- and Mexico-born Chicanos. Conclusion

In not concentrating on the historiography of the Chicano, this discussion has deviated from the format of other chapters in this book. This was necessary for, with the exception of Carey McWilliams' North From Mexico and Acuiia's text Occupied America: The Chicano Strug-

gle Toward Liberation, very little that had been published to 1972 represented the Chicano viewpoint. It seemed essential to expose teach-

ers of the social studies to the contemporary currents of the nation's second largest racial and ethnic minority. According to the 1970 Census there were over seven million Chicanos in the United States, with over three million residing in California alone. Projections indicated that by 1980 the country's Chicano population would nearly double, while the population of the Anglo-American would remain relatively stable. Numbers alone made the Chicano a significant factor on the national scene. Awareness was growing in the Chicano community, and, as the battle-

field shifted from the streets to the schools, educators needed to be prepared to understand what Chicanos are demanding in terms of their own identity."



FOOTNOTES ' Carey McWilliams. North From Mexico: The Spanish-Speaking People in the United States. New York: Greenwood Press, 1948. Reprint 1968.

Rodolfo Acutia. Occupied America: The Chicano Struggle for Liberation. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. a Ignacio Bernal. Mexico Before Cortez. Garden City: Doubleday, 1963; Eric R. Wolf. Sons of the Shaking Earth. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959.

' Wolf. Shaking Earth. pp. 176-201, 202-232.

'Charles C. Cumberland. Mexico: The Struggle for Modernity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968. pp. 106-112.

"Charles A. Hale. Mexican Liberalism in the Age of Mora, 1821-1853. New Haven: Yak University Press, 1968. ' Cumberland. Mexico: James D. Cockcroft. Intellectual Precursors of the Mexican Revolution, 1900-1913. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1968. " William Weber Johnson. Heroic Mexico: The Violent Emergence of a Modern Nation. Garden City: Doubleday, 1968. " Rodolfo Acufla. A Mexican American Chronicle. New York: American Book Company, 1971. "John Upton Terrell. Traders of the Western Morning: Aboriginal Commerce in Pre-Columbian North America. Los Angeles: Southwest Museum, 1967. " Edward Spicer. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1967.

" Dario Fernandez Florez. The Spanish Heritage in the United States. Madrid, Spain: Publicaciones Espafiolas, 1965; Harry Bernstein. "Spanish Influences in the United States: Economic Aspects." Hispanic American Review 18: 43-65; No. 1, February 1938. J. Frank Dobie. The Mustangs. New York: Bramhall House, 1952; J. Frank

Dobie. The Longhorns. New York: Bramhall House, 1941. " Edward Norris Wentworth. AMerica's Sheep Trails. Ames, Iowa: The Iowa State College Press, 1948.

" Fernandez Florez. The Sro.!ish Heritage; Arthur P. Whitaker. "Spanish Con1-14; No. 1, Jan-

tributions to American Agriculture." Agricultural History 3: uary 1929.

" Max L. Moorhead. "Spanish Transportation in the Southwest, 1540-1846." New Mexico Historical Review 32. 107-122; No. 2, April 1957; Josiah Gregg. Commerce of the Prairies. Max L. Moorhead, editor. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954.

" Acuna. Chronicle. pp. 92-94. "Harold W. Bentley. A Dictionary of Spanish Terms in English with Special Reference to the American Southwest. New York: Columbia University Press, 1932.

" T. R. Fehrenbach. Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1968; Eugene C. Barker. Mexico and Texas, /821 -1835. New York: Russell & Russell, Inc., 1965. 2" Raphael Trujillo Herrera. Olvidate De El Alamo. Mexico, D. F.: La Prensa, 1965.

21 Fehrenbach. Lone Star. pp. 180-181.

" Nathaniel W. Stephenson. Texas and the Mexican War. New York: United States Publishers, 1921.

" Walter Lord. "Myths and Realities of the Alamo." The American West 5: 18-25: No. 3, May 1968. p. 21.


" Ibid.

Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano

"Trujillo Herrara. " Lord. p. 24.



"Ibid. p. 25.

" Fehrenbach. Lone Star. pp. 219-233. 3" Ibid. p. 245.

Glenn W. Price. Origins of the War With Mexico: The Polk-Stockton Intrigue.

Austin: University of Texas. Press, 1967. See David M. Pletcher's review in Journal of American History 55: 143-145; No. 1, June 1968. " Robert Selph Henry. The Story of the Mexican War. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1950; Carl N. Degler. Out of Our Post: The Forces That Shaped Modern America. Revised Edition. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. " Albert C. Ramsey, editor and translator. The Other Side or Spanish Notes for the History of the War Between Mexico and the United States. New York: Burt Franklin, 1970. Reprint of the 1850 edition; Samuel E. Chamberlain. My Confession. New York: Harper, 1956, narrates a brutal portrait of the atrocities committed during the invasion. " Warren A. Beck. New Mexico: A History of Four Centuries. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962; Leonard Pitt. The Decline of the Californios:

A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890. Berkeley & Los

Angeles: University of California Press, 1966. " Acufia. Occupied America. See Chapter 1. " Henry. Mexican War. " Lynn I. Perrigo. The American Southwest: Its People and Cultures. New

York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971; Wayne Moquin with Charles Van Doren, editors. A Documentary History of the Mexican Americans. New York:

Praeger, 1971; Richard Gonzales. "Commentary on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo," in Feliciano Rivera. A Mexican American Source Book. Menlo Park, California: Education Consulting Associates, 1970. pp. 184-187. " Acufia. Occupied America. See Chapters 2-5. " Fehrenbach. Lone Star; Charles W. Goldfinch. Juan Cortina 1824-1892:

A Re-Appraisal. Brownsville, Tex.: The Bishop's Print Shop, 1950; Americo Paredes. With His Pistol in His Hand. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1958. " Paredes. With a Pistol; Walter Prescott Webb. The Texas Rangers. 2nd

edition. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1965. " Hubert Howe Bancroft. History of Arizona and New Mexico, 1530-1888.

Albuquerque, N. M.: Horn & Wallace, 1962. Facsimile of 1889 edition. San Francisco: The History Co.; Patricia Bell Blawis. Tijerina and the Land Grants: Mexican Americans in the Struggle for Their Heritage. New York: International Publishers, 1971; Nancie L. Gonzalez. The Spanish-Americans of New Mexico. Revised edition. Albuquerque, N. M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1969. " Armando Valdez. "Insurrection In New MexicoThe Land of Enchantment." El Grito. Fall 1967. p. 21. "Howard R. Lamar. "The Santa Fe Ring, 1865-1885," in The Far Southwest, 1846-1912: A Territorial History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966. " Maurice G. Fulton. History of the Lincoln County War. Robert N. Mullin, editor. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1968. " Gonzalez. The Spanish-Americans. " Joan Moore. Mexican Americans. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970; Peter Nabokov. Merino and the Courthouse Raid. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969. " Acufia. Occupied America; Joseph F. Park. "The History of Mexican Labor in Arizona During the Territorial Period." M.A. Thesis, Department of History, University of Arizona at Tucson, 1961. " Park. "Mexican Labor in Arizona." '" Pitt. Decline of Calif ornios. 5° Ibid.



"Ibid. "Leonard Pitt. "The Foreign Miners' Tax of 1850: A Study of Nativism and . . . in Gold Rush California." M.A. Thesis, University of California at Los Angeles, 1955.

Goldfinch. Juan Cortina. Paul Jacobs and Saul Landau, with Eve Pell. To Serve the Devil. Vo!. 1. New York: Vintage Books, 1971; Lyman Woodman. Cortina, Rogue of the Rio Grande. San Antonio, Tex.: The Naylor Company, 1950.

"Fulton. Lincoln County. "Microfilm copies of El Clamor Priblico are found in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. " Robert Greenwood. The California Outlaw: Tiburcio asquez. Los Gatos, Calif.: The Talsman Press, 1960. 5' See E. J. Hobsbawm. Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in 19th and 20th Centuries. New York: W. W. Norton, 1965. " Ronald W. Lopez. "Los Repatriados." Seminar paper, Department of History, University of California at Los Angeles, June 1968. " Max Sylvius Handman. "Economic Reasons for the Coming of the Mexican

Immigrant." The American Journal of Sociology 35: 601-611; No. 4, January 1930.

"" Victor S. Clark. Mexican Labor in the United States. Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor, No. 78. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908. "' Julian Samora. Los Mojados: The Wetback Story. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971. " Acufia. Occupied America.

"Roy 1. Garis. "Mexican ImmigrationA Report for the Information of the Members of Congress." in U. S. Congress, Western Hemisphere Immigration, Hearing Before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives. 71st Congress, 2nd session. December 1929. p. 436.

"' Miguel Tirado. "Mexican American Political Organization: The Key to Chicano Power." Azthiti. University of California at Los Angeles. Spring 1970. pp. 53-78; Acufia. Occupied America.

Ernesto Galarza. Merchants of Labor: The Mexican Bracero Story.




Santa Barbara: McNally and Loftin, 1964; Ernesto Galarza. Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1970. "Charles Wollenberg. "Huelga, 1928 Style: The Imperial Valley Cantaloupe Workers' Strike." Pacific Historical Review 38: 45-58; No. 1, February 1969. "' Joan London and Henry Anderson. So Shall Ye Reap. New York: Crowell, 1970.

" Charles B. Spaulding. The Mexican Strike at El Monte, California." Sociology and Social Research 18: 571-580; No. 6, July-August 1934; Ronald W. Lopez. The El Monte Berry Strike of 1933." Azatin. U.C.L.A. Spring 1970. "° Kenneth P. Walker. "The Pecan Shelters of San Antonio and Mechanization." Southwestern Hi.liorical Quarterly 69: 44-58; No. I, July 1965. 7" Philip Stevenson. "Deporting Jesus." The Nation 143: 67-69; No. 3, July 18, 1936.

Emory S. Bogardus. "Repatriation and ReadjuF'ent," in Mamie! E. Servin, editor. The Mexican-Americans: An Awakening Minority. Beverly Hills: Glencoe Press,


pp. 88-97; Norman D. Humphrey. "Mexican Repatriation from

Michigan: Public Assistance in Historical Perceptive." Social Service Review 15: 497-513; No. 3, September 1941.

" Raul Morin. Among the Valiant: Mexican-Americans in World War II and Korea. Los Angles: Borden Publishing Co., 1966. " McWilliams. North From Mexico.


Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano


" Patricia Morgan. Shame of a Nation. Los Angeles: Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, 1954; Carey McWilliams. "California and the Wetback." Common Ground 9: 15-20; No. 4, Summer 1949. " Galarza. Merchants of Labor. "Leo Grebler, et al. The Mexican American People: The Nation's Second Largest Minority. New York: Free Press, 1970. "McWilliams. North From Mexico. See the 'introduction" to 1968 edition.

"Stanley Levy, Marvin Gelfand, Michael D. Saphier, Stanton L. Stein and Bruce Warner. "Putting Chicanos on the Political Map." Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1972. " Eugene Nelson. Huelga: Delano, California. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1967; Peter Matthiessen. Sal Si Puedes: Cesar Chavez and the New American Revolution. New York: Random House, 1969. " The author was a member of various organizations during the 1960's and was an eyewitness to many of the events described. "El Plan de Santa Barbara, A Chicano Plan For Higher Education. Chicano

Coordinating Council for Higher Education. Oakland: La Causa Publications, 1969.

" Richard Gardner. Grito! Reies Tijerina and the New Mexico Land Grant War of 1967. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970. " Stan Steiner. La Raza: The Mexican Americans. New York: Harper and Row, 1970. pp. 378-392. " Actifia. Occupied America. "See in particular Octavio I Romano. "The Historical and Intellectual Presence of Mexican-Americans." El Grito. Winter 1969. " Daniel Jack Chasan. "Actos." The New Yorker Magazine 43: 23-25; No. 26. August 19, 1967; Steiner. La Raza. " Plan de Santa Barbara.

"Jog Angel Gutierrez. "Aztlan: Chicano Revolt in the Winter Garden." La Vol. 1, No. 4, 1971.

Raza magazine.

" Stanley Levy, et al. Los Angeles Times. May 21, 1972. " Armando Morales. Ando Sangrando! i am bleeding. Los Angeles: The Congress of Mexican American Unity, 1971; "Mexican Americans and the Administration of Justice in the Southwest." United States Commission on Civil Rights. Washington: Government Printing Office, March 1970.

" Frank Del Olmo. "Provoking Trouble for Lawmen, Chicano Informer

Claims." Los Angeles Times. February 1, 1972. " Thomas P. Carter. Mexican Americans in School: A History of Educational Neglect. New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1970.


The Asian American Experience Roger Daniels

FROM a numerical point of view the experience of Asian Americans' represents only a tiny fragment of the total experience of immigrants to what is now the United States. Yet, for reasons that I hope this essay makes clear, that experience has been significant far beyond its mere numerical incidence, although most of the historians and analysts of immigration have failed to understand this.2 Before noting what historians and social scientists have said and are saying about Asian immigrants and their children, it might be well to summarize both the chronology of immigration and the available demographic data and to place them into some kind of meaningful perspective. The overwhelming majority of immigrants from Asia have come from three nations: China, Japan, and the Philippines. Chinese began to come in the late 1840's, were excluded by the federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, given a token quota of 100 in 1943 which lasted until the end of the quota system in 1965. Relatively large numbers of Japanese began to come in the 1890's; this immigration was inhibited but not stopped by international agreements beginning with the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-08, and halted by the National Origins Act of 1924. A token quota of 100 was granted to Japan by the Immigration Act of 1952, which also lasted until 1965. Statistically significant Filipino immigration began only in the 1920's; since they were "nationals" of the United States their migration was not inhibited by the restrictive legislation of the 1920's. After much Congressional debate, Filipinos were given a token quota of 50 per year under a special provision of the Philippine Independence Act which went into effect in 1934. Filipino immigration resumed with the

passage of the Immigration Act of 1952 and has increased since the 1965 act.

Of the 45 million immigrants recorded as entering the United States since 1820, only a million and a half have come from Asia.' Of these, 139



more than 400,000 have been Chinese, nearly 400,000 have been Japanese, and some 200,000 have been Filipinos. The 1960 census showed that there were nearly half a million Americans of Japanese ancestry, a little over a quarter of a million of Chinese ancestry, and fewer than 200,000 Filipinos.4 Asians and their descendants thus represented less than one-half of one per cent of the total population. Historians, social scientists, and most other commentators on ethnicity in contemporary America now almost invariably agree that the various Asian American communities, while not assimilated in the mythical melt-

ing pot, have become highly Americanized and have taken on, to a remarkable degree, essentially middle-class characteristics. One scholar has even referred to the Japanese Americans as "our model minority."5

Such has not always been the case. No immigrant groupsave for Africans and their descendantshas been so universally abused by the public, the various levels of government, and by historians. Asians were

the first group of immigrantsother than African slavesto be barred from entering the United States and the last group to be granted the right of naturalization. Although it is meaningful to speak, as this essay has done, Of Asian

Americans as a distinct group, there has been and is very little interaction between the national groups within the United States, so that any meaningful treatment must focus, in the main, on the three major ethnic groupings among theta.

The Chinese

The major entry of Chinese into American life came in California

and to a lesser degree other western statesat the time of the 1849 gold rush; even in 1960 more than 40 per cent of American Chinese lived there. Their role in California was essentially that of hewers of wood and drawers of water. As long as there was an absolute shortage of unskilled labor, discrimination against them, while never wholly absent, was not oppressive. But, in the years after the Civil War, and especially after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 whose construction had employed some 10,000 Chinese, the Chinew became the target of labor-inspired violence, harassment at the municipal and state level, and, finally, national legislative punishment in the form of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The violence ranged in kind from verbal abuse to mass murder and in geographical scope from southern California to western Massachusetts. The worst outrages were in Los Angeles in 1871 and Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1885. It should also be noted that this kind of racist violence was not confined to the

The Asian American Experience


United States: western Canada and northern Mexico also had fatal outbreaks of anti-Chinese activity.6

This violence and harassment was directed at a small and shrinking group. There were probably never more than 125,000 Chinese in postCivil War America; the census of 1890 found just over 70,000. But since about nine out of ten Chinese immigrants were male, the Chinese American community shrank steadily: the census of 1920 found just over 61,000, of whom fewer than 8,000 were female. From that point natural increase, plus a trickle of immigration up to 1952, and about 2,000 per year since then, has produced a growing population, the vast majority of which is American-born. Legal harassment has virtually ceased, unless one wishes to regard the 1970 integration and bussing rulings of the San Francisco School Board which ordered the end of separate schools in Chinatown and was aimed at mixing Chinese with white and black students as harassment.

The Japanese Significant numbers of Japanese began to come to the United States in the 1890's. Between that time and 1924 when Congress, in the process of passing the nativist National Origins Act, included language which barred further immigration of Japanese, some 275,000 Japanese came to the United States. Many of these, as was the case with all immigrants,

were what scholars have called "birds of passage" or "sojourners": in plain language people who came and went rather than permanent residents. When immigration cease--for what turned out to be a period of twenty-eight yearsthere were about 125,000 Japanese in the country. Unlike the Chinese, however, the immigrant generation included a large number of women, so that no sizable decline in population took place.

Although the anti-Japanese movement in the United States (and Canada!) was clearly a lineal cuiiiinuation of the anti-Chinese movement, the Japanese occupied a distinctly different socio-economic position in the society of western America where most of themas well as

other Asianshave lived. Although the Japanese, like the Chinese before them, entered the labor force at the very bottom, early twentiethcentury California was a very different place from mid-nineteenth-century California. Rather than directly competing with the largely white labor

force, most Japanese quickly entered agriculture where they created a special niche for themselves. The anti-Japanese movement in California and the rest of the Westwhich flourished from the turn of the century until the end of World War 11was distinctly different from its



anti-Chinese predecessor. The latter was essentially a labor-dominated

movement while the former, in both its leadership and appeal, was distinctly middle elm:, and "progressive." The violence against Japanese

was sporadic, and, until the outbreak of World War 11, apparently non-fatal. The worst excesses of the anti-Chinese movement occurred rather early and were perpetrated by mobs in then relatively obscure

places. The worst excess of the anti-Japanese movementthe incarceration of more than 100,000 west coast Japanesetook place at the end of the movement and had as its chief perpetrators the President, the Congress, and the United States Army.

What must be added to the anti-Japanese equation was the simple fact that the Japanese Americans came from a nation which became a real external threat to the United States. There had been, to be sure,

a flurry of scare literature in the 1870's and 1880's which depicted China as a potential invader of the United States, but in the late nineteenth century China was so clearly a victim rather than a predator in world politics that this early "yellow peril" propaganda could have convinced few. Twentieth-century Japan, however, was a different case, and when the bombs actually fell at Pearl Harbor, many Americans, perhaps most, were prepared to believe that the "yellow peril" was a peril after all. When, however, we compare what happened to German Americans in two wars with what happened to a much smaller group of Japanese Americans in one, the conclusion inescapably follows that racial prejudice was perhaps the factor which best explains the divergent results. German Americans, alien and citizen, suffered certain harassments,

legal and extra-legal in both wars; in almost all cases, however, for these white immigrants and their descendants, guilt was individual. For Japanese Americans, guilt was collective. Despite the absence of one

indictable act of espionage or sabotage by a Japanese American of

either the first or second generationthat is alien or citizenevery person of ascertainable Japanese ancestry of any degree in the western United States was rounded up and sent to a concentration camp, although the government insisted that they were being sent to "Relocation Centers."

Despite this extraordinary treatmentsimilar in type but not in duration to that meted out to the one non-immigrant element in our population, the Indiansthe post-World War II assimilation of the still growing Japanese American community has been quicker and more thorough than anyone could have imagined possible. Some of the reasons for this will be explored at the close of this essay, but a less than incidental factor was certainly the significant (and well publicized) exploits of Japanese American military units in World War II.

The Asian American Experience


The Filipinos In many ways the Filipino American experience replicates that of other Asian Americans; there is one exception to this generalization.

Due in part to their relatively late entry into the United States, the Filipino American community can in no way be called middle class. According to 1960 census data, Filipinos are the most disadvantaged identifiable immigrant and immigrant-descended group: they have less formal education, lower income, and are more heavily concentrated as migrant laborers than any other segment of the population. Since they are the last of the Asian migrant groups of the pre-1965 era, one is tempted to summarize their history in the 1920's and 1930's with an aphorism: "Last imported, least assimilated." Although the Census of 1910 reported only five Filipinos in all of California, there were more than 30,000 in 1930, almost all of them having come since 1924. The peculiar status of the Philippines as an American possession made immigration law an ineffective barrier against their entry and produced, in the early 1930's, the ironic spectacle of some of Congress' most blatant racists becoming "anti-imperialists": that is, advocating Filipino independence so Filipino immigrants could be kept out. Filipino population stayed almost stationary until the immigration law changes of 1952 and 1965 spurred growth. Apart from its poverty, its relative lack of upward social mobility, and the fact that most of its members are, at least nominally, Roman Catholics, the Filipino American community is hard to categorize. There are probably more trade unionists, per capita, than among any other Asian group. Since the 1930's the Filipinos have been a vital but underpublicized element in almost every struggle for agricultural unionization in California.7 Still a very small group numericallyjust over 100,000 in the continental United States with another 69,000 in Hawaii in 1960 it is growing, in both absolute and relative numbers, faster than any other ethnic group. In the year ending June 30, 1970, for example, more Filipinos (31,203) entered the United States as immigrants than any

other nationality and Filipinos comprised almost 10 per cent of all immigrants.8

The Asian American in Contemporary America As the foregoing accounts should have made clear, Asian Americans have been written about more as victims than as participants in American society. As victims of a peculiar variant of American racism, they were the first to be excluded and the last to be admitted to naturalization. Yet,

from a socioeconomic point of view, their material progress has been



outstanding and much more rapid than many other more recent immigrant groups which encountered much less tangible prejudice. And, even more important, is the related fact that the prejudice against them has lessened in a very short period of time. The reasons for this almost polar change in social position are not completely clear, but surely among the more important factors are: 1.

The relatively high degree of "middle classness" which so many Asian Americans have attained, at least part of which is due to the high level of motivation which so many individuals received from their patriarchal-dominated families.

2. The changing and bewildering shifts in relationship between the

United States and various Asian countries which have produced a growing appreciation for the values of Asian civilizations. 3. Perhaps even more important has been a growing sophistication

among Americans in ethnic and racial matters combined with the nationalization of the "Negro question" which black migration from the American South since World War I has produced. Just as the presence of significant numbers of non-whites in the American South

and West in the nineteenth century tended to promote the status of all whites, the growing black-white polarization in all the United States after World War II has tended to promote all non-blacks.

To a significant degreeand it is a hallmark, perhaps, of their Americanizationmany contemporary Asian Americans share the anti-black prejudices of other Americans and behave accordingly. Two concrete examples will suffice: the massive resistance in 1971 of the San Francisco Chinese community to bussing for integration and the way in which Los Angeles Japanese Americans have fled from older neighborhoods, like the Crenshaw district, when blacks began to move in, to otherwise all-white suburbs like Gardena.

Yet, having noted this "Americanization," it must be observed that

Asian Americans are still non-white and are not at all likely to be absorbed in the myillical melting pot. The recent renaissance of ethnic consciousness, a by-product of the post-1954 black revolution, has not

left the Asian American communities, and especially their younger members, unaffected. Nor have these latter remained indifferent to the upheavals in dick ancestral homelands, particularly but not exclusively the rise of the People's Republic of China. The result is a kind of unprecedented turmoillargely generational within the various ethnic communities. A very few of the younger Asian Americans are members of groupssuch as the Third World Liberation Front centered in the San Francisco Bay areawhich have a distinctly Maoist caste. Others, in much greater number, are beginning to explore and question their own ethnic identity in movements largely mimetic of

The Asian American Experience


blacks. They have demandedand receivedAsian American courses and study centers from college authorities; they speak, half seriously, half in jest, of "Yellow Power," and in rhetoric whose roots are clearly black,

dismiss their obviously middle-class elders and fellows as "bananas": that is, "yellow on the outside, but white on the inside." But although Asian Americans are not white (Harry Kitano and I have called them "the whitest of the non-white") they are not black either. Nor is their economic condition that of an oppressed group; they are distinctly middle class,9 and, except for the Filipinos, more likely to go to college and earn advanced degrees than is the general white population. How they will react to the continuing stresses of their ambiguous

position is, of course, for them and the future to decide. But it is also clear that their recent experience, however heartening it may be to students of ethnicity and racism, can not be taken as a model for blacks or Chicanos or other oppressed groups. Because of their number, their place and time of entry into American society, and the cultural baggage that they brought with them, the Asian American experience can not be repeated. Bibliographical Notes

Little comparative work has been done on the total Asian American experience, but H. Brett Melendy, The Oriental Americans, New York: Twayne, 1972, is a pioneering first attempt; see also Roger Daniels and

Harry H. L. Kitano, American Racism: Exploration of the Nature of Prejudice, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1970. Roger Daniels and Spencer C. Olin, Jr., Racism in California: A Reader in the History of Oppression, New York: Macmillan, 1972, is a collection of secondary works and documents while Roger Daniels, "Westerners from the East: Oriental Immigrants Reappraised," Pacific Historical Review 35:373383: No. 4, November 1966, examines the historiographical treatment. CHINESE

For many years most historians of California and the West, from Hubert Howe Bancroft on, shared and perpetuated the anti-Chinese prejudices of their section. The last nativist-oriented text was Robert G. Cleland, California in Our Time, 1900-1940, New York: Knopf, 1947.

Many of the early sympathetic treatments of the Chinese, like Mary Roberts Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, New York: Holt, 1909, had an orientation of the Protestant missionary and were hostile to other new immigrants. Modern scholarship begins with Elmer C. Sandmeyer, The Anti-Chinese Movement in California, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1939 (new edition with introduction and supplementary



bibliography by Roger Daniels, 1973). Important recent scholarship includes Gunther Barth, Bitter Strength: A History of the Chinese in the United States, 1850-1870, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,

1964; Alexander Saxton, The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971; and Stuart C. Miller, The Unwel-

come Immigrant: The American Image of the Chinese, 1785-1882, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969. The last clearly establishes the connection between anti-orientalism and American racism generally. Betty Lee Sung, Mountain of Gold, New York: Macmillan, 1967 (paperback edition The Story of the Chinese in America, New York: Collier Books, 1971) is a narrative history while Rose Hum Lee, The Chinese in the United States of America, Hong Kong University Press, 1960, is a treatment by a sociologist. Jade Snow Wong, Fifth Chinese Daughter, New York: Harper, 1950, is a charming and insightful memoir. JAPANESE

From almost the beginning of their American experience, the Japanese found scholars and apologists willing to defend them. Important

contemporary polemics, many of them based on research, include Yamato Ichihashi, Japanese in the United States, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1932 and Raymond Leslie Buell, "The Development of

the Anti-Japanese Agitation in the United States," Political Science Quarterly 37:38: 605-638, 57-81; No. 4, December 1922 and No. 1, March 1923. Two works that cover the whole anti-Japanese experience are Roger Daniels, The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1962, and Concentration Camps, USA: Japanese Americans and World War II, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. The best treatment of the Japanese

American community is Harry H. L. Kitano, Japanese Americans: The Evolution of a Subculture, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall,

1969. The wartime evacuation has been the subject of a number of books, scholarly and popular. The most useful of these, in chronological order, are: Carey McWilliams, Prejudice: Japanese-Americans: Symbol of Racial Intolerance, Boston: Little, Brown, 1944; Dorothy S. Thomas and Richard S. Nishimoto, The Spoilage, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California, 1946; Dorothy S. Thomas, The Salvage, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1952; Morton Grodzins, Americans Betrayed: Politics and the Japanese Evacuation, Chicago: University of Chicago, 1949; Jacobus ten Broek et al., Preju-

The Asian American Experience


dice, War and the Constitution, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1954; Stetson Conn, "Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast," in Stetson Conn, Rose C. Engleman, and Byron Fairchild, The United States Army in World War II: The Western Hemisphere: Guarding the United States

and Its Outposts, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1964. pp. 115-149; Allen R. Bosworth, America's Concentration Camps, New York: Norton, 1967; Bill Hosokawa, Nisei: The Quiet Americans, New

York: Morrow, 1969; Audrie Girdner and Anne Loftis, The Great Betrayal, New York: Macmillan, 1969; Edward H. Spicer, et al., Impounded People, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969; and Dillon S. Myer, Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority During World War II, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1971. On special aspects of the evacuation, Robert W. O'Brien, The College Nisei, Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1949, tells of the education of the relocated students; Thomas D. Murphy, Ambassadors in Arms, Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1954, tells of the Japanese American combat units. T. A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years, Laramie:

University of Wyoming, 1954, contains the best study of a state's reaction to the Japanese sent into it while Leonard J. Arrington, The Price of Prejudice: The Japanese American Relocation Center in Utah during World War II, Logan: Utah State University, 1962, is the best published study of a single camp. Hilary Conroy and T. Scott Miyakawa,

eds., East Across the Pacific: Historical and Sociological Studies of Japanese Assimilation and Immigration, Santa Barbara: Clio Books, 1972, contains valuable original essays. FILIPINOS

The scholarship about Filipino Americans is still very slight. J. M. Saniel, ed., The Filipino Exclusion Movement, 1927-1935, Quezon City,

Philippines: University of the Philippines, 1967 (Occasional Papers, No. 1, Institute of Asian Studies), is a collection of papers by American

scholars. Older treatments which have not been superseded include Bruno Lasker, Filipino Immigration to Continental United States and to

Hawaii, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931, and John H. Burma, Spanish-Speaking Groups in the United States, Durham: Duke University Press, 1954. Two useful memoir accounts are Manuel Buaken, I Have Lived with the American People, Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 1948, and Dolores S. Feria, editor, Sound of Falling Light: Letters in Exile, Quezon City, Philippines, 1960. The best discussion of Congressional treatment of the Filipinos is in Robert A. Divine, American Immigration

Policy, 1924-1952, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957, pp. 52-76.




There has been, since 1967, a relatively profuse flowering of interest in Asian American Studies, especially, but not exclusively, in west coast

universitiesmost notably at the University of California campuses at Davis and Los Angeles, the University of Washington, and the University

of Hawaii. In the East, there are centers at Yale and Columbia. All of these sponsor pub.1...ations for and by the Asian American community. For a useful guide to these publications and to gain insight into the current interests of the student generation, see Amy Tachiki, Eddie Wong, and Franklin Odo, editors, Roots: An Asian American Reader, Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1971. FOOTNOTES ' For historical reasons, the Asian American experience in Hawaii will not be treated here; all immigration and population data prior to 1952 refer to the continental United States only. Ignorance rather than anti-insular prejudice dictates this somewhat false dichotomy. For the Japanese in Hawaii see: Hilary Conroy. The Japanese Frontier in Hawaii, 1869-1898. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1953, 175 pp.; Andrew Lind. Hawaii's Japanese: An Experiment in Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 154=5, 264 pp. H. Brett Melendy, The Oriental Americans, New York: Twayne, 1972, treats both Hawaii and the mainland.

See, for example, Edith Abbot. Ini,:iigration: Select Documents. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1924. p. ix, and Carl Wittke. We Who Built America. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1939. p. 458. 'For a convenient statistical recapitulation see U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Annual Report. Washington: GPO, 1970. pp. 61-63. Included in the "Asia" category are about 250,000 from Asia Minor. `An excellent analysis of the 1960 data, on which many of the generalizations on socio-economic status are based, is California, Division of Fair Employment Practices.

Californians of ?apanese, Chinese, and Filipino Ancestry: Population, Employment, Income, Etucation. San Francisco, 1965, William Peterson. "Success Story: Japanese American Style." The New York Times Magazine, Jan. 9, 1966. " For details of the worst violence, see Paul Crane and Alfred Larson. "The Chinese Massacre." Annals of Wyoming 12:47-55, 153-161; Nos. 1-2, January, April 1940. 'See, for ext,niple, Stuart Jamison. Labor Unionism in American Agriculture. Washington; (1.1".0., 1945. pp. 70-78, 105-115. " Of a total of 373,326 immigrants admitted in the fiscal year ending 30 June 1970, 92,816, almost 25 per cent, were Asians. This unexpected result of the

reform of 1965, if it continues, may well result in demands for a renewal of essentially racist quotas. Apart from the Philippines, other major Asian sources include: China (largely Taiwan ) -14,093; India-10,114; Korea-9,314; Japan4,485; and Hong Kong-3,863. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. op. cit. p. 40. This should not be taken as a denial of the existence of significant poverty and deprivation among some Asian Americans, particularly among Filipinos and the Chinese of San Francisco and New York, many of whom are recent immigrants.


New Perspectives in the Study of American History




Women in American Life Anne Firor Scott

FEW topics covered in this volume have received less attention from professional historians than the history of American women. To be sure, individual historians, biographers and essayists have long cherished an interest in the subject, and Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. asserted in 1922 that

the time had come when women would begin to be included in the history books.' It was forty-odd years, however, before more than an occasional historian showed any sign that he was right. By the mid1960's a resurgent woman's movement began to call attention to the curious invisibility of women in American history, and by the beginning

of the 70's an increasing number of scholars were embarking upon research in the field, and organizing courses in women's history. The long period of inattention to women in the writing of American history presents an interesting study in the sociology of knowledge. Most American historians have been white males. Only recently, under the pressure of a vigorous social movement, have they begun to perceive that black people were part of the warp and woof of the American past. Even more recently, also under the pressure of a contemporary social

movement, they have begun to develop the same perception about women. The rising interest in the history of American women coincides with a dramatic increase in the number of women entering the profes-

sion, some of whom have been inspired by their own experience to re-examine the record. In some ideal world there would be no such thing as women's history since social historians would recognize that male and female make up the society, create the mores, pattern the culture; economic historians would be aware that women have always been part of the labor force and have contributed to economic choices; legal historians would know

that case law and to some degree statute law have been shaped by the needs and demands of women; political historians would be aware of the people who organized the precincts as well as the people who met at the summit. 151



With a few notable exceptions such awareness has not been evident, and in reaction against this neglect a good many scholars have begun to focus directly upon women in a variety of contexts. As special studies multiply they will begin to broaden the general conception of historical

reality and suggest new ways of viewing the past, so that bit by bit "women's history" as such may become integrated into existing fields. In the meantime, the teacher who sets out to organize a course in women's history, or to expand an existing course by including attention to the role

of women, is forced to rely upon an assortment of primary as well as secondary materials, ranging from monographs to novels. The state of the field is such that teachers and students must become their tyvn historiansa situation which is pedagogically useful, since the student's sense of discovery can be entirely authentic.

Just as there is no tidy body of monographs to offer the beginning student, there are no agreed-upon categories for organizing materials. It is useful to examine the history of women in the context of, for example, social history and family life; economic history and the nature of work; educational history; legal history; voluntary organizations, clubs and reform movements. It is also possible to follow a chronological path tracing the experience of women in America from the earliest settlement to the present. Whatever plan of organization is used, much of the substance will be tentative and provocative rather than definitive. General Overview

No one has yet essayed a comprehensive history of women in American life, though two such works are now in progress [1972] .2 The broadest study in print is Eleanor Flexner's Century of Struggle, which

concerned primarily with organizations seeking improvement in women's rights, with higher education and the labor movement. The story is told, as it were, from the inside and no effort is made to relate is

the women's movement to the larger social context and political changes.

It is excellent as far as it goes and used in conjunction with a book of readings is probably the best introduction to the subject now available.3 Two other general works are William L. O'Neill, Everyone Was Brave, which is part polemic and must be used with great care, and Andrew Sinclair's scintillating The Better Half, hastily researched but well written. Gerda Lerner, The Woman in American History, summarizes the history of American women from colonial times to Women's Libera-

tion in less than two hundred pages, and like Flexner includes black women in her analysis. in 1972, Professor Lerner brought out Black Women in White America, a book of readings with a bibliographical

Women in American Life


essay. This was then the only general discussion of the history of black women who are, as Professor Lerner pointed out, treated briefly and peripherally in most black history sources. This book is, therefore, indispensable. Two sources covering many aspects of women's lives are Mary R. Beard, America Through Women's Eyes,

and three issues of the

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science which

are helpful for the general study of women in the twentieth century.' Social History: Women at Home A close study of women's experience can broaden considerably our understanding of the social structure and cultural patterns of the past. Since women's experience was nearly always as part of a family, family history is a good place to begin. An older work, Arthur W. Calhoun's A Social History of the American Family From Colonial Times to the Present, is erratically documented and difficult to use, but contains much good material. Julia Cherry Spruill, Wotnen's Life and Work in the

the best monograph on women's history yet published by an American historian. It is useful on many counts, but indispensable for colonial family life. Edmund Morgan, Virginians at Home, relies heavily on Mrs. Spruill's work. A mammoth work on the history of children, recently published, is also filled with data which Southern Colonies, is

will be useful to the historian of women.5 Demographic historians in Europe and America are trying to begin to get hold of the study of family life in new ways. The seminal work is Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood, which deals with French history. Three American monographs provide useful methodological ideas, though none of the authors is especially interested in the implications of his findings for women's history.° Social and family history may also be studied through documents of individuals. Carl Van Doren's biography of Jane Mecom, and his volume of the letters she exchanged with her brother Benjamin Franklin, provide a case in point. Jane Mecom was no public figure. She was a wife, mother, tradeswoman, often beset by bad luck (not least in the husband she took unto herself at the age of 15), who would often have been in dire poverty but for the generosity of her famous brother. Yet her lively descriptions of her own life and that of her neighbors, her minute reports

of the world she lived in and the way she spent her time, enable the reader to form a picture of a society in which men and women married young and had many children. Since many of them also died young, and survivors remarried, kinship ties became very complex and family structure fluid. Children were raised by aunts, uncles, grandmothers or even



occasionally great-grandmothers. Such responsibilities seem to have been taken for granted, as a necessary condition of one's humanity. A major concern of the responsible adults was to be sure that each of the surviving young should find a skill by which to maintain himself or herself. Industriousness was a high valuethough the hope for religious salvation stood even higher. From such a single probe into the eighteenth century, using ultratraditional materials (letters), but focusing on women's lives, the student can begin to develop a complex view of the daily life, the values, the aspirations which shaped a society. The letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe provide the raw material for a similar analysis for the 1840's and 1850's.7

For the twentieth century a new kind of source is availablethe sociological study. The Lynds' Middletown, for example, has long been used by social and economic historians of dlr. 1920's, but its usefulness as a way of gaining insight into the everyday lives of women has yet to be analyzed. Many observers were fascinated with the changing nature of family life in the early decades of the twentieth century. The student can find commentary of varying quality in such works as Floyd Dell, Studies in Modern Feminism; Freda Kirchwey, Our Changing Morality; Scott and Nellie Nearing, Woman and Social Progress.8 The examples cited are only samples to suggest the possibilities of using works which are already in print as a means of learning more about

women, an enterprise which can yield dividends for social history generally.

Women at Work

The economic historian is somewhat better provided with monographic material, though here, too, there are large gaps. Women have always constituted a significant part of the labor force, whether on the farm or in the preindustrial cityas partners in a family enterprise, or as independent entrepreneurs, of which there were many in the colonial period. In the nineteenth century the number of women in the labor force increased continually as they became workers in factories, clerks in burgeoning bureaucracy, typists, telegraphers, domestic servants, teachers, or sometimes even professionals. For the colonial period the student is fortunate to have not only Mrs. Spruill's book, but also those of Elizabeth Anthony Dexter and Mary S. Benson. The effect of the Civil War upon women's work patterns is detailed in Mary Elizabeth Massey's Bonnet Brigades.°

For the nineteenth century we have Helen L. Sumner's magnificent History of Women in Industry in the United States. Also useful are monographs by Edith Abbott, Robert Smuts, and Elizabeth F. Baker.i°

Women in American Life


An advice book published in 1885, called What Can A Wo;nan Do, throws unexpected light upon the work structure of the eighties as it affected women. This can be cross-checked with the report of the United

States Commissioner of Labor made at about the same time, called "Working Women in Large Cities." Books inspired by the concern of middle-class reformers for the working conditions of women are also enlighteningfor example, Helen S. Campbell, Prisoners of Poverty or Bessie Van Vorst, The Woman Who Toils, and nearly all the works of

Jane Addams." The autobiographies of Mary Anderson and Agnes Nestor provide materials for studying women in the labor movement.12 For the early twentieth century the best monograph is the volume by Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, undertaken as part of the massive study of Recent Social Trends commissioned by President Hoover, and cover-

ing nearly every aspect of women's lives. For the years since 1920 materials are vast, but largely to be found in primary sources such as the publications of the Women's Bureau and the United States Department of Labor. A work by William Chafe is based on these sources among others.'" Chafe is primarily interested in the effects of external social and economic change upon women's roles.

Education of Women Significantly affecting the changing patterns of women's work, and many other aspects of American life as well, was the revolution in educa-

tional opportunity which began with the founding of Troy Female Academy under the aegis of Emma Willard in


A survey of these

changes may be found in Mabel Newcomer. A Century of Higher Education for American Women." Much additional useful material can be extracted from the biographies of the educational pioneersEmma Willard, Mary Lyon, Catherine Beecher, Lucy Maynard Salmon, and Alice Freeman Palmer, for example." Barbara M. Cross's little book, The Educated Woman in America, provides a penetrating essay and selections from the writings of three extraordinarily different "educated women."' Once again, since the analytical and interpretive work is yet in the future, the serious student will have to delve into primary materials such as the Reports of the Commissioner of Education, beginning in 1867, wherein digests of state reports provide the data for tracing the growth of public and secondary schools open to women, the proliferation of normal schools, and the rapid movement of women into elementary and secondary school teaching.'7 An older book by Willystine Goodsell is still useful for some of its reflections on these developments." A new book by Dorothy McGuigan on the first hundred years of women at the University of Michigan, demonstrating graphically the conflict



precipitated by women's demand for education, combines careful scholar-

ship with useful insight, and can be highly recommended. Another recent book is made up of autobiographies of women who took higher degrees at Columbia University after World War II, and provides a variety of examples of the way in which such education has affected women's lives.'" Careful studies of the interaction of increasing educational opportunity, family life, work and self-images of American women are badly needed.

Voluntary Associations and Reform Movements

The means by which women have gradually widened and changed their spheres of action are various. One of the most important has been voluntary associations, whether religiously oriented as in the case of mis-

sionary societies or the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, or secular organizations such as the many varieties of women's clubs which multiplied in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The most detailed attention to the significance of religious groups for women's emancipation is to be found in a work by the present author which also analyzes

the role of women's clubs in the South.'" The evidence suggests that religious societies first, and then women's clubs, provided a milieu in which women could learn to carry out public responsibilities. Since both types of organization were made up entirely of women, all the responsibilities were theirs to carry out: presiding, organizing, handling money,

and carrying out programs. The missionary societies broadened their

scope considerably in the last half of the nineteenth century, and women's clubs all over the country centered on a very wide variety of problems. O'Neill's book, already cited, pays a good bit of attention to the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The primary source for the early development of clubs is Mrs. J. C. Croly's documentary collection of reports from a great many of them. Another is Rheta Chi lde Dorr, What Eight Million Women Want." Women's involvement in movements for social reform also helped

to change their general role in the society. The lives of the Grimke sisters, Lucretia Mott, Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Dorothea Dix provide insight into this phenomenon

before the Civil War.22 For the last half of the nineteenth century a good introduction is found in Ray Ginger's chapter, "The Women at Hull-House," in Altgeld's America. Allen Davis' writing on the Social Settlement movement is also relevant. Jane Addams' reflections in Democracy and Social Ethics, and in her writings on women's rights, show the relationship in the life and thought of one of the most important reform leaders.23

Women in American Life


The drive for suffrage and expanded legal rights became, at least in the

public eye, the overarching female reform movement. The beginning point is found in Richard B. Morris, Studies in the History of American Law, in Mrs. Spruill's book and in a significant article by Sophie H. Drinker.'" The Flexner book picks up the early advocates of women's rights and carries the movement through the passage of the suffrage amendment. There are numerous primary sources, of which the most accessible is the massive six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, which is both a grab bag and a gold mine for the historian of women. 25 Books by Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler, by Inez Hayes Irwin and by Doris Stevens are also important primary sources.'26 Important interpretations appear in Aileen S. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement 1890-1920, and in her excellent documentary collection, Up From the Pedesta1.27 Kraditor sees the suffrage movement

as becoming somewhat more conservative and single-minded as


moved into the twentieth century.

Biography, Autobiography, Novels, and Advice Books

It has been apparent throughout this chapter that in the present beginning state of the field, historians of women are heavily dependent upon individual biographies. The recent publication of Notable American

Women, modelled on the Dictionary of American Biography and superbly edited by Edward and Janet James, therefore represents a very significant contribution to the field. The three volumes contain more than thirteen hundred biographical sketches, each with bibliographical notes. Many of the essays represent the first appearaire of the women in question outside the obscurity of a manuscript archive or a weighty nineteenth-century biographical encyclopedia. Taken together they provide a massive answer to the query of the uninitiated: But do American

women have any history? These volumes should be in every school and college library, and in public libraries for the use of teachers and students alike.28

The bibliographies attached to the entries in the Notable American Women provide a comprehensive list of biographies of American women. They vary greatly in quality, and often the most useful are the

old-fashioned life and letters which contain much primary material. Autobiographies are also extremely useful when used with care. No American woman has yet been the subject of a biography of the quality, for example, of Cecil Woodham-Smith's Florence Nightingale, but the raw material for many such exists.2" Another important primary source for the historian of women is the advice books published at different periods, reflecting the preoccupations



of their time and delineating the accepted social expectations of women.3°

Novels by and about women can also be illuminating. An interpretation of the nineteenth-century novel which contributes to our understanding of the female subculture is Helen Papashvily, All the Happy Endings.3'


Though it is sometimes argued that American feminism has lacked an ideology, some American women have made significant contributions to the ongoing discussion of "the woman question." One of the earliest of these was Judith Sargent Murray, whose thoughts on the equality of the sexes were first published in the eighteenth century, preceding Mary Wollstonecraft. The next such work was Sarah Grimke's Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, which was soon followed by Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Women and Economics came at the end of the nineteenth century, and Mary Beard's Woman as Force in History early in the twentieth. An interesting and not well-known work by Jessie Taft, The Woman Movement from the Point of View of Social Consciousness, was submitted for a

Ph.D. degree in philosophy at the University of Chicago.32

The contemporary woman's movement inspired a whole issue of 1964 (subsequently expanded into a book) wherein

Daedalus in

various thinkers were given free rein to speculate on the subject. Books

by Betty Friedan, Kate Mil lett andpossiblyGermaine Greer will prove useful to the historian of the future who seeks to understand the dynamics of the Woman's Liberation Movement.33 At this point in time the most interesting aspect of women's history is not its past (wherein women were neglected, though occasional excellent work was done) or its present, which is suffering from the confusion and chaos attendant upon rapid growth, faddishness and other ills common to the twentieth century, but its future. Enough work has now been done to demonstrate beyond peradventure that women have been a significant part of the American scene from the beginning. Plans are afoot for the production of a comprehensive bibliographical guide for scholars, and the influx of able young scholars holds great promise. At a time when the historical profession is in a state of soul-searching, prophecy is dangerous. Hope is less risky, and one hopes for a many-faceted rediscovery of the female past which will make possible a new synthesis of American history, appropriate to the late twentieth century, which encompasses all, not just a selected few, of the human beings who lived in, shaped, and enjoyed or suffered the past.

Women in American Life


FOOTNOTES I Arthur M. Schlesinger. New Viewpoints in American History. New York: Macmillan, 1922, Chapter VI, "The Role of Women in American History." "It is

unthinkable that this neglect [of women] should continue in the new era of historical writing ushered in by the nineteenth amendment," Mr. Schlesinger wrote.

Among nineteenth-century American historians, Henry Adams alone paid any attention to the role of women, primarily in Mt. St. Michel and Chartres and The Education of Henry Adams, and in his novels. Carl Degler, at Stanford, and Barbara Solomon, at Harvard, are at work on general interpretive histories of American women. Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959. Books of readings which complement

Flexner include Anne Firor Scott, editor. Women in American Life: Selected Readings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970, and The American Woman: Who Was She? Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1970. Aileen S. Kraditor, editor, Up From the Pedestal: Selected Writings in the History of American Feminism,

Chicago: Quadrangle, 1968, has excellent long selections from major feminist writers. William L. O'Neill, The Woman Movement: Feminism in the United States and England, London: Allen and Unwin, 1969, (paperback edition by Quadrangle), covers both countries. Miriam Schneir, editor, Feminism, New York:

Random House, 1971, has a large number of very short selections. See also

Gerda Lerner. Black Women in White America: A Documentary History. New York: Pantheon Books, 1972. 'Everyone Was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism in America. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1969; The Better Half; The Emancipation of the American Woman. New York: Harper and Row, 1965; Black Women in White America. New York: Pantheon, 1972; The Woman in American History. Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1971; America Through Women's Eyes. New York: Macmillan, 1933. The relevant issues of the Annals are Vol. LVI, Nov. 1914, "Women in Public Life"; Vol. CXLIII, May 1929, "Women and the Modern World"; and Vol. 251, May 1947, "Women's Opportunities and Responsibilities." 3 vols. Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1917-1919, also New York: Barnes and Noble, 1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1938. Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1952. Robert B. Bremner, editor. Children and Youth in America: A Documentary History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970, 1971.

Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life. New York: A. Knopf, 1962; Stephan Thernstrom. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, 1964; John Demos. A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; Philip V. Greven, Jr. Four Generations: Population, Land and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970. Jane Mecom . . . . New York: Viking Press, 1950; The Letters of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950; Annie Field, editor. Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1897.

" Robert S. and Helen Merrill Lynd. Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929; Women As World Builders:

Studies in Modern Feminism. Chicago: Forbes and Co., 1913; Our Changing Morality: A Symposium. New York: Albert and Charles Boni, 1924; Women and Social Progress . . . . New York: Macmillan, 1912. Elizabeth A. Dexter. Colonial Women of Affairs . . . . 2nd edition, revised. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931; and Career Women of America: 1776-1840.

Francestown, N.H.: M. Jones Co., 1950. Mary Sumner Benson. Women in Eighteenth Century America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1935. New



York: A. Knopf, 1966. See also Eugenie A. Leonard. The Dear-Bought Heritage. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965.

'" Vol. IX of U. S. Congress, Senate, Report on Condition of Women and Children Wage-Earners in the United States. Sen. Doc. 645, 61st Congress 2nd Session, 1910. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910; Edith Abbott. Women in Industry . . . New York: D. Appleton, 1928; Robert Smuts. Women and Work in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959; Elizabeth F. .

Baker. Technology and Woman's Work.

"St. Louis, Missouri: F. B. Dickerson and Co., 1885; Fourth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1889;

Prisoners of Poverty: Women Wage-workers, Their Trades and Their Lives. Boston: Roberts Bros., 1887; Mrs. John Van Vorst [Bessie an Vorst] and Marie Van Vorst. The Woman Who Toils: Being the Experiences of Two Ladies as Factory Girls. New York: Doubleday, 1903; Jane Addams. Twenty Years at Hu ll-Hous.% New York: Macmillan, 1910. See John C. Farrell, Beloved Lady: A Histor: of Jane Addams' Ideas on Reform and Peace, for conprehensive bibliography including hundreds of articles. See also Annie Nathan Meyer, editor. Women's Work in America. New York: Henry Holt, 1891. Woman at Work . . . . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1951. Woman's Labor Leader . . Rockford, Ill.: Bellevue Books, 1954. See also Allen

Davis. "The Women's Trade Union League: Origins and Organization." Labor History *V: 3-17; No. I, Winter 1964; Alice Henry. The Trade Union Woman. New York: D. Appleton, 1915; and Mary Field Parton, editor. Autobiography of Mother Jones. Chicago: C. H. Kerr, 1925. "Women in the Twentieth Century . New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933. William Chafe. The American Woman, Her Changing Social, Economic, and Political Roles, 1920-1970. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. " New York: Harper and Bros., 1959. See also Thomas Woody. A History of Women's Education in the United States. 2 vols. New York: The Science Press, .




'' Biography and bibliography for these women in Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, and Paul S. Boyer, editors. Notable American Women. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. "The Educated Woman in America: Selected Writings of Catharine Beecher,

Margaret Fuller, and M. Carey Thomas. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1965. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1867-1908. Index published 1909.

'" The Education al Women: Its Social Background and Its Problems. New

York: Macmillan, 1923. 1" A Dangerous Experiment: 100 Years of Women at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Center for the Continuing Education of Women, 1970; Eli Ginzberg and Alice M. Yohalem. Educated American Women: Self-Portraits. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966. See also Arthur C. Cole. A Hundred Years of Mount Holyoke College . . . . New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940. '" Anne Firor Scott. The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830-1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. The History of the Woman's Club Movement in America. New York: H. G. Allen, 1898. Boston: Small, Maynard and Co., 1910.

"Gerda Lerner. The Grintke Sisters front South Carolina: Rebels Against Slavery. Boston: Houghton Minn, 1967; Otelia Cromwell. Lucretia Mott. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958; Alma Lutz. Created Equal: A Biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815-1902. New York: The John Day Co., 1940; Francis Tiffany. Life of Dorothea Lynde Dix. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1890; Ida Husted Harper. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony . . . . 3 vols. Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1898-1908; D. C. Bloomer. Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer. Boston: Arena Publishing Co., 1895.

Women in American Life


" Altgeld's America. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1958; Allen Davis. Spearheads for Reform: The Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890-1914. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967; Democracy and Social

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964. Studies in the History of American Law With Special Reference to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. New York: Columbia University Press, 1930. "Women Attorneys of Colonial Times." Maryland Historical Magazine 56: 335-351; No. 4, December, 1961. " 6 vols. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida Husted Harper, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, editors. Rochester, N.Y.: Fowler and Wells, 1881-1922. " Woman Suffrage and Politics . . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Up the Hill with Banners Flying . . . . Penobscot, Me.: Traversity Press, 1964. Jailed for Freedom. New York: Boni and l.iveright, 1920. See also Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays. 2nd rev. ed., New York: 'lother Earth, 1911, for revolutionary view of the suffrage issue and Abigail Si. at Duniway, Pathbreaking . . . . Portland, Ore.: James, Kerns, and Abbott Co., 1914, for a highly personal view of the movement in Oregon. "The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1965; Up From the Pedestal. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1968. See also Alan P. Grimes, The Puritan Ethic and Woman Suffrage. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967, wherein a political scientist attempts to explain the early adoption of suffrage in Wyoming and Utah. " Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, and Paul S. Boyer, editors. Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. 3 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. "A representative sample of useful biographies would include: Stewart Mitchell, editor. New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788-1801. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1947; Jane Addams. Twenty Years at Hull-House . . . New York: Macmillan, 1910; Jane Addams. Second Twenty Years at Hull-House . . New York: Macmillan, 1930; Ida Husted Harper. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony . . . Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1898-1908. 3 vols.; Alma Lutz. Susan B. Anthony . Boston: Beacon Press, 1959; Margaret Mead, editor. Anthropologist at Work: Writings of Ruth Benedict. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1959; L. Minor Blackford. Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory . Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1954; Louise H. de Koven Bowen. Open Windows . . . . Chicago: Seymour, 1946; Mary Gray Peck. Carrie Chapman Cart. New York: The H. W. Wilson Co., 1944; Rheta Childe Dorr. A Woman of Fifty. 2nd ed. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1924; Virginia Gildersleeve. Many a Good Crusade: Memoirs. New York: Macmillan, 1954; Richard Drinnon. Rebel in Paradise: A Biography of Emma Goldman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961; Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. New York: B. Appleton, 1935; Alice Ethics,











Hamilton. Exploring the Dangerous Trades: The Autobiography of Alice Hamilton, M.D. Boston: Little, Brown, 1943; Julia Ward Howe. Reminiscences: 1819-1899.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1899; Laura E. Richards and Maud Howe Elliott. Julia Ward Howe: 1819-1910. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915; Louise

Hall Tharp. Three Saints and a Sinner: Julia Ward Howe, Louisa, Annie, and

Sam Ward. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956; Josephine Goldmark. Impatient Crusader:

Florence Kelley's Life Story. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1953; William Rhinelander Stewart. The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell . . . . New York: Macmillan. 1911; Howard E. Wilson. Mary MacDonald, Neighbor.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928; Phoebe Mitchell Kendall, editor. Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters and Journal. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1896; George Herbert Palmer. The Life of Alice Freeman Palmer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1908; Louise Hall Tharp. The Peabody Sisters of Salem. Boston: Little, Brown, 1950; Eleanor Roosevelt. This Is My Story. New York: Garden City, 1937; This I Remember. New York: Harper. 1949; It Seems To Me. New York: W. W.



Norton, 1954; On My Own. New York: Harper, 1958; You Learn By Living. New York: Harper, 1960; Joseph P. Lash. Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, Based on Eleanor Roosevelt's Private Papers. New York: W. W. Norton, 1971; Eleanor: The Years Alone. New York: W. W. Norton, 1972; Louise Fargo Brown. Apostle of Democracy: The Life of Lucy Maynard Salmon. New York: Harper & Bros., 1943; Margaret Sanger. An Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton, 1938; Vida Dutton Scudder. On Journey. New York:

E. P. Dutton, 1937; Anna Howard Shaw. The Story of a Pioneer. New York: Harper & Bros. 1915; Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch. Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters. Diary and Reminiscences. New York: Harper & Bros., 1922. 2 vols.; Alice Stone Blackwell. Lucy Stone . . . . Boston: Little, Brown, 1930; Virginia P. Robinson, editor. Jessie Taft . . . . Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962; Edith Finch. Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr. New York; Harper, 1947; Anne G. Pannell and Dorothea Wyatt. Julia S. Tutwiler and Social Progress in Alabama. University, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1961; Edith Wharton. A Backward Glance. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964; Mary Earhart Dillon. Frances Willard . . . . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944; Jeannette Marks. Life and Letters of Mary E. Woolley. Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1955; Mary Church Terrell. A Colored Woman in a White World. Washington: Ransdell Publishing Co., 1940; Pauli Murray. Proud Shoes:

The Story of an American Family. New York: Harper & Row, 1956; Alfreda Duster, editor. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Chicago

University of Chicago Press, 1970; Ray A. Billington, editor. The Journal o1 Charlotte Forten: A Free Negro in the Slave Era. New York: The Dryden Press, 1953; Sarah Bradford. Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People. New York: Corinth Books, 1961; Ethel Waters with Charles Samuels. His Eye Is on the Sparrow; an Autobiography. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1951.

" Perhaps the most widely read of these was one called The Ladies Calling which went through many editions in England and America, and can still be found in major libraries. An advice book by Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Means and Ends or Self-Training, New York: Harper & Bros., 1839, is very interesting for the insight it provides into the views of an upper-class New England woman in the Age of Jackson. A collection of advice books may be found in the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe where there is also an excellent Ph.D. dissertation

on "Changing Ideas about Women in the United States, 1776-1825" by Janet James (1954) which is based on this collection. " New York: Harper and Bros., 1956.

"Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women . . . . Boston: I. Knopf, 1838, and New York: B. Franklin, 1970. S. Margaret Fuller [Ossoli]. Woman in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Greeley and McElrath, 1845; and several subsequent editions including a reprint of the 1874 edition. Boston:

Roberts Bros., 1968. Charlotte Perkins Stetson [Gilman]. Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relations Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution. Boston: Small, Maynard, and Co., 1898; and several subsequent editions including one edited by Carl N. Deg ler.

New York: Harper and Row, 1968. Woman as Force in History





New York: Macmillan, 1946; and several subsequent editions including New York: Collier Books, 1962. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1916. (The thesis was dated 1913.)

""The Woman in America." Daedalus 93: 577-803; No. 2, Spring 1964; The Feminine Mystique. New York: W. W. Norton, 1963; Sexual Politics. Garden City: Doubleday, 1970; The Female Eunich. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.

Women in American Life



Nancy L. Cott. Root of Bitterness. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972. A Fine anthology of primary materials. James L. Cooper and Sheila Mclsaac Cooper. The Roots of American Feminist Thought. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc. 1973. An excellent collection of primary documents on feminism.

Jean E. Friedman and William G. Shade. Our American Sisters. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc. 1973. A collection of articles on women's history. J. Stanley Lemons. The Woman Citizen: Social Feminism in the 1920's. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973. A study of what happened after suffrage which corrects many of the widespread misapprehensions about feminism in the 1920's.

The History of the American City Raymond A. Mohi

HISTORIANS came late to the study of the city. They lagged far behind scholars in other disciplines who, by the turn of the twentieth century, had begun to apply the tools of the social sciences, especially political science and sociology, to the examination of urban America. National politics, diplomacy, and military exploits absorbed the attention of most early historians, while Frederick Jackson Turner's "frontier thesis"

focused the attention of others on the West. To be sure, a few of the classic historians, notably John Bach McMaster and Edward Channing, alluded to the importance of the city in their multi-volume treatments of the American past, but their efforts failed to generate further research as had Turner's writing) But by the 1930's, Turner himself had written

of the need for an "urban reinterpretation" of American history and began collecting materials for a never completed essay on "The Significance of the City in American History. "2 Achieving academic respect-

ability of a sort with the writings of Arthur M. Schlesinger and Carl Bridenbaugh in the 1930's, urban history developed slowly over the next several decades.3 But since the early 1960's, reflecting increased awareness of the modern city and its multiple crises, the literature of American

urban history has grown enormously. The quality of this writing has varied widely, and the diversity of approaches utilized by urban historians reveals a field in turmoil. Historians do not agree, as Charles N. Glaab has suggested, whether urban history is "the history of cities, the history of urbanization, or the history of anything that takes place in an urban setting."4 In a similar vein, Stephan Thernstrom has written that "urban history apparently deals with cities, or with city-dwellers, or

with events that transpired in cities, or with attitudes toward cities which makes one wonder what is not urban history."'" Each approach 165



has its practitioners and many excellent studies of each kind have been

published. It is not the purpose of this chapter to pick sides -in this internal dispute nor to pretend comprehensiveness of coverage; its objective, simply, is to indicate some of the key interpretive works in the field and suggest the richness and variety of American urban history. Overviews

A number of interpretive surveys of the history of the American city have been published. In 1940, for example, Arthur M. Schlesinger published his influential article, "The 2ity in American History," the first conscious effort to identify the impact of urban civilization on American life." Adopting a causal interpretation, Schlesinger contended that the city played an important role throughout American history: in stimulating the revolutionary spirit in colonial America, in forging an alliance of business interests behind the federal Constitution, in bringing on the

Civil War between the urban North and the rural South, in fostering the agrarian protest of the late nineteenth century. An early critic of Schlesinger's causal approach, William Diamond, in an essay "On the Dangers of an Urban Interpretation of History," found difficulties in Schlesinger's methodology and in his ambiguous use of the terms "city" and "urban." Diamond suggested that developments Schlesinger attributed to urbanization might equally be ascribed to other social changes such as industrialization. Despite these criticisms, the Schlesinger article remains important as a summary statement of an earlier generation of urban historians. Other brief essays which similarly probe the meaning

of the American urban experience have been written by Bayrd Still, Richard C. Wade, and Blake McKelvey." The best full-length treatment of American urban history is Charles N. Glaab and A. Theodore Brown, A History of Urban America, an interpretive text which synthesizes much available monographic literature and which, with the exception of two chapters, deals mainly with the nineteenth century.9 A less comprehensive but nevertheless useful survey is Constance McL. Gi een's The Rise of Urban America, which, like Schlesinger's early essay, often fails to distinguish the distinctly urban from the larger story of American history as a whole.'" More important is her book, American Cities in the G. ,wth of the Nation, which contains chapters on various types of citiesseaport cities of the early nineteenth century, river cities of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, New England ,nanufacturing cities (Holyoke and Naugatuck), and Great

Plains citir., (Denver and Wichita)as well as on several important individual cities (Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, and Washington)." These

The History of the American City


cities or groups of cities are used to illustrate various stages of urban development throughout the course of United States history. More narrowly focused, chronologically, but much more comprehensive in depth of treatment are two volumes by Blake McKelvey. In The Urbanization of America, 1860-1915, McKelvey took an all-inclusive, almost encyclo-

pedic, approach and included material on economic and demographic developments, urban government and municipal services, social tensions,

welfare and reform movements, and urban culture." Among his many conclusions, he found in urbanization the stimulus for a new and expanded industrial society. Increasing population densities fostered intensified urban tensions and problems, which in turn were met in creative

and innovative ways by municipal governments and city residents. McKelvey's second volume, The Emergence of Metropolitan America, 1915-1966, emphasizes the relationship between metropolitan problems and the federal government, but is less effective as a survey of twentiethcentury urban development.'3 Contrasting with the usual concern of urban historians for large cities, Pai mith's As a City upon a Hill: The

Town in American History focuses on the enduring importance of small towns." These overviews of urban development in the United States are important starting points for teachers and students. At the same time, they provide useful perspectives for examining more detailed urban biographies and the monographic literature of American urban history.

Urban Biographies

During the 1940's and 1950's, the urban biography provided the format for most scholarly writing on thc history of American cities. Efforts to come to grips with the entire span of a single city's history, urban biographies usually emphasize the themes of urban progress, evolving city maturity, and economic growth, while focusing at the same time on the unique characteristics of the city in question. Outstanding examples of this kind of urban history can be found in Blake McKelvey's

four-volume history of Rochester, New York, in L. Pierce's three-volume study of Chicago, in Constance McL. Green's two-volume

biography of Washington, and in Bayrd Still's one-volume history of Milwaukee." Scholarly urban biographies have also been written of Norfolk, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Cairo ( Illinois), Lubbock (Texas), Everett (Washington), Neenah-Menasha (Wisconsin), Owatonna (Minnesota), and a number of New England cities: New Haven and Naugatuck in Connecticut, Holyoke and Chicopee in Massachusetts, and Harrisville in New Hampshire." Numerous books



have covered limited periods in the history of such cities as New York, Brooklyn, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Kansas City.'7 Additional studies are treated separately in other sections of this chapter. One important line of argument within the urban field contends that only detailed case studies such as those mentioned above can make possible larger generalizations about the processes of urbanization. Some more recent scholars, however, disparage the urban biography approach,

advocating comparative analysis or research on the process of city building instead. Nevertheless, the best of city biographies have provided important insight into the urban past. But, in the 1960's, the biographical approach to the city was surpassed by a proliferation of studies focusing on special themes or topics within an urban setting.

The Colonial City and Town

Carl Bridenbaugh's massively researched volumes, Cities in the Wilderness and Cities in Revolt, remain essential for study of the colonial city." Focusing on the five largest colonial townsBoston, Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Newportboth books exhaustively trace urban commerce and economic expansion, mounting social problems, patterns of municipal government, and evidences of cultural expression in the cities. Bridenbaugh emphasized the gradual development of a mature colonial civilization as reflected in the leading seaports, which by the end of the colonial period had become thriving centers for the collection, production, and distribution of goods. Moreover, city residents continually met common urban problems through collective action, a pattern which carried over into the emerging revolutionary crisis with Great Britain. A number of historians followed up the themes first outlined by Bridenbaugh. Darrett B. Rutman examined Boston's first twenty years in Winthrop's Boston: Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649, while G. B. Warden covered a later period in Boston, 1689-1776.'9 Philadelphia is the subject of Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh's Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin, Frederick B. Tolles' Meeting House and Counting House: The Quaker Merchants of Colonial Philadelphia, 1682-1783, and Arthur L. Jensen's The Maritime Commerce of Colonial Philadelphia.20 Very little was written before 1970 on urbanism in colonial Nev. York, although two books by Thomas J. Condon and Van Cleaf Bachman probed the Dutch experience in New Amsterdam in the first half of the seventeenth century.21 In an older but still important essay on "The Economic Causes of the Rise of Baltimore," Clarence P. Gould attributed the growth of a mid-eighteenth century "boom town" to its emergence as a

The History of the American City


center for middle-colony wheat exportation.-2 Thomas J. Wertenbaker's

The Golden .Age of Colonial Culture portrays colonial New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston, Annapolis, and Williamsburg as

"crucibles of culture."23 The economic and political role of Williamsburg, Virginia's colonial capital, has been analyzed in books by James H. Soltow and Carl Bridenbaugh.24

As noted earlier, Page Smith has suggested the importance of the small town in American history. Although few colonial towns had sufficient population to meet modern definitions of an urban area, most nevertheless fulfilled traditional urban functions by serving as centers for the exchange of goods, services, and ideas. One of the important case studies of the colonial town, Charles S. Grant's Democracy in the Connecticut Frontier Town of Kent sought to determine the extent of economic, political, and social democracy in a single town.25 Grant concluded that economic opportunity was extensive, at least in the early stages of settlement; that political participation, while "incomplete," was more widespread than usually suggested, especially at the townmeeting level; and that social structure became increasingly stratified, dominated by an "elite of ability." In A New England Town: The First Hundred Years, Kenneth A. Lockridge described the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, as characterized by stability and social harmony, but only

in the seventeenth century; by the eighteenth, the pressure of rising population on limited town land resources fostered economic decline, social stratification, political conflict, and popular discord.2" By contrast, Michael Zuckerman, in Peaceable Kingdoms: New England Towns in the Eighteenth Century, found autonomous, "consensual communities" which enforced compliance, conformity, and social harmony.27 Other studies of Massachusetts towns, often utilizing the insights of historical demography, cultural anthropology, and social psychology, include books

by Sumner Chilton Powell on Sudbury, by John Demos on Plymouth, by Darrett B. Rytman on Plymouth, and by Philip J. Greven, Jr. on

Andover." In an important article on "The Absence of Towns in Seventeenth-Century Virginia," John C. Rainbolt suggested that, despite continuous governmental efforts to promote town building as a means of social and economic control, geography, impractical legislation, local animosities, and political conflict between the colonial planters and the crown over the purposes of towns inhibited the development of urbanism in colonial Virginia." The role of the city in the American Revolution has been inadequately

explored. Only a few studies offer insight into urban tensions which fostered radical action or stimulated revolutionary politics. Following a theme enunciated a half-century ago by Arthur M. Schlesinger,



Benjamin W. Labaree's Patriots and Partisans: The Merchants of Newburyport, 1764-1815 examines the motives of a pro-revolutionary mercantile elite.30 Richard Walsh, in Charleston's Sons of Liberty: A Study of the Artisans, 1763-1789, found urban workers at the forefront of the revolutionary movement.'" Similarly, important articles by Jesse Lemisch and Staughton Lynd identify strong working-class participation in revolutionary activity.32 Richard D. Brown's Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774 shows the influence of city leaders in propagating revolutionary attitudes and action throughout the countryside.33 Both Hiller B. Zobel's The Boston Massacre and Pauline Maier's articles on colonial mobs and violence reveal the depth of anti-British hostility in the cities by the 1770's and suggest that urban riots had important political uses.34 Jackson Turner Main's The Social Structure of Revolutionary America contains information on urban class structure and mobility during the late eighteenth century.35 Aside from these few works, the city in the American Revolution remains an untouched area for historical research.

Economic Growth, Transportation, and Urban Rivalries Many urban historians have related urbanization to economic devel-

opment and focused on the urban commerical rivalries which frequently spurred city growth. These ideas form the prevailing theme of

The Growth of the Seaport Cities, 1790-1825, edited by David T. Gilchrist."" A collection of papers and a transcript of discussions at a conference on urban history, the book analyzes the role of population growth, commerce, banking, manufacturing, and transportation in the shaping of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore in the early nineteenth century. Robert G. Albion's older book, The Rise of the New York Port, 1815-1860, remains unsurpassed in explaining the economic dominance of New York City.37 Albion attributed New York's success to aggressive merchant leadership and the introduction of several important business innovations, including regularly scheduled shipping service to Europe, an economically efficient auction system, and the development of banking and insurance services. New Yorkers also won control of disposal of Southern cotton and thus came to dominate the coastal carrying trade as well as overseas commerce. The success of the Erie Canal in tapping the produce of a vast hinterland simply solidified the commercial primacy of New York City. Geographer Jean Gottmann's massive study, Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States, contains historical sections elaborating the economic role of the Atlantic seaport cities."" Important articles by George Rogers

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Taylor, Allen R. Pred, and Jeffrey G. Williamson treat population expansion, manufacturing, and economic growth, respectively, in the preindustrial city of the nineteenth century.3" Construction of transportation facilities frequently stimulated city growth and fostered what one historian has called "urban imperialism" commercial rivalries among cities for economic domination of a hinterland. Many historians have focused on these interrelated themes. The early studies of James W. Livingood on the Baltimore-Philadelphia trade rivalry, by Wyatt W. Belcher on the economic rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis, by Edward C. Kirkland on urbanization and transportation in New England, and by Glenn C. Quiett on railroads and cities in the West, cover important ground and remain useful."' More recently, in Canal or Railroad, Julius Rubin compared the responses of businessmen in Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia to the success of the Erie Canal in New York:" Several newer works showed the importance of railroads in promoting urban growth. Charles N. Glaab, in Kansas City and the Railroads, described one city's maturation as a regional metropolis as the result of promotional activities by land speculators and city builders who aggressively sought rail transportation for their frontier village.4 In New Orleans and the Railroads, Merl E. Reed analyzed the largely unsuccessful efforts of a well-established, ante-bellum, commercial city to expand its hinterland and its economic base through publicly and privately financed rail systems:" Leonard P. Curry, in Rail Routes South: Louisville's Fight for the Southern Market, 1865-1872, illustrated the "urban imperialism" theme in discussing Louisville's rivalry with Cincinnati over control of southern trade:14

The City in the West

The city in the West has provided another fruitful theme for urban historians. A pioneer study in this field is Richard C. Wade, The Urban Frontier: The Rise of Western Cites, 1790-1830, a comparative study of life in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, and St. Louis:" Countering the Turnerian conception of westward development, Wade

found that the western towns "were the spearheads of the frontier." Established well in advance of the agricultural population, the river cities :especially became regional market and manufacturing centers and facilitated settlement of surrounding farmlands. Bayrd Still's early article, "Patterns of Mid-Nineteenth-Century Urbanization in the Middle West," similarly focuses on the urban diMension of the frontier experience, revealing comparable trends in economic development and munici-

pal government in five Great Lake citiesBuffalo, Cleveland, Detroit,



Chicago, and Milwaukee.'" By contrast another older study, Lewis Atherton's Main Street on the Middle Border, shows that not all western towns grew into great cities." Treating the cultural and economic history of small midwestern country towns (less than 5,000 population) from Ohio through the Dakotas, and covering the period from 1865 to 1950, Atherton found a central theme in stability fostered by a sense of community notably absent in larger cities. These pre-1960 studies

stimulated an awareness among historians of an urban side of the frontier story. Several more recent works followed in this tradition. Among the best of these, Robert R. Dykstra's book on The Cattle Towns interweaves a variety of themes in recounting the social history of five Kansas cattle

centers--Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell.'" Situated at the juncture of cattle trails from Texas and railroads to midwestern cities, the cattle towns flourished between 1867 and 1885 but then declined; only Wichita arrived at metropolitan status in the twentieth century. The cattle trade provided the context for "town-building"

efforts by local entrepreneurs to attract population, transportation, and capital investment. Town promotion, local boosterism, and vigorous competition with rival towns revealed urban aspirations on the frontier. Dykstra also contended that social conflict stemming from rural-urban hostilities, local politics, business factionalism, and differing views on social reform and law enforcement typified the cattle towns and supplied the format for community decision-making, and thus change and progress.

The comparative approach is also utilized in Kenni.'h Wheeler's To Wear a City's Crown, a study of mid-nineteenth century urban growth in Texas.'" Wheeler described and analyzed economic, municipal, cultural, and social conditions in San Antonio, Galveston, Houston, and Austin, finding markedly different patterns in each. Much older than its

competitors, San Antonio was really a Mexican town, dependent on trade with Mexico, slowly becoming Americanized. Both port cities ex-

porting cotton, sugar, and wool, Houston and Galveston responded differently to economic opportunity; merchants in Houston aggressively

drew the produce of the state, while less innovative businessmen in Galveston failed to capitalize upon potentialities offered by railroads. Although a political center, the planned interior capital city of Austin never developed commercially. Like Wade, Wheeler found the towns ante-dating full settlement of the agricultural frontier.

Other useful studies have revealed the diversity of urbanism in the American West. In Rocky Mountain Mining Camps: The Urban Frontier, Duane A. Smith systematically described life, work, municipal

government, and urban problems in the boom towns of the mining

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frontier between 1859 and 1890.5° Although the milling towns often had

a transitory existence, some became centers of permanent settlement based on growth in agriculture, industry, and transportation. James B. Allen's The Company Town in the American West similarly depicts a unique form of urbanization using materials from nearly two hundred company-owned towns in eleven Far West states." Mostly built by coal,

copper, and lumber companies, the towns faced like problems of housing, welfare, and management, and all had a "company store." Allen downplayed evidence of company oppression and paternalism and emphasized "positive" aspects of company towns. In Urban Populism

and Free Silver in Montana, Thomas A. Clinch examined the urban, trade unionist character of Montana populism.52 Robert L. Martin, in The City Moves West, dealt with six county-seat towns of over 10,000 population in central west Texas which grew primarily after 1930 as a result of oil discoveries.5" A chapter in Earl Pomeroy's The Pacific Slope traces urban development in the Far West, mainly California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.54 The growth of Salt Lake City and other Mormon towns forms an integral part of Leonard J. Arrington's Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900.55 In The Americans: The National Experience, Daniel J. Boorstin included a segment on "upstart cities" of the West, characterized by the "booster" or promotional spirit.56

The City in the South

There are several recent full-length treatments of urbanism in the South. John G. Clark's New Orleans, 1718-1812: An Economic History attributes the Mississippi River port's slow growth during the French

and Spanish periods to an inadequate economic base and a circumscribed hinterland." By the American Revolution, however, British merchants had recognized the strategic importance of the city in relation to British colonies in 'Illinois, Florida, and the West Indies. The gradual

migration of American farmers to the Ohio and Mississippi valleys solidified the Commercial importance of the city by the beginning of the

nineteenth century. New Orleans in a later period is the subject of Robert C. Reinders, End of an Era: New Orleans, 1850-1860, which contends that the pursuit of commerce by a newly rich business elite provides the key to understanding the city's character and history." George C. Rogers, Jr., in Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, evoked an image of the South Carolina city between the mid-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries as an economic and cultural center, but increasingly becoming a, "closed city" dominated by a pro-slave elite



unwilling to countenance change. 5" In Antebellum Natchez, D. Clayton James examined the social, economic, and political history of a relatively unimportant Mississippi River town."" Emory M. Thomas's The Confederate State of Richmond analyzes the history of the Confederate capital during the Civil War years."' By contrast, Kenneth Coleman's Confed-

erate Athens reveals the pressures of war on a small Georgia town of 4,000 persons."2 Gerald M. Capers, in Occupied City: New Orleans under the Federals, ;862-1865, describes the impact of Federal occupation on the city's government, social institutions, economy, and populationboth Black and white. "' Urbanism in the "New South" is discussed in an article by Durward Long on Tampa, Florida."4 An earlier but still important book edited by Rupert B. Vance and Nicholas J. Demerath, The Urban South, views twentieth-century southern cities from the perspective of the several social sciences and deals with such diverse subjects as mobility, fertility, crime, social class, race relations, politics, and city planning.":'

Immigrants in the City* The writings of Oscar Hand lin continue to provide a point of reference

for the study of immigrants in the city. Handlin's classic work, The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People, reveals the intense problems of adjustment and the "shock of alienation" faced by European peasants in the modern American city. "" His earlier book, Boston's Immigremts: A Study in Acculturation, deals primarily with the Irish between 1790 vad 1880 and analyzes the process of adjustment, the development of group consciousness, the emergence of nativism, and the gradual integration of the immigrants within the larger society by the Civil War period."' Another important older work, Robert Ernst's Immigrant Life in New York City, 1825-1863, remains unsurpassed in handling similar themes for the nation's metropolis."' Covering the same period, Earl F. Niehaus' The Irish in New Orleans, 1800-1860 distinguishes between the "old" Irish (pre-1830) and the "famine" Irish (1830-1860) and details

ethnic working and voting patterns, the role of the Catholic Church and other immigrant institutions, and Irish conflict with Blacks.' "' Tn Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1921, Donald 13. Cole * For additional treatment of this topic, the reader is referred to the following chapters: Rudolph J. Vecoli, "European Americans: From Immigrants to Ethnics," passim: Rodolfo Acufia, "Freedom in a Cage: The Subjugation of the Chicano in the United States," pas.sim: and Roger Daniels, "The Asian American Experience," passim.

The History of the American City


identified the "search for security" as the key to the immigrant experience in a model factory town which quickly became a notorious city of slums and, eventually, the setting for a great I.W.W. textile strike in 1912.7" Gerd Korman's Industrialization, Immigrants, and Ameriamizers: The View from Milwaukee, 1866-1921 is a unique study in immigrant, business, and urban history which discusses labor procurement practices, industrial safety and welfare work, and business-dominated Americanization programs." Similarly important, Beyond the Melting

Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City, by Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan, emphasizes ethnicity in the twentieth-century city.72 Two recent studies have focused on the ethnic experience in Chicago. In his important study, The Italians i t Chicago, 1880-1930, Humbert S. Nelli analyzed the impact of immigration and urban living on the new-

comers.'" Primarily from southern Italy and Sicily and with few commun: traditions beyond the nuclear family, Chicago's Italians developer; a strong sense of community based upon the Church, mutual benefit societies, "colonial" newspapers, and ethnic trade unions. Nelli contended that the immigrant colony and its institutions represented a

departure from old-world traditions and thus advanced rather than retarded assimilation. John M. Allswang, in A House for All Peoples: Ethnic Politics in Chicago, 1890-1936, used a sophisticated behavioralist methodology and concludes that ethnic identification, more than any

other variable, determined voting behavior in Chicago." Allswang argued that ethnocultural issues such as prohibition and immigration restriction catalyzed the immigrant vote and led to a new ethnic alignment with the Democratic party between 1928 and 1931. Moses Rischin's The Promised City is a scholarly study of the Jewish community of New York City between 1870 and 1914 set against the background of urban problems and reform.75 Migrating in massive numbers from Russia and Eastern Europe during this period, New York's Jews developed a strong group consciousness under pressures of the modern city. The search for "community" expressed in charitable organizations, Yiddish language and literature, trade unions, and socialism,

forms a central theme of the Jook. A similar thesis is elaborated in Arthur A. Goren's New York Jews and the Quest for Community, which examines the kehillah, or communal council, movement in New

York, 1908-1922an effort to break down harriers between German and East European Jews and restore a communal tradition.'" Numerous other studies, some more antiquarian than scholarly, have dealt with Jewish communities in Buffalo, Syracuse, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New Orleans."



Blacks in ate City* While some historians have studied ethnic groups in an urban locale, others have focused on Blacks in the city. Richard C. Wade's Slavery in the Cities: The South, 1820-1860 is an important book which counters the traditional conception of slavery as a rural institution.'" Significantly different from plantation slavery, urban bondage was typified by slaves

who hired themselves out, worked in industrial or skilled as well as domestic occupations, lived separate from their masters, and developed their own forms of independent community. In contrast to the static and unchanging nature of slavery on the plantation, slavery in the cities was a dynamic institution. At first, cities registered an increase in the number of slaves, who comprised at least 20 per cent of the population of the

major southern cities in 1820. But gradually, Wade contended, the nature of urban living contributed to a general loosening of slave bonds; a relative degree of freedom, association with free Blacks, the activities of liquor sellers, and other "corrosive" influences blurred the distinction

Jetween slave and free. Coming to fear unregulated urban slaves, Southern whites sought to retain control through slave codes and segregation ordinances, while numerous male slaves were sold off to plantations, leaving an imbalance of females in the cities. :By 1860, according

to Wade, urban slavery was "disintegrating." A more recent study, however, Rober. Starobin's Industrial Slavery in the Old south, contradicts the V:ade interpretation, arguing that slavery was not dying in the cities, but rather that the use of slaves in industrial occupations was on the increase.'" Covering free Blacks in the North during the same

period, Gilbert Osofsky's article, "The Enduring Ghetto," and Leon Litwack's book, North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 17901860, reveal general patterns of repression and discrimination against Blacks in northern cities.'" While not strictly urban history, both the Starobin and Litw k books provide some useful perspectives on Blacks in the ante-bellum uty, North and South. Other works have examined the Black experience in the city in the late ninet,:rith and early twentieth centuries. One of the best studies of this ki: is Gilbert Osofsky, Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto; Negro New York, 1890-1930." Seeking better economic opportunities, Blacks migrated to northern cities in substantial numbers after 1890. Almost uniformly they found racial hatred, violence, and segregated patterns of housing and employment. With the exception of some white progressives, *For additional treatment of this topic, the reader is referred to the chapter by John W. Blassingame. "The Afro-Americans: From Mythology to Reality,"

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most New Yorkers responded to the Black influx with intensified racism,

typified in the New York race riot of 1900. Harlem's transition from an upper-middle class white area to a Black ghetto, Osofsky contended, was due to the collapse of a real estate and building boom in the early years of the twentieth century. Houses and apartments built in Harlem

by speculators went unrented until the Black-owned Afro-American Realty Company began acquiring long-term leases on such properties and renting them to Blacksa move which soon forced out neighboring whites and drew newcomers from older Black sections (especially the "Tenderloin" and "San Juan Hill" districts on the West Side) as well as from the American South and the West Indies. Intensified Black migration between 1910 and 1930 made Harlem overcrowded, for few Blacks found housing elsewhere in the city. High rents forced families to double

up in apartments or take in boaders. Congested housing stimulated health and sanitary problems and contributed to social disorganization among the primarily rural migrants who had difficulty adjusting to urban

life. By the 1920's, Harlem had become a slum as well as a ghetto. Using a somewhat larger chronological framework and going beyond housing to discuss labor, politics, and community institutions such as churches, Seth M. Scheiner in Negro Mecca: A History of the Negro in New York City, 1865-1920 similarly found white racism central to the Black experience in the urban North.82 Comparable to the Osofsky and Scheiner books, Allan H. Spear's Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920 analyzes the emergence of Chicago's South Side ghetto as primarily the product of organized white discrimination and racism, especially in the areas of housing and jobs.TM3 Contending that formation of the ghetto predated the great World War I migration of southern Blacks, Spear focused on the institutions and ideologies of Chicago's Black community. In the late nineteenth century, Black leaders fought against the biracial system, resisted discrimination, and sought full integration. Consequently, the development of Black institutions lagged and Blacks in business and politics remained dependent on whites. As white hostility intensified in

the early twentieth century, a ne v Black leadership emerged which challenged old assumptions and found racial solidarity and self-help more important than a direct attack on white racism. Heightened Black race consciousness thus stimulated institutional development (churches, social welfare groups, lodges and women's clubs, businesses, and political organizations) at the same time that white racism closed opportunties in housing and employment. Exacerbated by the great migration of 19151920, mounting racial tensions produced the bloody Chicago race riot of 1919, which Spear treats in his last chapter.



A number of other valuable studies have focused on Blacks in the city. Constance MeL. Green, in The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital, examined the interplay between Blacks and whites over issues of education, housing, social welfare, employment, and civil rights over 175 years of Washington's history." In his article on the formation of the Black ghetto of Los Angeles, Lawrence B. De

Graaf recounted the familiar pattern of Black migration followed by intensified white discrimination in housing and consequent congestion and deterioration in Black sections." In his History of the Chicago Urban League, Arvarh E. Strickland traced the development of an important institution often hampered by dependence upon white financial

support and resistance of white Chicagoans to full citizenship for Flacks." Violence caused by heightened interracial tensions over housing, jobs, politics, police tactics, and the use of recreational areas forms the central theme of William M. Tuttle, Jr., Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919.87 Elliott M. Rudwick has written perceptively o; a similar outbreak in Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917." Municipal Services

Several historians have illuminated the urban dimension of American history with important studies of municipal services. James F. Richard-

son's The New York Police: Colonial Tittles to 1901 illustrates the municipal response to urban crime and violence, at the same time reveal-

ing divided views about the role of the police in society." Mid-nineteenth-century libertarians opposed a uniformed force as a kind of standing army; urban reformers faced ih a dilemma of demanding rigorous law enforcement whit:. simultaneously seeking to limit or divide police authority. Constantly punctuated by police brutality, departmental corruption, political tampering, patronage appointments, administrative

inefficiency, and uneven law enforcement, the history of the force is hardly one of which New York's "finest" can be proud. By the twentieth century, the department remained subservient to '1 aiuinany, and New York City still did not have a professional police force. Similar themes are handled sensibly in Roger Lane, Policing the City: Boston, 1822 1885.° "' In Water for the Cities, Nelson M. Blake detailed the history of urban water supply, primarily in nineteenth-century New York, Philadel-

phia, Boston, and Baltimore.", ronicalty, municipal leaders at first sought water for tire protection a.,d street cleaning and only secondarily for drinking, although public health considerations soon forced an alteration in priorities. William W. Sorrels' Memphis' Greatest Debate: A

Question of Water provides a case study of water supply in another

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nineteenth-century city."2 listorians have done very little work on urban

fire protection, although .wo recent articles on nineteenth-century New York City by Stephen F. Ginsberg provide useful information on this important city service."" Urban transit is the subject of The Electric Interurban Railways in America by George W. Hilton and John F. Due,


and of important articles by George Rogers Taylor and George Smerk.94 Street lighting is the topic of Frederick M. Bender's useful article, "Gas Light, 1816-1860.""5 Generally ineffective municipal attempts to grapple with urban sanitation problems in the nineteenth century are handled in representative articles by Lawrence H. Larsen and Richard Skclnik."6 The history of public health in the cities has attracted several scholars. One of the best examples of this kind of history is John Duffy's A History of Public Health in New York City, 16254866." Defining public

health broadly, Duffy interwove such diverse subjects as municipal health administration, street cleaning and sanitation, market regulations, water supply sewerage and drainage, epidemic diseases, medical charity and hospitals, and the medical profession. The New York experience was fraught with shortsighted municipal health policies, inefficient and often dishonest administration, bickering within the medical profession, partisan priorities at public expense, and inadequate compromise reforms which

usually came after an epidemic or some other crisis generated public demand. Duffy's evidence buttresses R. Richard Wohl's suggestion that American cities have passed through a continuous series of "cycles of

obsolescence"that is, that cities and urban institutions have been shaped by a haphazard succession of expedients and temporary solutions to pressing municipal problems." Duffy's forthcoming second volume

will carry the story of public health in New York City down to the present. John B. Blake's Public Health in the Town of Boston, 16301822 also treats public health within the broad context of one major city's social history." Two other works, Charles E. Rosenberg's The Cholera Years and John Duffy's Sword of Pestilence, focus on the urban impact of epidemic disease. Drawing evidence and example mostly from

New York City, Rosenberg's book deals with cholera outbreaks in 1832, 1849, and 1866 and the urban environments that spawned them.""' Duffy's work analyzes the municipal response to the devastating

New Orleans yellow fever epidemic of 1853." James H. Cassedy, in Charles V. Chapin and the Public Ikalth Movement, discusses the career

of a leading sanitationist in the half century after 1880.''''' Superintendent of Health in Providence, Rhode Island, Chapin attacked outmoded health practices and promoted systematic methods and preventive techniques for maintaining public health in the city.



The history of urban public schooling has formed the subject of several works, most notably The Irony of Early School Reform: Education. Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts, by Michael

B. Katz)"" The hook focuses on three educational controver-ies in Massachusetts: the conflict over public high schools in R verly and pedagogy Groton, the contest among educators over the new "soft-lii of reformers like Horace Mann, and disagreement over new and less punitive state reform schools. Katz argued that middle- and upper-class groups imposed educational reforms such as high s-hools upon the immiAt grant and industrial working class as a technique of social cont. the same time, he demonstrated that the lower classes rejected educational innovations ostensibly designd for their benefit. Marvin Lazerson's recent work, Origins of the U,, 4.. School, covers public education in Massachusetts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.t0"

Much of Lawrence A. Cremin's The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957 deals with urban education, as does Raymond E. Callahan's Education and the Cult of Efficiency." Both books are concerned with the complex of ideas labeled "progressive" education, the social forces shaping those ideas, and the way they were expressed in instructional and administrative practices. A narrower study, Sol Cohen's Progressives and Urban School

Reform, presents the history of the Public Education Association of New York City, a powerful pressure group which'-as promoted educational innovation and reform since its origin in 1895.1" Bosses and Reformers

Interest in urban history has sparked a new examination of urban political machines, especially the emergence of bossism in the late nine-

teenth and early twentieth centuries. An essential point of departure is provided by Jerome Mushkat's book, Tammany: The Evolution of a Political Machine, 1789-1865, which traces the origins of an important early political institution whose expedient politics and pragmatic appeals

to voters kept it at the center of power and paved the way for the bossism of a later period)", An important reinterpretation of the boss phenomenon was offered by Seymour J. Mandelbaum in his book, Boss

Tweed's New York)" Unlike the more straightforward



account by Alexander B. Callow, The Tweed Ring," the Mandelbi,..n book utilizes a communications model drawn from the social scien to explain the success of the boss in achieving and wielding po 2! Mandelbaum contended that New York City in the late ninetec.o century suffered from a primitive communications network, one lacking

The History of the American City


effective channels for the distribution of information, which hampered municipal decision- making. Facing the massive problems of an expanding metropolis and with authority diffused and fragmented, municipal government remained uncoordinated, decentralized, and ineffective. Only the political boss, who lubricated the wheels of government with a "big pay-off," according to Mandelbaum, was able to overcome the archaic

communications barrier and supply the necessary coordination and centralization, though extra-legal and often illegal. Thus, the boss brought needed improvements in streets, docks, sewers, bridges, and parks, although at frightful cost, whereas the reformers who followed cut back on city services in a drive for honesty and economy. Boss Tweed, this argument runs, overcame the disorder of the city and provided positive government. The boss as provider of positive government also forms the central thesis of Zane L. Miller's Boss Cox's Cincinnati.'" According to Miller's analysis, disorder and conflict accompanied Cincinnati's rapid growth in the late nineteenth century and destroyed the old "walking city" and the sense of community which characterized it. Fashioning a Republican political machine supported by the ethnic poor of the central city and the rich of newly annexed suburbs, Boss Cox supported moderate reforms and supplied order, unity, and stable government which eased the process of urbanization. Similarly, William D. Miller's Mr. Crump of Memphis describes the boss as imposing stability upon a disorderly city and supporting progressive reforms)" Walton Bean's Boss Ruef's San Francisco traces the career of a boss who rose to power through a Union Labor party and cemented a corrupt relationship between businessmen and politicians)'2 In Boss Cermack of Chicago, Alex Gottfried analyzed the powerful machine built by an immigrant who capitalized on an ethnic base and aggressively sought and captured citywide political power)" Lyle W. Dorsett's The Pendergast Machine takes a functional view of the classic machine in Kansas City dominated by Jim and Tom Pendergast between the 1890's and the 1930's, finding substantive urban accomplishments in boss rule."4 In The New Deal and they Last Hurrah: Pittsburgh Machine Politics, Bruce M. Stave contradicted the popular

conception that the New Deal destroyed boss-dominatPi urban machines.'" Using quantitative data and techniques of social analysis, Stave demonstrated that by facilitating the transfer of urban political power from Republicans to Democrats, New Deal policies, especially federal work relief, actually strengthened the Democratic machine of David L. Lawrence.

Like the boss, the urban reformer has been a perennial subject of investigation. One of the most important recent books in this area of



urban history is Melvin G. Holli's Reform in Detroit: Hazen S. Pingree

and Urban Politics, which examines the career of a reform mayor is the 1890's."" Holli used Pingree's mayorality to illustrate two distinctly different reform traditions: structural reform, which stemmed from middle-class values and assumptions and which emphasized businesslike efficiency and honesty in government; and social reform, which displayed concern for immigrant, working-class conditions and which aimed at the root causes of urban problems rather than the symptoms. Pingree began

as a typical businessman in politics, but realized by the time of the 1893 depression the need for reforms which would improve the life of most city residents. Thus, Pingree's administrations focused on municipal ownership, lower utility rates and better services, home rule, tax equal-

ization, social welfare programs, improved schools, more parks and public baths, and other social justice reforms. Holli contradicts Richard Hofstadter's "status revolution" interpretation of progressivism, at least as far as Detroit is concerned, by demonstrating Pingree's dependence on labor and immigrant voters. A similar point had been made earlier

about progressive reform by J. Joseph Huthmacher in an important article, "Urban LiberalisM and the Age of Reform."7 Important case; studies of urban reform in the late nineteenth and early twentieth cen-; turies include books on Boston by Arthur Mann, on Memphis by William D. Miller, on New Orleans by Joy J. Jackson, and on Baltimore by James B. Crooks."" Specific studies of urban reformers were made by Gerald Kurland on Seth Low, by Edwin R. Lewinson on John Purroy Mitchel, by Arthur Mann and Charles Garrett on Fiore llo LaGuardia, by J. Joseph Huthmacher on Robert F. Wagner, and by Jack Tager on Brand Whitlock.," Social Welfare

The starting place for the history of urban social welfare remains Robert Bremner's From the Depths: The Discovery of Poverty in the United States.12" A broad survey covering the years from the 1830's to the 1930's, Bremner's book analyzes changing ideologies about poverty, the development of voluntary charity and professional social work, and the central concern of twentieth-century progressives for the urban poor. Several more recent studies have elaborated segments of Bremner's larger story. Raymond A. Mohl's Poverty in New York, 1783-

1825, a volume in the Urban Life in America series, reveals the surprisingly high incidence of urban poverty and pauperism in the preindustrial period.'21 The hook traces patterns of public assistance and private humanitarianism, finding evidence of hardening attitudes toward

The History of the American City


the poor. By 1825, municipal leaders and charity spokesmen had abandoned earlier benevolent precepts and uniformly blamed poverty on the poor. As immigration, industrialization, and urbanization altered the urban environment, and as old institutional forms broke down in the transitional city--disturbing changes typified by the alarming visibility

of the poorbenevolence increasingly became a technique of social control, a method of restoring order and stability. A similar thesis was argued by David J. Rothman in The Discovery of the Asylum: Social

Order and Disorder in the New Republic.'22 Analyzing the role of prisons, poorhouses, and asylums, primarily in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, Rothman found that institutional discipline took on familial forms and sought to enforce social order at a time when urban disorder and family disorganization seemed prevalent among criminals and the poor.

Other studies in social welfare history have also expanded our knowledge of the urban past. Nathan 1. Huggins' Protestants Against Poverty: Boston's Charities, 1870-1900 analyzes changes in urban philanthropy within the context of the expanding, "fragmented" city and

a consequent decline in the sense of community which characterized Boston in earlier years.'-' As Huggins suggested, charity "reformers" attempted to rationalize urban philanthropy, emphasized moral uplift rather than relief for the needy, and urged the poor to adopt middle-class values and behavior as a means of restoring their commitment to "community." The question of youth and juvenile delinquency in relation to

the larger urban society is treated in Robert S. Pickett's House of Refuge: Origins of Juvenile Reform in New York State, 1815-1857, a study of a single institution and its influence, and in Joseph M. Hawes's Children in Urban Society: Juvenile Delinquency in Nineteenth Century

America, a wide-ranging and sensitive analysis which finds gradual abandonment of moralistic attitudes toward youth and increasing individualization of treatment as the nineteenth century progressed.'" Allen F. Davis' Spearheads for Reform: The Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890 -19/4 discusses the primarily immigrantoriented settlement houses which emerged by the 1890's in industrial cities.'2' The settlements, according to Davis, especially the nondenom-

inational ones, sponsored needed neighborhood programs, tempered nativist demands for Americanization by building ethnic pride and urging preservation of immigrant heritages, and eventually led larger efforts for social and political reform as a means of improving life for immigrants and the poor. Louise C. Wade's Graham Taylor: Pioneer for Social Justice, 1851-1938 and Daniel Levine's Jane Addams and the Liberal Tradition reveal these trends in two important settlements in Ch icago.1 6



The Urban Worker The working class has always formed a large and important component of urban society. Several works which might more properly be called labor history have explored the place of the urban worker and his institutions. Carl Bridenbaugh's The Colonial Craftsman describes the life and work patterns of artisans in the colonial city.'27 The trades

union movement of the 1820's and 1830's and the role of the urban worker in the Jacksonian era have received considerable attention. In The Age of Jackson, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., effectively advocated the "urban labor thesis" as an explanation of Jacksonian democracy.'28 This argument abandoned the sectional interpretation of Jacksonianism, found a class conflict explanation more in accord with the circumstances of the time, and held that crucial support for Jackson came from the urban lower classes. Schlesinger's work touched off an intensive investigation by historians, notably Edward Pessen and William A. Sullivan, into the workingmen's movement in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and other cities."'" The position of labor spokesmen and an

analysis of proposed social and economic reforms are set forth in Edward Pessen's Most Uncommon Jacksonians: The Radical Leaders of the Early Labor Movement.'" Walter Irlugins' Jacksonian Democracy and the Working Class is a detailed study of the workingmen's move-

ment in New York City."' Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872, by David Montgomery, contains important material on urban labor organization in mid-nineteenth century."' On a later period, Melvyn Dubofsky's When Workers Organize: New York City in the Progressive Era records organizational efforts among unskilled and semi-skilled workers, particularly i i the garment trades, climaxed by an unsuccessful general strike in 1916.1" In addition, urban excellent studies, historians have generally overlooked a number written primarily by specialists in the field of in&strial relations, which detail the history of the labor movement in specific cities. Representative works of this kind have covered Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and San Francisco."' The Urban Church

The role of religion in American urban life has been closely examined. An important recent study, Carroll Smith Rosenberg's Religion and the Rise of the American City analyzes the urban missionary movement in nineteenth-century New York City and finds the roots of the "social gospel" in the ante-bellum period."5 Alvin W. Skardon's Church Leader in the Cities, which treats the career of mid-nineteenth-century

The History of the American City


urk an ch'rchman William Augustus Muhlenberg, also ties social reform to religious sponsorship.'" A number of earlier scholars, notably Aaron

I. Abell, Charles H. Hopkins, Henry F. May, and Robert D. Cross, traced the emergence of the social gospel in Protestant and Catholic churches from the post-Civil War industrial era into the twentieth century."7 Robert D. Cross' The Church and the City, 1865-1910 is a collection of relevant documents distinguished for its brilliant analytical introduction."" Cross established four useful typologies to differentiate among urban churches and their varied responses to the modern city: transformationschanges which occurred when old, established churches

became "downtown" churches; transplantationsefforts, usually by newcomers, to recreate in the city churches similar to those they had known in town or country; adaptationschurches which made special efforts to deal with some specific urban problem in a special way (such as revivalism, adventism, or Christian Science); reintegrationsattempts to restore the church to a community-wide role, usually in the form of the "institutional church." Documentary selections illustrate the four typol-

ogies. Two other recent studies, both biographies, need mentioning. James F. Findlay, Jr. wrote an excellent study of an important urban revivalist preacher, Dwight L. Moody, and Jacob H. Dorn wrote a fine biography of Washington Gladden, one of the leading exponents of liberal theology and the social gospel in the late nineteenth and early twentieth

centuries.'" Urban Violence and Social Tensions Two exemplary books published in recent years suggest the intensity of social tension in the history of urban America. The first, Leonard L. Richards' "Gentlemen of Property and Standing": Anti-Abolition Mobs in Jacksonian America, focuses on urban violence, primarily in New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Utica.'4t Urging unwanted social change and condemned as "amalgamators" (that is, advocates of intermarriage between Blacks and whites), militant abolitionists became the target of urban mobs in the 1830's and 1840's. Richards distinguished between two types of riots: the organized mob, typically premeditated and planned, which had specific limited goals and whose leadership came from the urban elite; and the unorganized mob, usually larger, more spontaneous, more destructive, composed primarily of lower-class

whites more interested in terrorizing Blacks than abolitionists. The second book, Kenneth T. Jackson's The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930, contradicts the traditional assumption of the Klan as primarily a rural institution, finding instead that it had surprising strength



in the cities, both north and south; roughly 50 per cent of all 'Clan members between 1915 and 1944, according to Jackson, resided in metropolitan areas of more than 50,000 persons.'" Jackson attributed the Klan's urban strength and popularity to the numerous disturbing and threatening changes posed by the metropolis, especially the concern of white Protestants about heavy immigration from southern and eastern Europe and migration of southern Blacks to northern

City Planning, Architecture, and Housing

Several important studies of city planning were published in the 1960's. John W. Reps, The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States, is a wide-ranging survey of planning

up to the twentieth century which emphasizes the interplay between town design and changing American values and perceptions of "civic beauty.""' The book is lavishly illustrated with city plans, maps, and drawings, further enhancing its value as a teaching and research tool. Reps has also published three additional studies with a more specific focusthe history of planning in colonial Virginia and Maryland, in frontier America, and in Washington, D.C.'4" Another major study, Mel Scott's American City Planning Since 1890, emphasizes the ideology of leading planners and their efforts to shape public policy. 144 Critical

of "the persistent disposition [in planning) to favor private gain rather than the enlargement of opportunity for the general public," Scott contended that city planners can become strategists for social change in modern urban America. Clarence S. Stein's Toward New Towns for America is an historical and pictorial summary of the "new town" movement in the twentieth century by one who participated in that effort."'" The close connection between zoning and urban planning, physical growth, and spatial development is suggested in Seymour Toll's Zoned American. ''!°

A key study which integrates the history of city planning and urban architecture is American Skyline: The Growth and Form of Our Cities and Towns by Christopher Tunnard and Henry Hope Reed."' Tunnard and Reed established seven periods of city growth in the United States,

each with distinctively different patterns of architecture and urban forms and each reflecting changed cultural and economic values. In The Architecture of America: A Social and Cultural History, John Burchard and Albert Bush Brown provided a broad survey of American architecture emphasizing city developments." Wayne Andrews' Architecture, Ambition and Americans covers similar ground with considerably less detail.'" Two important books by Carl W. Condit also deal extensively with urban architecture and building."'"

The History of the American City

A number of specialized studies of planning and architecture provide important insights for urban history. Mel Scott wrote a case history of planning and spatial development in San Fran:is:0 entitled The San Francisco Bay Area: A Metropolis in Perspectiv" In Chicago: The Growth of a Metropolis, Harold M. Mayer and Richard C. Wade used photographic material extensively and combined the skills of geographer

and historian in tracing urban growth and physical change.'52 Edmund H. Chapman's Cleveland: Village to Metropolis relates planning and architecture to the physical development of the city in the nineteenth century.'" Walter Muir Whitehill does the same for Boston in Boston: A Topographical History.154 Bu !finch's Boston, 1787-1817, by Harold Kirker and James Kirker, interweaves political and social history with the career of Charles Bulfinch, a town selectman and civi: leader, but also an influential architect whose numerous public and private buildings

over several decades imposed the neo-classical Georgian, or Federal, style on early nineteenth-century Boston.155 William H. Wilson's The City Beautifu, Movement in Kansas City discusses an important early example of civic improvement and urban planning, arguing that American influences, primarily the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, were more significant than Roman or Parisian neo-classical styles in giving shape and inspiration to the Kansas City movement.''" The work of Olmsted is evaluated by Albert Fein and S. B. Sutton in separate collections of the writings of this pioneer city planner, landscape and park designer, and advocate of "organic" urban growth.'" Several works have focused on industrial city planning or emphasized the interconnection betweer: urban planning and housing. Stanley Buder's Pul linen: An Experiment in industrial Order and Community Planning, 1880-1930 presents the history of George Pullman's once heralded model industrial town which quickly earned the opprobrium of workers.'58 Pullman's pervasive paternalism was reflected in the company's effort to impose social order and moral values on industrial vorkers while simultaneously earning extra profits through high rent ana utility chargespolicies which contributed directly to the violent and destructive Pullman _itrike of 1894. Later planned industrial towns, such as U. S. Steel's Gary, Indiana, consciously sought to avoid Pullmaa-ty;)e paternalism, although with notably meager results.'" The close relationship between planning and housing is noted in two books by Roy Lubove. In The Progressives and the Slums, Lubove detailed the various

avenues of tenement-house reform in New York City, focusing especially on the career of reformer Lawrence Veiller.'"" Lubove has also written C'ommunity Planning in the 1920's: The Contribution of the Regional Planning Association of America."' A private group headed by archi-

tects Henry Wright and Clarence Stein and generalist Lewis MUmford,



the RPAA opposed metropolitan centralization, suburban diffusion, and the "dinosaur city." Instead, the group advocated community planning on a regional basis, contending that the automobile, the superhighway, and electrical power systems permitted establishment of regional cities, thus preserving rural advantages, attaining regional bp' .nce of population

and resources, and achieving desirable community relationships and social goals. Recognizing that the speculative housing industry had inadequately provided for population needs in the cities, the RPAA experimented with a variety of housing types and methods of financing, but failed to convince real estate interests that good housing could be built for moderate and low-income people and still turn a profit. Joseph L. Arnold's The New Deal in the Suburbs: A History of the Greenbelt

Town Program, 1935-1954 has a similar conclusion.'" An effort to demonstrate the advantages of "new towns" over decaying central cities and economically segregated suburbs, the greenbelt program failed, Arnold suggested, because it threatened entrenched city business interests and established urban growth patterns. Real estate people and the construction industry, for example, remained hostile to the greenbelt concept of low-cost housing as a radical challenge to private enterprise; others objected to cooperative institutions or the intermixture of poor and affluent families in the greenbelt towns.

Attitudes Toward the City Several studies during the decade of the 1960's probed shifting attitudes toward urban life or analyzed the way Americans have perceived cities. The persistent theme of anti-urbanism in the United States pro-

vides the focus of The Intellectual Versus the City, by Morton and Lucia White.'" The Whites traced hostilities to the city from the writings

of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to those of John Dewey and Frank Lloyd Wright and found two significant varieties of anti-urban thought: a romantic view, typified by Jefferson, which saw the city as overcivilized and destructive of nature and virtue; and a reformist tradi-

tion, reflected in the thought of Jane Addams or Henry James, which saw the city as undercivilized, lacking a proper sense of community, and

requiring reform. Buttressing the Whites' basic theme, Robert H. Walker's article, "The Poet and the Rise of the City," reveals an antiurban bias in late ninet:enth-century poetry, which portrays the city as filled with crime, poverty, alcoholism, sexual deviation, anxiety, and

materialisma stark contrast to the claimed virtues of rural life.'" Similar arguments were made in earlier studies of American fiction by George Dunlap, Blanche H. Gelfant, and Eugene Arden.'"5

The History of the American City


Yet, there is also evidence for a pro-urban tradition, as Charles N. Glaab suggests in his article, "The Historian and the American Urban Tradition."'" Along the same lines, Michael H. Cowan, in City of the West: Emerson, America, and Urban Metaphor, disagreed with the Whites' evaluation of Emerson as anti-urban.'" Cowan argued instead that although Emerson recognized the multiple dangers symbolized by urbanization, he also viewed the modern city as a potential source of great creativity and freedom. In Back to Nature: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America, Peter J. Schmitt contended that the "back to nature" movement of the early twentieth century did not reflect anti-city attitudes or nostalgia for a rural past.'" Rather, nature stories, wilderness novels,

movies of the outdoors, summer camps, scouting, birdwatching, and other reflections of popular culture represented an effort to reinvigorate city life on the part of those who had consciously chosen an urban habitat. In Images of the American City, sociologist Anslem Strauss drew upon popular writings and "partisan" urban literature to explore Americans' changing and diverse perceptions of cities as reflected in symbolic imagery.1°" Don S. Kirschner, in City and Country: Rural Responses to Urbanization in the 1920's, examined rural perceptions of the city, arguing that real economic distress rather than status anxiety fostered an anti-urban bias.'" Scott Donaldson's The Suburban Myth is an extensive history of attitudes toward suburbs and suburbanization.'71

New Directions in Urban History In recent years, new questions and new techniques of analysis applied

to new sources stimulated the emergence of what practitioners have called the "new urban history." In their preface to Nineteenth-Century Cities: Essays in the New Urban History, Stephan Thernstrom and Richard Sennett identified three characteristics shared by most studies in the new urban history: application of sociological theory to historical materials; use of quantitative techniques; and an interest in broadening

the scope of urban history to include the "social experience" of the ordinary and inarticulate people normally omitted from the historian's record of the past.'72 Mostly dealing in quantitative matters, the new urban historians have concentrated on nineteenth-century cities because of the availability of manuscript census schedules (especially for the period 1850-1880); they also make use of city directories, marriage license files, birth certificates, assessors' records, bank accounts, school records, and the like. In a separate article, "Reflections on the New Urban History," Thernstrom catalogued some of the findings of recent



researchers: tremendously high rates of urban population turnover; positive correlations between lack of economic success and spatial mobility in the city; and a general fluidity in rates of occupational and social mobility, although the rates varied for different ethnic groups and Blacks had considerably reduced opportunities.'" Only a few studies in the new urban history have reached conclusion, although many are in progress. Thernstrom's Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century City is an important early work.'" Utilizing samples from manuscript census schedules for Newburyport, Massachusetts, between 1850 and 1880, Thernstrom tested the conception of

nineteenth-century America as a land of opportunity for the working class, He found class antagonisms, considerable out-migration of those; who failed economically in the city, and generally limited upward mobility for those who remained. Wages were low, necessitating rigorous underconsumption and employment of wives and children if the family was to acquire property. An unskilled laborer often acquired a home by the end of his lifetime, but occupational mobility was usually limited to his children, who might move up to semi-skilled status. In The Plain People of Boston, 1830-1860: A Study in City Growth, Peter R. Knights used quantitative techniques to analyze demographic trends and population movements.175 Among his several conclusions, Knights detected tremendously high rates of population turnover in Boston, amounting

to about 40 per cent annually by the 1850'sa finding suggesting the intense flux of urban life and population. Shorter studies using similar techniques have tackled the problem of nineteenth-century mobility in Philadelphia, Paterson (New Jersey), Atlanta, Poughkeepsie (New York), San Antonio, Cairo ( Illinois), Birmingham (Alabama), and Roseburg ( Oregon ) .17"

A few works in the "new" urban history have gone beyond quantitative

mobility studies to draw larger conclusions about urban society. For example, Richard Sennett's Families Against the City: Middle Class Homes of industrial Chicago, 1872-1890 utilizes sociological and psychological models and applies quantitative techniques to social data in an effort to illuminate the urban and industrial impact on middle-class family life in the Union Park section of Chicago.'77 Analysis of manuscript census data showed that most Union Park residents lived in nuclear family units, that most families had few children, that children left home at a relatively advanced age, that they married late, and that occupational and social mobility between generations was limited. This evidence led Sennett to speculate that the nuclear family provided a retreat from the fearful realities of the industrial city.

The History of the American City


A second new direction in the writing of American urban history has emphasized what Roy Lubove has called "the process of city building over time." Much of this new literature has grown from the earlier suggestions of economic historian Eric Lampard, who, in a numner of articles, criticized traditional urban history, especially the city biography and the urban problems approaches on the grounds of outmoded methodology and limited vision.'` Rather, Lampard argued, historians should

be studying urbanization as a "societal process"that is, examining "interacting elements" (such as population, topography, economy, social organization, political process, civic leadership, urban imagery) for dis-

tinctive patterns in a city's development. More recently, both Roy Lubove and Sam Bass Warner, Jr. have urged a similar approach. In an important article on "The Urbanization Process: An Approach to Historical Research," Lubove suggested the utility of the "city-building process" as a conceptual framework for analyzing decision-making, social organization, and change in the urban environment.11' Lubove

illustrated this approach in his book Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh: Government, Business, and Environmental Change.'" Concerned

change in the physical environment and the nature of decision-making which effects such change, Lubove concluded that a corporate and business elite shaped the city. The elite dominated early movements for environmental change, but the voluntary character of reform organizations, the failure to use governmental coercion, and conflicting interests within the business community prevented these efforts from succeeding. But in the post-World War II period, a regional economic crisis forced the elite to overcome business factionalism and sponsor a "reverse welfare state," expanding public power to rebuild and revitalize the city's downtown, primarily for private purposes. Yet, the business-inspired Pittsburgh "Renaissance" did little to expand or improve lower-class

housing, and neighborhood action groups emerged in the 1960's to challenge elite decision-making. An important elaboration of Lampard's original suggestions, Warner':;

article "If All the World Were Philadelphia: A Scaffolding for Urban History, 1774-1930" provides a model for the collection and comparison of information on urban social and economic change.'TM' Warner argued that there can be no systematic analysis of the process of urbanization until data for different time periods are collected on population, industrialization, social geography (residential patterns and location of workplaces), and shifts in occupation and the social organization of work. Warner applied this methodology in his book The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth.'`'' Like Lubove, Warner



focused on the city-building process. Analyzing social data from three periods in Philadelphia's history (the colonial town of 1770-1780, the big city of 1830-1860, and the industrial metropolis of 1920-1930), Warner concluded that the city has been primarily an arena for private economic opportunity. This tradition of "privatism" shaped urban decision-making and thus the city's environment as well. Philadelphia became "a com-

munity of private moneymakers" but never succeeded in creating a humane urban environment.

Warner also used a sophisticated methodology in his earlier book, Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900, an important illustration of the urbanization process and environmental change)" Warner traced suburban growth in Roxbury, West Roxbury, and Dorchester to technological innovations in the form of streetcar lines, which, along with the rural appeal of suburban living, drew Boston

residents outward from the central city. An examination of building permits and construction patterns led to the further conclusion that economic class lines determined neighborhood structure, that architectural and housing styles were strikingly similar in such economically differentiated neighborhoods, and that community life had "fragmented" with suburban growth. Teaching Tools

The rapid expansion of urban history as a teaching and research field has been accompanied by a proliferation of readers and documentary collections aimed at classroom use.'" Dwight W. Hoover's A Teacher's Guide to American Urban History is an important and useful handbook for teachers, containing suggested teaching units and guides to bibliography, films, and other printed and audio-visual aids)m5 Also useful for teachers of urban history are the volumes in the Localized History series published by Teachers College, Columbia University. Individual volumes in the series deal with separate cities, states, regions, and ethnic groups.' N" Additional bibliographical materials can be found in articles

by Blake McKelvey, Charles N. Glaab, and Allen F. Davis.'" The Urban History Group Newsletter, published twice yearly by the history department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, contains up-todate bibliography in each issue; some of the early issues included suggested course outlines and teaching materials.'" The past decade has

also witnessed publication of a flood of writings, untreated in this chapter, which examine the contemporary urban condition, diagnose the ills of our cities, and prescribe cures for the modern metropolis.

The History of the American City


American urban history came alive in the decade of the 1960's. Teach-

ers of American history at every level have virtually limitless opportunities for exploring the urban dimension of the American past. The

richness of subject matter, the multitude of new writings, and the diversity of methodology make urban history one of the most challeng-

ing and exciting areas of historical endeavor. The problems and the promise of the contemporary city also make it one of the most important. FOOTNOTES ` John Bach McMaster. A History of the People of the United States, From the Revolution to the Civil War. 8 vols.; New York: D. Appleton, 1883-1913; Edward Channing. A History of the United States. 6 vols.; New York: Macmillan, 19051925.

2 Ray Allen Billington. "Why Some Historians Rarely Write History: A Case Study of Frederick Jackson Turner." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 50: 3-27; No. I, June 1963. p. 16. 'Arthur M. Schlesinger. The Rise of the City, 1878-1898. New York: Macmillan, 1933; Carl Bridenbaugh. Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America, 1625-1742. New York: Ronald Press, 1938.

Charles N. Glaab. "The Historian and the American City: A Bibliographic Survey," in Philip M. Hauser and Leo F. Schnore, editors. The Study of Urbanization. New York: John Wiley, 1965. p. 55.

5 Stephan Thernstrom. "Reflections on the New Urban History." Daedalus 100: 359-375; No. 2, Spring 1971. p. 359.

'Arthur M. Schlesinger. "The City in American History." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 27: 43-66; No. I, June 1940. On a much broader c.cale, see Lewis Mumford. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961. Also suggestive is Oscar Handlin. "The Modern City as a Field of Historical Study," in Oscar Handlin and

John Burchard, editors. The Historian and the City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press and Harvard University Press, 1963. pp. 1-26. 7 William Diamond. On the Dangers of an Urban Interpretation of History," in Eric F. Goldman, editor. Historiography and Urbanization: Essays in American

History in Honor of W. Stull Holt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1941. pp. 67-108.

Bayrd Still. The History of the City in American Life." The American Review, 2: 20-34; No. 2, May 1962; Richard C. Wade. "The City in HistorySome American Perspectives," in Werner Z. Hirsch, editor. Urban Life and Form. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963. pp. 59-79; Richard C. Wade. "Urbanization," in C. Vann Woodward, editor. The Comparative Approach to American History. New York: Basic Books, 1968. pp. 187-205; Blake McKelvey. "Urban Social and Economic Institutions in North America," in Recueils de la Societe Jean Bodin. VII, 1955. pp. 653-676. See also Raymond A. Mohl and Neil Betten.

"The History of Urban America: An Interpretive Framework." The Ilistory Teacher, III, 3: 23-34; No. 3, March 1970.

'Charles N. Glaab and A. Theodore Brown. A History of Urban America,

New York: Macmillan, 1967. "Constance McL. Green. The Rise of Urban America. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

" Constance McL. Green. American Cities in the Growth of the Nation. New York: De Graff, 1957.



" Blake McKelvey. The Urbanization of America, 1860-1915. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1963. " Blake McKelvey. The Emergence of Metropolitan America, 1915-1966. New

Brunswick. N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1968. On the same period, see also George E. Mowry. The Urban Nation, /9204960. New York: Hill and Wang, 1965.

" Page Smith. As a City Upon a Hill: The Town in American History. New York: Knopf, 1966.

'5 Blake McKelvey. Rochester. 1, The It'ater-Power City, /8/2 -1854: Ii, The Flower Cit.., /855 -1890; III, The Quest for Quality, /890 -1925: IV, An Emerging Metropolis, 1925-1961. 1-111, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 19451956; IV, Rochester, N.Y.: Christopher Press, 1961; Bessie I.. Pierce. A History of Chicago. I, The Beginning of a City, 1673-1848: II, From Town to City, 1848/87/: III, The Rise of a Modern City, 1871-1893. New York: Knopf, 1937-1957; Constance Md.. Green. Washington: Village and Capital, 1800-1878. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962, and Washington: Capital City, 1879-1950. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963; Bayrd Still. Milwaukee: The History of a City. rev. ed.; Madison, Wisc.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1965.

"Thomas J. Wertenhaker. Norfolk: Historic Southern Port. rev. ed.; Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1962; Gerald M. Capers, Jr. The Biography of a River Town: Memphis, Its Heroic Age. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1939; Leland D. Baldwin. Pittsburgh: The Story of a City. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1937; Sidney Glazer. Detroit: A Study in Urban Development. New York: Bookman Associates, 1965; Marilyn McAdams Sibley. The Port of Houston: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968; David G. McComb. Houston: The Bayou City. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969; Robert M. Fogelson. The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967; Herman R. Lantz. A Com-

munity in Sarch of Itself: A Case History of Cairo, Illinois. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972; Lawrence L. Graves, editor. A History

of Lubbock. 3 vols.; Lubbock, Tex.: West Texas Museum Association, 1959-1961; Norman H. Clark. Mill Town: A Social History of Everett, Washington, from Its

Earliest Beginnings on the Shores of Puget Sound to the Tragic and Infamous Event Known as the Everett Massacre. Seattle: University of Vashington Press, 1970: Charles N. Glaab and Lawrence H. Larsen. Factories in the Valley: NeenahMenasha, 1870-1915. Madison, Wisc.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1969; Edgar B. Wesley. Owatonna: The .Social Development of a Minnesota Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1938; Rollin G. Osterweis. Three Centuries of New Haven, 1638-1938. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953; Constance McL. Green. History of Naugatuck, Connecticut. Naugatuck, Conn.:

1948; Constance Md.. Green. Holyoke, Massachusetts: A Case History of the Industrial Revolution in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939; Vera Shlakman. Economic History of a Factory Town: A Study of Chicopee, Massachuseus. Smith College Studies in History, XX, 1934 -1935; John Borden Armstrong. Factory Under the Elms: A History of Harrisville, New Hampshire, /774-1969. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1969. "Sidney I. Pomerantz. Nov York: An American City, 1783-1803. 2nd ed. Port Washington, N.Y.: Ira J. Friedman, 1965; Ralph Weld. Brooklyn Village, /8 /6/834. New York: Columbia University Press, 1938; Harold C. Syrett. The City of Brooklyn, /865 -1898. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944; Floyd R. Dain. Every House a Frontier: Detroit's Economic Progress, 1815-1825. Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1956: Charles R. Poinsatte. Fort Wayne During the Canal Era, 1828-185.5: A Study of a Western Community in the Middle Period of American History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1969; Catherine E. Reiser. Pittsburgh's Commercial Development, 1800-1850. Harrisburg: Pennsyl-

The History of the American City

vania Historical and Museum Commission, 1951; James Sterling Young.



Washington Community, 1800-1828. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966; A. Theodore Brown. Frontier Community: Kansas City to 1870. Columbia, Mo.:

University of Missouri Press, 1963. " Carl Bridenbaugh. Cities in the Wilderness and Cities in Revolt: Urban life in America, 1743-1776. New York: Knopf, 1955. '9 Durrett B. Rutman. Winthrop's Boston: Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649.

Chapel Hill. N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1965; G. B. Warden. Boston, 1689-1776. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970. "Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh. Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin. New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1942; Frederick B. Tolles. Meet-

ing House and Counting House: The Quaker Merchants of Colonial Philadelphia,

/6824763. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1948; Arthur L. Madison, Wise.: State Jensen. The Maritime Commerce of Colonial Philadelphia. Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1963. "Thomas J. Condon. New York Beginnings: The Commercial Origins of New Netherland. New York: New York University Press, 1968; Van Cleaf Bachman. Pe !tries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 1623-1639. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969.

" Clarence P. Gould. "The Economic Causes of the Rise of Baltimore," in Leonard W. Labaree, editor. Essays in Colonial History Presented to Charles McLean Andrews by His Students. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1931. pp. 225-251.

"Thomas J. Wertenbaker. The Golden Age of Colonial Culture. 2nd edition, rev. New York: New York University Press, /949. "James H. Soltow. The Economic Role of Williamsburg. Williamsburg, Vc.: Colonial Williamsburg, 1965; Carl Bridenbaugh. Seat of Empire: The Political Role of Eighteenth - Century Williamsburg. rev. ed. Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg, 1958.

'Charles S. Grant. Democracy in the Connevicut Frontier Town of Kent New York: Columbia University Press, 1961. '4 Kenneth A. Lockridge. A New England Town: Ti,,' First Hundred Years. Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736. New York: Norton, 1970. Michael Zuckerman. Peaceable Kingdoms: New England Towns in the Eighteenth Century. New York: Knopf, 1970, " Sumner Chilton Powell. Puritan Village: The Formation of a Nov England Town. Middletown. Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1963; John Demos. A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; Darren B. Rutman. Husbandmen of Plymouth: Farms and Villa,s,'es in the Old Colony, 1620-1692, Boston: Beacon Press, 1967; Philip J. Greven, Jr. Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1970. See also William Haller, Jr, The Puritan Frontier: Town-Planning in New England Colonial Development, 1630-1660. New York: Columbia University Press, 1951 and Anthony N. B. Garvan. Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial Connecticut. New

Haven: Yale University Press, 1951.

"John C. Rainbolt, "The Absence of Towns in Colonial Virginia." Journal of Southern History 35: 343 -36(1; No. 3, August 1969. "° Benjamin W. Labaree. Patriots and Partisans: The Merchants of Newburyport, 1764-1815. Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962. Schlesinger's classic work, The Colonial Aferchants and the American Revolution, New York; Columbia University Press, 1918, remains useful, along with two other early studies: Virginia D. Harrington. The New York Merchant (m the Eve of the Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press, 1935; and Leila Sellers. Charleston Business on

the Eve of the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Caro-

lina Press, 1934.



" Richard Walsh. Charleston's Sons of Liberty: A Study of the Artisans, 1763Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1959. " Jesse Lemisch. "Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd series. 25: 371-407; No. 3, July 1968; Jesse Lemisch. "The American Revolution Seen from the Bottom Up," in Barton J. Bernstein, editor. Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History. pp. 3-45; New York: Pantheon, 1968; Staughton Lynd. "The Mechanics in New York Politics, 1774-1788." Labor History 5: 225-246; No. 3, Fall 1964. 1789.

33 Richard D. Brown. Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard

University Press, 1970.

" Hiller B. Zobel. The Boston Massacre. New York: Norton, 1970; Pauline Maier. "Popular Uprisings and Civil Authority in Eighteenth-Century America." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd series. 27: 3-35; No. 1, January 1970; Pauline Maier. "The Charleston Mob and the Evolution of Popular Politics in Revolutionary South Carolina. 1765-1784." Perspectives in American History, IV (1970). pp. 173-196.

"Jackson Turner Main. The Social Structure of Revolutionary America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965. "David T. Gilchrist, editor. The Growth of the Seaport Cities, 1790-1825. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1967. " Robert G. Albion. The Rise of the New York Port, 1815-1860. New York: Scribner's, 1939.

"Jcan Gottmann. Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund, 1961.

" George Rogers Taylor, "American Urban Growth Preceding the Railway Age." Journal of Economic History 27: 309-339; No. 3, September 1967; Allan R.

Pred. "Manufacturing in the American Mercantile City, 1800-1840." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 56: 307-338; No. 2, June 1966; Jeffrey G. Williamson. "Antebellum Urbanization in the American Northeast." Journal of Economic History 25: 592-608; No. 4, December 1965. 4" James W. Livingood. The Philadelphia-Baltimore Trude Rivalry, 1780-1860.

Harrisburg. Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1947; Wyatt W. 1.:eicher. The Economic Rivalry Between St. Louis and Chicago, 1850-1880. New York: Columbia University Press, 1947; Edward C. Kirkland. Men, Cities, and Transportation: A Study in New England History, 1820-1900. 2 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948; Glenn C. Quiett. They Built the West: An Epic of Rails and Cities. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1934. 'Julius Rubin. Canal or Railroad? Imitation and Innovation in the Response to the Erie Canal in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston. Philadelphia: American

Philosophical Society, 1961. "Charles N. Glaab. Kansas City and the Railroads: Community Policy in the Growth of a Regional Metropolis. Madison, Wisc.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 1962. " Merl E. Reed. New Orleans and the Railroads: The Struggle for Commercial Empire. 1830-1860. Baton Rouge. La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1966. " Leonard P. Curry. Rail Routes. South: Lottisville'.s Fight for the Southern Market, 1865-1872. l.exington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1969. " Richard C. Wade. The Urban Frontier: The Rise of Western Cities, 17901830. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959. See also Wade's article, "Urban Life in Western America, 1790-1830." American Historical Review 64: 14-30; No. I, October 1958. "Bayrd Still. "Patterns of Mid-Nineteenth Century Urbanization in he Middle West." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 28: 187-206; No. 2, September 1941.

The History of the American City


"Lewis Atherton. Main Street on the Middle Border. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1954.

" Robert R. Dykstra. The Cattle Towns: A Social History of the Kansas Cattle Trading Centers. New York: Knopf, 1968. "Kenneth W. Wheeler, To Wear a City's. Crown: The Beginnings of Urban Growth in Texas, 1836-1865. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968. " Duane A. Smith. Rocky Mountain Mining Camps: The Urban Frontier. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1967. James B. Allen. The Company Town in the American West. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966. 52 Thomas A. Clinch. Urban Populism and Free Silver in Montana: A Narrative

of Ideology in Political Action. Missoula, Mont.: University of Montana Press, 1970.

" Robert L. Martin. The City Moves West: Economic and Industrial Growth in Central West Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969. " Earl Pomeroy. The Pacific Slope: A History of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho...Utah, and Nevada. New York: Knopf, 1965. pp. 120-164. "Leonard J.-Arrington. Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958. " Daniel J. Boorstin. The Americans: The National Experience. New York: Random House, 1965. pp. 113-168. 57 John G. Clark. New Orleans, 1718-1812: An Economic History. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1970. 68 Robert C. Reinders. End of an Era: New Orleans, 1850-1860. New Orleans: Pelican, 1964. " George C. Rogers, Jr. Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969. D. Clayton James. Antebellum Natchez. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1968. Emory M. Thomas. The Confederate State of Richmond: A Biography of the Capital. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971. " Kenneth Coleman. Confederate Athens. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1967.

" Gerald M. Capers. Occupied City: New Orleans Under the Federals, 1862-

1865. Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1965.

" Durward Long. "The Making of Modern Tampa: A City of the New South, 1885-1911." Florida Historical Quarterly 49: 333-345; No. 4, April 1971.

" Rupert B. Vance and Nicholas J. Demerath, editors. The Urban South.

Chapel Hill, NC.: University of North Carolina Press, 1954. "Oscar Handlin. The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. "Oscar Handlin. Boston's Immigrants: Study in Acculturation. rev. ed.; Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959. " Robert Ernst. Immigrant Life in New York City, 1825-1863. New York: King's Crown Press, 1949.

"Earl F. Niehaus. The Irish in New Orleans, 1800-1860. Baton Rouge, La.:

Louisiana State University Press, 1965.

" Donald B. Cole. Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1921. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1963.

"Gerd Korman. Industrialization, Immigrants, and Americanizers: The View from Milwaukee, 1866-1921. Madison, Wisc.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1967.

" Nathan Glazer and Daniel 18. Moynihan. Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1963. See also Oscar Handlin. The Newcomers: Negroes



and Puerto Ricans in a Changing Metropolis. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959.

"Humbert S. Nel li. Italians in Chicago, 1880-1930: A Study in Ethnic Mobility. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. "John M. Allswang. A House for all Peoples: Ethnic Politics in Chicago, 18901936. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1971. " Moses Rischin. The Promised City: New York's Jews, 1870-1914. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962. "Arthur A. Goren. New York Jews and the Quest for Community: The Kehillah Experiment, 1908-1922. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970. " Selig Adler and Thomas E. Connolly. From Ararat to Suburbia: The History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of

America, 1960; B. G. Rudolph. From a Minya', to a Community: A History of the Jews of Syracuse. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1970; Isaac M. Fein. The Making of an American Jewish Community: The History of Baltimore Jewry from 1773 to 1920. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1971;

Max Vorspan and Lloyd P. Gartner. History of the Jews of Los Angeles. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1970; Bertram Wallace Korn. The Early Jews of New Orleans. Waltham, Mass.: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969. " Richard C. Wade. Slavery in the Cities: The South, 1820-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964.

"Robert S. Starobin. Industrial Slavery in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

"Gilbert Osofsky. "The Enduring Ghetto." Journal of American History 55: 243-

255; No. 2, September 1968; Leon Litwack. North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.

°I Gilbert Osofsky. Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto: Negro New York, 18901930. New York: Harper and Row, 1966. " Seth M. Scheiner. Negro Mecca: A History of the Negro in New York City, 1865-1920. New York: New York University Press, 1965. " Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967. " Constance McL. Green. The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.

"Lawrence B. DeGraaf. "The City of Black Angels: Emergence of the Los Angeles Ghetto, 1890-1930." Pacific Historical Review 39: 323-352; No. 3, August 1970.

" Arvarh E. Strickland. History of the Chicago Urban League. Urbana III,: University of Illinois Press, 1966. See also Guichard Parris and [.ester Brooks. Blacks in the City: A History of the National Urban League. Boston: Little, Brown. 1971.

"William M. Tuttle, Jr. Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York: Atheneum, 1970.

" Elliott M. Rudwick. Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, /9/7. Carbondale, III.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964.

" Janes F. Richardson. The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1901. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. 9° Roger Lane. Policing the City: Boston, 1822-1885. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967. '' Nelson M. Blake. Water for the Cities: A History of the Urban Water Supply Problem in the United States. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1956.

"William W. Sorrels. Memphis' Greatest Debate: A Question of Water. Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1970.

"Stephen F. Ginsberg. "The Police aud Fire Protection in New York City: 1800-1850." New York History 52: 133-150; No. 2, April 1971; Stephen F. Gins-

The History of the American City


berg. "Above the Law: Volunteer Firemen in New York City, 1836-1837." ibid. 50: 165-186; No. 2, April 1969. " George W. Hilton and John F. Due. The Electric Interurban Railways in America. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1960; George Rogers Taylor. -The Beginnings of Mass Transportation in Urban America." Smithsonian Journal

of History I: 35-50; No. 2, Summer

1966. 31-54; No. 3, Autumn 1966; George M. Smerk. "The Streetcar: Shaper of American Cities." Traffic Quarterly 21: 569-584; No. 4, October 1967. " Frederick M. Bender. "Gas light, 1816-1860." Pennsylvania History 22: 359373; No. 4, October 1955. "" Lawrence H. Larsen. "Nineteenth-Century Street Sanitation: A Study of Filth and Frustration." Wisconsin Magazine of History 52: 239-247; No. 3, Spring 1969;

,Richard Skolnik. "George Edwin Waring, Jr.: A Model for Reformers." New York Historical Society Quarterly 52: 354-378; No. 4, October 1968, which deals with a leading sanitationist of the late nineteenth century.

"John Duffy. A History of Public Health in New York City, 1625-1866. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1968.

"" R. Richard Wohl. "Urbanism, Urbanity, and the Historian." University of Kansas City Review 22: 53-61; No. 1, October 1955. "" John B. Blake. Public Health in the Town of Boston, 1630-1822. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959. "'Charles E. Rosenberg. The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and /866. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962. "'John Duffy. Sword of Pestilence: The New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1853. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1966. 102 James H. Cassedy. Charles V. Chapin and the Public Health Movement. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962. '" Michael B. Katz. The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968. See also Michael B. Katz. Class, Bureaucracy, and Schools: The Illusion of Educational Change in America. New York: Praeger, 1971. '" Marvin Lazerson. Origins of the Urban School: Public Education in Massachusetts, 1870-1915. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971. 105 Lawrence A. Cremin. The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957. New York: Knopf, 1961; Raymond E. Callahan. Education ',flit the Cult of Efficiency: A Study of the Social Forces that have

Shaped the Administ rat ion of the Public Schools. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.

"'Sol Cohen. Progressives and Urban School Reform: The Public Education Association of New York City, 1895-1954. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teacher's College, Columbia University, 1964. See also the special issue on "Urban

Education" in 11' Cory of Education Quarterly 9: No. 3, Fall 1969. 1" Jerome M.ishkat. Tammany: The Evolution of a Political Machine, 17891865. Syracuse. Syracuse University Press, 1971. Another important study of nineteenth-century urban politics is Michael F. Holt. Forging a Majority: The Formati of the Republican Party in Pittsburgh, 1848-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969.

""Seymour J. Mandelbaum. Boss Tweed's New York. New York: John Wiley, 1965.

1" Alexander B. Callow. The Tweed Ring. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.

"'Zane L. Miller. Boss Cox's Cincinnati: Urban Politics in the Progressive Era. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

"' William D. Miller. Mr. Crump of Memphis. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1964.



112 Walton Bean. Boss Ruef's San Francisco: The Story of the Union Labor Party, Big Business, and the Graft Prosecution. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. 1952. "3 Alex Gottfried. Boss Cermak of Chicago: A Study of Political Leadership. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962. Joel A. Tarr deals with an earlier Chicago boss in A Study in Boss Politics: William Lorimer of Chicago. Urbana, III.: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

"4 Lyle W. Dorsett. The Pendergast Machine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Bruce M. Stave. The Ness' Deal and the Last Hurrah: Pittsburgh Machine Politics. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970. An older study of bossism which remains useful is Harold Zink. City Bosses in the United States: A Study of Twenty Municipal Bosses. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1930. "IR Melvin G. Holli. Reform in Detroit: Hazen S. Pingree and Urban Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. 5171. Joseph Huthmacher. "Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 49: 231-241; No. 2, September 1962.

Arthur Mann. Yankee Reformers in the Urban Age: Social Reform in

Boston, 1880-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954; William D. Miller. Memphis During the Progressive Era, 1900-1917. Madison, Wisc.: American History Research Center, 1957; Joy J. Jackson. New Orleans in the Gilded Age: Politics and Urban Progress, 1880-1896. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State Uni-

versity Press, 1969; James B. Crooks. Politics and Progress: The Rise of Urban Progressivism in Baltimore, 1895 to 1911. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1968.

"" Gerald Kurland. Seth Low: The Reformer in an Urban and Industrial Age. New York: Twayne, 1971; Edwin R. Lewinson. John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York. New York: Astra Books, 1965; Arthur Mann. LaGuardia: A Fighter Against His Times, 1882-1933. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959; Arthur Mann. LaGuardia Comes to Power, /933. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1965: Charles Garrett. The LaGuardia Years: Machine and Reform Politics in New York City. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961; J. Joseph Huthmacher. Senator Robert F. Wagner and the Rise of Urban Liberalism. New

York: Atheneum, 1968; Jack Tager. The Intellectual as Urban Reformer: Brand Whitlock and the Progressive Movement. Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1968. Other studies of bossism and reform include: Eric McKitrick. "The Study of Corruption." Political Science Quarterly 72: 502-514; No. 4, December 1967; Samuel P. Hays. "The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the Progressive Era." Pacific Northwest Quarterly 55: 157-169; No. 4, October 1964; James Weinstein. "Organized Business and the City Commission and Manager Movements." Journal of Southern History 28: 166-182; No. 2, May 1962; Mark D. Hirsch. "Reflections on Urban History and Urban Reform, 18651915," in Donald Sheehan and Harold C. Syrett, editors. Essays in American His-

toriography: Papers Presented in Honor of Allan Nevins. New York: Columbia University Press, 1960. pp. 109-137. 5" Robert H. Bremner. From the Depths: The Discovery of Poverty in the United States. New York: New York University Press, 1956. 1t1 Raymond A. Mohl. Poverty in New York, 1783-1825. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. 1" David J. Rothman. The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic, Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. '23 Nathan I. Huggins. Protestants Against Poverty: Bostote.s. Charities, 18701900. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1971. 5" Robert S. Pickett. House of Refuge: Origins of Juvenile Reform in New York State, 1815-1857. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1969; Joseph M. Hawes.

The History of the American City


Children in Urban Society: Juvenile Delinquency in Nineteenth-Century America.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. '15 Allen F. Davis. Spearheads for Reform: The Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890-1914. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. 1215 Louise C. Wade. Graham Taylor: Pioneer for Social Justice, 1851-1938. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964; Daniel Levine. Jane Addams and the

Liberal Tradition. Madison, Wisc.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1971. 1" Carl Bridenbaugh. The Colonial Craftsman. New York: New York University Press, 1950. '" Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The Age of Jackson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1946. 5" Edward Pessen. "Did Labor Support Jackson? The Boston Story." Political Science Quarterly 64: 262-274; No. 2, June 1949; Edward Pessen. "The Workingmen's Movement of the Jacksonian Era." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 43:

428-443; No. 3, December 1956; William A. Sullivan. "Philadelphia Labor During the Jackson Era." Pennsylvania History 15: 305-320; No. 4, October 1948; William A. Sullivan. The Industrial Worker in Pennsylvania, 1800-1840. Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1955. 1" Edward Pessen. Most Uncommon Jacksonians: The Radical Leaders of the Early Labor Movement. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1967. 131 Walter Hugins. Jacksonian Democracy and the Working Class: A Study of the New York Workingmen's Movement, 1829-1837. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford

University Press, 1960. On a later period, see the older but still useful study by Norman Ware. The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924.

1" David Montgomery. Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872. New York: Knopf, 1967. See also Montgomery's article, "The Working

Classes of the Pre-Industrial American City, 1780-1830." Labor History 9: 3-22; No. 1, Winter 1968. 1" Melvyn Dubofsky. When Workers Organize: New York City in the Progressive Era. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968. 1" Barbara Warne Newell. Chicago and the Labor Movement: Metropolitan University of Illinois Press, 1961; Thomas W. in the /930's. Urbana, Gavett. Development of the Labor Movement in Milwaukee. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1965; Grace Heilman Stimson. Rise of the Labor Movement in Los Angeles. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1955; Louis B. Perry and Richard S. Perry. A History of the Los Angeles Labor Movement, 1911-1941. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1963; Robert Knight. Industrial Relations in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1900-1918. Berkeley,

Calif.: University of California Press, 1960. "'Carroll Smith Rosenberg. Religion and the Rise of the American City: The New York City Mission Movement, 1812-1870. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. 1971. 1" Alvin W. Skardon. Church Leader in the Cities: William Augustus Muhlen-

berg. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971. See also Timothy Smith. Revivalism and Social Reform in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America. New

York: Abingdon, 1957.

'Aaron I. Abell. The Urban Impact on American Protestantism, 1865-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1943; Aaron I. Abell. American Catholicism and Social Action: A Search for Social Justice, 1865-1950. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1960; Charles H. Hopkins. The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism, 1865-1915. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940; Henry F. May. Protestant Churches and Industrial America. New Yoric: Harper, 1949; Robert D. Cross. The Emergence of Liberal Catholicism in America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958.



1" Robert D. Cross, editor. The Church and the City, 1865-1910. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967.

"James F. Findlay, Jr. Dwight L. Moody: American Evangelist, 1837-1899. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969: Jacob H. Dorn. Washington Gladden: Prophet of the Social Gospel. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1967. "° Leonard L. Richards. "Gentlemen of Property and Standing": Anti-Abolition Mobs in Jacksonian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. "'Kenneth T. Jackson. The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930. New York: Oxford University Press. 1967.

"'John W. Reps. The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965. 1" John W. Reps. Tidewater Towns: City Planning in Colonial Virginia and Maryland. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1971; John W. Reps. Town Planning in Frontier America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969; John W. Reps. Monumental Washington: The Planning and Development of the Capital Center. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967. "a Mel Scott. American City Planning Since /890. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1969. "'Clarence S. Stein. Toward New Towns for America. New York: Reinhold, 1957.

'"Seymour Toll. Zoned American. New York: Grossman, 1969. '" Christopher Tunnard and Henry Hope Reed. American Skyline: The Growth and Form of Our Cities and Towns. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955. See also Tunnard's important book, The City of Mall. New York: Scribner's, 1953.

"John Burehard and Albert Bush-Brown. The Architecture of America: A Social and Cultural History, Boston: Little, Brown, 1961. "" Wayne Andrews. Architecture, Ambition and Americans. New York: Harper, 1955.

1° Carl W. Condit. American Building: Materials and Techniques from the Beginning of the Colonial Settlements to the Present. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968; Carl W. Condit. The Chicago School of Architecture: A History of Commercial and Public Building in the Chicago Area, 1875-1925. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. "' Mel Scott. The .San Francisco Bay Area: A Metropolis in Perspective. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. 1959. 1" Harold M. Mayer and Richard C. Wade, Chicago: The Growth of a Metropolis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1969.

"'Edmund H. Chapman. Cleveland: Village to Metropolis. Cleveland: The Western Reserve Historical Society and the Press of Western Reserve University, 1964.

"'Walter Muir Whitehill. Boston: A Topographical History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959. 1" Harold Kirker and James Kirker. Bulfinch's Boston, 1787-1817. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964. "" William H. Wilson. The City Beautiful Movement in Kansas City. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1964, 1" Albert Fein, editor. Landscape into Cityscape: Frederick Jaw Ohnsted's Plans for a Greater New York City. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967; S. B. Sutton, editor., Civilizing American Cities: A Selection of Frederick Law Ohnsted's Writings on City Landscapes. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1971. 1" Stanley Buder. Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community Planning, 1880-1930. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. On an earlier industrial town, see John Coolidge. Mill and Mansion: A Study of Architecture and Society in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1820-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1942.

The History of the American City


"Raymond A. Mohl and Neil Betten. "The Failure of Industrial City Planning:

Gary, Indiana, 1906-1910." Journal of the American Institute of Planners 38: 203-215; No. 4, July 1972.

'" Roy Lubove. The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1962.

"'Roy Lubove. Community Planning in the 1920's: The Contribution of the Regional Planning Association of America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963. See also Roy Lubove. The Urban Community: Housing and Planning in the Progressive Era. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967. 162 Joseph L. Arnold. The New Deal in the Suburbs: A History of the Greenbelt Town Program, 1935-1954. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1971. See also Paul K. Conkin. Tomorrow a New World: The New Deal Community Program. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1959. '" Morton and Lucia White. The Intellectual Versus the City: From Thomas Jefferson to Frank Lloyd Wright. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962.

16' Robert H. Walker. "The Poet and the Rise of the City." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 69: 85-89; No. I, June 1962.

'George A. Dunlap. The City in the American Novel, 1789-1900. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1934; Blanche H. Gelfant. The American City. Novel. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954; Eugene Arden. "The Evil City in American Fiction." New York History 35: 259-279; No. 3, July 1954.

'Charles N. Glaab. "The Historian and the American Urban Tradition." Wisconsin Magazine of History 47: 12-25; No. 1, Autumn 1963. See also Frank Freidel. "Boosters, Intellectuals, and the American City," in Hand lin and Burchard, editors. The Historian and the City. pp. 115-120, and Charles N. Glaab. "Historical Perspective on Urban Development Schemes," in Leo F. Schnore, editor. Social Science and the City. New York: Praeger, 1968. pp. 197-219. 1" Michael H. Cowan. City of the West: Emerson, America, and Urban Metaphor. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1967.

t6" Peter J. Schmitt. Back to Nature: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. 169 Anselm Strauss. Images of the American City. New York: Free Press, 1961. See also Kevin Lynch. The Image of the City, Cambridge. Mass.: The MIT Press, 1960, which draws upon contemporary materials and deals with perceptual problems in relation to urban forms. 1" Don S. Kirschner. City and Country: Rural Responses to Urbanization in the 1920's. Westport. Conn.: Greenwood, 1970. 171 Scott Donaldson. The Suburban Myth. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969. See also Charles N. Glaab. "Metropolis and Suburb: The Changing American City," in John Braeman, et al., editors. Change and Continuity in Twentieth-Century America: The /920's. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1968. pp. 399-437. 1" Stephan Thernstrom and Richard Sennett, editors. Nineteenth-Century Cities:

Essays in the New Urban History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. vii. 1"Thernstrom. "Reflections on the New Urban History." Daedalus 100: 359375: No. 2, Spring 1971. '" Stephan Thernstrom. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a NineteenthCentury City. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964. See also the following articles by Thernstrom: "Urbanization, Migration, and Social Mobility in Late Nineteenth-Century America," in Bernstein, editor. Towards a New Past. pp. 158-175; "Immigrants and WASPS: Ethnic Differences in Occupational Mobility in Boston, 1890-1940," in Thernstrom and Sennett, editors. Nineteenth-Century Cities. pp. 125-164; "Notes on the Historical Study of Social Mobility." Comparative Studies in Society and History 10: 162-172; No. 2, January 1968.



'" Peter R. Knights. The Plain People of Boston, /830 -1860: A Study in City Growth. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. See also Stephan Thernstrom and Peter R. Knights. "Men in Motion: Some Data and Speculations about Urban Population Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America." Journal of Interdisciplinary History I: 7-35; No. I, Autumn 1970. On eighteenth-century Boston, see James A. Henretta. "Economic Development and Social Structure in Colonial Boston." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd series. 22: 75-92; No. 1, January 1965. Stuart Blumin. "Mobility and Change in Ante-Bellum Philadelphia," in Thernstrom and Sennett, editors. Nineteenth-Century Cities. pp. 165-208; Herbert G. Gutman. "The Reality of the Rags-to-Riches 'Myth': The Case of the Paterson, New Jersey, Locomotive. Iron, and Machinery Manufacturers, 1830-1880," in ibid. pp. 98-124; Richard J. Hopkins. "Occupational and Geographical Mobility in Atlanta, 1870-1896." Journal of Southern History 34: 200-213; No. 2, May 1968; Clyde Griffen. "Making It in America: Social Mobility in Mid-Nineteenth Century Poughkeepsie."

New York History 51: 479-499; No. 5, October 1970; Alwyn

Barr. "Occupational and Geographic Mobility in San Antonio, 1870-1900." Social Science Quarterly 51: 396-403; No. 2, September 1970; Herman R. Lantz and Ernest K. Alix. "Occupational Mobility in a Nineteenth Century Mississippi Valley River Community." ibid. pp. 404-408; Paul B. Worthman. "Working Class Mobility in Birmingham, Alabama, 1880-1914," in Tamara K. Hareven, editor. Anon-

ymous Americans: Explorations in Nineteenth Century Social History. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971. pp. 172-213; William G. Robbins. "Opportunity and Persistence in the Pacific Northwest: A Quantative Study of Early Roseburg, Oregon." Pacific Historical Review 39: 279-296; No. 3, August 1970. 1" Richard Sennett. Families Against the City: Middle Class Homes of Industrial Chicago, 1872-1890. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970.

'" Eric E. Lampard. "American Historians and the Study of Urbanization." American Historical Review 67: 49-61; No. I, October 1961; Eric E. I.ampard. "Urbanization and Social Change; On Broadening the Scope and Relevance of Urban History," in Hand lin and Burchard, editors. The Historian and the City. pp. 225-247; Eric E. Lampard. "The Dimensions of Urban History: A Footnote to the 'Urban Crisis'." Pacific Historical Review 39: 261-278; No. 3, August 1970. Suggestions similar to Lampard's had been made earlier in W. Stull Holt. "Some Consequences of the Urban Movement in American History." ibid., 22: 337-351; No. 4. November 1953. See also the early important statistical study by Adna F. Weber. The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Macmillan, 1899.

1" Roy Luhove. "The Urbanization Process: An Approach to Historical ReJournal of the American Institute of Planners 33: 33-39; No. I, January

search." 1967.

'" Roy Lubove. Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh: Government, Business and Environmental Change. New York: John Wiley, 1969. "'Sam Bass Warner, Jr. "If All the World Were Philadelphia: A Scaffolding for Urban History, 1774-1930." American Historical Review 74: 26-43; No. 1, October 1968. '" Sam Bass Warner, Jr. The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968.

"'Sam Bass Warner, Jr. Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962. '" The following urban history readers contain much of the fundamental journal

literature: Alexander B. Callow, editor. American Urban History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969; Raymond A. Mohl and Neil Betten, editors. Urban

America in Historical Perspective. New York: Weybright and Talley, 1970; Allen M. Wakstein, editor. The Urbanization of America, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970; Kenneth T. Jackson and Stanley L. Schultz, editors. Cities in American History. New York: Knopf, 1972; James F. Richardson, editor. The American

The History of the American City


City. Waltham, Mass.: Xerox, 1972; Paul Kramer and Frederick I.. Holborn, editors. The City in American Life. New York: Capricorn, 1970; Jack Tager and

Park Dixon Goist, editors. The Urban Vision. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey, 1970. Useful documentary collections include: Charles N. Glaab, editor. The American City: A Documentary History. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey, 1963; Wilson Smith, edi-

tor. Cities of Our Past and Present. New York: John Wiley, 1964; David R. Weimer, editor. City and Country in America. New York: Appleton-CerturyCrofts, 1962. Combining narrative and documents are Blake McKelvey. The City in American History. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1969 and Christopher Tunnard. The Modern American City. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1968. A more recent study is Raymond A. Mohl and James F. Richardson. The Urban Experience: Themes in American History. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1973, which serves as a topical text. '" Dwight W. Hoover. A Teacher's Guide to American Urban History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1971.

'"See, for example, Bayrd Still. New York City: A Students' Guide to Localized History. New York: Teacher's College Press, 1965. Other volumes have covered Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Chicago, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. For an example of how the city can be used as a teaching resource, see Raymond A. Mohl and Neil Betten. "Gary, Indiana: The Urban Laboratory as a Teaching Tool." The History Teacher 4: 5-17; No. 2, January 1971.

"'Blake McKelvey. "American Urban History Today." American Historical Review 57: 919-929; No. 4, July 1952; Charles N. Glaab. "The Historian and the American City: A Bibliographic Survey," in Hauser and Schnore, editors. The Study of Urbanization. pp. 53-80; and Allen F. Davis. "The American Historian vs. the City." Social Studies 51: 91-96, 127-135; Nos, 3, 4, March, April 1965. Articles evaluating the writing of American urban history include: Dwight W. Hoover. "The Diverging Paths of American Urban History." American Quarterly 20: 296-317; No. 2, Pt. 2, Summer 1968; Richard C. Wade. "An Agenda for Urban History," in Herbert J. Bass, editor. The Slate of American History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1970. pp. 43-69; Michael H. Frisch. "L'histoire urbaine amidcaine: reflexions sur les tendances recentes." Anna les 25: 880-897; No. 4, JulyAugust 1970; Blaine A. Brownell. "American Urban History: Retrospect and Prospect." Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences, Proceedings, 3rd series, V, 1970. pp. 120-128; and Dana F. White. "The Underdeveloped Discipline: Interdisciplinary Directions in American Urban History." American Studies: An International Newsletter 9: 3-16; No. 3, Spring 1971. '88 See, for example, Urban History Group Newsletter. No. 27, April 1969. See also Bayrd Still and Diana Klebanow. "The Teaching of American Urban History." Journal of American History 55: 843-847; No. 4, March 1969.

.9. War: From Colonies to Vietnam Theodore Ropp Introduction

CLlO has been a Muse second only to Calliope of epic song as a warmonger. The appeals of what Carl von Clausewitz saw as war's "strange trinity . . [of] violence, . . . the play of probabilities and .

[andj pure intelligence" have been enhanced for some two centuries by deliberately adding democratic and national "passions" to those of the ancient arts of the bard or seer in the village square or at the castle dinner table. Though America's end of glory in Indochina may produce more works than our marginal participation in the Great War chance,




of 1914-1918or as many nostalgic ones as have come out of Britain since the Suez expedition of 1956output may eventually slacken. But our mountains of war books are already so high that most of our choices must be personal ones of (1) standard histories, (2) general works on an international art and /or science to which Americans made few contributions before Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power upon History 1660-1783 appeared in 1890, and (3) particularly wellwritten or well-illustrated histories or (4) well-chosen collections of readings or documents to add detail and color.' Three books might be bought for school libraries. Kcith L. Nelson's readings on Tire Impact of War on American Life: The Twentieth Century Experience have fine critical bibliographies on the economic, political, social, and intellectual effects of both World Wars, the Cold

War, and the Warfare State, and on Conflict, Disaster, and Social Change, Non-American Wars, American Wars Generally, and American

Wars before 1914. A mistitledsince it has almost nothing on the other servicesAmerican Military History text for Army ROTC units, in the official Army Historical series, also has good bibliographies and campaign and battle maps and summaries. R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy's Encyclopedia of Military History covers the whole field, and 207



has excellent sections on military trends at the beginning of each chron-

ological chapter.- The incomplete Wars of the United States series edited by Louis Morton, and many illustrated weapons and battle books, may be too expensive or specialized for many libraries, but the American

Heritage illustrated histories of our four major wars may be in many of them. Moat of the others will be in larger libraries, in older ones which bought or were given old standbys, or in those of local military history buffs, a term derived from the leather underwear used when wearing armor. For reasons which have already been noted, teachers need not worry about creating buffs; the problem is to use their existing interests to stimulate others. Military books are also paperback and reprint publishing staples, and expensive illustrated ones may be remaindered before the next holiday buying season.3 European official historians have been working their documentary mountains for over a century, less for official glorification than to give vicarious experience to future commanders. Distrust of officialdom confined our historians to publishing documents and technical studies until 1945, but our soldiers began to study past wars scientifically from about

the time when Stephen B. Lucenearly two decades after hearing William T. Sherman explain why Charleston would fall to him rather than to " You navy fellows' "opened the first Naval War College in 1884. ins first major product and one of the most influential works ever

written by an American historianthe other was Frederick Jackson Turner's "Significance of the Frontier in American History," 1893 was Mahan's in 1890. While the Civil War book boom had begun during the war itself, the popularity of the 160 volumes of its Official Records, 1860-1922, the Century Company's four-volume Battles and Leaders collection, 1884-1888, James Ford Rhodes's seven-volume History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Final Restoration of Home Rule in the South in 1877, John C. Ropes's four-volume military history, 1894-1913, and the illustrated ones which preceded the Review of Reviews' ten-volume Photographic History, 1911, seems to have been phenomenal.4

One concern of these writings came from our nineteenth-century military isolation. We debated the merits of wartime volunteer or expansible regular forces long after many other powers had been forced

to expand their regulars with peace-trained conscripts. The two best collections of readings on our military history happen to omit Alexis de

Tocqueville's famous passages in Democracy in America on "Why Democratic Nations are Naturally Desirous of Peace and Democratic Armies of War," a problem area which had appeared with what Clause-

witz had called "the participation of the people in this great affair of

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


state" at the end of the eighteenth century. The Industrial Revolution reinforced that trend by making it possible to levy, arm, move, supply, and control still more Napoleonic armies, and many Americans increasingly doubted that we would ever again fight a great war with both sides starting from equal positions of unpreparedness, except for their navies.4 Douglas Southall Freeman's four-volume R. E. Lee helped to revive

the Civil War boom in 1935-1936. Lee clearly appealed to that epic strain of "life in extremis" which had so concerned William James in 1910. By Great War standards, ours had been a costumed chess match. Freeman underplayed the appeal of machines, perhaps because he was not very interested in that military engineer who had remade the Southeast's coast defenses before taking command of the Army of Northern Virginia, perhaps because machines had helped to doom what, for many Americans, was still the last of the great Lost Causes. We are now as

fearful as Montesquieu that "As soon as man enters into society he loses the sense of his weakness; equality ceases, and then commences the

state of war," but biography remains one of the best approaches to a story which presents particular problems of politicians unexpectedly becoming wartime commanders and of soldiers attaining high political office after spending most of their lives in the profession of arms. And

James' "Moral Equivalent of War," which "the ordinary prides and shames of social man . . . are capable of organizing," is still something more than "a question of time, of skillful propagandism, and of opinionmaking men seizing historic opportunities.""

The Colonial and Revolutionary Wars Our Revolution's bicentenary will be the quincentenary of Christo-

pher Columbus's Enterprise of the Indies. Samuel Eliot Morison's Admiral of the Ocean Sea and European Discovery of America, Bjorn L andstrbm's pictorial Columbus, Carlo M. Cipolla's Guns, Sails, and Empires, and J. H. Parry's Establishment of the European Hegemony

deal with that era of "polymorphous violence" which preceded Howard H. Peckham's Colonial Wars, 1689-1763.7 The Fort Caroline massacres, 1565, 1567, were our St. Bartholemew's Days. George T. Hunt shows that the Wars of the Iroqubis were like the trade and slaving wars in Africa. Douglas E. Leach's study of King Philip's War shows settlers'

reactions to one American Indian "conspiracy." John K. Mahon's Warthough not in this erais very good on logistics

Second Seminole

and tactics. And Harold L. Peterson's and Carl P. Russell's illustrated personal weapons books might be read with others on the European ships, regulars, and fortifications which helped to defend the settlers.8



The regularization of political, trade, land, and labor affairs in more settled areas appears in Parry's, Charles R. Boxer's, and John R. Alden's volumes on the Spanish and Dutch empires and Pioneer America in the History of Human Society series." Britain took over other Europeans' colonies without, except in Acadia, much disturbance of persons, property, or religion. And the Proclamation of 1763 and the "intolerable" Quebec Act of 1774 paid her local French and Indian dividends in our Revolutionary War. All this helps to explain the uneven quality of our eighteenth-century militialess stiffened by need and military adventur-

ersand the relative mildness, except on the frontier and by later popular standards, of the atrocities of our Revolutionary War. Our military investments were relatively small. Greater technological and numerical superiority made it easier for us than for the conquistadors or Romans to regulate our primitive wards by firing when we saw the red of their skins. A half-cohort of 250 men was a big garrison for

one of our legionary stockades; 1000-3500 men won the Battles of Fallen Timbers, Tippecanoe, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Okeechobee. There were 8500 British regulars in North America in 1775; U. S. Army strength was 3813 in 1794, 16,213 in 1860, and 27,273about a tenth that of a Roman Empire with about the same population at the end of our frontier era in 1890. But military technological determinism comports so well with the facts of our Westward expansion, and even with a Neo-Turnerism which sees our frontier patterns as universals, that we may forget that literacy was the classical distinction between natural and civilized peoples. Because literacy provides a way of storing and replicating information, it can extend a people's reach and absorbing power over those with otherwise equal technologies, and Romans were made out of Gauls or even Jewsanother People of the Bookin a few generations. And our Indians were not guerrilla warriors in the modern

senseafter Napoleon's Spanish and Russian warsof partisans supported by regulars, although the best organized Eastern tribesmen were

also depennent on European metal trade goods and overt or covert support until the removal of France, Britain, and Spain from the game made their cause hopeless. But their wars are more than footnotes to American history. From King Philip's to the First Seminole War and Andrew Jackson's taking of Florida in 1818, alleged or real Europeaninspired Indian "uprisings" not only helped to unite Americans, but also to determine who got which of their "unoccupied" lands at the peace table.

Though Mahan saw their wars as decisive for the command of the sea and New France, King William and Queen Anne are now only British television exports. The big pictures of our next two colonial wars

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


may be just as confusing, but those who missed their bicentenaries might read Charles P. Stacey's Quebec 1759 and Geoffrey Marcus's Quiberon

Bay for two "typical" eighteenth-century campaigns and battles.w John Shy's Toward Lexington, Alden's American Revolution, Piers Mackesy's War for America, and Higginbotham's The War of American Independence cover those events." Russell F. Weigley's Partisan War makes sense of the South Carolina Campaign of 1780-1782,

and Dave R. Palmer's The River and the Rock is a fine History of Fortress West Point, 1775-1783. There are many good battle and campaign books. Richard M. Ketchum's The Battle for Bunker Hill, Burke Davis's The Cowpens-Guilford Courthouse Campaign, and Harold A. Larrabee's Decision at the Chesapeake are among the most readable. But we still need general studies of the trade war, of those Indian Wars which partly depended on it, of foreign advisers and soldiers of fortune, of George Washington as a general, and a translation of Ernst Kipping's short Die Truppen von Hessen-Kassel in Amerikanischen Unablaingigkeitskrieg.'

American Military Institutions

Though few of our nineteenth-century Romans had read Polybius on

how the old ones had concocted Cincinnatus and their other public images, we did well enough with the Anglo-Saxonsthe fyrd still lives in American Military Historyand Washington's sensible "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment" of 1783. "Fortunately for us," he had written, "our relative situation requires but few" professionals. We needed: (1) "A regular and standing force, for Garrisoning West Point and such other Posts" as were "necessary to awe the Indians, protect our Trade, prevent the encroachment of our Neighbours, . . . guard us . . . from surprises, and secure our Magazines"; (2) "A well organized Militia; upon a Plan that will pervade all the States, and introduce similarity in

their Establishment Maneuvers, Exercise and Arms"; (3) "Arsenals of . . . Military Stores"; (4) "Academics, one or more for the Instruction of the Art Military; . . . particularly Engineering and Artillery, which are highly essential, and the knowledge of which, is most difficult to obtain. Also Manufactories of some kinds of Military Stores."'" He

did not mention the small navy which was to be refounded in 1794 to protect trade by retaliating against Barbary, French, or English violators of our maritime rights. In any case the declining threat of British and Indian wars after 1815 led to still less militia training, and each war or crisis led to a new debate over the merits of expansible regular armies and volunteer ones raised and commanded by volunteer officers.



John A. Logan's posthumous Volunteer Soldiere of America, 1887, came from a volunteer general and politician who felt that West Pointers had kept him from commanding the Army of the Tennessee. Emory A. Upton's Military Policy of the United States, circulated after his death in 1881 and published by the War Department in 1904, revived John C. Calhoun's 1820 plan for an expansible regular army." The three works

on these matters which are still worth reading are John M. Palmer's America in Arms, 1941, Walter Millis's Arms and Men, 1956, and Samuel P. Huntington's The Soldier and the State, 1957.15 A General Staff officer whose grandfather had been a distinguished Civil War volun-

teer general and politician, Palmer rediscovered Washington's "Sentiments." Millis's was the first history of American military policy to deal with naval matters. Huntington's much more general and influential book is Upton by Clausewitz out of Friedrich Hegel, and sees the professional soldier as one pillar of any conservative, democratic state. But students may get the histories of the American military profession, military institutions, civil-military relations, and attitudes toward war so confused that they should begin with Weigley's or Millis's books of readings, or with Marcus P. Cunliffe's discursive Soldiers and Civilians: The Martial Spirit in America, 1775-1865.1" Cunliffe sees our traditional attitudes

toward war as a mixture of Southern Chevalier concepts of honor, Northern Rifleman democratic pragmatism, and Quaker hatred of war. Late nineteenth-century concepts of war as a science, Huntington notes, appealed to our technism and pragmatism, and provided a new self-image

for a tiny professional soldiers' guild which no longer had to awe Indians. And there were dashes of Neo-Darwinism and Calvinism in the attitudes of Woodrow Wilson, Henry R. Luce, and John Foster Dulles. Weigley's History of the United State Army is excellent. Francis P.

Prucha's Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846, also in Morton's series, tries too hard on its peacetime utility." Its early intellectual history will be considered in Thomas E. Griess's study of Dennis Hart Mahan (not yet published in 1972); its political history was one of fund-grubbing in a' society whose attitudes toward war were hardly influenced by it. One-volume histories of the navy are parochial and dull; Robert D. Heinl is more parochial

and livelier on the Marine Corps. Mahan set too many historians to showing that sea power was always history's most influential factor, while

his own prose is so dated that the works to start with are Harold and Margaret Sprout's on naval policy, Howard I. Chapelle's, Bernard Brodie's, and William Hovgaard's on ships and weapons, and Charles 0. Paullin's History of Naval Administration, 1775-1911, a much broader work than its title might indicate. But none of them deal, except

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


in passing, with Mahan's "principal conditions affecting the sea power

of nations," or how changes in these conditionswhich were drawn from the preindustrial erawere soon to affect that Pax Britannica which had been one of the chief diplomatic conditions of our vanishing century of "free security" and military isolation." Barry M. Gough and Kenneth Bourne have shown how local naval forces which could be reinforced to get preponderance helped to pre-

serve the balance of power in Northwestern North America. Neogunboatists might then study Gerald S. Graham's thirty pages on "The Illusion of 'Pax Britannica.' " It was not "the simple consequence of naval power wielded with sensible restraint by the self-appointed policeman of the world. It was the result of varied force and circumstances, the chief of which was Britain's industrial supremacy, which made possible a phenomenal commercial development . . . [and] a kind of international equality in the sharing of economic benefits" in an era when every great power, after the Napoleonic Wars, wanted to avoid major wars and did avoid a general one until 1914. So Britain could use "her navy not only as a means of conducting anything from a demonstra-

tion to a local war, but as an effective restraining force in the




European balance." But when other industrializing powers had to have overseas raw materials and markets and prestige weapons, and when other battle fleets, partly because of Mahan's influence, might be added to those of France and Russia, Britain's position as the world's sea power

became untenable; and this became another past age of diplomatic equilibrium, though one which had permitted that "British monopoly of the seas which Mahan rightly identified with world power."'" The Wars of the Nineteenth Century

Our local nineteenth-century battlefields are so covered with solid scholarly works that choices of very good or readable ones must again be largely personal. Donald B. Chidsey's little Wars in Barbary leads into James A. Field, Jr.'s larger study of our Mediterranean naval forces; Morison is at his best on Matthew C. Perry. Anyone who thinks that we

never lost a war before Vietnam might read J. Mackay Hitsman's Canadian work on the War of 1812, though the clearest losers were our Indians. Harry L. Coles has succinctly summarized the historiogra-

phy of the causes of the War of 1812 and provided for the Chicago History of Civilization a sprightly narrative of the campaigns and naval battles. Otis A. Singletary's is still the best short account of the Mexican War. K. Jack Bauer's story of the Vera Cruz landing is the highlight of

his work on its naval operations, and David S. Lavender's Climax at



Buena Vista again shows Zachary Taylor as a solid, lucky commander in Northeastern Mexico.2" It would be useful to have a new one-volume military history of the Civil War, a socio-political book about its boom and Centennial, and

general studies of the naval war, infantry tactics, cavalry and horse supply, artillery and commanders' failures to group their guns when they had them for Napoleonic battles, and fortification. While the Centennial's

celebrants were overkilling their audiences, Bruce Catton completed Lloyd Lewis's Captain Sam Grant and the late Allan Nevins carried his War for the Union into 1865. The detail of these and other multivolume worksor of Samuel Frances Du Pont: A Selection from His Civil War Lettersis a specific for that general's rating which strikes so many buffs and historians. James M. Merrill has a fine new biography of Sherman. With the growing interest in history "from the bottom up," Bell 1. Wiley's two books on the common soldier, Johnny Reb and Billy

Yank, should have a renewed appeal." The Du Pont Letters, biographies of the private shipbuilder John Roach and naval engineer-in-chief Benjamin F. Isherwood, the diaries of the young naval surgeon Samuel P. Boyer, and Frank J. Merli's Great Britain and the Confederate Navy were among the best works on the navies.22 Richard D. Goff's study of Confederate supply, Charles B. Dew's study of the Tredegar Iron Works, and James H. Brewer's study of Virginia's black craftsmen and laborers

covered new ground. The 1911 Photographic History, the American Heritage volume, David Donald's Divided We Fought, and Francis A. Lord's They Fought for the Union have very fine texts with their pictures. And this war's Official Records are better than those on our Revolution or a huge bureaucracy's Pentagon Papers for getting students into documentary collections.2" Stewart Brooks' Civil War Medicine and Paul E. Steiner's Disease in the Civil War are complementary works. Without a scientific explanation

for disease, epidemiology was in its infancy. Poor field sanitationa chronic weakness of volunteer armieswas compounded by inadequate medical services, year-round campaigning, and heavy battle casualties. The state of medicine during the Civil \Var was almost as bad as that

during the C mean and Italian Wars. Yet it produced no American Florence Nightingale or Henry Dunant, perhaps because of the relative priority of medicine in Europe and in the United States or a less urbanized America had not been so shaken by great cholera epidemics during the first half of the century. Dr. Steiner deals with military and accompanying civilian casualties in eight campaigns which were as much aborted by disease as by military incompetence. Both sides later tried to avoid sickly areas or seasons; one end product may have been the magnificent

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


disease distribution maps in that Statistical Atlas of the United States based on the Results of the Ninth Census 1870 with which Francis A. Walker hoped "to practically inaugurate the study of political and social statistics in the colleges and higher schools of the land."24 Paul I. Wellman has provided a "general survey" of the Indian wars of the late nineteenth century, and Don Rickey has studied the enlisted men

who fought in them. But we ought to know more about our partly foreign-manned navy. Where did its men come from, and what became of the black craftsmen described by Professor James Brewer and the Civil War sailors who found both ocean and river shipping declining?

Many of them may have joined those railroad and farm machinery mechanics who were the sergeantsrather than the better known captainsof our postwar industrialization. The Spanish-American War was, of course, a nineteenth-century one for twentieth-century purposes. Frank Freidel's and Millis's are the best

one-volume accounts. Virgil Carrington Jones has a fine social and military study of those Rough Riders who inadvertently caused Theodore

Roosevelt's presidential successor, once removed, to insist that no political general get a Great War command. David F. Healy and Allen R. Mil lett have written good books on Cuba, John Gates will have one

on Philippine pacification, and a personal choice for our later Latin American small wars is Neill Macaulay's Sandino Affair. The Two World Wars

In 1903 the United States began to build two battleships per year. By 1923 its fleet was "second to none." By 1943 it was the strongest in the world, a reflection of American industrial might, the further mechanization of war, and two World Wars' effects on its power balances. Elting E. Morison's Admiral Sims and the Modern American Navy, Richard K. Morris's John P. Holland, and Armin Rappaport's Navy League of the United States deal with naval modernization; Irving

B. Holley, Jr 's work on John M. Palmer will add detail on the army. Our professional soldiers, as has been noted, combined a view of war as a science with a social role more like that of guildsmen than members of a militaristic caste. The number of officers on active peacetime duty rose from 2276 in 1860 to 7562 in 1910, or one for every 13,850 and 13,537 persons respectively. Over 30,000 active-duty German officers in 1910 each represented about 2000 persons. The numbers of ours rose to 30,745 in 1920 and 33,730 in 1940, or one for every 3842 and 4432 persons. Our 1950 figures were to be 181,465 and every 839 persons. But active-duty officers were still less numerous than physicians, 191,947,



or teachers in higher educational institutions, 246,722, a group with an even higher growth rate in the next two decades.2" Our Great War role was decisive, but our major decisions were not military ones. The sea and land wars which we helped to win were less colorful than that in the air, which did win a following of American buffs. Canada lost six and one-half times as many men in proportion to her population, and was nearly torn apart IN: overseas conscription. It was

hard for usa fact which affected our later views of their ingratitude to feel indebted to the men of the Marne or Paaschendaele, and readers might try Jack J. Roth, editor, World War I: A Turning Point in Modern History, before reading Edward M. Coffman's summary of our part in it. Coffman's life of Peyton C. March can go with Frederick Palmer's John

J. Pershing until Frank E. Vandiver's new life of Pershing appears. Our war literaturedespite the war's importance in the lives of particular writersis rather thin and derivative. And the American Heritage volume, Freidel's Over There, or Laurence Stallings's Doughboys may

have less impact on students than the latter's general photographic history, a warning in 1933 of another round.27 The many works on our loss of innocence in Paris are also dated; any schoolboy now knows that it was lost somewhere between Manila and Saigon. Interwar matters are often treated in works on World War 11. Alfred F. Hurley has a fine study of Billy Mitchell and is writing an Air Force history for Morton's series. A collective study of those 1600 Army Air Corps officers of 1939 who were commanding 2,411,000 men by 1944

would be useful. The proportion was about the same as that in our Civil War armies. Whether more Army Air than Army or Navy officers

had been in civilian life during the interwar years and whether there were more civilians in its wartime higher commands might be answered by comparative studies. Thaddeus V. Tuleja has a good short study of our Far Eastern naval policy; Harold G. Bowen discusses naval research; and The London Journal of General Raymond E. Lee 1940-1941 is one American insider's view of Britain while we were neutral against Germany.-" 1972 is to 1932 as 1905 was to 1865. Our four decades of sustained federal governmental activism confirmed some trends of the Progressive era, and left so many papers that most histories of these decades are official, semi-official, or private recyclings of the same first cuts into the documents. Their selling is a separate ethical question; few American leaders, in any case, had such powerful literary styles that readers need warnings about Churchillian or Gaullist historical and social poetics. Our World War II official histories, perhaps because of public skepticism or because theirs was a success story, are very honest; their weaknesses

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


are ones of omission rather than commission. That they do not deal with personalities, except in some very obvious cases, is part of the success story of military institutions which produced commanders with,

in Ferdinand Foch's words, "a common way of acting." The Army's official history is the bulkiest, but some of its authors have produced fine summaries. Kent R. Greenfield wrote the best short work on American Strategy, and edited one on Command Decisions. Charles B. MacDonald

has the best history of our role in the European, or any other Theater, and Morton has the best current bibliographical surveys.2" The Air Force official history was written a bit too soon to treat some tactical issues. The British official historian Noble Frank land's Bomber Offensive, in Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War 11, and Anthony Verrier's Bomber Offensive sum up campaigns in which British hopes and experiences played major roles. Holley's Buying Aircraft, in

our Army series, follows up his Ideas and Weapons, but we need histories of our aircraft and air transport industries for a general history of American air power." Morison's History of United States Naval Operations in World War II has swamped his one-volume summary and the Navy's administrative and Marine Corps histories, though not Clark G. Reynold's Carriers.' Richard A. Polenberg's War and Society is a fine work in view of the fact that no American civil history series made systematic first cuts into the documents. There are various official histories of specialized wartime boards and agencies, but no study of The Army and Economic Mobilization or The Army and Industrial Manpower could match Richard M. Titmuss's Problems of Social Policy in the British civil history or some volumes in The Economic and Social History of the World War, edited by James T. Shotwell.32 Basil Collier's is a reliable general military history of World War II, but the lack of materials on some East European problems and on China make it hard to bring the whole war into focus. A. Russell Buchanan's two volumes in The New American Nation series are not as well focused as Gordon Wright's Ordeal of Total War in The Rise of Modern Europe.

Martin Blumenson is excellent on European battles and campaigns. The interview method used so well by S. L. A. Marshall was suggested by Ardant du Picq in the 1860's.38 Charles Bateson's War with Japan can be read with Ladislas Farago's story of our breaking the Japanese code, Roberta Wohlstetter's Pearl Harbor, Tuleja's Climax at Midway,

the works of Stanley L. Falk and James H. and William M. Belote, Leslie Anders's Ledo Road, the U. S. Naval Institute's collection of Japanese accounts, and Alvin D. Coox's Japan: The Final Agony, in the Ballantine series."' These well-illustrated paperbacks cover weapons as well as campaigns and battles and are now going back to the interwar



era. Many of them, as has been noted, are written by authors of official

history volumes. Many of them have good bibliographies. They are generally competent, well-written, and much cheaper than competitive products for what seems to be a still growing model-maker and costume-

drama market. There are no biographies or memoirs of a number of important naval and air commanders. Forrest C. Pogue's masterly George

C. Marshall now gets into the war years. Blumenson's Patton Papers and D. Clayton James's Years of MacArthur do not; the latter should be supplemented by the Australian official historian Gavin Long's MacArthiu as Military Commander. Barbara W. Tuchman's Stilwell may bring out works on such other China characters as Claire L. Chennault,

or on how advisers or diplomats may go native. And the best recent works on Dwight D. Eisenhower are the Eisenhower Foundation's D -Dav studies, John S. D. Eisenhower's The Bitter Woods (of the Ardennes), and Stephen E. Ambrose's Eisenhower and Berlin.35

The Contemporary Era

Louis J. Halle's and Walter LaFeber's Cold War histories are better than any of the arms race, which is best followed in such periodicals as the Scientific American." The wars in the Near East, India, Indochina,

China, and Koreawhich most affected the power balancewere, except for the last two, fought in installments. After perfecting their nuclear "agents"maximized as hydrogen bombs and miniaturized as tactical bombs, shells, mines, and depth charges--the superpowers turned to ballistic missile "delivery systems." To reach the United States, the Russians developed intercontinentals (ICBMs); the American answer was intermediate-range (IRBM) launching from nuclear-powered

submarines. Ideas of "no cities" warfare and anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) faded with the development of multiple individual-targeted reentry vehicles ( MIRVs). Planes were kept airborne, submarines at sea, and missile silos hardened against a nuclear Pearl Harbor. Since the less

powerful MIRVs were better for retaliatory "second" than for "first strikes," the superpowers did get on with their Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). It seemed possible for China to get that kind of retaliatory security. What others would join Britain and France in the expensive middle-power nuclear club was more arguable, since it was also argued

that a non-nuclear power had more leverage on its nuclear protectors. All this has so expanded the subject matter of contemporary military historythough this had been partly true for earlier eras of armed peace that readers may need Mathematese and Hard and Soft Scientese as well as English. The first large study to use them all was the United

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


States Strategic Bombing Survey, which examined its effects on everything

from military operations to production and morale for clues to what the Russian economist Ivan S. Bloch had studied statistically in 1898 in The Future of War in Its Technical, Economic, and Political Relations, a work which had helped to get Tsar Nicholas II to call the First Hague Peace Conference by predicting military deadlock, economic chaos, and political and social revolution.37 Wartime weapons research and development and peacetime planning and opinion polling had improved Bloch's methods. Photographic and electronic fact-finding and processing devices of hitherto incredible power and speed were now applied to the military problems of who was moving what where, though those who applied them to the political problems of why they were doing something sometimes forgot that their interpretive norms came from Western and/or Marxist historical experience. The first signs of trouble were mispredictions of the speed of Russian weapons development. Our problems of weapons costing were then compounded by financing and cost-plus procurement systems which had taken the First War's "excess" profits out of the Second. These systems had worked quite well in wartime when time was more important than money, but led to gross overruns in peacetime when results were harder to relate to increasingly speculative weapons and gross national product balance sheets, or to hot wars in which only two great powers, very early in this era, directly fought each other. The best dividing point, as has been noted, is the mid-1950's, when the bipolar world of Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin was replaced by that multipolar one which emerged when Mao Tse-tung and Charles de Gaulle became the Third World and Old World Presidents. The romanticism of their dreams is less important

than the fact thatas the military balance hardenedmany political systems began to grow democratic, neo-Fascist, several kinds of Marxist, Tolstoyan, and anarchist and terrorist mutants.

The shocks to American futurists began during the war. But our immediate postwar policies for economic recovery, containment, and

deterrenceall firmly rooted in our immediately past experience secured a remarkable degree of public support and were pursued with remarkable consistency. The lack of especially readable books on the immediate postwar foreign policy and military unification debates may suggest their one-sidedness. The best works are more general ones by Herbert Agar and William Appleman Williams, unless one can stomach Dean Acheson's and George F. Kennan's accounts of the Creation. MacArthur's dismissal, as seen by John W. Spanier, involved no new issues in civil-military relations. The best books on the Korean War are by David Rees, T. R. Fehrenbach, Matthew B. Ridgway, and J.



Lawton Collins, the latter being a summary of the official history and an

insider's view of the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in MacArthur's McCarthyism was a sign of frustrated internationalist nationalism rather than one of isolationism, after the successive shocks of Russian duplicity, Mao's victory in China, and North Korean aggression. The Eisenhower years have received less attention. "Massive retaliation" was an only too popular slogan for deterring local aggression at its presumed source, and "Engine Charlie" (Charles E.) Wilson's "more bang for a buck" promises were just as catchy. In his last word as head of the Air Force in 1946, Henry H. Arnold had seen a possible nuclear stalemate, but the speed of Russian "we try harder" catch-up might have

been more widely predicted from earlier industrial races. The best military intellectual predictions of the late 1950's were Henry A. Kissinger's Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy and Brodie's Strategy in the Missile Age. Another set of predictions was contained in the Rockefeller Reports entitled collectively Prospect for Change. Titles of individual Reports were "The Mid-Century Challenge to U. S. Foreign

Policy"; "International Security: The Military Aspect" (drafted by Kissinger ); "Foreign Economic Policy"; "The Challenge to America: Its Economic and Social Aspects"; "The Pursuit of Excellence: Education and the Future of America"; and "The Power of the Democratic Idea."

The real Eisenhower was the one who was to write in Mandate for Change that he had taken a university presidency in 1948 to help to set up "the American Assembly (a continuing program bringing together men of business, labor, the professions, political parties, and government for the study of major national problems), the program for the conservation of human resources, and a Chair of Peace." The shocks of Suez, Hungary, and Sputnik had led to some unease, but C. Wright Mills's

1956 Power Elite had been little noted and had not suggested any Establishment conspiracy. And Eisenhower's 1961 "military-industrial complex" warning probably reflected his failure to hold down defense costs and his outrage at not being informed of the U-2 flights."" An alleged "missile gap" was a factor in the close Presidential election of 1960, but victory in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 overcame the shocks of the Bay of Pigs and the Berlin Wall, and led to a new euphoria about the "flexible response" strategy worked out in the late 1950's. Robert S. McNamara's "cost effectiveness" tools were those of Bloch and the Strategic Bombing Survey. Alain C. Enthoven and C. Wayne Smith's How Much Is Enough? gives the details of McNamara's The Essence of Security. Since Lyndon B. Johnson's memoirs are no literary match for those of St. Augustine, Winston Churchill, or de Gaulle, the politics of the Vietnam War are better followed in the works of Ralph

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


K. White, Eugene Windchy, Townsend Hoopes, and Chester L. Cooper.4° In relating military means to political ends, that war seems more like Japan's China Incident than like the Korean War. The latter

had been a limited conventional war in which we had attained our original political ends. North Vietnamese threats to South Vietnam were first seen in similar terms; they came, instead, from a "modern" partisan army. This war's justification in traditional terms of prestige or rescrarce balances rather than the newer ones of responding to any Communist aggression would have been difficult at best. The problem was then compounded by massive cost and time overruns, while official body counters and economic experts competed for attention with color films of bombing, man hunting, ambushes, war and political refugees and prisoners, and human and ecological devastation.

Our myths of popular revolts against war and taxes are as hazy as other social explosion onesor the ideas that overpopulation, poverty, and boredom inevitably lead to increased social violencewhich have grown up with the increasing participation of the people in great affairs of state. But the dangers of bogging down Western conscripts might have been foreseen. David Lloyd George, the first man of the people to become Britain's Prime Minister, had tried to "keep back the men" when his generals' victory at Paaschendaele had led them to ask for more, and the Algerian War had ended the Fourth French Republic. The Tet offensive of 1968 seems to have been directed at the South Vietnamese. Its failure strengthened them. The American generals' request for more men after this victory was denied, and Johnson decided

not to enter the presidential race. His successor's efforts to end conscription left him more dependent on air and sea power to cover his ground forces' withdrawal. We can only hope that the difficulties of find-

ing out what happenedespecially on the effects of air powerwith so few enemy records to exploit will not turn historians to easier Establish-

ment conspiracy, "too little and too late," or "stab in the back" explanations. In any case many of the traditional "practical" uses of military history

will be challenged. In his 1961 pamphlet or. that subjectstilt the best introduction to its historiographyMillis held that its future "as a useful disdIlinc would seem to depend . . . upon the extent to which it can merge back into the general study of man and his society."" Some of its appeal has always been antiquarian. But with nonevents' records much scarcer and harder to interpret, peace and conflict resolution specialists might benefit from studying the misapplications of the hard and soft sciences to warfare. None of the appeals or problems of these studies have vanished. Many people still feel that studies of ways of



controlling social violence in a world in which everyone has the

equivalent of ten tons of TNThowever these, like other resources, are ill-distributedand access to guns and explosives are important. And many people also fear that their world still contains others who do not wish them well and who may be willing to use force to accomplish their political or personal purposes. FOOTNOTES Boston: Little, Brown, 1890. Hill & Wang. pb.

The Impact of War on American Life. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. ph; Maurice Mat loff, editor. American Military History. Washington: U. S. Army, Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S.G.P.O., 1969; Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. 3 Bruce Lancaster. The American Heritage Book of the Revolution. New. York: Simon and Schuster, 1958; Bruce Catton. The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. New York: Doubleday, 1960; S. L. A. Marshall. The American Heritage History of World War I. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964; C. L. Sulzberger. The American Heritage Picture History of World War 11. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966.

` Clarence C. Buel and Robert U. Johnson, editors. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Reprint, intro. Roy F. Nichols, 4 vols. New York: Yoseloff, 1956; History of tlw United Stat.-s. . . . New York: Macmillan, 1910; Ropes. The Story of the C<
For Tocqueville's and other social scientists' views use Leon Bramson and George W. Goethals, editors. War: Studies from Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology. New York: Basic Books, 1964. pp. 321-338. Rev. ed. 1968. pb. P. E. Lee. 4 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1935-36; abr. Richard Harwell. New York: Scribner's, 1959; Lamson and Goethals. War. pp. 21-31.

' Admiral of the Ocean Sea. 2 vols., and abr. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942, as Christopher Columbus: Mariner. Mentor pb; The European Discovery of America. New York: Oxford, 1971; Columbus. New York: Macmillan, 1967; Guns, Sails,

and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion. New York: Pantheon, 1965. Flint( & Wagnalls pb; The Establishment of

the European Hegemony: Trade and Exploration in the Age of thr Renaissance. New ed. New York: Harper, 1961. pb; The Colonial Wars. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. ph. a Wars of the Iroquois: A Study in Intertribal Trade Relations. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1940. pb; Leach. Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philip's War. New York: Macmillan, 1958. Norton pb; History of the Second Seminole War, 18394842. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1967; Peterson. Arms and Armour in Colonial America, 1526-1783. Harrisburg! Stackpole, 1956; repr. New York: Bramhall; Russell. Guns on the Early Frontiers: A

History of Firearms from Colonial Times through the Years of the Western Fur Trade. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957. pb; repr. New York: Bonanza.

9 This series is New York: Knopf; J. H. Parry. The Spanish Seaborne Empire. 1965; Alden. Pioneer

1966; Boxer. The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600-1800. America. 1966. pb.

10 Quebec: The Siege and the Battle. New York: St. Martin's, 1959; Quiberon Bay: The Campaign in Home Waters, 1759. London: Hollis & Carter, 1960.

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


"Toward Lexingt.m. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965. pb; American Revolution. New York: Harper, New American Nation, 1954. pb; War for America.

Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964. The War of American

Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763-1789. New York: Macmillan, 1971. See also Christopher Ward. The War of the Revolution, edited

by John R. Alden. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1952. On Washington as a general, see James T. Flexner. George Washington in the American Revolution, 17751783. Boston: Little, Brown, 1968; as reference works for other military leaders

of the war, see the collections of articles edited by George A. Billias. George Washington's Generals. New York: W. Morrow, 1964, and George Washington's Opponents: British Generals and Admirals in the American Revolution. New York:

W. Morrow, 1969.

" Partisan War. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1970; The River and the Rock. New York: Greenwood, 1969; The Battle for Bunker Hill. London: Cresset, 1963; The Cowpens-Guilford Courthouse Campaign. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Great Battles of History, 1962; Decision at the Chesapeake. Darmstadt: Wehr and WissenNew York: C. N. Potter, 1964; Die Truppen. . Verlagsgesellschaft, 1965. "Russell F. Weigley, editor. The American Military: Readings in the History of the Military in American Society. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley pb, 1969. pp. .



14 Bits of Logan and Upton are in Weigley. American Military. pp. 77-85, 24-31.

Upton was reprinted by Greenwood (New York) in 1970. " America in Arms. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941; Arms and Men: A Study in American Military History. New York: Putnam, 1956. Mentor pb; The

Soldier and the State. The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Cam-

bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956. Vintage pb. " Millis's collection is American Military Thought. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966. pb; Soldiers and Civilians. Boston: Little, Brown, 1968. Another collection of readings is Raymond G. O'Connor, editor. American Defense Policy in Perspective: From Colonial Times to the Present. New York: John Wiley, 1965. pb; On the anti-militarist tradition use Arthur E. Ekirch, Jr. The Civilian and the Military. New York: Oxford, 1959. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Ralph Myles pb; or parts of S!aughton Lynd, editor. Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966. pb. " History of the United States Army. New York: Macmillan, 1967; Sword of the Republic. New York: Macmillan, 1969. For a different view of the more modern Army Engineers see Arthur E. Morgan. Dams and Other Disasters: A Century of the Army Corps of Engineers in Civil Works. Boston: Porter Sergeant, 1971. "Hein!. Soldiers of the Sea. Annapolis: U. S. Naval institute, 1962; Sprout and Sprout. The Rise of American Naval Power, 1775-1918. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1939, 1966. pb; and Toward a New Order of Sea Power: American Naval Policy and the World Scene, 1918-1922. Princeton: Princeton University

Press, 1940. Rev. ed. 1966. pb; Chapelle. The History of the American Sailing Navy: The Ships and Their Development. New York: Norton, 1949. repr. Bonanza; Brodie. Sea Power in the Machine Age. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1941; Hovgaard. Modern History of Warships. New York: Spon and Chamberlain, 1920;

Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1971; Paullin's articles date from 1905-1911; Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1968; E. B. Potter's Naval Academy Illustrated History of the United States Navy. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1971, and Sea Power: A Naval History, edited by Potter and Chester W. Nimitz. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1960, are fine works but are too ill-balanced to be satisfactory one-volume naval histories. " Gough. The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 18101914. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1971; Bourne. Britain and the



Balance of Power in North America, 1815-1908. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967; Graham. The Politics of Naval Supremacy: Studies in British Maritime Ascendancy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965. pp. 118-119, 125.

"Wars in Barbary. Arab Piracy and the Birth of the United States Navy. New York: Crown, 1971; Field. America and the Mediterranean World, 1776-1882, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969; Morison. Old Bruin. Boston: Little, Brown, 1967; Hitsman. The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965; Coles. The War of 1812. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965; Singletary. The Mexican War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, History of American Civilization, 1960. pb; Bauer. Surfboats and Horse Mutineers: U. S. Naval Operations in the Mexican War, 1846-1848. Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1969; Climax at Buena Vista: The American Campaign in Northeastern Mexico, 1846-47. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Great Battles of History, 1966. al Captain Suns Grant. Boston: Little, Brown, 1950; Catton's volumes were Grant Takes Command. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969, and Grant Moves South.

Boston: Little, Brown, 1960. Nevins' are vols. 5-8 of his Ordeal of the Union. 4 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1959-1971; John D. Hayes, editor. Samuel Francis DuPont. 3 vols. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969; Merrill. William Tecumseh Sherman. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1971; Wiley. The Life of Johnny Reb, the Common Soldier of the Confederacy. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943 and The Life of Billy Yank, the Common Soldier of the Union: Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1952. 22 Leonard A. Swann, Jr. John Roach, Maritime Entrepreneur: The Years as Naval Contractor, /862 -1886. Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1965; Edward W. Sloan III. Benjamin Franklin Isherwood, Naval Engineer: The Years as Engineer in Chief. 1861-1869. Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1965; Elinor and James A. Barnes, editors. Naval Surgeon: The Diary of Dr. Samuel Pellman Boyer. 2 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963; Great Britain and the Confederate Navy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970. "Goff. Confederate Supply. Durham: Duke University Press, 1969; Dew. Ironmaker to the Confederacy: Joseph R. Anderson and the Tredegar Iron Works. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966; Brewer. The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsmen and Military Laborers. Durham: Duke University Press, 1969; David Donald. Divided We Fought: A Pictorial History of the War, 1861-1965. New York: Macmillan, 1952; They Fought for the Union. Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1960. 24 Civil War Medicine. Springfield, Ill.: C. C. Thomas, 1966; Disease in the Civil War. Springfield. Ill.: C. C. Thomas, 1968; the Atlas was printed by Julius Bien, 1874. 25 Wellman. Death on Horseback: Seventy Years of War for the American West. Philadelphia: I.ippincott, 1947; Rickey. Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,

1963; Freidel. The Splendid Little War. Boston: Little, Brown, 1958. Dell pb;

Millis. The Martial Spirit: A Study of Our War with Spain. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931; Jones. Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Garden City: Doubleday, 1971; Healy. The United States in Cuba, 1898-1902: Generals, Politicians, and the Search for Policy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963; Millett. The Politics of Intervention. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1968;

Macaulay. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1967. 26 Admiral Sims and the Modern Navy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1942; John P. Holland, /841 -1914: Inventor of the Modern Submarine. Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1966; Navy League of the United States. Detroit: Wayne State Univer-

sity Press, 1962. " World War 1. New York: Knopf, 1967. pb; Coffman. The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I. New York: Oxford,

War: From Colonies to Vietnam


1968; Coffman. The Hilt of the SwordThe Career of Peyton C. March. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966; Palmer. Harrisburg: Military Service Pub. Co., 1948; Over There. Boston: Little, Brown, 1964; Doughboys. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Popular Library pb.; Stallings. The First World War: A Photographic History. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1933. Repr. 1960. "Hurley. Crusader for Air Power. New York: Franklin Watts, 1964; Tuleja. Statesmen, and Admirals: Quest for a Far Eastern Naval Policy. New York: W. W. Norton, 1963; Bowen. Ships, Machinery, and Mossbacks: The Autobiography of a Naval Engineer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954; James Leutze, editor. The London Journal. . . . Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. " American Strategy in World War II: A Reconsideration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1963; Command Decisions. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1959; MacDonald. The Mighty Endeavor: American Armed Forces in the European Theater in World War II. New York: Oxford, 1969; Morton. "Writings on World War II." Washington: Service Center for Teachers of History, American Historical Association, No. 66. 1967; "World War II: A Survey of Recent Writings." American Historical Review, Vol. LXXV; No. 7, Dec. 1970. pp. 1987-2008. "Wesley Frank Craven and James L Cate, editors. The Army Air Forces in World War II. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948-1958; Frankland. Bomber Offensive: The Devastation of Europe. New York: Ballantine, 1970; Verrier. The Bomber Offensive. New York: Macmillan, 1968; Buying Aircraft: Materiel Procurement for the Army Air Forces. Washington: U.S. Army, Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army in World War 11, U.S.G.P.O.,

1964; Ideas and Weapons. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953. Reprint. Hamden, Conn.: Archon, 1971. "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. 15 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, 1947-1962; Morison. The Two Ocean War. Boston: Little, Brown, 1963; The Fast Carriers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968.

"War and Society: The United States 1941-1945. Philadelphia: Lippincott,

1972. pb; The Army and Economic Mobilization by R. Elberton Smith, and The Army and Industrial Manpower by Byron Fairchild and Johnathan Grossman are in the U. S. Army in World War 11. Washington: Department of the Army, Office 1959, series. Titmuss's is in W. K. Hancock, editor. United Kingdom Civil Series; History of the Second World

of the Chief of Military History, U.S.G.P.O.,

War. London: H.M.S.O., 1950; Economic and Social History of the War. 150 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921-

" Collier. The Second World War: A Military History. New York: William Morrow, 1967; Buchanan. The United States and World War 11. 2 vols. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. pb; Ordeal of Total War. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. pb; Blumenson's works include The Duel for France; Kasserine Pass; Bloody River: The Real Tragedy of the Rapid°. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963, 1966, 1970; Anzio. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Great Battles of History, 1963; and Sicily:

Whose Victory? New York: Ballantine, 1968. One of Marshall's best is Night Drop: The American Airborne Invasion of Normandy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1962. Bantam pb. Charles MacDonald. Airborne. New York: Ballantine, 1970. pb, is just as expert and readable. 34 War with Japan. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1968; Farago. The Broken Seal: The Story of "Operation Magic" and the Pearl Harbor Disaster. New York: Random House, 1967. Bantam pb; Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962; Climax at Midway. New York: W. W. Norton, 1960. Berkeley pb; Falk. Bataan: The March of Death, and Decision at Leyte. New York: W. W. Norton, 1962, 1966; Belote and Belote. Corregidor: The Story of a Fortress, and Typhoon of Steel: The Battle for Okinawa. New

York: Harper & Row, 1967, 1970; Ledo Road: General Stilwell's Highway to China. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965; Japanese Navy in World War II: an Anthology of Articles by Former Officers of the Imperial Japanese



Navy and Air Defense Force. Intro. Raymond O'Connor. Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1969; Japan: The Final Agony. New York: Ballantine, 1970. pb; The relevant Pacific War sections of E. B. Potter and Chester W. Nimitz, Sea Power, were published separately as Triumph in the Pacific: The Navy's Struggle Against Japan. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1963. pb. 33 George C. Marshall. 2 vols. New York: Viking, 1963, 1966; Papers of George S. Patton, Jr. Houghton Mifflin, 1972; Years of MacArthur. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970; MacArthur as Military Commander. Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1969; Tuchman. Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 19411945. New York: Macmillan, 1971; D-Day: The Normandy Invasion in Retrospect. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1971; The Bitter Woods. New York: Putnams, 1969. Ace pb; Eisenhower and Berlin; 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe. New York: W. W. Norton, 1967. pb. 36 Halle.

The Cold War as History. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. pb;

LeFeber. America, Russia, and the Cold War: 1945-1966. New York: John Wiley,

1967. pb.,

"United States Strategic Bombing Survey. 319 vols. Washington: U.S.G.P.O., 1945-

. Bloch's work was reprinted by Garland, New York, in 1971.

"'Agar. The Price of Power: America since 1945. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. History of American Civilization, 1957. pb. Williams. The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. Cleveland: World, 1959. Rev. ed. 1962. Dell pb; Acheson. Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department. New York: W. W. Norton, 1969; Kennan. Memoirs: 1925-1950. Boston: Little, Brown, 1967; Spanier.

The Truman-MacArthur Contrmersy and the Korean War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959. Norton pb; Rees. Korea: The Limited War. New York: St. Martin's, 1964. Penguin pb; Fehrenbach. This Kind of War. New York: Macmillan, 1963. Pocket Books pb; Ridgeway. The Korean War. Garden City: Doubleday, 1967. Popular Library pb: Collins. War in Peacetime: The History and Lessons of Korea. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969.

"Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. New York: Harper & Row, 1957.

Norton pb; Strategy in the Missile Age. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959. pb: Prospect for America. Garden City: Doubleday, 1961; Mandate for Change: /953 -1956. Garden City: Doubleday, 1963. Signet pb. p. 36; The Power Elite. New York: Oxford, 1956. pb. The "military-industrial complex" speech is in Vv'e g ey. American Military. pp. 153-156. "How Much Is Enough?: Shaping the Defense Program, 1961-1969. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. pb; The Essence of Security: Reflections in Office. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. pb; Johnson. The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969. New York: Holt, 1971; White. Nobody Wanted War: Misperception in Vietnam and Other Wars. Garden City: Doubleday, 1968. pb; Windchy. Tonkin Gulf. Garden City: Doubleday, 1971; Hoopes. The Limits of Intervention. New York: D. McKay, 1969. pb; Cooper. The Lost Crusade: America in Vietnam. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970. Other personal choices are Ralph E. Lapp.

The Weapons Culture. New York: W. W. Norton. 1968. Penguin pb;

James A. Donovan's overwritten Militarism U.S.A. New York: Scribner's, 1970. pb; Charles C. Moskos, Jr. The American Enlisted Man. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1970; Harry A. Marmion. Selective Service: Conflict and Compromise. New York: John Wiley, 1968; and Murray Polner. No Victory Parades:

The Return of the Vietnam Veteran. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. ph.

4' "Military History." Washington: Service Center for Teachers of History, American Historical Association, No. 39, 1961. p. 18.


Intellectual History Paul K. Conkin

THE label "intellectual history," even at its best, is full of ambiguities. At its worst it has become an overused vulgarity. In the following pages I will try to remove some of the ambiguities, and possibly clarify why I increasingly do everything possible to avoid using the label at all. In one possible sense of the label, all history is intellectual history. More exactly, all knowledge about the distinctively human past necessarily implicates human thought. Before clarifying this assertion, let me emphasize that such a broad definition of intellectual history has no discriminatory role. So used, the label only clarifies some of the distinctive attributes of all human history, or of man himself, and in no way designates a particular subdivision or field within the broad domain of historical knowledge. In this broadest sense, every historian is an intellectual historian. Such a sweeping claim, with its hint of definitional imperial-

ism, may indeed elicit howls of outrage from historians who believe themselves unfairly slandered, or from others who rightly recognize a semantic tour de force, and counter with "so what?". Yet, I believe a clarification of this broadest possible meaning can be much more instructive to history teachers than my later efforts to clarify types of history.' Among all the animals only man has developed a symbolic language.

This is his prime tool and sets him dramatically apart from all other creatures. Other animals are conscious; other animals learn, even very complicated things. Other animals have imagination and memory, and often act rationally in the sense that they have or learn life-enhancing habits. But only man thinks. Only in him does a vast, elaborate symbolism guide the formation of habits. Other animals elaborately train their young; it is a myth that they live only by genetically determined instincts. But only in man does survival depend upon an encoded and cumulative heritage, a heritage passed on to each new generation by symbolic forms of communication. The child who does not learn to talk 227



(or to use other parallel forms of symbolism, such as the visual signs of the deaf) remains almost helpless or, in the expressive language of the past, "dumb." Every human child is born not only into a perceptual environment but also into a conceptual one, or to what we often loosely refer to as a cultural environment or a world of symbolic meanings. A man and a dog perceive roughly the same world; direct sense experience surely fosters almost the same perceptual images. But man alone has the ability to translate these images into an elaborate code system. In him, a carefully

discriminated pattern of airwaves against an ear drum, or even the memory of such, can elicit the same image as direct sensual contact. The sound, or a phonetic and written rendition of it (a second level of coding), stands for or means the specific perception. But not perfectly. Here is the limit as well as the glory of language. We cannot name, we cannot reduce to a serviceable code, all aspects of any perception. To some extent, to name is to distort or at least to oversimplify. In fact, our most useful codes stand, not for the particularities of experience, but for the common qualities of many experiences. Proper names (John, or Fido) stand for perceived, individual objects with some continuing identity, and thus only exclude the shifting particularities that are not essential to identity (the changed clothing, or shed fur). Our much more useful class names stand for common properties in many different objects (man, dog), and thus are much more general and abstract, bypassing as

they do all the particularities that bestow individual identity upon an object or person. A word, if it serves as an adequate means of communication, induces in a hearer (or reader) the exact meaning or image intended by a speaker or writer. Since many words have many meanings, the context often has as much to do with successful communication as the language used. The ambiguities of most languages do not make them any less necessary. Conceptualization is impossible without some conventional symbolism, and without the physiological equipment that sustains such symbolism. Thinking, literally, is talking to oneself. The facile use of symbolism not only gives man a cumulative cultural heritage, but also allows him a very special relationship with the future. Animals have desires. Only man can plan. By symbolic projection, he can

survey a wide range of options, some well beyond any past or any present realizable direct experience, and thus beyond the range of imagery open to other animals. Human aspirations are often selfconscious, highly discriminatory, and, most important, shared down to the smallest nuance of meaning with other persons. Symbolic communica-

tion makes a human society quite different from an animal one. The human society coheres not because of instinct (as in an ant colony), but

Intellectual History


because of shared meanings and common, projective goals. The human society alone reflects purpose. It alone is a community. Human history is, in one sense, preeminently the history of human thought. By standing back far enough, by refusing to sort out the meanings present in his behavior, one might construct a natural history of man. Standing on a distant mountain peak, one might describe human groups as they move endlessly about on the plains below. Even without access to their symbolically expressed ideals, one might read meanings into their behavior (they obviously moved to the valley because they wanted pasture for their flock). By an imposition of one's own culturally conditioned preferences, or dubious reference to some behavior necessary to man because of his nature, one might infer intent or expectation. But we suspect that such speculation would often miss the mark. The only way to know why a group of people moved where they did is to seek out the purposes inherent in the movement, or the projective goals

that are consciously present in the decisionmore likely, the past thought that lies buried in the present habits of migration. To know why a human society behaves the way it does is, necessarily, to know something of the symbolic meanings that constitute its intellectual environment. In fact, human behavior that in no way reflects thought (overt and present, or implicit and past), that is in no sense purposive, rarely enters

into our account of the human past. We assume all the belches and sneezes.

The lesson for historians is obvious. To understand rather than distort the human past we must decipher some of the symbolic content that is almost always present. It is easy to impose present meanings upon past

behavior, to read into it the same motives that attend our own, outwardly similar behavior. (Since I always move for economic reasons, so surely did my progenitors.) It is even easier to impose present meanings upon words used by our progenitors, to assume quite foolishly that they meant what we mean by such words as democracy, property, work, or freedom. The failure to unearth subtle shifts in verbal meaning, perhaps

more than anything else, makes so much of our purported American history only a caricature. This problem of word meaning is both inescapable and tremendously challenging. Used in this broad sense, intellectual history identifies not a field but a necessary dimension in any history. Every field confronts the problem of meaning. A military historian deals with human aspirations, and often with well-calculated strategies. Even the way a general arrays his troops reflects either his own careful thought about future eventualities, or else

matured habits that he developed in the past, but habits nonetheless based upon someone's strategic thinking. Even if unaware of the im-



plications of many of his most crucial decisions, the general still reflects the conditioning influence of thought. No historian can properly understand the battle without some insight into this strategic thinking. If we

cannot find the meanings present in human behavior, the purposes sought, much of it will always remain to us a baffling mystery.

Nothing is more obvious than the habitual nature of most of our action. We do not have the time to make conscious decisions in most situations, let alone think long and reflectively about them. For this reason, the vast preponderance of the human past that we can know, given a desire to know it, does not consist of man thinking, or of such unalloyed products of thought as hypotheses and beliefs. Most of man's products, most of his striving, do reflect some overt thought, some conscious planning and calculation. But these also reflect matured habits and much non-conscious behavior, and thus the living deposit of past men's thinking. Historians often allege that they have no interest in "ideas." Because of the preponderance of the habitual in their own area of investigation, they avow such other interests as political behavior, economic organization, diplomatic interchange, artistic triumphs, or patterns of social organization. In each case, however, if they are at all competent historians, they weave into their accounts the thought componentsthe political ideals, the conceptions of economic value, the explicit or implicit goals of foreign policy, the esthetic norms, and the preferences reflected in family or community organization. It is much

more important for the production and dissemination of historical knowledge that all historians, whatever they call their speciality, deal perceptively and honestly with the meanings present in their subject area, than it is that specialists in abstraction write what they consider to be intellectual history.

Nonetheless it is possible to define a quite narrow and precise form of intellectual history, or what some historians refer to either -1 the history of ideas or the internal history of thought. In this perspective, intellectual history is a distinctive field, with its own special subject matter and, to an extent, its own peculiar methods. Here, as in all internal distinctions within history, selective focus is what discriminates. A historian may, if he wants, give special or even exclusive emphasis to

the thought present in human events. If writing about wars, he may focus almost entirely upon strategic thinking; if about economic change, he may emphasize economic theories; if about the arts, he may focus on esthetic concepts; if about church history, he may talk only of theology.

In each case he has a compelling interest in concepts and beliefs, although he may still relate these to a broader context of behavior. He may feel obligated to trace some battlefield events, or record the magni-

Intellectual History


tude of changes in an economic system. But even here his emphasis is still ideational. If he could, he might prefer to eliminate all references to the battle or to the economic system. If his audience already knows about the battle, he may indulge his penchant for the exclusively conceptual. In actual fact, such "pure" intellectual history almost always departs from developed areas of historical understanding." In the same way, political or military historians often assume a developed knowledge of political ideals or strategic goals, and thus write only about external events. My point here is obviousno topically narrowed form of history exists in a vacuum. Context, purpose, and the existing state of knowledge all help guide our selective focus. Selective interest is in no sense suspect. It is necessary if we are to write any history at all. We must select the aspects of the past that we want to know more about, and those that seem important enough to us to justify all the efforts at understanding. The danger that attends our purposeful but always in some sense arbitrary selective focus is a loss of perspective, or exaggerated claims of importance for our chosen subject. A professed intellectual historian, whatever he means by the label, may assert that "ideas," whatever he means by that elusive word, are the most determinant aspect of human behavior. Historians often debate the significance of "ideas" in human events, or contend over the relative

importance of "ideas" in contrast to such equally vague entities as economic forces, irrational instincts, feelings and emotions, or social institutions. Sophomores periodically resurrect the tired old chicken-egg dilemmawhich comes first, ideas or action? All such issues are bogus, based on the most irresponsible form of conceptual imprecision or on completely absurd dualities. What is an idea?a simple concept, a per-

ceptual image, a propositional belief, a hypothesis? Does "rational" apply to "ideas" or to behavior? What have "ideas" to do with rationality or irrationality? What are forces, or institutions, or even behavior? Are these the opposites of "ideas," or larger classes that include "ideas"? It is this semantic jungle that haunts most discussions of intellectual history. Man not only sits, stands, and walks; he also talks. And he spends an enormous amount of time talking to himself, or thinking. This talking and thinking is a form of doing, itself a form of human behavior. For physiological reasons, a man cannot talk (or think) in complete isolation from other bodily behavior. And in his wakened hours, a man rarely does anything that does not parallel some thinking, although the two may not interact causally. Often they do. Falling down may stimulate some hard thinking about the state of one's health or the frequency of curbs on city streets. But some projective thinking, and the relishing of symbolically triggered images (of ice cream that can be purchased down



the street), may well have stimulated the ill-fated walk. There is no chicken and egg. In all cases there are only interactive types of human behavior, and human behavior is distinctive only in that at times it does include some thinking behavior. Man can do things thought-fully, and

that, by the way, is not the same thing as doing things rationally. Thought-full behavior includes the two possible aspectsconscious, verbal awareness and deliberation, or a configuration of habit determined

in the past by such thinking, either in the actor or in his progenitors. Since almost all human behavior is, to some extent, thought-full, the domain of the specialized intellectual historian is as broad as human history itself but obviously not nearly so encompassing. The word "idea" is terribly loose and troublesome, although it usually designates some unit of thought. In our philosophical traditions, going back as far as the Greeks, the word "idea" designated a single, distinct

meaning, and particularly a class meaning or concept. In this sense, intellectual historians have to be continually concerned with ideas, for their purpose is to seek out the meanings present in past events. Often this goal leads them to the key words used by people in the past. Today, an increasing number of young intellectual historians are mainly concerned with the subtle nuances of language, and seek their specialized training in semantics or linguistic analysis. As historical critics, they demand greater precision of language from all historians, and are quick to point out the ambiguities that lurk in most conventional categories and labels (reformer, progressive, liberal, conservative, communist, racist, imperalist, isolationist). In their own historical writing they emphasize precision, endless definition, and careful distinctions. Such analytical tools, in themselves, do not constitute a subject matter or field

of history. But their use does inform a growing interest in the varied meaningr, that people have attached to such crucial but very ambiguous words as progress, property, liberty, God, morality, science, or religion." A historian with these interests will not trace a precise concept through

time, but will identify the varied concepts (or images) that attach to common words. This is no easy task, requiring as it does, a meticulous concern for context and for rhetorical fashions. When well done, it is the

best possible antidote for the most vicious form of presentismthe reading of present meanings into past word usage.

Arthur 0. Lovejoy, the Johns Hopkins philosopher who tried to create a distinct speciality in the history of ideas, and who helped found the Journal of the History of Ideas, urged historians to write "biographies" of influential ideas or concepts, whatever the varying language that expressed them. He carefully distinguished his "simple" or "unit"

ideas from ambiguous words (God, freedom, democracy) and from

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complex beliefs or ideologies (materialism, idealism, naturalism), but clearly was interested only in quite broad concepts that endured over an extended time and exerted great influence. In fact, after his careful definition of a unit idea, he selected the perfect candidate for his provoca-

tive book, The Great Chain of Being.4 Lovejoy had few followers, in part because of the difficulties in his atomistic definition of ideas, in part because of the immense knowledge in several fields required to trace a single concept through many centuries and to locate it in many languages and many countries. Most historians who describe themselves as intellectual historians in a strict sense write not about single concepts or ambiguous words but about systems of belief that include numerous related concepts, and which are often the matured product of an immense amount of human

thinking. For our purposes, a belief is a proposition, valuative or descriptive, simple or complex, speculative or empirically validated, that

a person is willing to accept or affirm. Many people may be unable clearly to articulate a belief, but will nonetheless enthusiastically endorse it. With Charles S. Peirce, I like to make a further distinction between mere verbal accent, which often reflects pervasive verbal fashions (every-

one professes a belief in the gods), and authentic belief, which also requires a habitual propensity to act in a certain way (one who really believes that the gods respond to prayer plants his corn before the prayer

meeting). When authentic beliefs cease to function at all on a verbal level, and those who hold them can only with great mental efforts verbalize their content, I refer to such implicit beliefs as "assumptions." When whole communities share such assumptions, and reflect the appro-

priate habits, I then use the word "institution," although the word is used in other contexts than group habits and beliefs. The lack of a clear and accepted nomenclature makes intellectual history a confusing maze of ideas, beliefs, forces, attitudes, assumptions, and images. If human beliefs are his subject, the intellectual historian has a compelling reason to be selective in one of two directionssignificance or quality. In the morass of propositions accepted by our ancestors, most were commonplace and trivial, related to proximate and ephemeral issues, or held by only a few people. Significant beliefs, to most any historian, include very basic beliefs about such subjects as reality, gods, the physical universe, man, and society; prophetic beliefs that, possibly over centuries, anticipate and then help motivate tremendous changes in man's behavior; and broadly-shared beliefs, which vitally influence the lives of a whole community. Only the historical understanding of such significant beliefs allows us to identify who we really are, to know the often unnoticed beliefs that we still reflect in our habitual behavior.



The historian's perception of what past beliefs still inhere in present institutions, his estimate of which beliefs are basic or most important, and his impression or even precise knowledge about how many people now share these beliefs, all help determine the subject of his inquiry. Quality is a more challengeable selective criteria for the historian. Whether for good reasons or not, an intellectual historian often selects for study past beliefs that meet his own logical and esthetic criteria of excellence and writes about these even when they do not meet his criteria of significance. Thus, he writes about what he considers good theology, or good science, and ignores bad theology and bad science, even though

the good had small impact and the bad was vastly influential. This selective bias parallels that of the literary historian, who may select for attention less influential works of fiction because they alone meet certain esthetic criteria. He might even define literature by these same criteria, and thus rightly insist that he could not include any fiction that did not meet his criteria and remain a literary historian. In the same way, an intellectual historian working in the history of philosophy or of some

science has to use some standards to define his field. He brings the preferences of the connoisseur to his subject. He enjoys his subject and soon reflects the professional's contempt for illogical, loose, or superficial thought, or for the vulgar clichés of the intellectual marketplace.

As a historian, he sees the significance of the vulgar, but he cannot sustain enough interest to explore it. He turns quickly back to the sublime, knowing that rigorous intellectual products often reveal very little about a society, since few people create these products, and some of them may never have much impact on popular thought. The intellectual historian, in such cases, disavows any interest in a whole society, or in what I would call social history. The understandable taste for the best of human thought means that intellectual historians, in the pure sense that I now use the label, usually

write about the beliefs of a narrow elite, or a small class of highly literate, original, and even brilliant men and women (and, in fact, almost

exclusively so far, about men). To explore the frontiers of human thought is to find precious few frontiersmen. Intellectual historians exhaustively explore the beliefs of pioneer scientists, classic philosophers,

brilliant theologians, or innovative social theorists.5 And they do have a.defense for such elitist selectivity. This defense, as a defense for any selection in history, relates to purpose, to their reasons for writing the history they do write. Over the long term, the most rigorous thinking may become widely accepted, and at that point very influential. One may write its history in order to speed the process of assimilation. Acquaintanceship with rigorous thinking may develop, in an audience, a taste for

Intellectual History


rigor and help them develop the critical tools necessary to expose the vulgar. Finally, the highly technical thought of a physicist may reveal almost nothing about his age, but it may reveal a great deal about a society a hundred years later. When Darwin first published Origin of Species in 1859, few people could understand or accept the idea of natural selection; today almost all literate people understand and accept it. The thought of an elite is much more accessible than the beliefs of the masses. The beliefs of the common folk, even when they seem worthy of investigation, are still hard to decipher, particularly in the more dis-

tant past. Crude, aggregate data, subjected to statistical analysis, may

reveal the outer contours of non-articulate belief. For part of our American past, we do have voting records, church attendance lists, and several intellectually revealing categories of census information. These allow broad, summary judgments about belief, particularly when we already know something about the commitments of a party or a church, and when we can reliably infer similar concerns or beliefs for those who vote or affiliate. If I know a person was a Presbyterian in 1810, I can make some highly probable guesses about his belief. But I can do this

only because I already know some of the subtleties and nuances of nineteenth-century Calvinism, and I learned these, not from the artifacts

left by the membership, but from careful attention to an articulate ministerial elite. My point is simple; even to interpret gross data about popular belief one needs a broad acquaintanceship with an elite, with

articulate and persuasive men who helped mold the beliefs of their followers.6

The understanding of basic beliefs, particularly in the modern period, invites or even requires specialization and often highly technical knowl-

edge. Few historians .oday attempt general histories of belief. Titus, intellectual history is a class name for common characteristics (basic beliefs in each cast) of an unending list of topical specialitieshistory of philosophy, of theology, of various sciences, of social thought. At great peril, a historian may try to find some configuration or coherence betyk,eil Lontemporary but highly specialized beliefs, such as a common

paradigm, a world view, or what Carl Becker metaphorically dubbed a "climate of opinion." Elusive concepts like "Enlightenment" or "romanticism" or "age of belief" often provide the ineffective glue for such efforts.' Some systems of thought, particularly religious and philosophical, include beliefs about almost any conceivable subject (Christianity, Marxism). Historians often write about such total systems or ideologies, but only when whole populations understand and accept them do such belief systems provide the unity for an age, or permit an



intellectually unified treatment of all areas of thought. At one time, at least, we believed Calvinist Christianity was such a unifying ideology in colonial New England." We now have profound doubts even about Technical requirements reinforce specialization. One has to be a

reasonably good theologian to understand the beliefs of any great theologian in the past, for understanding instead of oversimplification and

distortion requires a grasp of all the subtleties. Without an extensive background in the physical sciences, without a grasp of key concepts, methods, hypotheses, one simply cannot understand their more recent historical development. It is even increasingly difficult for intellectual his-

torians in highly specialized areas to communicate their finding to the layman. There is no adequate common language. Because of his interest in the continuities of thought, the intellectual historian usually emphasizes ideational causes. Among the many conditions necessary for a brilliant new hypothesis in physics, one will be the exact nature of the previously accepted hypotheses. This the historian of science will em phasize as he tells the intriguing story of the development of physical theory from the time of Newton to Einstein.° He may completely ignore extrinsic motives, pressures, and circumstances. It is this emphasis upon ideational causes that vindicates the distinction of "internal" history of thought from an "external" treatment, in which non-ideational factors receive equal attention. I wish I could end my efforts at definition at this point. I wish historians in general would restrict the meaning of intellectual history to the study of past human thought, of concepts and beliefs. Needless to say, historians and non-historians alike use the label in a much more loose and broad way, as a brief scrutiny of almost any college catalogue or publisher's blurb will quickly testify. In them the label also stands for biographies of intellectuals, for the varied, often non-ideational conditions that foster thought, for the non-ideational effects of belief, for loose attempts to define and trace through time the essential character traits or perceptual habits of Americans, for the history of high and low culture, or even for types of social history. This medley of subjects still reflects the early, grab-bag courses, offered under such compound titles as "American social, cultural, and intellectual history," which first gave a place in American history curriculums for some detailed consideration of basic beliefs. Since all original thought originates with some individual, the historian

may develop as much interest in the thinker as in his beliefs. If I write a history of a belief system (a religion, a science), I can hardly disregard the contributions of individuals, of prophets and pioneers. But if my interest is in their intellectual contributions, I may have little concern

Intellectual History


for the personal reasons that led to the thinking. I am primarily inter-

ested in one "why?"why, at that point in time, was it possible for them to think as they did? What already developed conceptual universe made their new advance possible? It is in the continuities of thought that I seek causes. But here I scarcely find the likely motives for the think-

ing. A motivational "why" may lead me far afield from belief, into pecuniary or status goals, into compulsive behavior, into role anxiety, or,

more embracing, into some beleaguered circumstance, some crisis or conflict, which invited rationalization, not in the Freudian sense, but in the sense of long, careful, vindicating intellectual effort. In a personal biography I may even be able to suggest a broad range of reasons why Einstein developed his special theory of relativity without detailing the intellectual dilemmas that so characterized several fields of physics in the late nineteenth century. But note that some of the same selective criteria influence the intellectual biographer as well as the historian -:,f beliefs. It was Einstein's momentous technical achievements in such areas as the special theory, and his place in the whole history of modern physics, which made him a likely prospect for a biography)"

In a non-biographical context, there are also many non-ideational conditions that foster and guide even the most serious forms of thinking. These include educational facilities, libraries, newspapers and journals, the electronic media, governmental and philanthropic funding, and professional organizations. A history of government support for scientific research, or of the development of graduate education in America, or of the early years of the American Economics Association obviously relates

closely to the types of belief that found acceptance in America. Such institutional determinants of belief as education also reflect belief, particularly educational philosophy, but the historian of American education might well focus as much upon administration forms, financing, or political support as upon guiding ideals. Thus, most histories of education are more than histories of concepts or beliefs, and in strict terms not intellectual histories at all." Just as non-ideational factors influence thought, so human thought influences and in some small way shapes types of human activity and products of human creativity that, in their complex totality, seem anything but intellectual. A historian may begin with a carefully articulated and highly original belief, but then spend most of his time showing its subsequent dissemination, its almost inevitable popularization, and the wide range of behavioral changes that followed its acceptance." If the new belief was a scientific hypothesis, he may show how acceptance of the belief allowed men to exert powerful new controls over events (technology ), and then trace some of the effects of the applied knowl-



edge. Here he conforms to an old admonitionthe intellectual historian, unlike the historian of ideas, should move back and forth between formal or technical thought and the concrete consequences of such thought, between belief and action. Or, put in equally suspect terms, he should be interested not only in ideas but in their role. Unfortunately, an interest in the "role" of ideas (a historian in any field except intellectual history has to have such an interest, because his subject necessarily reflects some of the effects of thought) too often diverts attention from the exact content of specific beliefs. Almost all the Darwinisms, the theories of relativity, the various pragmatisms, and the Calvinisms that people so many of our histories are little better than vulgar caricatures. Ironically, all historians except the intellectual must have an interest in the nonideational consequences of belief (in the resulting strategies of generals, the machinations of politicians, the constructions of engineers). The intellectual historian alone has the privilege of attending only to the precise content of past beliefs, or of analyzing one very restricted role the influence of past beliefs upon subsequent ones. All deliberate human creations reflect the influence of thought. But only those creations expressed in language bare their conceptual content for all to see. They are immediate products of thought; they may be direct affirmations of belief. But a newly designed engine, a musical composition, a painting may give few clues to the thought that lay behind it. Here the thought merges with the material and formal content. Even literary productions, such as a poem, contain musical and non-conceptual uses of language. In a novel the language may be largely expressive and evocative; the concepts may suggest immediate experience, support

fantasy, and not reveal a great deal about the beliefs of the author. Among human creations some, by the superb skills they reflect, have gained the flattering label of arts. By quite arbitrary criteria, we also distinguish between practical and fine arts. When we write a history of highly instrumental arts, we write a "history of technology"; when we write of such fine arts as literature, music, or painting, we have "cultural history"; when about popular modes of expression and less talented creativity, we have a "history of popular culture." Such histories have no closer relationship to intellectual history than do politica) and economic history. In fact, only convention presents us from classifying a political or economic system as an object of art, and those who create or successfully administer such systems as artists. But intrinsic relationships have little to do with curriculum planning. By well-established precedents, historians often merge intellectual history and at least a history of the fine arts in both their books and their courses." Personally, I find it an incompatible marriage.

Intellectual History


Merle Curti, in his immensely influential Growth of American Thought," wrote what he called a social history of thought. By this, he meant that he not only identified and traced influential beliefs, but that he also tried to show personal and societal influences that helped produce the beliefs. He included not only the beliefs of an intellectual elite, but also the less sophisticated beliefs of the common people. He found many of his sources in the fine and popular arts, particularly literature. This comprehensive approach forced him to treat more technical thought, particularly in theology, philosophy, and science, in quite general terms,

or by a type of "external" characterization. Such a broad approach, merging as it does intellectual history, cultural history, intellectual biography, and several types of institutional history (education in particular), probably remains more useful for high school teachers than a more narrowly specialized history of basic beliefs. The most ambitious publishing

effort in this area is Rand McNally's new series on The History of American Thought and Culture, edited by David Van Tassel.'5 The first seven volumes are uneven in quality, and generally lacking in the conceptual rigor craved by intellectual historians. But they provide a virtual encyclopedia of information.

A distinguishable type of history hardly fits any of the previous definitions. Even to link it with intellectual history is to invite all manner of confusions, but many do so identify it. This unique genre began with Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth, and ballooned in a wide range of books." These historians have

tried to identify prevalent images held by Americans, and have often confused the term image with such other divergent terms as myth and symbol. They have sought patterns of perception, the contours of feeling and emotion, or what they consider even more fundamental than con-

cepts and beliefs. They believe these shared images, even when nonconscious and inarticulate, tremendously shape attitudes and behavior. Such images allow one to trilk about a group mind, or to formulate theories about national character. The sources for such broad topics are as elusive and impressionistic as the themes, but more often than not these authors turn to popular and polite literature. Many are as much literary critics as historians. Their approach suffers from conceptual imprecision and from identification with now outdated theories drawn from depth psychology (Jung and Freud in particular). Their work may strike the conscientious intellectual historian as the most wanton form

of speculation. Yet, what it has lacked in rigor it has balanced by speculative daring and brilliance. It still excites students by its breadth and vigor. Such a pre-conceptual level of analysis seems to explain so

much, or at least tantalize so easily. Its relationship to literature, its



creative potential, has insured its popularity in such fields as American Studies.

Because of an earlier coexistence in courses, intellectual and social history often remain in an increasingly coercive marriage, at least in college catalogues. This chapter cannot do full justice to social history, or give very much content to the label. It should not be considered a label parallel with, or in any sense in conflict with, intellectual history. As used here, the term intellectual history designates a selective focus upon the thought present or reflected in past human behavior. Everything in man's past relates to society. For this reason, "social" cannot designate topical discrimination. Social history is not a category comparable to economic, political, or intellectual. It labels not a distinctive aspect of human aspiration, but the scope of coverage in a history. A social historian accepts the challenge of writing about whole populations, or at least about large groupings of people. Of course he can not tell everything about the population (often he can find out very little", but the topics he does include must be as broad as the total group. He

may write exclusively about beliefs (and thus also be an intellectual historian), but he tries to understand the beliefs, not of a narrow elite, but of a whole population. The same is true if he selects political or economic topics. Even the earliest self-denominated social historians reflected an interest in the life of the common people, of the masses, of the laboring class. In the thirties and forties, American social historians wrote about popular manners and fashions, about clubs and fraternities, about the family and neighborhood institutions, about nativism and im-

migration, and about broadly based reform movements. They often relied on testimonial data and generalized without warrant. More recent social historians have concentrated on demography, economic develop-

ment, class or social structure, the working classes, and on political behavior. They have utilized broad types of data and subjected them to rigorous analysis, often with the help of computers. Since many of the newer interests parallel the concerns of social scientists, social historians often share with them both analytical tools and theoretical models." It seems to me that the major recent shift in interest among American

historians has been toward social history. An increasing number of young historians want to write about a whole people, and not about powerful or persuasive or brilliant elites. Whether this turns out to be an enduring shift of interest, or an ephemeral fad, only time will tell. The growing popularity of social history reflects both a moral concern with the poor, the lowly, and the exploited, and an early and glowing fascination with new research methods. Thus, for different reasons, the field appeals to morally sensitive radicals and to technically proficient devotees of numbers, charts, and graphs, or of quantitative precision.

Intellectual History


There is no conflict between intellectual history and social history; at times they are overlapping classes. But the interests of the two most often diverge. Intellectual historians not only write most often about elites, but feel that the thought of gifted men has more to teach us than the thought of the masses. The social historian chooses a different subject, and necessarily pursues it with different tools, presumably again because he feels that the resulting knowledge will be more beneficial for mankind. Indeed, there has been some friction, some mutual resentment and recrimination, a crossfire of depreciatory judgments, between the two so-called "fields." But the tension is unjustified. The social historian must realize that, in any comprehensive inquiry about a whole society, he has to encompass meanings and beliefs, both those articulate and, much prevalent among the masses, those residual in habits. No more than any other historian can he ignore this universal dimension of human

behavior, and no more than any other historian can he escape the obligation to treat thought with precision and rigor. Social historians have rarely achieved the level of conceptual rigor, the concern with nuances of language, the sensitivity to doctrinal subtleties, that intellectual historians take for granted. But even as intellectual historians necessarily seek greater proficiency in semantics, logic, and linguistic analysis (or tools best acquired in philosophy courses), social historians

have necessarily sought the analytical tools necessary for extracting meaning from massed data, tools that ultimately derive from mathematics. In order to tell the story of large populations, even in order to learn much about pervasive beliefs, one has to make inferences from such aggregate records as census reports, church and school records, tax and

court records, birth and death reports, and employment and union records. A social historian has to count and calculate, sample, and correct sampling errors. He has to use varied types of statistical analysis

to locate likely causes or to find meaningful patterns. The frequent recourse to such statistical tools gave birth to one of the many linguistic

absurdities of our day"quantitative history." This completes a rather elaborate effort at definition. Since I am an intellectual historian, I am content. I hope I have revealed the role of thought in all areas of human history, clarified the range of specialized topics suggested by that elusive title, intellectual history, and showed the complex relationship between these topics (the history of concepts and beliefs, of intellectuals, of institutions that support intellectual endeavor, of high and low culture, of images or symbols) and social history. If I could, I would end with a brief assessment of the recent returns in all these fields. Because of their 'very diversity, and the quite different



developments in each, this is impossible. As a substitute for mature judgment, I can always fall back on the typical substitute. I can count. From 1960 through 1969, the Journal of American History reviewed almost 400 books that, after an unending series of arbitrary and difficult

judgments, I decided could best fit into one of the above fields (excluding social history). In the early years of the decade these books made

up approximately 20 per cent of those reviewed. By 1969 the total number of reviews had increased, but the proportion had clearly dropped to around 12 per cent, seemingly indicating a decline in interest in these

types of intellectual history. It probably only reveals an increasing number of published dissertations on local political history, and a more generous review policy by the Journal. I also emphasize that this count-

ing means very little. Few books neatly fit topical categories. Even so, the volume of books is staggeringly large. In all this volume I find no dramatic new departures. Prosperity still promotes more prosperity. Puritan New England still attracts the largest volume of work in both intellectual and social history. The age of broad, sweeping surveys seems over. We will probably never have an-

other Curti, or Ralph Gabriel, or Vernon Parrington, or even a Perry Miller. Likewise, broad interpretations, or unifying themes, are of the distant past. They all break down before rigorous analysis or reveal a distressing lack of confirming evidence. It is now clear that there has never been an American mind, or a common, distinctive American character, provided one could give a precise meaning for either concept.

It even makes little sense to talk about "American thought," unless one means the varied beliefs held by Americans. Individual Americans have made dramatic contributions in almost all areas of thought, but they have contributed to an international intellectual community and have invariably drawn upon the resources of that community. National boundaries cannot confine belief, or define it. Unfortunately, much purported intellectual history still suffers from sweeping judgments, undefined terms, and flimsy evidential support. Outside a few well-developed sub-specialities, such as the history of science and of philosophy, few historians have secured the requisite technical training, or developed the compelling interest, to deal with sophisticated and specialized think-

ing or to place it in its intellectual environment. In fact, in the most narrow and precise sense of the term, intellectual history is still only an ungainly infant.

This deficiency may be of no great consequence to teachers, either at the high school or college level. Since I prefer total ignorance to simplistic stereotypes, I fear that any effort to introduce specialized intellectual history into high schools will do more harm than good.

Intellectual History


By this, I mean that few teachers can or should deal with serious theology, with philosophy, or with most of the modern sciences. I have yet to find even a college-level text that does anything but distort these subjects, and thus leave students with horribly warped concepts. Darwin's conception of natural selection simply cannot be abridged into a few paragraphs, at least not in any language a beginning student could grasp. Very few present-day historians are able to grasp the rich range of meanings present in the Christian doctrine of predestination. Textbook renditions of it invariably horrify me. What the intellectual historian does offer the high school teacher is a type of warning: be exact, be precise. Define and define and then define

some more. Try, insofar as possible, to unravel the exact meanings present in the most familiar areas of the past. We can be fair to our progenitors only when we truly understand them, even as we hope that our children will be fair to us, and go to all the laborious efforts necessary to understand what we valued and what we believed. Surely high school students can at least work at understanding what John Adams

meant by a "good republic," or what Abraham Lincoln might have meant by "one nation," or what Woodrow Wilson meant by "democracy." This is a very tough assignment, but a challenging one. If we ignore meanings, if we stumble over serious beliefs, we blaspheme our heritage and never come to know it. Instead, we only hurl our parochial prejudices at it. Then all our references to the past, even all our pretentious footnotes, only camouflage our historical ignorance. FOOTNOTES 'The most elaborate analysis of the role of thought in all human history is in R. G. Collingwood. The Idea of History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.

As a fact, almost no one writes such "pure" intellectual history. But in such technical areas as philosophy or science, the broader context may appear only in the most peripheral sense. For example, a new book by Morton G. White, Science

and Sentiment in America: Philosophical Thought from Jonathan Edwards to John Dewey, New York: Oxford University Press, 1972, includes almost no biographical information, almost no refeteuces to the non-ideational context. The best example of such semantic history is Donald Fleming, "Attitude: The History of a Concept," in Perspectives in American History, 1, 1967, pp. 287-365.

Darrett B. Rutman, in American Puritanism: Faith and Practice, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1970, is particularly concerned with definitions; the word "race" provides a focus for William Stanton's The Leopard's Spots; Scientific Attitudes Toward Race in America, 1815-59, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.

The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an idea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936. 5We have no history of scientific theory in America. Instead we have a growing number of biographies of our best scientists. Good examples are A. Hunter Dupree.



Asa Gray, 1810-1888. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959; Carl Resek. Lewis Henry Morgan; American Scholar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960; and Edward Lurie. Louis Agassiz: A Life in Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.

Almost all major, and most minor, American philosophers have rated biographers. Washington Square Press has sponsored a large series of intellectual biographies in its series, The Great American Thinkers. Loren Baritz, City on a

Hill, New York: Wiley, 1964, and Paul K. Conkin, Puritans and Pragmatists, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1968, provide a broader introduction to major philosophers.

In theology, Jonathan Edwards has deservedly received the most scholarly attention; the best analysis of his theology is in Douglas J. Elwood, The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, New York: Columbia University Press, 1960; less perceptive is Conrad Cherry, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Garden City: Doubleday, 1966. The only survey of American theology as a whole is by Sydney E. Ahlstrom, editor, Theology in America; the Major Protestant Voices from Puritanism to Neo-orthodoxy, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967, Social theory might include sucb diverse areas as moral philosophy, political and economic theory, the leading theories or models in the social sciences, and even utopian thought. Joseph Dorfman's The Economic Mind in American Civiliza-

tion, 5 volumes, New York: Viking Press, 1946-1959, has no imitators in other fields. Morton G. White, Social Thought in America; The Revolt Against Formalism, New York: Viking Press, 1949, relates several individual thinkers around a common theme; so does R. Jackson Wilson in his In Quest of Community: Social Philosophy in the United States, 1860-1920, New York: Wiley, 1968.

'Actually, I know of no intellectual historian who has tried to derive beliefs entirely from gross data. Robert G. Pope in The Half-Way Covenant: Church Membership in Puritan New England, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969, at least relates doctrinal issues to data derived from membership lists.

'Daniel Boorstin's The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson, New York: Henry Holt, 1948, is the best possible example of an effort to find a common body of assumption relating diverse intellectuals.

" We have no diminution of studies on Calvinist or Puritan thought. The shadow of Perry Miller still hovers over most such efforts. Some recent contributions include: Norman Pettit. The Heart Prepared: Grace and Conversion in Purium Spiritual Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966; Alan Heimert. Reli-

gion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966; Edmund S. Morgan. Visible Saints:

The History of a Puritan Idea. New York: New York University Press, 1963; Robert Middlekauff. The Mothers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971; T. H. Breen. The Character of the Good Rules: A Study of Puritan Political Ideas in New England, 16301730. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970. °See A. d'Abro. The Evolution of Scientific Thought: Newton to Einstein. 2nd ed. New York: Dover, 1950.

'° A good example of such a biographical focus is Ola Elizabeth Winslow's highly personal biography, Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758, New York: Macmillan, 1940.

It seems a world removed from the run of theologically-oriented biog-

raphies. Another example is Emery Battis, Saints and Sectaries: Anne Hutchinson and the A ntitunnian Controversy in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962, which is much more of a psychological probe than a theological analysis. But note that few biographies completely ignore extrinsic motives; few fail to encompass even subtleties of belief.

"As an example, Lawrence A. Cremin in The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957, New York: Knopf, 1961, ranges

Intellectual History


from technical philosophic theories to their vulgarization and implementation. Richard B. Davis, Intellectual Life of Jefferson's Virginia, 1790-1830, Chapel Hill:

University of North Carolina Press, 1964, illustrates the problems of relating the externals of intellectual life to a conducive environment. Thomas G. Manning, Govi,rnment in Science; The U.S. Geological Survey, 1867-1894, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1967, shows how government patronage can influence the direction and depth of scientific inquiry. '2 The classic example of this is Bernard Bailyn's The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967. A large share of books loosely classified as "intellectual history" actually include largely cultural subjects. Some more brilliant examples are Russel B. Nye. The Cultural Life of the New Nation, 1776-1830. New York: Harper, 1960; Howard Mumford Jones. 0 Strange New World: American Culture, the Formative Years. New York: Viking, 1964; and Henry F. May. The End of American Innocence: A Study of the First Years of Our Time. New York: Knopf, 1959. of course, leave out a whole range of books devoted exclusively to literature, to music, and to the plastic arts. " 3rd edition. New York: Harper, 1964. " Chicago: Rand McNally. The largest share of books about American science and religion merge considerations of theory and doctrine with institutional development and descriptions of a larger social context. This is true of George H. Daniels, American Science in the Age of Jackson, New York: Columbia University Press, 1968, and Richard H. Shryock's brief survey, Medicine and Society in

1960. For the broadest possible understanding of religion (not just theology) in America, one must turn to that wonderful gift of Princeton University: James W. Smith and A. A. L. Jamison, editors, Religion in American life, 4 volumes, Princeton: America, 1660-1860, New York: New York University Press,

Princeton University Press, 1961. " This unique genre began with Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1950, and ballooned in a wide range of books, such as Richard W. B. Lewis, The American Adam: Innocence, Tragedy, and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955; Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Idea in America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1964; Charles L. Sanford, The Quest for Paradiie: Europe and 11u, American Moral Imagination, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961; Cushing Strout, The American Image of the Old World, New York: Harper, 1963; and William Taylor, Cavalier and Yankee: The Old South and American National Character, New York: Brazil ler, 1961.

"Some of the more recent and influential examples of a more traditional type of social history are: Jackson Turner Main. The Social Structure of Revolutionary America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965; Clifford S. Griffin. Their Brothers' Keepers: Moral Stewardship in the United States, 1800-1865. New Bruns-

wick: Rutgers University Press, 1960; James Harvey Young. The Toadstool Millionaires: A Social History of Patent Medicines in America before Federal Regulation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961; and Robert H. Wiebe. The Search for Order, 1877-1920. New York: Hill and Wang, 1967.

The following is a representative sample of the newer interests of social historians. Note the concentration on New England and on urban phenomenon: Sumner Chilton Powell. Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1963; Darrett P. Rutman. Winthrop's Boston; Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965; Richard L. Bushman. From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765. Cambridgc: Harvard University

Press, 1967; Kenneth A. Lockridge. A New England Town: The First Hundred



Years: Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736. New York: W. W. Norton, 1970; John Demos. A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; Philip J. Greven, Jr. Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970; Sam Bass Warner. The Private City; Philadelphia in Three Periods of its Growth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968; and Stephan Thernstrom. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.


The Reappraisal of the American Past


The Colonies to 1763 William W. Abbot

HISTORIANS of early America have tended to view the colonial period of American history in one of two general ways. Some have looked upon it as a chapter in'the expansion of the West. For them, the history of early America is to be found in the story of how England created an empire in the New World, maintained it for more than 150

years, and then lost it after 1776 when the Americans took over its direction themselves. It is the saga of the Europeanization of America. Other historians, less concerned with the European origins of America and the persistence of European or English patterns in American society, have looked for the changes the New World wrought in the life and character of transplanted Europeans. For these historians, the really important thing that happened in America before the Revolution is that

a new and different society, one akin to Europe but not European, emerged and established itself. Early American history becomes the story of the Americanization of the European. No historian, of course, has followed either approach to the exclusion of the other. The masterwork in American colonial history, Charles M. Andrews' four-volume history of the founding of the English colonies

and the functioning of the old British Empire,' is, to be sure, an "imperial" study, but hardly exclusively so. Since the publication of Andrews' volumes in the 1930's, a number of specialized monographs on Britain's colonial policy and administration before the Revolution have appeared, and in the 1960's Lawrence H. Gipson completed his massive fifteen-volume history of the British Empire during the quarter

of a century before its breakup in 1776.2 But imperial history has hardly been the primary concern of colonial historians since the Second

World War. Most have in fact been searching for patterns within colonial society itself. They have generally been less interested than im-

perial historians in the evolution of political institutions and more 249



interested in the formation of American society, in the creation of an "American" character and an "American" mind. The seventeenth-century beginnings of the colonies, particularly of Massachusetts and Virginia, have attracted more attention from historians of early America than anything else except the Revolution. No time and place in American history has been studied quite so intensively and exhaustively, and perhaps so well, as Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630-1691). John Winthrop wrote his "History of New England" and William Bradford wrote "Of Plymouth Plantation" before 1650,3 and people have been writing about New England Puritans and Puritanism ever since. In the 1930's, Samuel Eliot Morison published, among other things, a book on the intellectual life of colonial New England and three volumes on the early years of Harvard College,4 and Perry Miller published Orthodoxy in Massachusetts, 1630-1650: A Genetic Study and The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century.5 Then, in the 1950's, there began the extraordinary outpouring of what seems to be an endless stream of monographs and articles on almost every conceivable aspect of life in the Bay Colony between 1630 and the 1690's. It is fair to say

that the works of Morison and Miller are fathers, or grandfathers, to most of these publications. The crucial first decade of the Puritan experiment in Massachusetts

in particular has received a great amount of attention. Edmund S. Morgan's elegant little biography of John Winthrop is the best introduction to these years.° Morgan used Winthrop's career to reveal the connections between Puritan ideas and the steps the founders of the colony

took and the procedures they followed to create and maintain the colony. Puritan thought and politics is also the theme of Darret Rutman's Winthrop's Boston: Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649;7 but the great value of Rutman's book is that it provides the most circumstantial account of precisely what the builders of the Bay Colony did do to fix the pattern of settlement and create civil and religious institutions not only for Massachusetts but ultimately for all of New England as well. Perry Miller's work remains indispensable for anyone wishing to under-

stand the Puritan experiment in Massachusetts; and his collection of essays, Errand into the Wilderness,8 is admirably suited to serve as an introduction to his larger works, while in itself providing insight into the character and content of Puritan thought in New England. Robert Middlekauff's intellectual biography of three generations of Mathers,° which like Miller's volumes on the New England mind carries through to the end of the seventeenth century and beyond, delineates in fresh terms and with unwonted clarity and concreteness the main cur-

rents of Puritan thought in the New World. Most of the writings on

The Colonies to 1763


Massachusetts spanning the period from the days of the great migration into New England in the 1630's to the troubled decades of Charles II's

reign after 1660 have as their theme the gradual secularization of society and politics. In a family study very different from Middlekauff's, Richard S. Dunn traced the careers in America of three generations of Winthrops, from the arrival of John in 1630 to the death of his grandson, Wait Still, in 1717, in order to show how the Puritan of the 1630's be-

came the Yankee of the next century." Edmund Morgan, in another work dealing with seventeenth-century Massachusetts, pinpointed for analysis a crucial shift in Puritan thought and church polity coming after mid-century. His Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea" is an examination of how and at what cost the Massachusetts Saints, or church members, came to terms with the alarming failure of so many of their children to experience religious conversion. The loss by the Puritans of their political monopoly in Massachusetts in the last decades of the seventeenth century was both a reason for and a consequence of the transformation of the Puritan commonwealth into the Yankee province of the eighteenth century. Bernard Bailyn's The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century12 makes this point, and much else, clear by showing how the development of foreign trade in New England and the emergence in Boston and elsewhere of wealthy and powerful merchants put the old political arrangements of the commonwealth under great

strain and ultimately forced the Puritan oligarchs to accept the new political settlement of the 1690's. The transformation of another Puritan colony into a secular society, at a later time, is the theme of Richard L. Bushman's From Puritan to Yankee; Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765.13 The title describes accurately what Bushman attempted to do, and has done very well. In its emphasis upon social structure and social change in Connecticut, Bushman's work is in a way closer to that of a group of scholars who have recently made intensive studies of social and family structure in certain New England communities than it is to Dunn's Puritans and Yankees on the one hand or to Perry Miller's The New England Mind: From Colony to Province" on the other. Three of these studies of New England communities attracted particular attention from interested historians in the 1960's: Philip J. Greven's work on seventeenth-century Andover, Massachusetts;" John Demos's on Plymouth Plantation;" and Kenneth Lockridge's on Dedham,

Massachusetts." A great deal of what has been published about early America is local history, and much of it is of high quality. What sets these three studies of localities apart is that each of the historians made use of the techniques of historical demography and some of the insights



of social psychology and cultural anthropology to put together his picture of a changing community in colonial America. The result is that we have new questions, and perhaps a new answer or two, about life in the first

century of European settlement along the Atlantic seaboard of North America.

It seems clear that in the 1970's the most valuable additions to the historiography of early America are likely to be local histories of one

kind or another, many to some extent demographic in nature. The records required to make a demographic study of a community like the one Greven has made of colonial Andover hardly exist outside New England, but Frank Craven's published lectures on the racial composition of seventeenth-century Virginia" and Edmund Morgan's article, "The First American Boom: Virginia 1618-1630," show what can be done with limited and seemingly unpromising evidence if the right historian does it." Professor Craven's The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1607-16892" remains the basic treatment of Virginia before 1700. He acknowledged his indebtedness to earlier historians like Charles M. Andrews, T. J. Wertenbaker, and P. A. Bruce; and certainly everyone who has written since the 1940's about early Virginia, particularly about the Jamestown

years, owes as much or more to Craven's research and writings. By far the most influential of the post-1950 publications about seventeenthcentury Virginia is Bernard Bailyn's essay, "Politics and Social Structure in Virginia."2' Not only has it been the point of departure for a number of other studies of Virginia, published and unpublished, it has also in one sense served as inspiration, if not model, for the first demographic studies of New England towns. Sister Joan de Lourdes Leonard's analysis of Governor William Berkeley's economic program for Virginia,22 which appeared in the William and Mary Quarterly in 1967, makes the events of the mid-century decades more intelligible, and the articles by Stephen

S. Webb in that journar" help achieve the same thing for the final decades of Virginia's first century, after Bacon's Rebellion. Bacon's Rebellion itself, usually viewed as the climactic event in the first chapter of Virginia's history, is one thing (Bacon is a patriotic hero) in Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker's Torchbearer of 11w Revolution: The Story of Bacon's Rebellion and Its Leader24 and another thing (Berkeley is more the hero and Bacon the villain) in Wilcomb E. Washburn's The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia.25

Richard Lee Morton in a chapter on the Rebellion in his Colonial Virginia'' tried to steer a course somewhere between these two generally contradictory treatments. Morton's two-volume history, incidentally, is a fine narrative, rich in detail and distinguished by a nice sense of place.

The Colonies to 1763


Most historians of seventeenth-century AmericaJohn Winthrop and

Edmund Morgan, John Smith and Frank Cravenhave concerned themselves with beginnings, with how things began and got going. His-

torians of the eighteenth century, on the other hand, have had quite different concerns. By 1700 the English settlers in North America had faced and dealt with most of the basic problems of transplanting and adapting old patterns and institutions and of devising new ones, in government, religion, economics, social arrangements, and imperial relationships. There were problems yet to be faced, of course, and solutions

yet to be devised; but the problems of the eighteenth century were generally of a different sort, less elementary, more complex, more interrelated, less soluble. These differences help to explain why the eighteenth century has yielded fewer of its mysteries to intensive studies of specific localities than the seventeenth century has. Craven's treatment of seventeenth-century Jamestown is both a case study of European settlement in the New World and a chapter in the history of America as well as of

Virginia; Stanley N. Katz's Newcastle's New York,27 an account of factional politics in eighteenth-century New York, is a worthy contribution to the political history of reIc.nial New York, but that is all it is. Colonial America after 1700 became so different from what it had

once been in part because of what had happened in the seventeenth century but in larger part because of the rapid and extensive growth of the colonies in the eighteenth century itself. Growth in numbers, area of settlement, productivity, trade, wealth, variety, and complexity transformed the face of America and radically altered the basic terms in which men functioned. The explosive growth of the colonies after 1700 was both cause and consequence of the maturing of colonial society, which in turn made the Revolution of 1776 possible, some would say inevi-

table, and did much to make it the kind of revolution it was. Every historian of the period, wittingly or not, has dealt either with growth itself or with its impact.

What Americans experienced in the eighteenth century was not simply growth in scale but growth in kind as well. For instance, not only did the colonial population increase from one to three million between 1700 and 1775 it also changed radically in its composition. Most of the increase came from non-English immigration and from native births. A question immediately arises about the effect tens of thousands of German Pietists and land-hungry Scots-Irish Presbyterians had upon

colonial patterns and attitudes other than swelling the number of inhabitants. And what of the sudden majority of American-born for whom Europe was not even a dim memory? But the thing that has cried out loudest for investigation is the impact of the great number of Blacks



by 1776 there were about 600,000 living in British continental North Americawho were brought into the colonies as slaves. The consequences of the massive shift on the plantations and farms of the southern

colonies frem white indentured servants to African slaves beginning late in th seventeenth century were, of course, then and now, incalculably great.

The ready supply of land in America combined with infusions of British capital in the form of credit advances assured that every increase in the number of inhabitants, slave or free, would lead to an expanded area of settlement and to an increase in produce from farm and plantation and in trade on the high seas. The total wealth of the colonies rose

rapidly, and in every colony disparities in incomes became wider: a disproportionate share of the wealth being generated by commercial farming and by trade flowed into the hands of those managing these enterprises, the planters and the merchants. The eighteenth century, then, brought to America a much wider differentiation in men's wealth or condition, function, and status. There was, however, aside from slavery, no real social stratification in the European sense. In fact, because economic opportunities were far greater than in the early years of settlement, social mobility or fluidity was perhaps more pronounced in the eighteenth century than it had been in the less differentiated, and consequently in a sense more egalitarian,

society of the seventeenth century. The effect of all this social and economic change upon manners and mores, living conditions, political ideas and practices, religious views and organizations, Anglo-American relations both cultural and institutional, town life, popular attitudes and aspirationsupon, in short, the character of American life and thought

has been, and will continue to be, the proper object of investigation for the historian of the first half of the eighteenth century. The impact of social and economic change in the eighteenth century upon colonial politics has for long been summed up in the phrase, "the rise of the Assembly." The "rise" of the elective house of the colonial legislatures, in turn, may be defined as the process by which an expanding elite in eighteenth-century America gained political authority in each colony commensurate with its advancing economic and social position in the community. Jack P. Greene,'28 for example, has demonstrated how

the prospering planters and lawyers in each of the southern colonies gradually won for the Assembly, and therefore for themselves, a commanding voice in colonial government. How this was achieved in South

Carolina M. Eugene Sirmans spelled out in great detail in Colonial South Carolina: A Political History, 1663-1763;20 and Stanley Katz's study of New York politics and Gary B. Nash's Quakers and Politics:

The Colonies to 1763


Pennsylvania, 1681-17263° each in its own way treats with the search for power by emerging native magnates of a different sort. In an earlier work

which altered our view of eighteenth-century politics, Charles Sydnor examined the bases of the planters' political influence in Virginia, and showed how they secured and held the essential support of their constituency, the Virginia freeholders."' The colonial electorate, incidentally,

was larger than was once thought, as Robert and Catherine Brown's studies of Massachusetts and Virginia have shown.32

Underlying this economic growth and the advancing political influence of native merchants and planters, especially in the southern colonies, was the expanding labor supply provided by the importation and retention of Negroes as slaves. Because slavery took root in the eighteenth century and its legacy is still so evident, historians continue to be interested in the early slave trade with Africa and the West Indies, the evolution of slavery as an institution, the conditions under which the enslaved lived and labored in the eighteenth century, and the implications of it all for whites as well as for Negroes in the eighteenth century and since. Given the incompleteness of the records, it is unlikely that anyone will be able to go much beyond what Philip D. Curtin" has done in identifying where the slaves in the English colonies on the continent came from and in what numbers they were imported. And people wishing to explore the implications of slavery for colonial society, and for the society of the United States, will be reading for a long time into the future White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812 by Winthrop D. Jordan.'" It is generally conceived that the material progress of the eighteenth century in British America helped loosen the hold that religion had had upon the uprooted European of the preceding century. The resurgence of religious enthusiasm and activity in the 1730's and 1740's, known as

the Great Awakening, has been viewed in various lights and from a number of angles. Two important books of the 1960's, Alan E. Heimert's Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution" and Carl Bridenbaugh's Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faiths, Ideas, Personalities, and Politics, 1689-1775,36 trace out in quite different ways intimate connections between the Great Awakening and the Revolution. Whatever else the implications of the religious ferment before the French and Indian War may be, it seems clear that it reinforced what immigration, geographical mobility, economic betterment, and decentralized political control were already doing to push this emerging society toward a new kind of religious pluralism. As the titles would suggest, Sidney E. Mead's "From Coercion

to Persuasion: Another Look at the Rise of Religious Liberty and the



Emergence of Denominationalism"37 and Timothy L. Smith's "Congre-

gation, State, and Denomination: The Forming of the American Religious Structure,""" take one right to the heart of the matter. They also point the way to further enlightenment about the origins of American

religious patterns and arrangements. A recent full and authoritative statement of the role the Baptists played in reformulating religious dogma and restructuring religious institutions and relationships in New England" confirms that what happened in the first half of the eighteenth century is the key to understanding what may be called the American religious settlement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The most conspicuous evidence of the emergence and growth of denominationalism before the Revolution is to be found in the establishment of colleges by the Baptists, the Presbyterians, and the Dutch Re-

formed Church, as well as by the Anglicans and Congregationalists. primarily to provide for the training of the clergy in each denomination. It has often been asserted that the colonial colleges, founded and supported as they were by outside agencies and for specific purposes, did

much to set the pattern of education generally, and higher education in particular, in the United States. Although education did not assume its central position in the American experiment until after the Revolution, many of the peculiar attributes of American education that have made it readily adaptable to the requirements of a democratic society were indeedas Bernard Bailyn" has argued and Lawrence A. Creminu has gone to great lengths to demonstratethe products of the colonial experience.

Of course, it may be said with greater or lesser truth of almost any facet of American life or character that it had its beginnings in the colonial period. Histories not only of American religion and education but also of American law, agriculture, literature, journalism, technology, origins of their art, or what have you, always acknowledge the colt subject and sometimes even deal with them. In fact, much of the history of the colonial period has been written by historians in search of questions raised about the American Revolution, political parties, Jacksonian Democracy, sectional conflict, or about any number of other aspects of the history of the United States. To put it another way, almost any work on early American history will point forward, often explicitly, to something in the national experience of the American people. The reader of a work on colonial history even

more than its author is likely to have been led back to the colonial period by his interest in the history of a later period. Once there, however, he will find himself well rewarded if he will range through some of the literature of colonial history, following his nose and letting one thing lead to another.

The Colonies to 1763


FOOTNOTES The Colonial Period of American History. 4 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934-1938.

2 The British Empire before the American Revolution. 15 vols. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Press, and New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1936-1970. 3 See John Winthrop. Winthrop's Journal "History of New England," 1630-1649, ed. James K. Hosmer. 2 vols. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1908; and William Bradford. Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, ed. Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952. 4 The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England. 2nd Edition. New York: New York University Press, 1956, originally published as The Puritan Pronaos (1936); The Founding of Harvard College. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935; Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1936.

°Orthodoxy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933; The New England Mind. New York: Macmillan, 1939. ° The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1958.

'Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965. 'Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956. 9 The Matters: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. '° Puritans and Yankees: The Winthrop Dynasty of New England, 1630-1717. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962. " New York: New York University Press, 1963. 12 Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955. "Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967. "Cambridge: Harvard Universtiy Press, 1953.

" "Family Structure in Seventeenth-Century Andover, Massachusetts." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXIII, April 1966, pp. 234-256; Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970.

""Notes on Life in Plymouth Colony." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXII, April 1965, pp. 264-286; A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. " Kenneth A. Lockridge and Alan Kreider. "The Evolution of Massachusetts Town Government, 1640 to 1740." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXIII, Oct. 1966, pp. 549-574; Lockridge. A New England Town: The First Hundred Years: Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1970. " Wesley Flank Craven. White, Red and Black: The Seventeenth-Century Virginian. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1971. 1° William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXVIII, April 1971, pp. 169-198. 30 Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1949. 2L In Seventeenth-Century America: Essays in Colonial History, ed. James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959. pp. 90-115.

" "Operation Checkmate: The Birth and Death of a Virginia Blueprint for Progress, 1660-1676." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXIV, Jan. 1967, pp. 44-74.

See. especially, "The Strange Career of Francis Nicholson." ibid. XXIII. Oct. 1966, pp. 513-548.

" Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940. 'Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1957. 26 2 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960. 27 Katz. Newcastle's New York: Anglo-American Politics, 1732-1753. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.



'8 The Quest for Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern Royal Colonies, 1689-1776. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963.

"Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966. 3° Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968. 31

Gentlemen Freeholders: Political Practices in Washington's Virginia. Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1952. Reprinted as American Revolutionaries in the Making . . . New York: Free Press, 1965. 32 Middle-Class Democracy and the Revolution in Massachusetts, 1691-1780.

Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1955; Robert E. and B. Katherine Brown. Virginia, 1705-1786: Democracy or Aristocracy? East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1964. 33 The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969.

"Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968. "Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966. " New York: Oxford University Press, 1962. 31 In Mead. The Lively Experiment: The Shaping of Christianity in America. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1963. 3° William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., XXV, April 1968, pp. 155-176. 39 William G. McLoughlin. New England Dissent, 1630-1833: The Baptists and the Separation of Church and State. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University

Press, 1971.

"Education in the Forming of American Society: Needs and Opportunities for Study. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960. 4'. American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607-1783. New York: Harper

and Row, Publishers, 1970.



Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787* Jack P. Greene

BOTH because of its crucial position in modern history as the first of the great revolutions and because it gave birth to the United States of America, the American Revolution has always exercised a powerful appeal for historians. Its causes and consequences, its nature and meaning have never ceased to fascinate them, and each generation of historians has approached it anew. The result has been a welter of interpretations of why the Revolution occurred and what exactly it was. Those

interpretations can be explained partly by changing intellectual styles, social, economic, and political imperatives, and psychological currents in the public world and partly by shifting conceptions of human nature and historical change within the community of historians. But they also

stand as dramatic testimony to the one indisputable truth about the event itself: the American Revolution, like every other historical phenomenon of comparable magnitude, was so complex and contained so many diverse and seemingly contradictory currents that it can support a wide variety of interpretations. And yet, the extensive and intensive reappraisal of the Revolution that has occurred since World War II may have brought us closer to the perhaps impossible goal of comprehending it in full. * Most of this essay was derived from the author's earlier booklet, The Reappraisal of the American Revolution in Recent Historical Writing. Washington, D.C.: Service Center for Teachers of History of the American Historical Associa-

tion, 1967. Those portions which are taken directly from the booklet are reprinted by the permission of the American Historical Association. 259



Since World War II a new group of scholars has subjected the writings of older historians to critical reassessment. Reexamining the evidence at almost every major point, they have proceeded along two distinct yet complementary and overlapping lines of investigation. One line has been concerned mainly with exploring the substantive issues both in the debate with Britain and in the politics of the new nation between 1776 and 1789 and in examining the nature of internal political divisions and assessing their relationship to the dominant issues. A second line of investigation has been through the underlying assumptions of social and political behavior and has sought to explain the relationship between those assumptions and the central developments of the Revolutionary era.

Each line of investigation rests upon a conception of human nature that contrasts sharply with older interpretations. For the new group of scholars, man is not simply a pawn at the mercy of powerful, incomprehensible forces entirely beyond his control. Nor is he a creature so devoted to the pursuit of his own self-interest and so prescient as to be able to calculate ends and means. Instead, he is a limited and insecure being, attached to what he conceives to be his own interests and, often more importantly, to those principles, values, institutions, and aspirations around which he has built his life, and he responds emotionally to every contingency that seems to threaten any portion of his existence his ideals as well as his interests. Man's limitations mean that his perceptions of the threat will rarely be accurate (indeed, he will probably see threats that do not exist), that he will be subject to self-delusion so that even his understanding of his own behavior will be distorted, and that he will rarely be able to foresee the results of his actions, though he will often try to do so. In short, he is a creature who, as A. 0. Lovejoy has put it, "is forever 'rationalizing' but . . . is scarcely ever rational," a being who is at once at the mercy of historyof the larger developments within his lifetimeand, within the limits imposed by his nature and the physical and cultural environment in which he lives, free to make

choices and take actionsperhaps even great creative and selfless actionswhich may affect significantly the course of history. To understand the historical process, the new group of scholars assumes, one must

understand the nature of broad historical forces, the behavior of individuals and groups, and the interaction between historical forces and human behavior. To understand human behavior, moreover, one must understand man's explanations of his own actions because, no matter how distorted those explanations may be, man does act upon them and they become powerful causative forces.

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


The new investigations have focused upon seven major problems: (1) the nature of the relationship between Britain and the colonies prior to 1763; (2) the nature of social and political life within the colonies and its relationship to the coming of the Revolution; (3) the reasons for the estrangement of the colonies from Britain between 1763 and 1776; (4) the explanations for the behavior of the British government and its supporters in the colonies between 1763 and the loss of the colonies in 1783; (5) the revolutionary consequences of the Revolution; (6) the character of the movement for the Constitution of 1787 and its relationship to the Revolution; and (7) the nature and meaning of the Revolution to the men who lived through it.

(1) Relationships Prior to 1763 In the evaluation of the causes of the Revolution, one of the central

problems has been the character of the relationship between Great Britain and the colonies prior to 1763. Most earlier interpretations viewed that relationship as an unhappy one for the colonists, who resented the navigation system and chafed under the restrictions imposed upon them by the home government. This view, which was widely held in Britain and among British officials in the colonies during the eighteenth century, has been sharply challenged by several of the newer investigations. In The Navigation Acts and the American Revolution, Oliver M. Dickerson' examined the navigation system as it operated in the eighteenth century and concluded that it did not work serious hardships upon the colonies. This view was similar to the interpretations of earlier imperial historians, especially George L. Beer. But Beer and other imperial writers assumed that the widespread smuggling was symptomatic of American discontent with the navigation acts, and it was upon this point that Dickerson sharply disagreed. He denied that the colonists in the period before 1763 either regarded the system as a grievance or made any serious attempt to evade it except in the case of tea and sugar after the passage of the Molasses Act in 1733. In general, he found that the

system was adequately enforced without major objections from the colonists, who appreciated the fact that its benefits far outweighed its objectionable features. These findings, Dickerson argued, indicated that the navigation acts were the "cement of empire," a positive force binding the colonies to the mother country. This happy arrangement was upset in 1764, when the British undertook, with the Sugar Act, to substitute a policy of trade taxation for the older system of trade protection and encouragement. But "England's



most fateful decision" was the establishment, in 1767 at Boston, of a separate Board of Customs for the continental colonies. Between 1768 and 1772, this Board engaged in what Dickerson, accepting at face value

contemporary colonial opinion, judged was little less than "customs racketeering," as they employed legal technicalities and unscrupulous methods to plunder large amounts from colonial merchants, including such future Revolutionary leaders as John Hancock and Henry Laurens. The more blatant abuses came to an end after 1770 as the commissioners and their supporters lost influence in Britain, but the damage had been done, and it was their wholesale attack on American liberty and property, not American opposition to the old navigation system or addiction to smuggling, that caused the intense colonial hostility to the new board. Other historians have disagreed with Dickerson about the colonial attitude toward the navigation system and the effects of the system on the colonial economy. Lawrence A. Harper2 and Curtis P. Nettels3 have argued that the burdens placed on the colonies by the navigation acts far exceeded the benefits. On the basis of more sophisticated and systematic analytical techniques, however, Robert Paul Thomas has indicated

that Dickerson was closer to the truth than either Harper or Nettels. Finding that between 1763 and 1772 the annual per capita loss to the colonists averaged only about twenty-six cents per person or about .5 per cent of estimated per capita income, Thomas concluded that neither the navigation acts nor the new trade regulations adopted after 1763 im-

posed significant economic hardships upon the colonial economy.* Thomas' discoveries do not mean that powerful and articulate segments of the colonial population such as the New England merchants or the large Virginia planters might not have borne an unduly high p nportion

of the total loss and that for some such groups the navigation acts as they were enforced after 1763 might have constituted a serious grievance.

Additional research will be required before these arguments can be evaluated more fully, but one point seems to have been rather firmly established: the colonists were not unhappy with the navigation system as it operated in the decades just before 1763, although their acceptance of the system may have depended largely on the fact that it was only loosely administered. That political relations for much the same reasons were equally satisfactory to the colonists prior to 1763 was Jack P. Greene's argument in The Quest for Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern Royal Colonies, 1689-1776.5 From the last decades of the seventeenth century, colonial officials in London had envisioned a centralized empire

with a uniform political system in each of the colonies and with the imperial government exercising supervision over the subordinate govern-

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


ments. But they had never made any systematic attempt to achieve these

goals during the first half of the eighteenth century. The result, if the experience of the four southern royal colonies was typical, was the development of an arrangement that permitted colonial lower houses con-

siderable latitude in shaping the constitutions of the colonies without requiring Crown officials to relinquish their ideals. Sporadic opposition from London officials and royal governors did not prevent the lower houses from acquiring an array of de facto powers and privileges and, in the process, transforming themselves from the dependent lawmaking bodies they were intended to be into miniature Houses of Commons and, in almost every colony, shifting the constitutional center of power from the executive to themselves. The growing divergence between imperial ideals

and colonial reality mattered little so long as each side refrained from openly challenging the other. Severe friction in this area did not develop until after 1763 when Parliament and the Crown in its executive capacity challenged at important points the authority of the lower houses and the constitutional structures they had been forging over the previous century and a half. Then, the sanctity of the rights and privileges of the lower houses became a major issue between the home government and the colonists as imperial officials insisted upon an adherence to the old imperial ideals while colonial legislators came to demand rigid guarantees of colonial rights and eventually imperial recognition of the autonomy of the lower houses in local affairs and the equality of the lower houses with Parliament. Like the navigation system, then, which was satisfactory to the colonists largely because it was laxly enforced, political and constitutional relations were not a source of serious tension prior to 1763 largely because imperial authorities had never made any sustained attempt to make colonial practice correspond to imperial ideals. With the profusion of British patriotism that poured from the colonies

throughout the Seven Years' War and their propensity for quarreling among themselves, the absence of serious friction between the mother country and her North American possessions in either realm in 1763 made the possibility of a united revolt by the colonies against Britain

seem remote indeed. As Richard Koebner has shown in Empire,° however, the patriotism and the bickering, like the absence of friction, were deceptive. An investigation of the history of the terms "empire," "imperial," and "imperialism" in the language of Western Europe from Rome to the Congress of Vienna, Koebner's study contained a section on British and colonial uses of the terms in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It showed that the notion of the British Empire did not acquire a prominent place in British historical consciousness until after the

Glorious Revolution and that even then it was a restricted concept that



referred only to Great Britain and Ireland and not to British possessions overseas. Only after 1740 did the colonies acquire a place in the empire, and then the impetus for that development came from the colonies, not the home islands. Aware of their increasing importance to Britain and exhilarated by a vision of future greatness, American!. began to conceive

of the colonies as the "British Empire in America," and out of this concept emerged the idea of the empire as a worldwide political system held together by mutual allegiance and the harmony of interests among constituent parts. This vision was, however, an American creation, and in the decade preceding the Revolution British officials had not yet come to regard the colonies as part of the empire, much less as equal partners. That British officials, with the notable exception of Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard, did not understand that the American view of the empire included the colonies and could not, therefore, appreciate the implications of equality inherent in that concept helps to explain why they were unable to grasp assumptions behind Am:rirnn constitutional arguments and so thoroughly misconstrued the nature of American intentions. When they did begin in the 1760's to employ a broader concept of empire that took in the colonies, they used it as a device to bring about a more unified constitutional arrangement that would guarantee the subordination, not the equality, of the colonies. This profound divergence of thought between Great Britain and the colonies about the current and

future role of the colonies in the British political communitya divergence that contributed substantially to the breakdown in communications

that occurred between 1763 and 1776helps make clear both why American leaders felt such an extraordinary sense of betrayal at the new measures adopted after 1763 and how the British national feeling they

expressed in the early 1760's could be dissipated so quickly over the next decade as it became clear that the imperial government did not share their conception of the place of the colonies in the empire.? The older Whig and imperial historians to the contrary notwithstanding, then, recent studies strongly suggest that the Revolution cannot be attributed either primarily or directly to colonial discontent with conditions as they operated before the 1760's. (2) Political, Social, and Econonz' Divisions Within the Colonies

Other scholars have directed their attention to the study of political life within the individual colonies during the era of the Revolution, and :heir findings indicate that major modifications are required in the older conceptions of both early American politics and the Revolutioi Investi-

gators of Maryland, New Jerscy, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


Island, Georgia, V:cginia, New Hampshire, and New York have analyzed

the impact of the debate with Britain upon local politics and assessed the importance of the peculiar configuration of the economic, social, and political life of each colony in shaping its response to that debate." Although these works reveal that the relative importance of the major substantive issues and the pattern of the Revolutionary movement varied from colony to colony and that there were special, and occasionally significant, local grievances against the imperial government, they also call attention to some important common features. Everywhere relations with Britain were relatively harmonious prior to 1763 and politics within

the colonies was primarily elitist in nature. Public officeboth appointive and electiveand political leadership were in the hands of upperclass groups, and, although there were occasional manifestations of social and economic discontent among the lower classes, that discontent never resulted in widespread demands for basic changes in the customary patterns of upper-class leadership. Political divisions, despite the contentions of earlier histc' ins, were not along class lines and not between of of radicals and conservatives. Rather, they rival ideological groi

revolved around the ambitions of rival factions among the elite. The debate with Britain was in many instances the occasion for one faction to gain political predominance at the expense of its rivals, but, significantly, the faction that stood for the strongest line of resistance to British policy usually emerged victorious. Within the colonies, then, the direction of local politics and the balance of political forces were influenced, and in

some cases altered profoundly, by the debate after 1763 over Parliament's authority and the extent of the Crown's prerogative in the colonies. The constitutional debate was thus not only the primary political concern within most colonies from 1763 to 1776, these studies seem to indicate, but also the most powerful agency of political change. An even more direct challenge to the 'Progressive conception of the Revolution came from Robert E. and B. Katherine Brown in two studies of the relationship between politics and social structure in Massachusetts

and Virginia.9 The Browns' discoveries that in both colonies the economic structure was highly fluid, property widely distributed, and lower-

class economic and social discontent minimal indicated that neither colony was so rigidly stratified as to produce the kind of social conflicts which Progressive historians thought were the stuff of colonial politics. By showing as well that the franchise was considerably wider than had previously been supposed, the Browns also demonstrated that the predominance of the upper, classes in politics did not depend upon a restricted franchise, that they had to have the support of men from all classes to gain elective office.



That both of these conclusions are probably also applicable to most other colonies is indicated by the findings of several other recent independent investigations of Connccticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.'" All of these studies argue that the franchise in these colonies was very wide and that the vast majority of free adult males could expect to acquire enough property during their lifetime to meet suffrage requirements. Similarly, Jackson Turner Main in The Social Structure of Revolutionary America" demonstrated that, although there were great extremes in wealth and in standards and styles of living in American society during the late eighteenth century, it was relatively free from poverty and had, especially by European standards, a high rate of vertical mobility, great social and economic opportunity, and a supple class structure. This combination of economic abundance and social fluidity, Main concluded, tended "to minimize those conflicts which might

have grown out of the class structure and the concentration of wealth" that was occurring in older settled areas on the eve of the Revolution. Other studies of the underlying assumptions and modes of behavior of early American politics by J. R. Pole'" and Richard Buel, Jr.,'" have helped to resolve what, within the modern democratic conceptions employed by the Progressive historians and such recent writers as Robert E. Brown, was such a massive and incomprehensible paradox: why, in the words of Pole, "the great mass of the common people might actually have given their consent to concepts of government" that by "systematically" excluding them "from the more responsible positions of political power" restricted "their own participation in ways completely at variance with the principles of modern democracy." Revolutionary society, these studies have found, was essentially "a deferential society" that operated within an integrated structure of ideas fundamentally elitist in nature. That structure of ideas assumed that government should be entrusted to men of merit; that merit was very often, though by no means always,

associated with wealth and social position; that men of merit were obliged to use their talents for the benefit of the public; and that deference to them was the implicit duty of the rest of society. To be sure, representative institutions provided the people with the means to check

any unwarranted abuses of power by their rulers, but the power the people possessed was "not designed to facilitate the expression of their will in politics but to defend them from oppression." Both Pole and Buel concluded that, although these assumptions were undermined by the Revolution and gave way after 1790 to an expanded conception of the people's role in the polity, they continued to be the predominant elements underlying American political thought over the whole period from 1763 to 1789.

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


Obviously, many more specialized studies of developments within individual colonies will be required before the nature of internal political divisions and their relationship to the coming of the Revolution will be understood fully. The investigations already published do, however, suggest four tentative conclusions that flatly contradict arguments of earlier historians: the configuration of politics and the nature of social and economic divisions varied enormously from state to state; social and political opportunity was remarkably wide; class struggle and the demand for democracy on the part of unprivileged groups were not widespread and not a primary causative factor in the coming of the Revolution; and colonial political life operated within a structure of commonly-accepted values that assigned positions of leadership in the polity to members of the social and economic elite.

(3) The Estrangement of the Colonies, 1763-1776

One of the results of the discoveries that tensions between Britain and the colonies prior to 1763 were relatively mild and that political rivalries within the colonies were, in most cases, secondary in importance

to the constitutional debate with Britain between 1763 and 1776 has been that historians have come to focus upon that debate in their search for an explanation for the coming of the Revolution. The guiding question in this search has been why the colonists became unhappy enough in the years after 1763 to revolt. To answer this question a number of historians have sought to identify and assess the importance of the several substantive issues between the colonies and Great Britain. Thus Bernhard Knollenberg explored the nature and areas of American discontent during the early 1760's in Origin of the American Revolution: 1759-1766.'4 Although he agreed with other recent writers that

Americans were generally happy with the existing relationship with Britain through the middle decades of the eighteenth century, he contended that trouble began not in 1763 but in 1759, when British military successes made it unnecessary to placate the colonies further and per-

mitted imperial authorities to inaugurate a stricter policy. Over the next four years a wider and more intensive use of such traditional checks

as the royal instructions and legislative review seriously antagonized colonial leaders in almost every colony. Discontent increased measurably, beginning in the spring of 1762, when first the Bute and then the Grenville ministries undertook a variety of general reform measures designed to tighten up the colonial system. In 1763 came a series of steps that was particularly unpopular in New England, including the decision to use the royal navy to curb smuggling and to enforce the previously



laxly administered Molasses Act of 1733 and various white pines acts. Also in 1763, imperial officials decided to station a large standing army in the colonies and to limit western expansion into the region beyond the Allegheny mountains. The necessity of paying for the army led to the decision to tax the colonies and to Parliament's passage in 1764 of the Sugar Act, which provided for extensive reforms in colonial administration, and in 1765 of the Stamp Act, which touched off the colonial uprising in 1765-1766. According to Knollenberg, then, the cumulative effect of British policy over the previous six years, and not the Stamp

Act alone, brought the colonies to the brink of rebellion during the Stamp Act crisis.

That the Stamp Act and the threat of parliamentary taxation which it contained were easily the most important sources of American dissatisfaction in the uprising of 1765-1766 has, however, been persuasively argued by Edmund S. Morgan and Helen M. Morgan in The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution," one of the two or three most important books published on the era of the Revolution since World War 11. The

Morgans' study strongly suggested that American concern for and devotion to the constitutional arguments they employed were considerably greater than most scholars during the previous half century had assumed, and demonstrated the importance of political and constitutional considerations in the American case against the Sugar and Stamp Acts. As the subtitle suggested, the work argued for the decisiveness of the Stamp Act crisis in the unfolding Revolutionary drama. Not only did it raise the issue of the extent of Parliament's jurisdiction in the colonies by forcing American leaders and Parliament into a precise formulation of directly opposing views, but it also created an atmosphere of mutual suspicion that pervaded all subsequent developments and quite possibly precluded any peaceful settlement of the issue. Thereafter, Americans scrutinized every parliamentary action for possible threats to their constitutional rights, while British authorities became increasingly convinced that American opposition was simply a prelude to an eventual attempt

to shake off the restraints of the navigation acts and perhaps even political dependence. The final crisis of the pre-Revolutionary years was analyzed in detail by Benjamin Woods Labaree in The Boston Tea Party." The tea party, he argued, was the decisive event in the chain of events that led to the

outbreak of war and the Declaration of Independence. It was the tea party, he pointed out, that produced a new spirit of unity among the colonies, after more than two years of disharmony following the abandonment of the nonimportation agreements against the Townshend duties in 1770, and finally determined British officials to take a firm stand against

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


colonial opposition to parliamentary taxation by making an example of Boston. The punitive measures they adopted posed the new question of whether the colonists had any rights at all with which to protect themselves from the power of Parliament, caused the rest of the colonies to unite behind Boston, drove patriot leaders to deny that Parliament had any authority whatever over the internal affairs of the colonies, and put both sides into an inflamed state that made war a virtual certainty. In an important modification of a long-accepted interpretation, Labaree discovered that among American smugglers of Dutch tea the fear that the Tea Act of 1773 would enable the East India Company to undersell

them and so gain a monopoly of the American market was less important in stirring resistance to East India Company tea than earlier historians had suggested. Although he did not deny that the tea smugglers, who were largely confined to New York and Philadelphia, were concerned over the threat of monopoly, he found it a secondary issue among patriot leaders and the public at large. What concerned them far more was the possibility that the Tea Act was simply a ruse to inveigle them into paying the tea duty and admitting the long-contested right of Parliament to tax the colonies for revenue. By this discovery Labaree seconded the argument of other recent writers: the constitutional rights, especially Parliament's attempts to tax the colonies for revenue, were the primary issues between Britain and the colonies in the fateful years between 1763 and 1776.

Along with a number of studies of specific important issues," these investigations have together made it possible to achieve a clear understanding of the importance and relative weight of the several substantive issues in the American case against the British government. Important segments of the colonists had occasionally been alarmed by such things as the Anglican effort to secure an American episcopate or the attempts by imperial officials to curtail the power of the lower houses of assembly, but the colonists were generally satisfied with their connection with Britain before imperial officials adopted stricter measures after 1760 that fundamentally challenged American rights and property. Parliament's attempts to tax the colonies for revenue were far and away the most serious of these measures. The consistency of their constitutional demands down to 1774 revealed both the commitment of the colonists

to the constitutional principles on which they stood and their concern about the constitutional question. Only after 1774 did the American protest cease to be largely a series of responses to provocations by the imperial government and become an aggressive movement intent not just on securing exemption for the colonies from all parliamentary meas-

ures but also, in a striking escalation of their earlier demands, strict



limitations upon the Crown's use of many of its traditional devices of royal control over the colonies. Throughout the debate the primary issues in the minds of the colonists were, then, of a political and constitutional nature involving matters of corporate rights, political power, individual liberty, security of property, and rule of law. Although, as Edmund S. Morgan has taken pains to emphasize," all of these objects of concern were intimately coupled with "self-interest" and were conceived of as the necessary safeguards of the colonists' fundamental well-

bein(ysocial and economic, as well as politicalthe opposition to Great Britain, these new studies seem to indicate, was much less directly social and economic in character than earlier historians had suggested. These conclusions have been considerably enriched and somewhat altered by several recent explorations of the habits of thought that conditioned the American response to the substantive issues in the quarrel

with Britain. These studies of what is essentially the psychology of colonial resistance have been especially concerned with the Americans' conception of human nature. At least since the early nineteenth century

has been conventional to attribute to the eighteenth century an optimistic conception of man and a belief in his ability to perfect the "good life on earth."'" But this view, A. 0. Lovejoy has insisted,'" is a "radical historical error." Some eighteenth-century writers did subscribe to such a view of human nature, but, Lovejoy argued, the "most widely prevalent opinion about human nature" was that men were imperfect it

creatures who were usually actuated "by non-rational motivesby 'passions,' or arbitrary and unexamined prejudices, or vanity, or the quest for private economic advantage." This unflattering view of human nature provided the foundation for an elaborate theory of politics which, in its essential elements, was traceable as far back as antiquity and which as Z. S. Fink," J. G. A. Pocock,2" and, especially, Caroline Robbins,23 among others, have shownmanifested itself in several forms in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English thought and was especially con-

genial to those political groups on the fringes or completely out of political power. At the heart of this theory were the convictions that man in general could not withstand the temptations of power, that power was

by its very nature a corrupting and aggressive force, and that liberty was its natural victim. The protection of liberty against the malignancy of power required that each of the various elements in the polity had to be balanced against one another in such a way as to prevent any of them

from gaining ascendancy over the rest. A mind constitution was the means by which this delicate balance was to be achieved, but power was so pervasive and so ruthless that nothing was safe from it.

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


In The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution24 Bernard Bailyn showed precisely how this theory of politics with its underlying view of human nature shaped the American response to British measures after 1763. Within the context of the ideas associated with this theory of politics, Bailyn found the succession of regulatory measures taken by the British government and royal officials in the colonies after 1763 appeared to be "evidence of a deliberate conspiracy launched by plotters against liberty both in England and in America." Far from being "mere rhetoric and propaganda," such words as slavery, corruption, and conspiracy "meant something very real to both writers and their readers" and expressed "real fears, real anxieties, a sense of real danger." Above all else, Bailyn argued, it was this reading of British behavior and "not simply an accumulation of grievances" that "in the end propelled" the

colonists into rebellion. The distortions in their interpretation of the actions of the British government, Bailyn implied, mattered much less than that Americans believed it. Ideas thus played a dual role in the coming of the Revolution. They both provided a framework within which Americans could explain British and their own behavior and determined

in significant and fundamental ways their responses to the developing situation." The moral and emotional dimension of the American response to British policy, touched on by Bailyn, was further emphasized in two separate articles by Edmund S. Morgan2° and Perry Miller.27 Both writers called attention to an important aspect of the -levolutionary experience that had largely eluded earlier historians: the extent to which the reactions of Americans to British measures had been accompanied

and conditioned by an uneasy sense that it was not just British degeneracy but their own corruption that was responsible for their difficulties.2° The crisis in imperial relations caused Americans to go through a process of intensive self-examination, to become acutely aware of the vicious tendencies within themselves and their societies, and to come to the conclusion that it was not just the degeneracy of the British government and British stx:ety that they had to fear but their own imperfect natures and evil inclinations as well. Poth Morgan and Miller inferred that the Revolution was an internal fight against American corruption as well as an external war against British tyranny.29 These studies of the psychology of American resistance have added new dimensions to our understanding of the colonial reaction to British policy after 1763. First, they have shifted the focus from the ostensible to the underlying issues in the dispute by making explicit what, in the several investigat;ons of substantive grievances, had been largely only



implicit: that it was not only the desire to preserve their traditional rights and privileges against attacks by the imperial government but also the fear of what might happen to them once those bulwarks against arbitrary power had been removed that drove the colonists to revolt. Secondly,

they have traced the origins of this fear directly to the colonists' conception of human nature with its sense of man's imperfections and of his

inability to resist the corrupt influences of power. Thirdly, they have shown that that conception derived both, as Bailyn has argued, from a long philosophical tradition which came to the colonists largely through the writings of British dissenters and, as Miller and Heimert have suggested, from experiential roots. From their individual and collective experience the colonists understood how frail and potentially evil man was, and their deep-seated anxieties about the state of individual and social morality within the colonies helped to sharpen and shape their response to and was in turn heightened by the manifestations of what they took to be corruption and the corrosive effects of power on the part of the imperial government. Finally, on the basis of these conclusions it becomes much clearer why the colonists had such an exaggerated reaction

to what, in retrospect, appear to have been no more than a series of justifiable and not very sinister actions by the parent state and why they so grossly misunderstood the motives and behavior of the ministry and Parliament and insisted upon interpreting every measure they found objectionable as part of a malign conspiracy of power against colonial, and ultimately all British, liberty. From the perspective of these studies, then, the Revolution has become not merely a struggle to preserve the formal safeguards of liberty against flagrant violations by the British 'lit, in a deeper sense, a moral crusade against British corruption, a crust

made all the more compelling by the American belief that onl a manly opposition to and, after 1776, a complete separation from, that corruption could they hope to restore American virtue and save themselves from becoming similarly corrupt.

(4) The Roots of Tory and British Behavior In their preoccupation with discovering and explaining the nature of

American discontent between 1763 and 1776, most writers of the 1960's neglected to give adequate attention to the Tory and British side of the Revolutionary controversy. If, as they infer, the patriots stood for the maintenance of the status quo and represented the dominant drift of colonial opinion, what can t:4; said of the Tories, the classic conservatives in the Revolutionary drama? If the British government was not trying to establish a tyranny in the colonies, as everyone now would

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


agree, why did it continue to pursue policies that Americans found so objectionable? Both of these questions have been the subject of recent study.

That the Tories were indeed only a small minority of the total colonial population and that they were clearly out of step with the vast majority of their compatriots have been confirmed by the findings of two new works on loyalism. In The King's Friends: The Composition and Motives of the American Loyalist Claimants," Wallace Brown concluded on the basis of a systematic analysis of the backgrounds of those loyalists who submitted claims for compensation to the British government that the total number of loyalists constituted no more than 7.6 to 18 per cent of the total white adult population. Earlier writers"' had emphasized the upper-closs character of loyalism, but Brown found that, although loyalism was "a distinctly urban and seaboard phenomenon" except in New York and North Carolina where there were "major rural, inland pockets" of loyalistswith a clear "commercial, officeholding, and professional bias," its adherents came from all segments of society and represented a rough cross section of the colonial population. Only in Massachusetts, New York, and to a lesser degree Georgia were sub-

stantial numbers of the upper class represented, and even in those colonies the vast majority of the upper classes were clearly not loyalists. If, in terms of general social and economic background, the Tories were virtually indistinguishable from the Whigs, as Brown's investigation suggested, the question remains exactly how they were different. This question has been taken up by William H. Nelson in The American Tory,32 a penetrating study that focuses on the psychological character of the loyalists. The key to loyalism, Nelson argued, was weakness arising from the loyalists' inherent disparateness, lack of organiiation,

unpopular political views, and marginal position in colonial society. Unlike their opponents, Tory leaders did not consult among themselves, never developed a community of feeling or a common sense of purpose, had no clear alternative to the Whig drift, and did not even know each other. Unable to cultivate public opinion, they held social and political

ideas and values that could prevail in the colonies only with British assistance. Rank 7...d file Tories were concentrated among non-English and religious minorities and among people in peripheral areas, "regions already in decline, or not yet risen to importance" such as the western frontier and the maritime region of the middle colonies, and represented

a series of conscious minorities who looked to Britain for support against an external enemy like the Indians or the dominant n.ajority. It was weakness, then, Nelson argued, along with alienation from or suspicion of the prevailing Whig majority, and not simple loyalty, that



tied the Tories to Britain and, he implied, was responsible for their choice after the Declaration of Independence. If the work on American grievances did not imply that the British politicians were in the wrong, it did suggest that they misjudged the situation in the colonies between 1763 and 1783 and that, if the preservation of the empire was one of their primary objectives, they blundered badly. If, as some earlier historians have argued, the measures of the imperial government were wise, just, and well calculated to serve the interests of the empire as a whole, imperial authorities failed utterly to persuade the colonists of the fact. How this breakdown in understanding could have occurred in a political community so celebrated for its political genius has been partially explained by Sir Lewis Namier in his exhaustive analyses of British politics during the opening years of the reign of George III" and by other scholars in a number of studies working out the implications of his tindings."4 A long line of earlier historians from Horace Walpole to Sir George Trevelyan had charged George III

with attempting to destroy the influence of the Whig oligarchy and reestablish the supremacy of the Crown over Parliament. The King's American program, they had suggested, was part of the same pattern, and the English Whigs and the Americans were aligned against a common enemy in common struggle against tyranny. Namier ;,is foitowers have challenged this interpretation at every point. They have argued that there were no parties in the modern sense, only loosely organized factions and family groups; that what mattcred most in politics was not ideology or the attachment to principle but the struggle for offici, power, and advantage; that political issues revolved

about local rather than national or imperial considerations; that the "political nation"the people who took some active role in politics was largely restricted to a narrow elite in the middle and upper echelons of Britis' social structure; that all groups, as well as the King, accepted the trad onal Whig principles that had evolved out of the revolutionary settlement; and that George III did not have to subvert the constitution to gain control over Parliament because, as in the case of his predecessor and grandfather, George II, his power to choose his own ministers and

his control over patronage assured him of considerable influence in determining Parliament's decisions. What these conclusions mean in terms of the misunderstanding with the colonies, though no one has worked them out in detail, is fairly clear. They reinforce the suggestions of the students of American grievances that British policy was shortsighted and inept. If British political leaders were so preoccupied by the struggle for office and ,) deeply involved in

local matters, it is not difficult to see why they were unable to take a

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


broader view in dealing with the colonies. The engrossment of the ministers and the leaders of Parliament in internal British politics and prior to 1770, the frequent changes in administration meant, as several recent books have shown,"5 that much of the responsibility for shaping the details of colonial policy devolved upon the bureaucracy, second-line officials in the Treasury, Board of Trade, American Department, and Law Offices who remained in office despite shifts in administration. Two books, Michael Kammen, A Rope of Sand: The Colonial Agents, British Politics, and the American Revolution,36 and Jack M. Sosin, Agents and Merchants: British Colonial Policy and the Origins of the American Revolution, 1763-1775,37 have demonstrated that colonial agents and merchants concerned in the colonial trade operated as a kind of rudimentary lobby to present the views of the colonists and actually managed to secure several important concessions from the government. But the agents themselves, and certainly not the merchants, did not always

have accurate and up-to-date information about the situation in the colonies and, in any case, most colonial information came to the bureauc-

racy either from British officials in the colonies, most of whom were unsympathetic to the American cause, or from self-styled experts in both

Britain and the colonies who, as John Shy has remarked, often "had some ax to grind or private interest to serve." There was, moreover, no sure way for colonial officiids to obtain a clear and undistorted version of American views, and this absence of effective channels of communication could lead only to a massive breakdown in understanding in a crisis such

as the one that developed after 1773. Even more important in inhibiting effective action by imperial officials, still other studies have indicated, were their preconceptions about what

colonies were and ought to be. Reinforced by the association in the official mind of the opposition in the colonies with the radical and, to many members of the British political nation, profoundly disturbing Wilkite agitation in Britain," those preconceptions, according to recent investigations of four of the key figures in British politicsTownshend, Shelburne, Dartmouth, and Germain"were of the utmost importance in shaping the responses of individuals of every political stripe to the imperial crisis. Similarly, Bernard Donoughue'" has demonstrated how severely those preconceptions limited the range of choices open to the

government in the critical period between the Boston Tea Party in December, 1773, and the outbreak of war in April, 1775. No one either

in or out of office, Donoughue found, was able to escape from the oppressive weight of dominant ideas and habits of thinking and to grapple with the possibility that, as Americans were insisting, the empire might

he preserved without totally subordinating the colonies to Parliament.



The traditional explanation for this failure has been that the men in power lacked vision, magnanimity, and statesmanship. But Donoughue's

work pointed to more than a mere series of individual weaknesses. If men could not go beyond the prescribed boundaries of thought and language within which the system required them to work, then perhaps the system itself was incapable of adjustment at that time and the old British Empire may have been less the victim of the men who presided over its dissolution than they were the victims of the system of which

the empire was a part. Given his commitment to the revolutionary settlement and to the supremacy of Parliament, George III could not possibly have stood apart from Parliament a., a royal symbol of imperial union as the colonists desired:"

(5) Revolutionary Consequences

The net effect of the new studies of the coming of the Revolution has been to reestablish the image of the Revolution as a conservative protest movement against what appeared to the men of the Revolution to have been an unconstitutional and vicious assault upon American liberty and property by a tyrannical ar.-1 corrupt British government. The Revolution, Daniel J. Boontin argued in The Genius of American Politics,' had now to be understood as "a victory of constitutionalism." The major issue was "the true constitution of the British Empire," and because the leaders of the Revolution regarded it as an "affirmation of faith in ancient British institutions," the "greater part of the institutional life of the community . . . required no basic change." Recent investigations of tly! concrete political and social changes that accompanied the Revolution have tended to reinforce this image. Detailed studies of the political development of three states, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware, after 1776 have indicated that there was virtually

no change in the traditional patterns of political leadership and little identifiable interest among any segment of society in achieving a more democratic polity.'" By contrast, as Robert J. Taylor has shown,44 the Revolution seems to have served as a much more profound educative and democratizing force among the people of western Massachusetts.

Traditionally conservative and deeply suspicious of the commc ,ial east,

the westerners were slow in joining the easterners in opposing the lad thrown in their lot with the patriot cause they took the Revolutiomy doctrine of popular sovereignty very seriously. At least in that corner of the new United States the contest with Britain was accompanied by a potentially powerful revolution in the political expectations of ordinary citizens, a revolution that, to the profound British, but once the

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


disturbance of rJlitical leaders up and down the Atlantic seaboard, might ultimately spread to other regions and other states. This revolution in expectations did not, however, proceed very far

during the period of the Revolution. As Elisha Douglass showed in Rebels and Demoerats,45 a study of the process of constitution-making in the states, the internal political revolution that, accor, ing to the Progressive historians, had occurred in 1776 was a very modest revolution indeed. There was, Douglass found, an articulate, if not very large, group of "democrats" whc viewed the Revolution not as an end in itself but as

a means to rebuild society on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and to that end they demanded "equal rights for all adult males and a government in which the will of the majority of citizens would be the ultimate authority for political decision." Ardc opposed, however, by the dominant Whig leaders, who were suspicious of democracy and wanted governments that would check majority rule and retain the traditional system of political leadership, the democrats

scored only limited gains in just three statesNorth Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusettsand even in those states they were unable to gain permanent control. A more subtle and, ultimately, more important democratizing force was the increase in popular participation in politics described by Jackson Turner Main.'" By opening up a large number of new political opportunities, the Revolution drew an increasingly greater number of ordinary citizens into politics with the result, Main found, that the social base of both the upper and lower houses of the legislature was much broader after 1776 than it had been in the late colonial period. This development did not, however, lead to either a wholesale turnover in political leadership or immediate repudiation of the ideals of upper-class leadership. Along with the new ideology of popular government fashioned by some of the democrats, it nevertheless did help to pave the way for the eventual breakdown of the old habits of deference, the ascendency of the belief in a more popular government, and the veneration of majority rule in the early part of the nineteenth century. Although more work remains to he done before firm conclusions can be drawn, it also seems clear, as Frederick B. Tolles noted in 1954 in a survey of recent studies, that the concrete social changes emphasized by J. Franklin Jameson some thirty years earlier were less sweeping and less

significant than he had thought." Louis Hartz presented the most elaborate statement of this theme in The Liberal Tradition in America:" Taking for his text Tocquevilic's observation that the great advantage of Americans lay in the fact that they did not have to "endure a democratic revolution," Hartz argued that "the outstandi, thing about the Amer-



ican effort of 1776 was not the freedom to which it led, but the established feudal structure it did not have to destroy." The prevailing view thus came to be that the Revolution was predominantly a conservative Whiggish movement under' lken in defense of American liberty and property, preoccupied thr ughout with constitutional and political problems, carried on with a miiimum of violence at least when seen in the perspective of other revolutionsand with little change either in the distribution of political power or in the structure and operation of basic social insti,ations, and reaching its logical culmination with the Federal Constitution. Whatever d mocratic stirrings may have accompanied it were subordinate and incidental to the main thrust of events and to the central concerns of its leaders. As Benjamin Fletcher Wright insisted, '-le Spirit of '76 seemed to be represented less accurately by the writings of Thomas Painewhose ideas, as Cecelia M. Kenyon had shown, 5" were decidedly atypical of the dominant patterns of thought among American Revolutionary leadersor even the Declaration of Independence than by the state constitutions of 1776, 1777 and 1780, constitutions which were shaped out of traditional materials and revealed the commitment of the men of the Revolution to "order and stability as well as liberty," to the ancient British concept that "liberty required constitutional order." This stress upon the preservative character of the Revolution tended to divert attention from any revolutiornry or radical implications that .



may have accompanied it, and not unkil the early 1960's did a few scholars set out to discover just what was revolutionary about the Revolution. The most systematic and thorough exploration of this theme was by Bernard Bailyn. 5t What "endowed the Revolution with its peculiar force,and made of it a transforming event," Bailyn declared, was not the

"overthrow of the existing order"which nowhere occurredbut the "radical idealization and rationalization of the previous century and a half :of American experience." Many of the social and political goals of the European Enlightenment, Bailyn pointed out, had already "developed naturally, spontaneously, early in the history of the American colonies, and they existed as simple matters of social and political fact on the eve of the Revolution." Because habits of mind and traditional ways of thinking lagged far behind these fundamental changes in the nature of colonial social and politica! life, however 'here was on the eve of the Revolutionary debate a sharp "divergence between habits of he other." mind and belief on one hand and experience and behavith By requiring a critical probing of traditional concepts n forcing the colonists to rationalize and explain their experience-- - 'to complete, formalize, systematize, and symbolize what previously had been only

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


partially realized, confused, and disputed matters of fact"the Revolu-

tion helped to end this divergency. Most of the political ideas that emerged from this processthe conceptions of representative bodies as mirrors of their constituents, of human rights as existing above and limiting the law, of constitutions as ideal designs of government, and of sovereignty as divisiblewere at once expressive of conditions that had long existed in the colonies and a basic reconception of the traditional notions about the "fundamentals of government and of society's relation to government." By "lifting into consciousness and endowing with high moral purpose" these "inchoate, confused elements of social and political change," the Revolutionary debate thus both released social and political forces that had long existed in the colonies and "vastly increased their power." The movement of thought quickly spilled over into other areas, and the institution of chattel slavery," the principle of the establishment of religion, and even conventional assumptions about the social basis of

politics and the constitutional arrangements that followed from those assumptions were called into question. Ultimately, in the decades after the Revolution, these "changes in the realm of belief and attitude" and, more especially, the defiance of traditional order and distrust of authority contained within them affected the very "essentials" of American social organization and, Bailyn pointed out, helped permanently to transform the nature of American life. Gordon S. Wood has built upon these foundations a comprehensive

analysis of the development of American political thought from the Declaration of Independence to the adoption of the Federal Constitution.53 Like Bailyn, Wood stressed the radicalism of the spirit of '76, locating it not in the relatively minor (outside Pennsylvania) transfer of political leadership from old to new men emphasized by older historians and not in the radical reconception of politics described by Bailyn but in the American expectation that the Revolution would usher in a "new era of freedom and bliss" not only for themselves but for the whole of mankind. The strength and nature of such millennial aspirations among the evangelical clergy have recently been discussed at length by Alan Heimert," but Wood has pushed the argument considerably farther. He contended that such aspirations constituted the very core of American social and political thought during the first stages of the Revolution. What lay behind these utopian impulses and what gave the "Revolution its socially radical character," according to Wood, was the confident expectation that separation from a degenerate Britain and the institution of a republican government would purge America of its moral and social impurities, altering, in the process, the very character of the American people by transforming them into virtuous citizens who would eschew the



vices and luxuries of the old world in favor of the simple virtues, put aside all individual concerns for the common good, and reconstruct their societies so that the only meaningful social distinctions would be those arising from natural differences among men. Precisely because they put such extraordinarily high hopes upon the regenerative effects of republican government, the construction of the new state governmentsthe "building of this permanent foundation for freedom"thus became a work of enormous importance. That these hopes were misplaced became abundantly clear to a sig-

nificant number of Americans over the following decade. A spirit of extreme localism came to pervade politics and representatives were elected not because of their virtue or talent but because of their popularity and willingness to abide by the wishes of their electors. Instead of governments devoted to the selfless pursuit of the common good, America thus seemed to have produced a series of petty, excessively mutable legislative tyrannies which provided neither stable government nor pro-

tection for the liberty and property of their citizens. Even worse, it became obvious that republican government had not brought about the change in the character of the American people that had been hoped for in 1776. "The self-sacrifice and patriotistn'Of 1774-75 soon seemed to give way to greed and profiteering at the expense of the public good." As these tendencies were accelerated by prosperous economic conditions in the 1780's, many leaders and intellectuals came to the conclusion that Americans simply did not have the virtue "necessary to sustain republican governments." Even more than the political malfunctioning of the states, this disillusionment, the fear that the great republican hopes of 1776 would be sacrificed to the self-interest and parochialism of A mericans themselves, Wood suggested in a significant new conclusion, was what mad. the 1780's "truly critical for American intellectuals." If the Revolution failed to achieve the millennial visions of 1776, however, it nonetheless succeeded, Wood showed, in generating an emerging American conception of politics. That sovereignty resided in the people rather than in any institution of government, that constitutions were compacts established by the sovereign power of the people and were unalterable by government, that government should be divided into separate parts not because each part represented a different social constituency but simply because it would act as a check upon the others, that every part was equally representative of the people, that because all sovereignty derived from the people power could be distributed among

various levels of government, that republican government might be founded on self-interest because the clashing of interests would always prevent any one from gaining the ascendancy, and that liberty involved

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


not merely the right of the subject to participate in government but "the protection of individual rights against all government encroachments"

all of these ideas which we now recognize as fundamental to the "American science of politics" had been hammered out gradually and fitfully by many different individuals in response to the pressures of democratic politics between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The achievement of the Federalists, the author showed far more clearly than any previous writer, was "to bring together into a comprehensive whole [those] diffuse and often rudimentary" ideas and "to make intelligible and consistent the tangles and confusions" among them.55

If, then, as most recent writers have indicated, the Revolution was at its center a fundamentally conservative movement concerned primarily with the preservation of American liberty and property, it also had some

distinctly radical features, as the works of Bailyn and Wood make clear. Its radicalism was to be found, however, less in the relatively modest social and political changes that accompanied it than in the power of its ideas. But the full impact of the radical ideas of the Revolution, their complete expression in the institutions and values of American

life, Wood and Bailyn seemed to agree, came not during the Revolution but over the next half century in the political movements associated with Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Thus, as William H. Nelson remarked in another essay on "The Revolutionary Character of the American Revolution,"56 even "if the American revolutionists did not fight for democracy, they contributed to its coming . . . because their individualistic concepts of government by consent and republican equality led irresistibly in a democratic direction."

(6) The Federal Constitution The forces for and against the movement for a stronger central government in the 1780's, the nature of the divisions over the Constitution of 1787, and the relationship of the Constitution to the Revolution have also received considerable attention over the past quarter century. Much of this attention has been focused upon Charles A. Beard's economic interpretation of the Constitution," and the clear consensus has been that that interpretation is seriously deficient in almost every respect. The most ambitious analysis of the Beard thesis was presented by Forrest McDonald in We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution." After doing much of the research Beard had said would be necessary to validate his interpretation, McDonald was able to state categorically that Beard's "economic interpretation of the Constitution



does not work." Far from being as unrepresentative of the American electorate as Beard had inferred, the Philadelphia Convention, McDonald argued, "constituted an almost complete cross section of the geograph-

ical areas" and organized political interest groups "existing in the United States in 1787." Neither did the delegates compose a "consolidated economic group" nor did "substantial personality interests" provide the dynamic element in the movement for the Constitution, as Beard had argued. In both federal and state conventions the amount of real property in land and slaves held by the proponents of the Constitution far exceeded the value of their holdings in public securities and other forms of personal property, wealth in both personal and real property was ,substantially represented among both Federalists and Antifederalists, and in "no state was the Constitution ratified without the consent of the farmers and a majority of the friends of paper money." The whole story, McDonald implied, could be told without reference to class conflict and the struggle for democracythe two themes that had received most emphasis from Beard and his followers. Not class but state, sectional. group, and individual interests and the complex interplay among

them comprised the economic forces behind the Constitution. Any economic interpretation of the Constitution would therefore necessarily

be pluralistic, but, McDonald indicated, the primary organizing unit would be the individual states. Not only were the activities of most interest groups circumscribed by state boundaries, but those interests that reached across state boundaries, such as the interest in the public debt, "operated under different conditions in the several states, and their attitudes toward the Constitution varied with the internal conditions in their states." The contest over the Constitution was thus "at once a contest and thirteen contests," and, McDonald suggested in his most important new general conclusion, the outcome in each state seemed to depend upon how satisfied its citizens werehow well their economic interests were being servedunder the Articles of Confederation. That McDonald had overstated his case against Beard and that his focus upon narrow and specific interests tended to obscure the larger, and presumably more significant, divisions over the Constitution was the argument of two formidable critics: Jackson Turner Main and Lee

Benson. Main, who had been over much of the same material as McDonald, presented his own explanation of the fight over the Constitution in his book, The Antifederalists Critics of the Constitution, 1781 1788.5`' Insisting that there were important ideological and economic differences between Federalists and Antiferleralists, Main subscribed to the Beardian view that the ideological split was between advocates of aristocracy and advocates of democracy. He carefully pointed out, how-

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


ever, that not all Antifederalists were democrats. Most Antifederalist leaders were, in fact, well-to-do and were interested less in democracy than in local self-rule and a weak central government. These leaders, who were the chief spokesmen for antifederalism, tended to mute the democratic voices of rank-and-file Antifederalists, the small property holders who were "fundameatally anti-aristocratic" and "wanted a government ,lominated by the many rather than the few." Similarly, Main argued that the economic division over the Constitution was in general

along class lines with small property holders opposing large property holders, debtors against creditors, and paper money advocates opposed to hard money supporters. As he carefully pointed out, however, there were so many exceptions to his general conclusion that the contest could not possibly be explained "exclusively in terms of class conflict." A far more important division, he suggested, which cut across class lines, was that between the commercial and non-commercial regions, between "the

areas, or people, who depended on commerce, and those who were largely self-sufficient."

In Turner and Beard: American Historical Writing Reconsidered," Lee Benson subjected McDonald's work to a different kind of criticism. Based upon a "crude version of economic determinism that assumes men behave primarily as members of interest groups that keep a profit-and-

loss account of their feelings and calculate the cash value of their political actions," McDonald's interpretive system, Benson charged, was

even more grossly distorting than Beard's. That system might conceivably be applicable to the activities of pressure groups in the normal

egislative process, but it was clearly inappropriate to the study of a national "Constitutional revolution" like the one that occurred in 17871788. Such a revolution involved a conflict of ideology, and ideology,

Benson argued, was never the "direct product of self-interest" and "always cuts across the lines of interest groups." On the assumption that "social environment and position in the American social structure mainly determined men's ideologies, and, in turn, their ideologies mainly

determined their opinions on the Constitution," Benson proposed to devise a system of interpretation based not on narrow economic interest groups but upon broad symbolic social groups. The principal division in this "social interpretation of the Constitution" was between "agrarianminded" men and "commercial-minded" men. Ostensibly, the division was over what kind of central government the United States would have,

with the agrarian-minded favoring a government of strictly limited powers that was close to the people and the commercial-minded a government that could "function as a creative, powerful instrument" for realizing broad social ends.



The controversy over Beard's interpretation of the Constitution had thus generated three alternative and partially contradictory sets of hypotheses about the hard social and economic forces behind the Constitution. All three scholars were in general agreement on a number of key points: there were discernible socio-economic divisions over the Constitution; those divisions exerted a profound, and probably primary, influence in

the struggle; their nature and operation were enormously more complicated than Beard had ever imagined; and whether class divisions were important or not, the contest was not a match between the haves and the

have-nots. The dispute was mainly over which divisions were most important and what was the precise nature of the divisions. The possibility of achieving some synthesis between Main's "commercial" and "non-commercial" categories on one hand and Benson's "commercialminded" and "agrarian-minded" on the other was clear enough, but McDonald's insistence that the struggle was between strong (satisfied) states and weak (dissatisfied) states and was shaped by the conflicting ambitions of a multitude of special interest groups seemed completely irreconcilable with the arguments of either Main or Benson. Clearly, as

Main pointed out, an enormous amount of work would be required before these competing propositions could be evaluated.

Some of the work has subsequently been performed by E. James Ferguson and McDonald. In The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776-1790,"' Ferguson explored the relationship between public finance and the movement for constitutional reform.

It was Ferguson's thesis that the question of how the public debts incurred during the War for Independence were to be paid, whether by the states or by Congress, was the "pivotal issue in the relations between the states and the nascent central government" during the Confederation period. On this question the alignment was broadly the same as that which Main and Benson had seen in the struggle over the Constitution: mercantile capitalists versus agrarians. The former were "nationalists" who favored sound money backed by specie, strong central financial institutions, and the absolute sanctity of contracts and property, while the latter were localists who wanted cheap paper money, state-oriented finance, and easy ways of discharging debts. Seeing in the debt a lever

by which they could secure the taxing power for the Congress, the nationalists, la: by Robert Morris, endeavored between 1780 and 1786

to vest the debt in Congress and give Congress the taxing power to support it. But these endeavors ran into opposition from the advocates of state-oriented finance, some states began to take care of the interest on the debt, and the nationalist movement, for all practical purposes, collapsed between 1784 and 1786. Except for the foreign debt, on which

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


Congress partially defaulted, the period was not critical in terms of finance, and what produced the nationalist resurgence that led to the Constitution of 1787 was not public bankruptcy and currency depreciation but the nationalists' "fear of social radicalism'. fo!lowing the flood of paper money emissions in 1785-1786 and Shays' F.Lbeilion. Though it was not entirely clepr from Ferguson's account whether the merchants advocated a strong central government so that they could handle the debt or, as he seemed to suggest, the debt was simply a means of achiev-

ing the anterior goal of a strong central government, Ferguson had demonstrated that the political goals of the nationalists were "interwoven

with economic ends, particularly the establishment of a nationwide regime of sound money and contractural obligation."

McDonald, who presented the results of his work in a paper and a book-length essay,'' agreed with Ferguson that the public Jett and the public lands were the "material sinews of union," and served as the basis

for a national economic interest which formed around Robert Morris and provided the impetus for the movement to give Congress the taxing power in the early 1780's. He also agreed that the virtual collapse of that movement in 1783-1784 did not bring economic disaster. Where he differed from Ferguson was on the nature of the major political alignments and the central issue that divided them. The debate over whether to augment the powers of Congress, as McDonald saw it, only

masked a deeper and much more fundamental issuewhether the United States would be politically one nation or not; and where individuals stood on that question depended on a number of variables, including where they lived, whether their states were thriving, their economic interests, and their ideological commitments. By suggesting that "accessibility to transportationand through it to communication predisposed Americans to be narrow or broad in their loyalties, to oppose or favor the establishment of a national government," McDonald seemed to be adopting categories similar to those earlier used by Main and Benson. But McDonald left no doubt that in his mind this division was distinctly secondary to the interplay of competing economic inter-

ests. Although the number of separate interests was vast, the most important division, McDonald contended in an important elaboration of h;s central conclusion in We the People, was between those who thought tilt it interests would best be served by a strong national government and those who had a vested interest in the continued primacy of the state governments. The behavior of some men, however, could not, McDonald

admitted, be explained purely in terms of self- interest. Some of the Antift.leralists were republican ideologues who would have opposed the Constitution no matter what their interests were. More important, the



Constitution was so impressive an achievement that the men who wrote

it obviously had to have been inspired by something more than the sordid materialism that normally characterized American politics. McDonald's admission that the behavior of the men who wrote and

pushed through the Constitution, as well as that of some of their opponents, could not be explained entirely or even largely in terms of their economic and social interests underlined the fundamental weakness in most of the post-World War II literature on the Confederation and Constitution. In sharp contrast to recent writers on the pre-Revolutionary period, these students of the Constitution did not advance very far beyond earlier historians in explaining what the ostensible and immediate political issues and underlying ideology were, how men of all political hues saw and reacted to the problems of the Confederation and the issues raised by the Constitution, and how they explained their behavior to themselves, their contemporaries, and posterity, whatever social and economic considerations may have consciously or unconsciously helped to shape their behavior. There seemed to be a general agreement that the Constitution was a bold political stroke, but the exact nature of that stroke, what it represented to the people who supported and opposed it, had not been made completely clear. A considerable amount of light has been thrown upon this problem by several other writers. In a suggestive article,6" John P. Roche emphasized the extent to which the Constitution was at once the product of democratic political procedures and a reflection of the Founders' aspirations for the new country. The Founders, he argued, had to be understood "first and foremost" as "superb democratic politicians" who were spokesmen for "American nationalism," a "new and compelling credo" that emerged out of the American Revolution. Far from being an antidemocratic document, as earlier historians had claimed, Roche concluded, the Constitution was a "vivid demonstration of effective democratic political action" and a clear indication that the Founding Fathers

had to operate, and were aware they had to operate, "with great delicacy and skill in a political cosmos full of enemies to achieve the one definitive goalpopular approbation." As Main has suggested, it was precisely the extreme continental nationalism of the Federalists, and the possibility that they might have sacrificed the libertarian inheritance of the Revolution to it, that so worried their Antifederalist opponents. That the Antifederalists were correct in thinking that they smelled a conspiracy but that they seriously misunderstood its character and intent was the conclusion of Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick in "The Founding Fathers: Young Men of the Revolution,"" a perceptive analysis of the nature of both the divi-

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


sions over the Constitution and the nationalistic aspirations of the Federalists. The Federalist conspiracy, Elkins and McKitrick contended, was

against not liberty but "particularism and inertia," which in the mid1780's seemed to the Federalists on the verge of robbing the young nation of its future promise. Significantly younger than their opponents, many leading Federalists, Elkins and McKitrick pointed out, had "quite literally seen their careers launched in the Revolution." What made them nationalists, then, what gave them the "dedication, the force and éclat"

to attempt to overcome the "urge to rest, to drift, to turn back the clock" that was represented by the Antifederalists and seemed to have a stranglehold on the c,.,41,:ry from 1783 to 1787, was not "any 'distaste' for the Revolution . . . but rather their profound and growing involvement in it." Fundamentally, then, Elkins and McKitrick concluded, the

struggle was between energy and inertia, and the Constitution was "sufficiently congenial to the underlying commitments of the whole culturerepublicanism and capitalism that" once inertia had been overcome and the basic object of discontent, the absence of a Bill of Rights, removed, opposition to the new government melted away. After a dozen years of anxiety, the men of the Revolution could be reasonably confident in 1788-1789 that "their Revolution had been a success." Far from trying to overturn the Revolution, the Federalists were thus trying to bring it to a favorable conclusion. Beneath the political maneuvering described by Roche and behind the desire for a more energetic government emphasized by Elkins and McKitrick, other writers have demonstrated, were certain basic ideas that were central to the whole Revolutionary experience. As A. 0. Lovejoy has shown,65 the framers of the Constitution had not changed their mind about human nature as a result of their experience during the Revolution: they still "had few illusions about the rationality of the generality of mankind." To prevent social anarchy and to guaranteeeven to save

the success of the republican experiment in America from the unhappy fate it had suffered everywhere else,"6 they were persuaded, clearly

required a stable and vigorous political system that would check such popular excesses.6" Yet, as Martin Diamond has indicated," they were also deeply devoted to popular government, to the idea that political authority should be "'derived from the great body of the society, not from . . . any favoured class of it.' " However considerable were the roles of economic interests, broad social forces, the personal and social aspirations of the Founders, or the pressures for political compromise, the interaction between these two ideas, between the pessimistic conception of human nature and the commitment to popular government, these writers have argued, exercised a profound shaping influence upon



the proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Inspired, as Douglass Adair has shown,'" by the possibilities that politics might be reduced to a science, they believed, in Lovejoy's words, that it was entirely possible by employing the method of counterpoise, the balancing of harmful elements against one another, "to construct an ideal political

society out of bad human materialsto frame a rational scheme of government, in which the general good will be realized, without presupposing that the individuals who exercise ultimate political power will be severally actuated in their use by rational motives, or primarily solicitous

about the general good." To moderate the flightiness of the people and to prevent the formation of a majority faction that would stop at nothing, even tyranny, to secure its own interest, the Framers agreed, were their primary tasks. The first task they sought to accomplish by the creation of the Senate which, as

Diamond has pointed out, was designed to protect property against popular excesses and to provide a check on the popular House of Representatives without in any respect going "beyond the limits" permitted by the " 'genuine principles of republican government.' " To prevent the formation of a majority faction, the Framers came up with an equally "republican remedy," a major intellectual breakthrough and the peculiar insight, as Adair has demonstrated, of James Madison. What would save the United States from the tyranny of a majority faction and the fate of earlier republics, Madison argued, was its enormous size and the

multiplicity of factions and interests that would necessarily result from that size. With so many separate and diverse interests, Madison contended, there would be no possibility of enough of them submerging their differences and getting together to form a majority faction. It was their inability to accept Madison's contentions, Cecelia M. Kenyon has argued," that constituted the chief ideological difference between Antifederalists and Federalists. An intensive analysis of Antifederalist writings, she argued, revealed that they held the same pessimistic conception of human nature, with the distrust of the masses and fear of factions implied in that conception, as the Federalists. Far from being devoted to simple majoritarianism, as earlier writers had assumed,

they were afraid of oppression from all quartersfrom the people at large as well as from corrupt factions among the upper classes. In fact, they were fundamentally suspicious of any form of a truly "national" government because they were convinced both that no government with such extensive authority could be prevented from yielding to the temptations of power and because, unlike Madison, who thought republican government would work only in a large state, they thought that it would never work except in small polities where the government could be "an exact miniature of the people."

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


The Constitution thus came to be seen not as the repudiation cf the Revolution but as the fulfillment of the aspirations and ideas of its dominant group of leaders. To the extent it was intended to check the popular excesses that had been one of the incidental, if also entirely logical, results of the Revolution, it was also mildly counterrevolutionary, an attempt to neutralize the radical tendencies of thought and behavior before they threw the young republic into a state of political and social

chaos that, the Founders believed, would perforce lead to a tyranny as objectionable as that they had just fought a iong and bloody war to escape. Through the Constitution and the powerful central government it created they hoped to reassert and provide the necessary institutional and constitutional framework for achieving the original goals of the opposition to and subsequent break with Britain: a stable and orderly government in which men, despite their imperfections, would be free to enjoy the blessings of liberty and the security of property that was so essential a part of those blessings. This view has been in part challenged by Gordon S. Wood in The Creation of the American Republic. The disagreement over the proper

remedy for the ills of the country during the 1780's, Wood argued, revealed a longstanding, though previously largely concealed, rift in American political ideology. One sideCalvinists and future Antifederalistsclung to "moral reform and the regeneration of men's hearts" as the only effective cures, while the otherLiberal Christians and future Federalistslooked "to mechanical devices and institutional contrivances as the only lasting solution." The movement for a stronger central government culminating in the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788 was spearheaded by men of the latter persuasion who sought to salvage the Revolution and to restrain its many unintended excesses by constructing a national republican government that would neutralize the "vices" of the state governments and not be dependent, like them, on the virtue of the people for its success. In treating the bitter struggle over the Constitution, Wood seemed to align himself with older historians in declaring that the conflict was fundamentally social, "between aristocracy and democracy," and that the Constitution was "intrinsically" an aristocratic documznt designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. But his analysis seems to suggest that, no matter how contemporaries conceived of it, the debate was really over what kind of democratic government Americans should

have. The Federalists, who believed that only virtuous and talented menthe "natural aristocracy"were capable of providing effective republican government, stood for an elitist, nationally-oriented democracy, while the Antifederalists, who thought that such men were not

sufficiently close to the people in general to be responsive to the



true interests of the entire society, favored a popular, locally-based democracy.

Wood's argume at that the Constitution was a repudiation of the Revolution was based upon the questionable assumption that the utopian

impulses of 1776 were the central components of the spirit of 1776. But it is by no means clear that the optimism of most Revolutionary leaders in 1776 did not derive more from their confidence that they could contrive constitutions that would neutralize the viciousness of men rather than from the hope that republican government would effect a wholesale renovation in human nature. Because of its very newness and because it did so much to reshape not simply the political ideas but the political aspirations of men both in

America and elsewhere in the world, the original system of politics encapsulated by the Federalists in the Constitution, far more than the genuine but transitory millennialism of 1776, may have been not only the

most lasting but also the most radicalsocially as well as politically contribution of the Revolution. (7) The Nature of the Revolution

What lay behind the events, issues, and interests of the era of the American Revolution, what gave them shape and coherence for the men

of the Revolution, scholarship over the past quarter century seems to indicate, were their preconceptions about the nature of man and the function of government. Given the intense preoccupation of American leaders, from the Stamp Act crisis to the adoption of the Constitution of 1787, with human nature and its relationship to the political process, it is now clear that they were grappling with and were fully conscious that they were grappling with the knottiest and most challenging of human problems. The central concern of the men of the American Revolution was not merely the reaffirmation of their Anglq:?nlonial heritage and not simply the protection of liberty and property but, as Edmund S. Morgan has put it," the discovery of means "to check the inevitable operation of depravity in men who wielded power." This "great intellectual challenge," Morgan argued, engaged the "best minds of the period" as politics replaced theology as "the most challenging area of human thought and endeavor" and the intellectual leaders in America "addressed themselves to the rescue, not of souls, but of governments, from the perils of corruption." This fear of human nature, Morgan emphasized, lay behind the resistance of the colonists to Britain between 1763 and 1783 and their insistence that "the people of one region ought not to exercise dominion over those of another" unless those subject to that domination had some control over it; this same fear, Morgan noted,

drove them to adopt written constitutions that would, by establishing

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


"the superiority of the people to their government," give the people some protection against "man's tyranny over man." The meaning of the American Revolution has thus come to be seen primarily in the constitutions it produced and the ideas that lay behind them. Hannah Arendt presented the fullest and most systematic exposition of this view in On Revolution," a trenchant analysis of the great revolutions of the late eighteenth century and the revolutionary tradition they spawned. The most significant fact about the American Revolution, Arendt argued, was that armed uprising and the Declaratiot, of Independence were accompanied not by chaos but by a "spontaneous outbreak of constitution-making." And, she contended, the "true culmination" of the Revolutionary process was not the struggle for liberation from Britain but the effort to establish the freedom represented by those constitutions. Fear of human nature, of the "chartless darkness of the human heart," and the conviction that, in John Adams' phrase, there could be nothing "without a constitution" were initially behind this fever of constitution-making. But it was the possibility of creating a "com-

munity, which, even though it was composed of 'sinners,' need not necessarily reflect this 'sinful' side of human nature," the exhilarating hope, as Hamilton expressed it, that men might establish "good govern-

ment from reflection and choice" and not be forever dependent "for their political constitutions on accident and force," that eventually made them conceive of constitution-making as the "foremost and the noblest of all revolutionary deeds" and emboldened them to try the great experiment in federalism in 1787. To devise a national system which would,

as Madison put it, "guard . . . society against the oppression of its rulers" by checking the various powers of government against one another and still have sufficient power to protect "one part of society against the injustice of the other part" was not, and the Founders never understood it to be, an easy task that could be accomplished to perfection. But they had the confidence of the public and a degree of con-

fidence in one another present elsewhere only among conspirators, Arendt contended, and their accomplishment was notable. With the Constitution of 1787 they managed both to consolidate the power of the American Revolution and to provide a foundation for the freedom that was the uilitiate concern of the Revolution. FOOTNOTES ' Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1951. 2 "The Effects of the Navigation Acts on the Thirteen Colonies," in The Era of the American Revolution: Studies Inscribed to Evans Boute ll Greene. Richard B. Morris, editor. New York: Columbia University Press, 1939. pp. 1-39; and "Mercantilism and the American Revolution." Canadian Historical Review 23: 1-15; No. 1, March 1942.



3"British Mercantilism and the Economic Development of the Thirteen Colonies." Journal of Economic History 12: 105-114; No. 2, Spring 1952.

4"A Quantitative Approach to the Study of the Effects of British Imperial Policy upon Colonial Welfare: Some Preliminary Findings." Journal of Economic History 25: 615-638; No. 4, December 1965. 5Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963. 'Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1961. 'On the developing sense of American ,elf-consciousness, see Lawrence A. Cremin. American Education: The Colonial Evperience. New York: Harper, 1970; Clinton Rossiter. Seedtime of the Republic: The Origin of Cie American Tradition of Political Liberty. Neu, York: Harcourt, 1953; Max Save Ile. Seeds of Liberty:

The Genesis of the Amer;can Mind. New York: Knopf, 1948; Richard L. Merritt. Symbols of American Community, 1735-1775. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966; Michael Kraus. Interco lonial Aspects of American Culture on the Eve of

the Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press, 1928; and Carl Bridenbaugh. Cities in Revolt: Ur.'utn Life in America, 1743-1776. New York: Knopf, 1955. On the colonists' continuing reliance upon Britain for normative values, see Jack P. Greene. "Search for Identity: An Interpretation of the Meaning of Selected Patterns of Social Response in Eighteenth-Century America." Journal of Social History 3: 189-220; No, 3, Spring 1970.

"Charles A. Barker. The Background of the Revolution in Maryland. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940; Donald L. Kemmerer. Path to Freedom: The Struggle for Self-Government in Colonial New Jersey, 1703-1776. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940; Oscar Zeichner. Connecticut's Years of Controversy, 1750-1776. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1949; Theodore Thayer. Pennsylvania Politics and the Growth of Democracy, 1740-1776. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania HistoncL1 and Museum Commission, 1953; Davi Li Hawke. In the Midst of a Revolution. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961; David S. Lovejoy. Rhode Island Politics and the American Revolution, 17604776. Providence: Brown University Press, 1958; Kenneth Coleman. The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763-1789. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1958; W. W. Abbot. The Royal Governors of Georgia, 1754-1775.-Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959; Thad W. Tate. "The Coming of the Revolution in Virginia: Britain's Challenge to Virginia's Ruling Class, 17631776." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 19: 323-343; No. 3, July 1962; Jere R. Daniell. Experiment in Republicanism: New Hampshire Politics and the American Revolution, 1741-1794. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970; and Patricia U. Bonomi. A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. New York: Columbia University Press, 1971. 9

Middle-Class Democracy and the Revolution in Massachusetts, 1691-1780.

Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1955; Virginia, 1705-1786 Democracy or Aristocracy? East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1964. '° Charles S. Grant. Democracy in the Connecticut Frontier Town of Kent. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961; Milton M. Klein. "Democracy and Politics in Colonial New York." New York History 40: 221-246; No. 3, July 1959; Richard P. McCormick. The History of Voting in New Jersey: A Study of the Development of Election Machinery, /664 -1911. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1953; Thayer, Pennsylvania Politics; and Lovejoy, Rhode Island Polities.

" Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965. "Historians and the Problem of Early American Democracy." American Historical Review 67: 626-646; No. 3, April 1962. "Democracy and the American Revolution: A Frame of Reference." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 21: 165-190; No. 2, April 1964.

"New York: Macmillan, 1960. '' Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953.

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


" New York: Oxford University Press, 1964. "See 'Thomas C. Barrow. Trade and Empire: The British Customs Service in Colonial America, 1660-1775. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967; Carl Bridenhaugh. Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faiths, Ideas, Personalities, and Politics, 1689-1775. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962; Carl Ubbelohde. The Vice-Admiralty Courts and the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960; and John Shy. Toward Lexington: The Role of the British Army in the Coining of the American Revolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955. 18 The Birth of the Republic, 1763-1789. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.

"Carl I.. Becker. The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932. 20 Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961. 2' The Classical Republicans: An Essay in 0,e Recovery of a Pattern of Thought in Seventeenth-Century England. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1945. 22 "Machiavelli, Harrington, and English Political Ideologies in the Eighteenth

Century." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 22: 549-583: No. 4, October 1965.

"The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman: Studies in the Transmission, Development and Circumstances of English Liberal Thought from the Restoration of Charles II until the War with the Thirteen Colonies. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959.

" Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967. " The place of American conceptions of the past in this framework is analyzed by H. Trevor Colbourn. The Lamp of Experience: Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

""The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 24: 3-43; No. I, January 1967.

'From the Covenant to the Revival," in The Shaping of American Religion. James Ward Smith and A. Leland Jamison, editors. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961. pp. 322-368.

"Some of the possible sources of these tensions are discussed briefly in Gordon S. Wood. "Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 23: 3-32; No. I, January 1966, and Greene. "Search for Identity." " Alan Heimert has explored the religious aspects of the Revolution in far greater detail in Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966. 3° Providence: Brown University Press, 1965. 31 Most notably, Claude H. Van Tyne. The Loyalists in the American Revolution. New York and London: Macmillan, 1902. "Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961. 33 The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III. London: Macmillan, 1929; England in the Age of the American Revolution. London: Macmillan, 1930; Crossroads of Power: Essays on Eighteenth-Century England. London: Macmillan, 1962.

The most important among these studies are Richard Pares. King George III and the Politicians. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953, a general discussion of the

politics of the reign in the light of Namier's conclusions; John Brooke. The Chatham Administration, 1766-1768. London: Macmillan, 1956, and Ian R. Christie. The End of North's Ministry, 1780-1782. London: Macmillan, 1958, two detailed studies of the structure and course of British politics during important segments of the Revolutionary years; Charles R. Ritcheson. British Politics and the American Revolution. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954, a narrative



of the impact of the American troubles upon British politics; and Eric Robson. The American Revolution in Its Political and Military Aspects, 1763-1783. London: Oxford University Press, 1955, a collection of :nterpretive essays.

Especially Dora Mae Clark. The Rise of the British Treasury: Colonial Administration in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960; Franklin B. Wickwire. British Subministers and Colonial America, 1763-1783. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966; Shy. Towards Lexington: and Jack M. Sosin. Whitehall and the Wilderness: The Middle West in British Colonial Policy, 1760-1775. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965. "8 The nature and impact of this agitation has recently been analyzed in Ian R. Christie. Wilkes, Wyvill and Reform: The Parliamentary Reform Movement in British Politics, 1760-1785. 1.ondon: Macmillan, 1963; George Rude, Wilkes and Liberty: A Social Study of 1763 to 1774. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962; and Eugene Charlton Black. The Association: British Extra parliamentary Political Organization, 1769-1793. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963. 8" Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke. Charles Townshend. London: Macmillan, 1964: John Norris. Shelburne and Reform. London: Macmillan, 1963; B. D. Bar-

gar. Lord Dartmouth and the American Revolution. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1965; and Gerald Saxon Brown. The American Secretary: The Colonial Policy of Lord George Germain, 1775-1778. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1963. "British Politics and the American Revolution: The Path to War, 1773-1775. London: Macmillan, 1964. " A more detailed and comprehensive analysis of the implications of recent writings on British politics in the eighteenth century for the understmnding of the Revolution will be found in Jack P. Greene. "The Plunge of Lemmings: A Consideration of Recent Writings on British Politics and the American Revolution." .Booth Atlantic Quarterly 47: 141-175; No. 1, Winter 1968. "Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953. " Philip A. Crowl. Maryland During and After the Revolution: A Political and Economic Study. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943; Richard P. McCormick. Experiment in Independence: Ness, Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1950; John A. Munroe. Federalist Delaware, 1775-1815. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1954. 44 Western Massachusetts in the Revolution. Providence: Brown University Press, 1954.

" Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955. " "Government by the People: The American Revolution and the Democratization of the Legislatures." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 23: 391-407;

No. 3, July 1966; and "Social Origins of a Political Elite: The Upper House in the Revolutionary Era." Huntington Library Quarterly 27: 147-158; No. 2, February 1964.

' "'The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement: A Re-Evaluation." American Historical Review 40: 1-12; No. 1, October 1954. J. Franklin Jameson. The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement. Princeton, N.J.. Princeton University Press, 1926.

" New York: Harcourt, 1955. "Consensus and Continuity. /776-1787. Boston: Boston University Press, 1958. 5° "Where Paine Went Wrong." American Political Science Review 45: 10861098; No. 4, December 1951.

"Political Experience and Enlightenment Ideas in Eighteenth-Century America." American Historical Review 57: 339-351; No. 2, January 1962, and The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

Revolution, Confederation, and Constitution, 1763-1787


" On the emergence of the antislavery impulse during the Revolution and the factors that stunted its development, see the superb discussion in Winthrop D. Jordan. White over Black: American Attitudes towards the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel 4111: University of North Carolina Press, 1968. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969. " Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution. Cambridge. Harvard University Press, 1966. " For additional discussion of the radical character of many of these ideas and their institutionalization within the broader context of Western European development, see R. R. Palmer. The Age of Democratic Revolution. . . . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959. " American Historical Review 70: 998-1014; No. 4, July 1965. 57 An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1913. " Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958. "Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1961. "Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1960. " Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1961. " "The Anti-Federalists, 1781-1789." Wisconsin Magazine of History 46: 206214; No. 3, Spring 1963; E Pluribus Unum: The Formation of the American Republic, 1776-1790. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.

63 The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action." American Political Science Review 55: 799 -816: No. 4, December 1961. "4 Political Science Quarterly 86: 181-216; No. 2, June 1961. " Reflections on Human Nature. 66 On this point see Douglass G. Adair. "'Experience Must Be Our Only Guide': History, Democratic Theory, and the United States Constitution," in The Reinter-

pretation of Early American History: Essays in Honor of John Edwin Pomfret. San Marino: Huntington Library, 1966. pp. 129-148.

"Among several excellent analyses of the relation of Shays' Rebellion to the movement for stronger central government see the discussion in J. R. Pole. Political Representation in England and the Origins of the American Republic. London: Macmillan, 1966; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1967. " "Democracy and The Federalist: A Reconsideration of the Framers' Intent." American Political Science Review 53: 52-68; No. 1, March 1959. "" 'That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science': David Hume, James Madison,

and the Tenth Federalist." Huntington Library Quarterly 20: 343-360; No. 4, August 1957.

7° "Men of Little Faith: The Anti-Federalists on the Nature of Representative Government." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd series. 12: 3-43; No. 1, January 1955.

'The American Revolution Considered as an Intellectual Movement," in

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Morton White, editors. Paths of American Thought. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963. pp. 11-33. " New York: Viking, 1963.


The Early National Period, 1789 -1823 Shaw Livermore, Jr.


NE will look in vain through the historical literature of the decade of the 1960's to find a new lens through which to view the early national

period of American history. No major theme was announced around which the curious could assemble the record of American strivings to build a new society; no major historian launched upon a new reconstruction or synthesis that would direct us to place the period in a new relation with the years before or after. It would be fair to say that there seems to have been an effort to disengage our attention from the traditional battlegrounds of the Progressive historians and their critics, to clear away the fascinations of determinist schemes now hopelessly rent by the thorns of evidence, but one must call upon faith to sustain the hope that we are poised at a new takeoff stage. Scores of investigators scrambled over the landscape, but most succumbed eventually to the temptations of old quarrels, presentist allures, or the despair of baffling contradictions and meaninglessness. To bring balance, perspective, or a judicious temperament to the problem is generally the best one can summon up as a substitute for the striking and fresh. Work went forward on familiar fronts. New volumes appeared in the only major effort to represent the collective knowledge and wisdom of the profession, The New American Nation Series. The diplomatic arena attracted a strong contingent, as did the realm of the biographer, with its unparalleled riches of the great and near-great to feast upon. Coupled with biography, there was impressive progress in magisterial editions of the collected papers of national leaders. Perhaps the most vital sector was the continuing inquiry into the nature, workings, and composition of political parties. This interest, which was quickened during the 1960's by outside infusions from political science, sociology, and developmental 297



studies, should continue to evoke considerable enthusiasm. A few arresting inquiries into the nature and institutionalization of American democracy appeared during the decade, though the subject remains murky and in dispute. Contemporary concerns were probably most responsible for the considerable excitement generated by new inquiries into that most awesome, nigh unimaginable, part of the American past, slavery. Its centrality was even more insisted upon by several historians and the level of anguish was accordingly raised even higher. As could be expected, the fires of the frontier did not die out and American Indian policy was given closer attention. Last, a competent cadre continued the task of informing us about the springs of economic development. The lack of new focus in historical studies of the period is registered in five works from The New American Nation Series. John Miller told us once again that the Federalist program during the 1790's has much to be said for it, that Alexander Hamilton had remarkable prophetic powers, and that however attractive Thomas Jefferson's democratic ideals it was

a good thing the Federalists had their way for a time at least. These judgments may well be sound but they tell us little about why men figured things as they did, why some recognized Hamilton's "genius,"

and others held a different notion about the "good" society. The approach keeps us at the titillating but essentially unhistorical level of arguing over whether Hamilton or Jefferson was the more admirable fellow, a level that appears over and again as the accepted field of honor. Marshall Smelzer accepted the gauge when he told us that we have misunderstood Jefferson as a doctrinaire democrat instead of the "Whiggish moderate" that he was, and that if we accept this view we will

realize that the Jeffersonians neither repudiated nor repealed their original principles and that they responded intelligently to unforeseen circumstances. In both cases the authors seemed to be groping for a statement about that hardy American animal, pragmatism. If so, we need to know how it came into existence, what its environmental circumstances have been, and the sequence of its adaptive mechanisms.1 As the great antagonists passed off the field, George Dangerfield introduced us to another familiar American entity, nationalism, by suggesting that there seem to have been two separate breeds, the one economic and

the other democratic. The notion is promising but Dangerfield left us only with the suggestion while staying for the most part on the familiar but still mysterious broken terrain of the post-war period. Though some

historians have been trying to carve out a new domain of cultural history, drawing mainly from cultural anthropology, Russel Nye's account is largely a descriptive foray into traditional areas of literature, education, religion, and science. Francis Philbrick's account of the West

The Early National Period, 1789-1823


is largely directed toward refuting Frederick Jackson Turner's views of a half century and more ago. Each of these five books is skillfully com-

posed, fairm.nded in judgment, and reasonably reflective of current scholarship, bat they are only upon the rarest occasion moving.' Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton remain the central figures

of the age for biographers and analysts. Merrill Peterson's full-scale biography of Jefferson is probably the best one-volume account yet published. Peterson was generally friendly to Jefferson though he confessed that .ifter years of close study Jefferson remained a mystery to him. At times the lofty idealist, at others the compromising politician, at one the man of conscience and the backslider, Jefferson is for Peterson an enormously complicated man. Beginning with the first volume in 1948, Dumas Malone published his fourth in 1970, covering the first presidential years, and we have a richly-detailed, friendly account that shows Jefferson orchestrating a highly successful first term

in the White House. Malone is not so troubled by the intricacies of Jefferson's conduct, and we have him as an Olympian in good standing. That Jefferson can inspire resentment and outright hostility is abundantly apparent in Leonard Levy's savage attack upon Jefferson's record in the area of civil liberties and Lawrence Kaplan's thesis that Jefferson's continued enthrallment with France led him to distort his sense of American national interest. Jefferson's relation to slavery was scored by several

writers during the decade. The best work on Hamilton is clearly Broadus Mitchell's concluding volume. Mitchell relentlessly defended Hamilton against all the familiar attacks, big and small, and oriented the whole work around Hamilton's great dream of establishing a cohesive, centrally-directed America. The mixture of admiration and suspicion that has always surrounded Hamilton is manifest in Gerald Stourzh's inquiry, which sharply displays an extraordinarily ambitious man intent upon the business of building an imposing American empire.3 Federalists seem generally to fare better in attracting historians than Republicans. While no full-scale biographies of John Adams appeared, two assessments were made of the change in Adams' political perspective after his ten years in Europe at the close of the Revolution. Both authors concluded that Adams became more fearful for the American experiment. The list of biographical studies of lesser Federalist leaders is impressive.

We have new accounts of John Jay and Rufus King of New York, Theodore Sedgwick and Fisher Ames of Massachusetts, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and William Loughton Smith of South Carolina. Special mention should be made of an extensively revised edition of Samuel Eliot Morison's classic study of Harrison Gray Otis, one that gives us fascinating new glimpses of upper-class society, and a careful



new study of John Marshall's jurisprudence. Two other works have as their special problem the process of conversion from the Federalist to Republican faiths. Irving Brant completed his mind-boggling study of James Madison with a sixth volume on the years after 1812. Brant sustained his impressive design to elevate Madison to the very first rank of American statesmen. His effort was seconded by a recent one-volume account by Ralph Ketcham and by Adrienne Koch's affectionate assessment of Madison's reflections in his last years upon constitutionalism and governance. The serious lack of good studies of second-level Jeffersonian politicians is somewhat alleviated by two modest portraits of Daniel Tompkins of New York and John Breckenridge of Kentucky.'' The number of expensive enterprises engaged in publishing the papers of the great men who left imprints upon the early national period is staggering. Beyond bringing material together in printed form for researchers, the editors in many cases give us commentary and explication that make reading them more pleasurable than an embarrassing number of scholarly monographs. The acknowledged masters are Julian Boyd of the Jefferson papers and Lyman Butterfield of the Adams project. They set standards of excellence that encouraged others. The work was slow. As of 1972 we had Jefferson's papers only to 1791, in spite of eighteen volumes, and though all the Adams papers have been micro-

filmed for distribution to libraries, we still look ahead to a printed chronological series. The four-volume set of the Diary and Autobiography of John Adams remains a gem. The Hamilton venture went forward rapidly, the letters now complete through 1794. Seven volumes of Madison papers appeared, bringing the record only to the year 1784. For a

later generation of leaders there were three volumes of Clay papers running to 1824 and four volumes of Calhoun papers to 1820.5

With foreign policy more at the center of affairs than at any time until the middle of this century, one continues to find a large effort directed to the search for a proper understanding of the American national interest and toward assessments of successive effcrts to effect that interest. In a highly influential account, Felix Gilbert characterized the essence cf American foreign policy as a largely successful integration of utopian assumptions about a new world system, assumptions that were powerfully shaped by the Enlightenment, into considerations of power politics as practiced in the late eighteenth century. Paul Varg emphasized the latter half of this equation in crediting the Federalists with a more effective grasp of the true American interest, while Arthur Ekil ch gave us a good account of the intellectual underpinnings for the

American policy of isolationism, a policy brought to fruition under Republican auspices. An unabashed admirer of Hamilton, Gilbert

The Early National Period, 1789-1823


Lycan, sketched out his hero's design for opposing the expanding French Revolutionary influence, and an equally unabashed advocate for

Jefferson, Julian Boyd, laid out a documentary record of Hamilton's alleged perfidy in 1790 as part of his continuing effort to keep the United States firmly within the British orbit. Jerald Combs, using the Jay Treaty imbroglio as a focus, thoughtfully showed the significant differences of outlook of Federalists and Republicans in defining a proper American

national interest. Three works appeared which help to fill in the more narrowly diplomatic record of the 1790's, each of them adopting a more friendly version of British aims and practices than usually appears in secondary accounts. A thorough and persuasive account of the difficulties with France at the end of the decade gives us a view of John Adams

being genuinely torn, even sometimes vacillating, and of a French government significantly conciliatory after the XYZ Affair. Peter Hill wrote a full and appreciative story of the role played by a most attractive Federalist, William Vans Murray, in bringing the French tangle to a reasonable conclusion by 1800.6 Clearly the most significant assessments of American foreign policy formation and diplomatic encounters during the Republican years came

in two volumes by Bradford Perkins. The first volume takes us from a state of satisfactory relations with Great Britain down to the declaration of war in 1812, and the second, with a brilliant recounting of the Ghent negotiations, takes us back to establishment of a secure relation by 1823. Perkins found little to commend in the writhings of Jefferson and Madison during the slide into war, their problems being both important faults of imagination and execution. In his second volume Perkins concluded that the improvement in relations is to a great extent attributable to a peculiarly felicitous rapport between John Quincy Adams and Castlereagh. The special problem of the War of 1812 attracted further consideration, with perhaps the most compelling conclusion being that of Roger Brown when he argued that a profound concern for republican ideals and Republican Party needs was far more important than we had thought in explaining why Madison and congressional leaders acted as they did during the year before war. A specialized account of Pennsylvania is of some interest and it adds weight to the general approaches of Perkins and Brown. Another investigator would direct us once again to the maritime problem and away from the various notions announced in the last several decades that purely domestic conflicts and urges were at the root of it. Harry Coles published a particularly clear account of the war itself.? Interest in work on political parties during the period was heightened by the realization that the American example prefigured the general trend



toward partisan organization as a critical device in making mass par,cipation democratic systems work in other societies. Political scientists had long been concerned with parties as organizational devices, but American historians have only recently begun to seek out the circumstances in which parties arose so dramatically during the 1790's. Two important books illustrate this trend. Roy Nichols traces the history of American parties beginning with British practices in the Middle Ages and concluding with a fully-formed pattern by the late 1840's. Where Nichols used the arresting word "invention" to describe this process, Richard Hofstadter pointed to the "idea" of a party system and he skillfully related the evolutionary steps of thought and practice that led to general acceptance of a legitimate opposition. Both men built upon earlier work. Noble Cunningham completed a two-part study of the Jeffersonian Republicans in 1963 in which his concern throughout was with the building and management of a party structure. A major conclusion of the work is that national parties did not grow out of local structures but had instead been consciously molded by party leaders in Philadelphia and Washington. The explicit concerns of political science and developmental studies are manifest in an inquiry by William Chambers, though his work is not so solidly founded in original sources as Cunningham's."

The concern for structure was blended with older interests in the ideological components of parties, interest conflicts, and the calculations of ambitious party leaders. David Fischer pointed effectively to a second

generation of Federalist leaders who adopted the organizational techniques of their opponents and softened, at least publicly, their elitist values. The desire for office and opportunities for maneuvering by Federalists after 1815 are major themes in another study of the developing American party system. Norman Risjord isolated a wing of the Republican Party and showed how tenaciously its members tried to use the Party to serve their conservative needs. Drawing effectively upon another

concern of political science, the accumulation and exercise of power, James Young drew a striking picture of Washington society in the early decades of the century. The Republican disdain for concentrated power produced a sharply compartmentalized government in which even living

patterns were affected. In Young's view the trend was increasingly dangerous for effective government until Andrew Jackson dramatically reasserted presidential power. Conflict within the Republican ranks was detailed in two other works, one using a focus of the arguments over the structure and powers of the judiciary and the other showing how

many Republican leaders were deeply involved in the Yazoo land schemes .°

The Early National Period, 1789-1823


One of the most troublesome problems that has emerged from party studies is the fact that when the historian centers upon national issues and institutional trends as the coagulants of party formation he often makes a persuasive case, yet when other investigators single out individual states or regions the importance of such national matters seems to evaporate in a welter of parochial concerns and machinations. Alfred Young's careful study of the New York Republicans showed the persistence of colonial alliances and distinctive state problems, and although Carl Prince was principally concerned to reconstruct the growth of party structure in New Jersey he showed over and again that the horizons of

most Republicans there seemed to be restricted to the borders of the state. Studies of each party in Massachusetts concluded that the particular social make-up, religious disputes, and political style of the state had far more to do with party alignment than policy decisions by the general government or larger ideological conflicts. Lisle Rose's picture of the Southern Federalists did include some concern for national matters, but the connection with the Northern wing of the party is far more

tenuous than the grounding in peculiar Southern practices and outlooks." The developing democratic matrix within which parties formed is the subject of three challenging projects. Yehoshua Arieli considered the interrelationship between individualism and democracy in producing a distinctive American nationalism. He found that the capacity for using democratic means to adjust conflict and a continuing though often puzzling penchant for quasi-socialist schemes kept the centrifugal tendencies of individualism within bounds. A thorough investigation of the suffrage through this period produced some curious results, among them

that the effective eligible electorate in the colonial period had been astonishingly broad, that there was not for the most part a passionate concern for suffrage reform, and that changes usually came from passing partisan interests rather than from larger ideological considerations. A social scientist, Sidney Aronson, considered the top-level appointees of three presidents and discovered only a modest change in their social antecedents and connections over a forty-year period, with the change

between the appointees of Jefferson and Jackson being even more modest. He acknowledged that the change may well have been sharper among appointees at the lower levels. Although not directly addressed to the problem of American democracy, two other studies display interesting sidelights. The dramatic story of prison reform shows a powerful belief in the redemptive power of individualism to destroy the corrupting charms of criminal society, and a study of elementary-school textbooks shows us something of the mode of diffusing democratic norms."



The curse of American democracy, slavery, prompted a number of important new books. Two works with a larger compass are valuable for an understanding of the early national period. Winthrop Jordan's inquiry into the nature of racial attitudes became very influential, as did the conclusions of David Brion Davis in investigating the early abolition movement. Donald Robinson insisted that slavery was far more fundament.' in framing political disputes than has been generally understood, and Robert Mc Colley argued that in spite of some apparently favorable trends toward emancipation, slavery was deeply imbedded in Jefferson's Virginia, with Jefferson himself abjuring an effective campaign against it. According to William Freehling, in a most persuasive account, the fear of Northern attacks upon slavery is the central explanation for the nullification movement in South Carolina. A new assessment of the Denmark Vesey episode adds substance to this argument. Thomas Abernethy's general survey of Southern history during the early national period accents the importance of the frontier, but slavery nonetheless remains as a constant counterpoint. That Northern attitudes toward slavery were deeply marked by ambivalence is amply demonstrated in

Leon Litwack's account of the legal and administrative disabilities suffered by blacks in the North.'2

Our knowledge of the frontier has been significantly expanded. Malcolm Rohrbaugh ranged over the mass of material showing the evolution of land policy and, of particular importance, the actual local administration of this policy. The central thrust of his work is the great force and effectiveness of the desire to get public lands into the hands of individuals. Father Paul Prucha showed us the comprehensive role of the army in clearing the way for distribution of land to white settlers. A forceful though not always persuasive examination of denominational activity on the Northern frontier led T. Scott Miyakawa to conclude that Protestantism acted to produce a conservative conformity rather than the usual image of innovative individualism. Another work attempts to bring some order to the confusing religious melee on the Southern frontier and suggests that by mid-century the fear of Catholicism had brought most of the Protestant sects together. Reginald Horsman incorporated much recent scholarship in a skillful general survey of frontier life. The Indian dimension of the frontier continues to interest historians. Prior to his account of the army's activity, Father Prucha had written an excellent narrative of the government's Indian policy. His basic theme is the belief of national leaders that the only effective way to mediate the relation between the races was to vest effective power and administrative capacity in the national government. Political forces, principally en-

tered in Congress, and the persistence of squatters and traders con-

The Early National Period, 1789-1823


stantly vitiated the government's efforts. Reginald Horsman singled out

Jefferson's notion of extending white civilization to the Indian for special blame in accounting for the failures of American policy. Horsman had previously given us a good biography of Matthew Elliot, who managed the British government's Indian affairs on the Northwest

frontier for more than twenty years before the War of 1812. Two accounts of the anguishing process leading to removal of the Cherokees and the Choctaws give us a good view of the whole removal problem.'" Although there were a number of economic studies falling within the period, only a few of them attempt to integrate their findings into the whole of American development. Curtis Nettels completed an important volume for the valuable Holt, Rinehart series on American economic history. In it he stressed the factors which led to an emerging national economy in place of a localized, colonial pattern, but he may well have overemphasized the degree to which the economy was effectively national by 1815. The implications of Nathan Miller's study of New York go beyond the state's borders in detailing the increasing desire and ability of private enterprisers to be free from public direction and encouragement. The impact of the depression beginning in 1819 upon existing political and economic patterns shows up nicely in Murray Rothbard's monograph. I 4

Even so brief a survey of historical scholarship during the past several years on the early national period would indicate that materials were gathered and new directions hinted at for a general departure from

the old controversies, but the work awaited a more comprehensive imagination and the touch of a new Turner or Beard. FOOTNOTES

John C. Miller. The Federalist Era, 1789-1801. New York: Harper & Row, 1960; Marshall Smelser. The Democratic Republic, 1801-15. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. 'George Dangerfield. The Awakening of American Nationalism, 1815-28. New

York: Harper & Row, 1965; Russel Blaine Nye. The Cultural Life of the New Nation, 1776-1830. New York; Harper & Row, 1960; Francis Philbrick. The Rise of the West, 1754-1830. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. 'Merrill D. Peterson. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; Dumas Malone. Jefferson the President: First Term,

1801-05. Boston; Little, Brown, 1970; Leonard W. Levy. Jefferson and Civil Liberties; the Darker Side. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963; Lawrence S. Kaplan. Jefferson and France; An Essay on Politics and Political Ideas. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967; William Cohen. "Thomas Jefferson and the Problem of Slavery." Journal of American History 31; -503-526; No. 3, December 1969; Broadus Mitchell. Alexander Hamilton: The National Ad-

venture, 1788-1804. New York: Macmillan, 1962; Gerald Stourzh. Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1970.



*John R. Howe, Jr. The Changing Political Thought of John Adams. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966; Edward Handler. America and Europe in the Political Thought of John Adams. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964; Richard B. Morris. John Jay, The Nation and the Court. Boston: Boston University Press, 1967; Robert Ernst. Rufus King, American Federalist. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968; Richard E. Welch, Jr. Theodore Sedgwick, Federalist: A Political Portrait. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1965; Winfred E. A. Bernhard. Fisher Ames, Federalist and Statesman, 1758-1808. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965; Marvin Zahniser. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Founding Father. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967; George C. Rogers, Jr. Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston, 1758-1812. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1962; Samuel E. Morison. Harrison Gray Otis, 1765-1848: The Urbane Federalist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969; Robert K. Faulkner. The Jurisprudence of John Marshall. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968; Lynn W. Turner. William Planter of New Hampshire, 1759-1850. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962; George Dangerfield. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston of New York, 1746-1813. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960; Irving Brant. James Madison: Commander in Chief, 1812-1836. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1961; Ralph Ketcham. James Madison; A Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1971; Adrienne Koch. Madison's "Advice to My Country." Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966; Ray W. Irwin. Daniel D. Tompkins: Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States. New York: New York Historical Society, 1968; Lowell Harrison. John Breckenridge: Jeffersonian Republican. Louisville, Ky.: Filson Club, 1969; see also another biography of Aaron Burr,

Herbert S. Parmet and Marie B, Hecht. Aaron Burr: Portrait' of an Ambitious Man. New York: Macmillan, 1967.

'Julian Boyd, editor. Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Princeton: Princeton Uni; Lyman H. Butterfield, editor. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. 4 vols. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1961; Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cook, editors. Papers of Alexander Hamil; William T. Hutchinson ton. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961and William M. E. Rachal, editors. The Papers of James Madison. Chicago: Uni; James F. Hopkins, editor. The Papers of versity of Chicago Press, 1962; W. Edwin Henry Clay. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1959Hemphill and Robert L. Meriwether, editors. The Papers of John C. Calhoun. versity Press, 1950-

Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1959-


Felix Gilbert. To the Farewell Address: Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961; Paul A. Varg. Foreign Policies of the Founding Fathers. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1963; Arthur Ekirch, Jr. Ideas, Ideals and American Diplomacy, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1966; Gilbert L. Lycan. Alexander Hamilton and American Foreign Policy: A Design for Greatness. Norman: University of Oklahoma

Press, 1970; Julian Boyd. Number 7, Alexander Hamilton's Secret Attempts to Control American Foreign Policy, with Supporting Documents. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964; Jerald Combs. The Jay Treaty; Political Battleground of the Founding Fathers. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970; Charles R. Ritcheson. Aftermath of Revolution; British Policy toward the United States,

1783-1795. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1969; Jack L. Cross. London Mission; The First Critical Years. East Lansing: Michigan State University

Press, 1968; Gerald H. Clarfield. Timothy Pickering and American Diplomacy, 1795-1800. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969; Alexander De Conde. The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France, 1797-1801. New York: Scribner's, 1966; Peter P. Hill. William Vans Murray, Federalist Diplomat: The Shaping of Peace with France, 1797-1801. Syracuse: Syracuse I Jr i versity Press, 1971.

The Early National Period, 1789-1823


Bradford Perkins. Prologue to War: England and the United States, 1805Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961. Castlereagh and Adams: England and the United States, 1812-1823. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964; Roger H. Brown. The Republic in Peril: 1812. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964; Victor Sapio. Pennsylvania and the War of 1812. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1970; Reginald Horsman. The Causes of the War of 1812. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962; Harry L. Coles. The War of 1812. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965. See also Reginald Horsman. The War of 1812. New York: Knopf, 1969. 8 Roy Franklin Nichols. The Invention of the American Political Parties. New York: Macmillan, 1967; Richard Hofstadter. The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969; Noble Cunningham. The !eflersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations. 1801-09. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963; William Nisbet Chambers. Political Parties in a New Nation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963. 'David Hackett Fischer. The Revolution of American Conservatism: The Federalist Party in the Era of Jeflersonian Democracy. New York: Harper & Row, 1965; Shaw Livermore, Jr. The Twilight of Federalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962; Norman Risjord. The Old Republicans: Southern Conservatism in the Age of Jefferson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965; James Sterling Young. The Washington Community, 1800-1828. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966; Richard E. Ellis. The Jeffersonian Crisis: Courts and Politics in the Young Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971; C. Peter Magrath. Yazoo: Law and Politics in the New Republic. Providence: Brown University Press, 1966. " Alfred F. Young. The Democratic Republicans of New York; The Origins, 1763-1797. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967; Carl E. Prince. 1812.

New Jersey's Jeflersonian Republicans: The Genesis of an Early Party Machine, 1789-1817.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967; Paul Good-

man. The Democratic-Republicans of Massachusetts: Politics in a Young Republic. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964; James M. Banner, Jr. To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789-1815. New York, Knopf, 1969; Lisle A. Rose. Prologue to Democracy: The Ftderalists in the South, 1789-1800. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1968. " Yehoshua Arieli. Individualism and Nationalism in American Ideology. Cam-

bridge: Harvard University Press, 1964; Chilton Williamson. American Suffrage from Property to Democracy; 1760-1860. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960; Sidney H. Aronson. Status and Kinship in the Higher Civil Service: Standards of Selection in the Administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964; W. David Lewis. From Newgate to Dannemora: The Rise of the Penitentiary in New York, 17961848. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1965; Ruth Miller Elson. Guardians of Tradition: American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964. 12 Winthrop D. Jordan. White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968; David Brion

Davis. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966; Donald L. Robinson. Slavery in the Structure of American Politics, 1765-1820. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1971; Robert McColley. Slavery and Jeffersoniwi Virginia. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1964; William W. Freehling. Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836. New York: Harper & Row, 1966; John Lofton. Insurrection in South

Carolina: The Turbulent World of Denmark Vesey. Yellow Springs: Antioch Press, 1964; Thomas P. Abernethy. The South in !he Nov Nation, 1789-1819.



Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1961; see also David Bertelson. The Lazy South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967; Leon Litwack, North of Shivery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961. " Malcolm Rohrbough. The Land Office Business: The Settlement and Admin-

istration of American Public Lands, 1789-1837. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968; Francis Paul Prucha. The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846. New York: Macmillan, 1969; T. Scott Miyakawa. Protestants and Pioneers: Individualism and Conformity on the American Frontier. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964; Walter B. Posey. Religious Strife on the Southern Frontier. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965; Reginald Horsman. The Frontier in the Formative Years, 1783-1815. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 197'); Francis Paul Prucha. American Indian Policy in the Formative Years: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts, 1790-1834. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962; Reginald Horsman. Expansion and

American Indian Policy, 1783-1812. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1967, Matthew Elliot, British Indian Agent. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964; Thurman Wilkins. Cherokee Tragedy: The Story of the Ridge Family

and the Decimation of a People. New York: Macmillan, 1970; Arthur H. DeRosier, Jr. The Removal of the Choctaw Indians. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1970.

"Curtis P. Nettels. The Emergence of a National Economy, 1775-1815. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1962; Nathan Miller. The Enterprise of a Free People: Aspects of Economic Development in Nov York State during the Canal Period, 1792-1838. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1962; Murray N. Rothbard. The Panic of /8/9: Reactions and Policies. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962.


The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848 Frank Otto Gatell

ANDREW JACKSON, like any of the great figures of American history, has been the subject of intensive investigation by succeeding generations of his countrymen. American historians have argued long and heatedly over the significance of this remarkable individual, and over the importance of the Jacksonian Era. The period bears Jackson's name, and apparently no amount of historical revisionism can take it away from him. Whatever his actual role, whether as molder of events, or as mere symbol and political opportunist enjoying the benefits of a good thing, the age and the name seem permanently linked. If for no other reason, the convenience of such identification assures its continued application. But to attach a name to an age does not explain it, and very often the simplification which accompanies such labeling does violence to the variety and richness of the bygone period. The explanation process, the attempts to find the "essence" of an age, present far more difficulties, although it is a process sufficiently important to warrant the attempts. Among other

characterizations, the Jacksonian Era has been subtitled, "The Age of the Common Man"; "The Age of the Workers' Awakening"; and "The Age of Liberated Capitalism." The lure and attractiveness of Jackson have proved so potent that succeeding American generations have tried to identify their central purposes, in some way, with the supposedly central themes of the Jacksonian movement.' If we leave aside the accounts of participants, Jacksonian historiogra-

phy began in 1860, the year a biography of Jackson appeared written by James Parton, "The Father of Modern Biography" in the United States. This work and those following in the nineteenth century formed part of the "Whig" interpretation of history. The authors came mostly from the ranks of the conservative reformers of the late nineteenth century; they were mostly middle-class northeasterners, and have been classified as "scholarly mugwumps." Such writers as Parton, William 309



Graham Sumner (another Jackson biographer), and James Schou ler responded negatively to the person of Andrew Jackson, whom they condemned as an illiterate barbarian.

Largely reacting to their own times, the Gilded Age of business domination, the Whig historians concentrated their reform interests on the civil service crusade, and criticized Jackson savagely on that account. Jackson emerged as the inventor of the "spoils system," under which competent men suffered exclusion from public office to make room for loyal but incompetent political hacks. Whig historians believed that men of worth in Jackson's day (like the men of worth of their own time) had been barred from office by the Democracy. James Parton concluded severely that if all of Jackson's public acts had been "perfectly wise and right, this single feature [the spoils system] of his administration would suffice to render it deplorable."2 The Whig interpretation of the late nineteenth century demonstrated that historical treatments of Jacksonianism would be heavily tainted with present-mindedness. In our own century, a new group of Jackson interpreters shifted the emphasis to popular democracy, especially the frontier version. The Progressive historians contended that democracy flowered during Jack-

sonian times, and that Jackson himself nurtured it. A new Jackson stepped out of the pages of William E. Dodd, Vernon L. Parrington, and Charles and Mary Beard. John S. Bassett, whose biography of Jackson remains, a half-century after publication, the best yet written, lauded Jackson's "brave, frank, masterly leadership of the democratic movement which then established itself in our life." And even the Democrats' record on patronage received a refurbishing, as Carl R. Fish found positive, egalitarian aspects in the Jacksonians' principle and practice of "rotation in office."" Although he did not write a book specifically about Jackson, Frederick

Jackson Turner became the natural leader of this new group. The renowned historian of the American frontier transformed Jackson into the focal point for those elements of democracy native to the North American continent. That democracy supposedly reached full maturity in the unsophisticated but dynamic egalitarianism produced by the frontier. In Rise of the New West, Turner vividly described Jackson's arrival in Congress in 1799: "the frontier, in the person of its leader, had found a place in the government. This six-foot backwoodsman, angular, lantern-jawed, and thin, with blue eyes that blazed on occasion; this choleric, impetuous, Scotch-Irish leader of men; this expert duellist and ready fighter; this embodiment of the contentious, vehement, personal west, was in politics to stay." The quotation exudes charm rather than accuracy, since Jackson, in 1799, had not yet assumed leadership

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


of any movements, democratic or otherwise. Later in the same book, Turner noted that by 1820, Jackson "had now outgrown the uncouthness of his earlier days, and had become stately and dignified in his manner." One suspects, however, that Turner much preferred the uncouth version of '99.4 All of this "man-of-the-forest" hoopla served a purpose. Such identifi-

cations allowed admiring historians to slight or ignore altogether the contradictions arising from Jackson's high status as a member of the Tennessee "aristocracy," such as it was in those days. He belonged to his state's landowning, speculating elite, and he possessed considerable wealth both in real property and in slaves. Yet progressive historians dwelt on the more pleasing and harmonious image of Jackson, the successful frontiersman (still the most admired American folk-hero) who never really left the people behind, especially not the little people. The turn-of-the-twentieth-century, frontier-Progressive interpretation,

coming as it did to an America already far advanced in the unsettling processes of industrialization and urbanization, constituted as much an exercise in nostalgia as in retrospective social analysis. But it also contains an obviously retarding element, so far as its chances for surviving were concerned. Most of the frontier had been declared closed (Turner himself ruefully cited the report of the Commissioner of the Land Office which certified such a closure). Thus the genius of the frontier democracy of Jackson's time would presumably be lost to future generations in an industrialized America. To be kept alive, Jacksonian Democracy would have to be transformed or transplanted from the western, agricultural frontier to America's new frontier, the city. This salvage operation had been suggested in the 1920's, it came to be argued during the New Dcal 1930's, and it received its most effective expression in 1945, at the hands of a young historian at Harvard named Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.5 Schlesinger, taking up the hypothesis suggested in the 1920's by his father (himself, another Harvard professor), argued that Jacksonian democracy had not been exclusively a frontier, or even solely an agrarian affair. To combat that view, Schlesinger devoted much of his analysis to the alleged sources of Jacksonian radical-

ism among urban workingmen and artisans. He came just short of claiming that Northeastern urbanism provided the only true, unspoiled source of Jacksonianism. According to Schlesinger, "it has seemed in the past that Jacksonian democracy, which had always appeared an obvious example of Western influence in American government, is not perhaps so settled a case as some have thought. Its development was shaped much more by reasoned and systematic notions about society, and many of its controlling beliefs and motives came rather from the East and South,



than from the West." Schlesinger devoted much space to these Atlantic seaboard, especially Northeastern seaboard influences, and he detailed such previously neglected topics as Jacksonianism in New England and in New York City, stressing class conflict and the anti-business pronouncements of spokesman for social radicalism wherever he could find them, and whenever they could be identified with Jacksonianism. In Schlesinger's overview, Jacksonian democracy became a problem of classes, not sections:, Again we have an apparent contradiction: this time, the unlikely pros-

pect of Eastern city workers lining up politically behind a planter from Tennessee. It might seem too incongruous, even for the highest flights of historical imagination. But the New Deal setting for this historical view-

point explains a good deal. Andrew Jackson, as the workingmen's champion, seemed credible to Americans of the New Deal era. After all,

they had just lived through the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, a Hudson River Valley squire whose administrations resulted in a partial

revolution in American lifea revolution which benefitted the urban worker enormously. In Schlesinger's pages, the Jacksonian movement became almost a forerunner of the New Deal; and Jackson's mansion outside Nashville, The Hermitage, became the architectural forerunner of the mansion at Hyde Park, Roosevelt's country estate on the Hudson River. Schlesinger's work won critical acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize; a soft-cover, abridged edition soon appeared (long before the "paperback revolution"). In the wake of triumphant reception given Schlesinger's Age of Jack-

son ether pro-Jacksonian studies appeared, not all of them urbanoriented, however. William Carleton's lively discussion of class conflict

during the Van Buren years (1837-1841) did uphold the Schlesinger views regarding Northeast Locofocoism, and the commitment of monied, and presumably conservative, Americans to the Whig Party. Paul Murray's monograph on the Georgia Whigs shifted the substantiating locale to a Southern and more rural state than Massachusetts or New York, but with similar results. In Georgia, argued Murray, conservative Whigs reluctantly adopted democratic forms out of expediency not conviction, and the party battles represented a clash of the numerical democracy (Democrats) versus the party of property (Whigs).6

By the mid-1950's, Charles Sellers rose to the fore among those scholars displaying a pro-Jacksonian bent. An article on banking and politics in Tennessee following the Panic of 1819 defends Jackson's anti-

banking record during the 1820's; another article, this one on the Tennessee background of the Jackson candidacy in 1824, demonstrates that Jackson's pol;tical savvy and popularity (both in Tennessee and

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


elsewhere) set a bandwagon in motion that the schemers of the Nashville Junto, who thought they could toy with Jackson and then dump him, failed to control. In 1957, Sellers published the first volume of his major work, a biography of James K. Polk, painting a portrait of a hardworking, dedicated (if somewhat dour) Jacksonian, actively and sincerely fighting the forces of privilege and bank monopoly. As for Jackson's opponents, Sellers described Southern Whigs as men tied or allied to the region's commercial agriculturemerchants in cities and towns, professionals serving them, and planters with close connection to staple production for distant markets. This revisionist article stresses the nationality of the two-party struggle, particularly during the 1840's, the fact that men from all sections could and did unite in national parties taking stands on national issues' But these refinements and extensions of previously-established views did not represent the historiographical consensus of the 1950's. No interpretation, however brilliantly conceived or however topical, can sustain itself indefinitely; and not if the subject remains sufficiently important and attractive to keep up historians' interest. Schlesinger's working class thesis came under heavy attack almost at once, and the liberated capitalism, or entrepreneurial thesis began supplanting it." First, a group of historians at Columbia University directly challenged Schlesinger's account of organized labor in the Jacksonian era. Joseph Dorfman, an economic historian, type-cast many alleged labor leaders as middle-class businessmen despite their radical-sounding rhetoric, and Richard B. Morris debunked Jackson's supposed sympathy for labor by detailing his role as a "strike-breaker" who used force to quell workers rioting on a construction project. Several of Morris' students examined voting in Northeastern cities and concluded that low-income, workingclass districts more often than not voted against the Democrats, and that organized Working Men's parties consistently opposed Jackson and the Democrats. Another Columbia professor, Harold C. Syrett, summed up the negative views of this group on Jackson (and Jacksonian historiography) in a compilation on Jackson's "contribution to the American tradition," an unflattering portrait which nevertheless granted Jackson's creative role in establishing the doctrine of majority rule and the practice of strong presidential leadership.9

One of the most influential revisionist statements on Jackson had already been made by Richard Hofstadter, again of Columbia University.

In The American Political Tradition (1948), Hofstadter stated the entrepreneurial thesis cogently and (as it would turn out for some time) persuasively. Jacksonianism, he argued, represented not only a "phase in the expansion of democracy," but also in the "expansion of liberated



capitalism." The small capitalist, the "man-on-the-make," became the quintessential Jacksonian. He attacked the ruling establishments, political and economic, in order to terminate the privileges of others and gain for himself the opportunity of rising since "democratic upsurge was closely linked to the ambitions of the small capitalist." Thus, in place of the collisions of class conflict, most postwar historians wrote of an America of capitalist consensus. During the 1950's,

the age of the organization man, the na:ion's rough edges, if not smoothed completely, had been sanded down to reduce scratching. Historians of that decade had little trouble in constructing yet another Jacksonian period, the age of the enterprising, middle-class businessman, the rising capitalist. The general view came out with particular clarity and polemical emphasis in the work of Louis Hartz, who contended that America had never experienced anything but a liberal capitalist existence. The feudal stage had been skipped, and basic agreement on fundamentals, not radical class struggle, shaped American history.'"

Jacksonian democracy, as a separate entity, had thus been taken to the historiographical woodshed. Historians sought to demonstrate that many if not all of Jackson's intimates were out for the fast buck, an acquisitive instinct shared with most Americans. In addition, Jackson's attack on the Bank, previously lauded as the most exhilarating victory of the people over the monied aristocrats, itself came under attack. Fritz

Redlich, in a seminal study of early American banking, defended Nicholas Biddle's financial acumen and highlighted his creative role as a nascent central banker, points which received further support in an economic study of the second national bank by Walter .B. Smith. Bray

Hammond then took over as the leader among those historians of Jacksonian era banking who wrote from an entrepreneurial point of view. His Banks and Politics . . . , the Pulitzer Prize winner for 1957, flayed the Jacksonians as both ignorant and hypocritical. They "were no less drawn by lucre than the so-called conservatives, but rather more. They had no greater concern for human rights than the people who had what they were trying to get," and their "crusade" ended in the creation

of greater monopolies and vested rights than those they labored to destroy. Hammond implied that Jacksonians did this consciously, shamelessly prattling about agrarianism and popular rights." For Jackson himself, Hammond reserved the greatest scorn, dubbing him an arrogant nail, easily manipulated by designing lieutenants. The

chief designer, in Hammond's account, was New York's Martin Van Buren, a political manipulator with an economic aim: to shift the center

of financial power from Philadelphia (Chestnut Street) to New York City (Wall Street). Hammond attempted to tone down his antipathy

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


toward the Jacksonians in sardonicism and feigned resignation, but Van Buren and the rapacious state bankers proved too hard to stomach, and Jackson emerged as an ignorant, old man. The assault on Jackson continued in another banking study, this one "non-entrepreneurial." Two years after the publication of Hammond's massive study. Nicholas Biddle found an additional champion, and, belatedly, a biographer. Although Thomas P. Govan kept Jackson center stage as instigator of the Bank War (a second divergence from the Hammond line), he felt that little

more than an uninformed and vicious prejudice against bankers and capitalists had prompted Jackson's attack on Biddle and his valuable institution." The liberated capitalist theme predominated in state studies as well. Assessing Jackson's impact on North Carolina politics, William S. Hoffman denied that the Bank War could be called class war. Democrats

in that state presented the conflict in personalist terms, Jackson vs. Biddle. Furthermore, Jacksonianism was not a democratic frontier movement, since most Democratic Party leaders came from the eastern part of North Carolina, districts of the heaviest concentrations of slaves and of large-scale slave-holding. In a study of the Mississippi Jacksonians, Edwin A. Miles also stressed personality, Jackson's strong popular appeal whatever he said or did, as a deciding political factor, as well as the support Jackson received from merchants and wealthy planters of the Natchez region. Also in 1960, Walter Hugins returned the by now one-sided debate to the Northeast. In a monograph on New York City's

Working Men's parties, Hugins revived and bolstered the Columbia School's contentions, arguing that the "Workies" attacked monopolies because they wanted their share of the capitalist pic. These essentially middle-class mechanics and small businessmen led a movement including

men from a broad spectrum of occupations and professions, and they did so out of a commitment to democratic capitalism and equality of opportunity." Two other books of the 1950's contributed significantly to the changing climate of opinion. John W. Ward did not attack Jackson; instead he bypassed the man in search of the symbols behind him. To his supporters (and to many of his detractors), Jackson symbolized the

agrarian ideal: the rustic, nonintellectual but intuitive individual who scorned the effete sensibilities of an over-civilized and thus corrupted Europe. While categorizing the Jacksonian symbol into three controlling elements, Nature, Providence, and Will, Ward also isolated the reactionary aspects of the image. Thus abundant cheap land became a selfdeluding factor in Americans' hopes for staving off the corrupt future that awaited an advanced society. And by dwelling on the images con-



structed around the figure of Jackson, whatever their objective merits or demerits, Ward passed over what had been so positive and so compelling in the pages of pro-Jackson writers, the flesh-and-blood Jackson. On this rarified plane of cultural history, Jackson seemed hardly to matter; what people cared to believe about him took on greater importance." Ward had noted the rapidly widening gap between the Jacksonian democratic ideal and actual state of modernizing American society. Two years later, in 1957, Marvin Meyers grappled with this very problem, seeking a resolution (at least in the Jacksonians' minds) and contributing a valuable modification of the entrepreneurial thesis. Meyers saw the Jacksonians as "two-faced." Not in the most vulgar sense of the term, but in their disjointed, ambivalent attempt to preserve the virtues of Jeffersonian republicanism (looking backwards), while they intrepidly threw themselves into the economic scramble of their own day (looking forward). Jacksonian rhetoric and Democratic policies received sustained and serious attention in Meyers' pages, but the split between older

forms of agrarianism and the newer commercialism proved too much to handle. The Jacksonians became hypocritical in practice, if not consciously so in ideology. They ended trapped by visions of an unattainable and perhaps non-existent past, while the capitalistic future came on with avalanche-like force.'5 Other fronts opened up in the war against Progressive Jacksonian historiography. One of the bloodiest of these campaigns occurred over the issue of the origins of Jacksonianism, the politics of the 1820's. Turner had written, almost as an act of faith, of a Jackson movement springing from the democratic forest; yet Schlesinger carefully avoided in-depth discussion of Jackson's pre-presidential years. Earlier probing expeditions which questioned or refuted Turneri an views found rough going. For example, Thomas P. Abernethy seemed intent on rolling back the tide when he denied any connection between the rise of Jackson and the rise of frontier democracy. And in 1940, Philip S. Klein published

a study of the rampant factionalism of Pennsylvania politics in the 1820's, subtitled "A Game Without Rules." The Jackson bandwagon in that state groaned under the weight of many a self-serving politico who

cared not a whit for Andrew Jackson's principlesif indeed he could enumerate them.16

These isolated views became the consensus in the 1950's. The monographs of Hoffman and Miles, which stressed the absence of ideology and commitment to party principle in North Carolina and Mississippi, have already been mentioned. In 1957, Harry R. Stevens reported that in the election of 1824 in Ohio he could find no discernible difference between

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


the groups which supported the several presidential candidates; and another study of Pennsylvania, this one covering the years 1833-1848, has the theme of Democratic factionalism and Jackson's personal appeal.

Alvin Kass in a study of New York politics, 1800-1830, uncovered much deviousness and factionalism, and opined that "parties were held together by the drive for electoral victory" and little else." Writers on the 1820's also directed much attention to the extent of Jackson's appeal among ex-Federalists, coming close to claiming, and in some cases implying, that a majority of ex-Federalists supported Jackson in 1828.'8 No one has yet (as of 1972) systematically traced their careers through the 1830's, however, to see if Jacksonian ex-Federalists still alive by 1840 kept the Jacksonian faith. Like political parties, most of the historiographical "schools" have produced a leader. The group under discussion has put major emphasis on party organization, per se, and sees party platforms and arguments over "issues" as mere window-dressing, serving a "cosmetic function" whereby those controlling the party machinery sought to energize and patronize the gullible faithful. Parties exist principally to elect candidates to office. The most systematic analyst of Jacksonian systems in these

terms has been Richard P. McCormick. His major work, a study of party formation in the 1820's and 1830's, appropriately titled The Second American Party System, details state-by-state the operations of party machines. McCormick contended that competing national parties reappeared after the Era of Good Feelings in order, primarily, to battle for the presidency. McCormick gave little weight to such traditional issues as the tariff or the Bank War in effecting party formation or factional transformation. In two widely-read articles, McCormick questioned the belief in bloc-voting along class lines, and denied that Jackson won the presidency in 1828 as a result of an electoral revolution which brought the "common man" to the polls for the first time.'° Once the standard pro-Democratic interpretation had been undermined

some historians "moved over" into the Whig camp. Most twentiethcentury writers (as of 1972) have been hostile to Whiggery, so that a monograph published in the 1930's on Henry Clay and the Whig party, a work sympathetic to Clay, represents a definite exception to generally accepted views.20 So too does the early work of Glyndon G. Van Deusen, a prolific author of "Whig Studies." Van Deusen first produced a life of Clay in 1937, and a decade later followed it up with biographies of two

important New York Whig journalists, Thurlow Weed and Horace Greeley.2' While the Turner-Schlesinger views reigned, Van Deusen remained a gentle polemicist without an audience. In the 1950's, however, he found receptive listeners. An article on Whig thought high-



lighted two important themes consonant with the historiographical axioms of that decade: the basic similarities in outlook existing among both Democrats and Whigs, and the Whigs' more optimistic, expansive vision of economic and social development. Van Deusen's survey of Jacksonian Era politics, though purporting to treat events "objectively," judges the Jacksonians harshly, concluding that they had no positive program for national development:22 Leonard White's influential volume on administrative history, The Jacksonians, assigns the Democratic bureaucrats generally lower grades as administrators than he had given to Federalist and National Republican predecessors, or than those he gave to W higs .2"

Several state studies furthered the Whig rehabilitation. Articles by Grady McWhiney and Thomas B. Alexander helped counteract the effect of Charles Sellers' pro-Jacksonian writings. McWhiney argued that Alabama Whigs could not be called an upper-class party, that Whig and Democratic leaders did not differ greatly as to social and economic

standing. More concerned with the Alabama electorate than Whig leadership, Alexander and his corps of researchers questioned the validity of traditional views of Southern Whiggery when applied to Black-Belt districts. No clear-cut class voting patterns emerged there, although the

haves versus have-nots dichotomy seemed to obtain in Alabama's hill country.24 Such qualifications, inevitable perhaps in monographs relying more and more on quantified political and sociological data (data which allowed for increased precision in minute particulars but mitigated against the formulation of broad generalizations), did not obscure the "pro-Whig" historians' basic contentionsnamely, that Jacksonian era Americans had not divided politically along class lines, and that Whigs and Democrats had more in common than previous historians thought, or than their leaders cared to admit. Lee Benson, a pro-Whig writer with a penchant for quantitative techniques and broad generalizations, called on historians to scrap the entire concept of Jacksonian Democracy.25 Benson studied politics in New York state from the vantage points of sociological and political science theory. In The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy, he dismissed Jacksonian rhetoric as "claptrap" and found no differences in social status between Democratic and Whig leaders. In addition, Benson theorized that men of wealth supported either Whig or Democratic party with equal facility and frequency. Most importantly, he argued that a voter's religious affiliation and ethnocultural background acted as far more positive determinants of political behavior than economic status or rational responses to the surface issues of party politics. Though the book deals only with New York, concentrating on voting behavior in 1844,

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


Benson did not hesitate to claim the probability of the applicability of his theses to other states. Instead of the Age of Jackson, Benson concluded, historians should refer to the Age of Egalitarianism. Benson did indeed make sweeping revisions in previous Jacksonian historiography by standing the Dixon Ryan Fox2" and Schlesinger accounts of New York politics on their heads, and by arguing that Whigs, as proponents of an activist, liberal state, represented the progressive element. Yet Benson's suggested catchphrrse, Age of Egalitarianism, did not stray so far from the previous marks as he seemed to think, bearing a close resemblance to a previous hhtorical caption: The Age of the Common Man. Still, Benson's toning down of economic factors, and his view of Jacksonism as a negative, anti-reformist movement, constituted so sharp a reversal that Concept may be regarded as the culmination of the antiSchlesinger historiographical trend. Consensus history remains (as of 1972) the most recent comprehensive interpretation in Jacksonian historiography, and subsequent work in the period, though increasingly chary of the consensus-entrepreneurial beliefs, has not been unified to form a substitute overview. Nevertheless, complaints and qualification regarding consensus have been voiced fre-

quently. In 1962, John Higham warned: "The conservative frame of reference is giving us a bland history"; and recently, J. R. Pole asked us to remember that "the history we have to record is that of the United States under Jackson and Van Buren, not under Clay; yet it is permissible to think that the history of that period would have been significantly different if Clay had been elected in 1832, and that such differences would have been due to genuine differences of purpose."27

Similar observations by other historians add up to a growing reluctance to abandon altogether traditional interpretative roads to Jackson-

ianism. In 1959, Herbert J. Doherty published a study of Florida's Whigs, and two years later Arthur W. Thompson followed with a look at the Florida Democrats. Both men tried to apply the brakes on the rush to consensus history. Doherty found substantial differences between the parties, especially in the fact that the propertied and commercial classes in Florida favored Whiggery over Democracy. Thompson wrote of party battles over "real issues," and of the Democrats' battle against all types of monopolies.28 Several years later, two additional studies of another

Southern state bolstered these views. The Whig Party of Missouri, argued John V. Mering, represented the state's economic elite to a much greater extent than the Democrats, and "Missouri Whigs were simply not convincing in their professions of devotion to the common man." Robert E. Shalhope took direct issue with Richard McCormick's thesis of national party formation as a scramble primarily for the presi-



dency. In Missouri, at least, doctrinal issues did play a central role in party formation. Shalhope rejected the McCormick approach as antiseptic and stifling, one which failed to explain the Democrats' attachment to republicanism.29 On the broader ground of national politics, qualifying neo-Progressives began to speak out. Robert V. Remini produced a new study of the

presidential election of 1828. Although he gave great emphasis to the effects of party organization in determining the outcome, as well as to the fact that Adams had not been routed Eo badly as previous historians had implied, Remini clearly liked Andrew Jackson. His short biography of Jackson, published in 1966, makes even clearer the depth of that admiration.30 Lynn L. Marshall argued convincingly in an article in 1963 that Amos Kendall, the Kitchen Cabinet's "radical," had acted as chief ghostwriter for Jackson's Bank Veto Message; and an article on the origins of the Whig Party (its "strange stillbirth" Marshall dubbed it) commented on the Whigs' lack of rapport with the egalitarian politics of their age, of the stuffiness and pomposity which inhibited their success in

the search for votes."' In a series of articles, Major L. Wilson added more weight to the argument that Jacksonian politics contained some substance, and that important ideological differences existed between the parties. Such differences, according to Herbert Ershkowitz and William G. Shade, produced clear differences in voting patterns between Whig and Democratic members of state legislatures; the Democrats, for exam-

ple, usually voting against bills favoring corporation and banks, the Whigs usually supportinn humanitarian reform bills and (in the North) antislavery measures. The two major parties, they concluded, represented "contrasting belief systems."3Y

The Jacksonians' war against the Bank also enlisted some new recruits. Robert Remini, alre....y a prolific writer in the Jacksonian field,

added a short analysis of the Bank War which concentrates on the Jackson-Biddle confrontation of 1831-34 and which differs greatly from the Hammond or Govan versions. Several articles by Frank Otto Gatell, in Richard Hofstadter's words, "shed new light on this controversy and give some comfort to historians in the Progressive tradition. "33 Gatell attacked Hammond's entrepreneurial account of the Bank War and the

claim that Van Buren had started the fracas in order to build up Wall Street, as well as Lee Benson's assignment of New York's rich men to either party in equal numbers."' Martin Van Buren comes in for further positive treatment in James C. Curtis' study of that ill-fated administration, an account generally favoring the President and crediting him with sincerity in demanding the "divorce" of government and banking through establishment of subtreasuries. Several students of Charles Sellers also

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


contributed Bank War studies: James R. Sharp investigated Democratic banking policies in the states, and after the Panic of 1837. He found the Democratic majority consistently anti-banking (in all sections), though far from consistently successful. John M. McFaul, on the other hand, looked into the earlier but usually neglected period between 1834 and 1837 (from Removal to the Panic) to find consistency and the search

for system on the part of Jackson's Secretaries of the Treasury, a revisionist point of view even for many pro-Jacksonian historians 35 The persistence and strength of present-mindedness in Jacksonian his-

toriography has already been made abundantly, perhaps lamentably, clear. If each age has seen Jacksonism through its own spectacles (pun intended), then the state of American politics and society in the 1960's should have helped produce a confusing situation in Jacksonian studies. Though it surely did, some of the confusion's undigested but positive results may provide valuable materials for future syntheses, since many historians are now exploring (as of 1972) topics previously ignored or glossed over. Among such newly-vitalized themes are Jacksonian Indian policy, slavery, the problems of wealth and poverty, and the social basis of politics.

Needless to say, Indian Fighter Jackson has not fared well in the newer studies of Indian policy. His campaigns against the Seminoles still remain (as of 1972) mostly in the hands of military historians and Jackson buffs, but the removals of the "Civilized Tribes" in the 1830's do not. Mary E. Young's works reveal the extent of frauds that accompanied the white man's land greed in the South and Southwest, and she found little positive to say about "Jacksonian justice. "3° In-depth studies of Indian removal understandably leave Jackson and his supporters in the villains' roles, as in the cases of books on the Cherokees by Thurman Wilkins, and the Choctaws by Arthur De Rosier, and a reassessment by

Joseph C. Burke of the unavailing efforts made to halt removal by appeals to the federal courts.37 An isolated attempt by Francis P. Prucha

to say good things, or at least neutral things, about Jackson and the Indians did not turn around the consensus.38 Similarly, assessments of Jacksonians and the issues of slavery and

abolition are not favorable. The importance of slavery in American politics, even in decades during which it did not figure as a dominating, surface issue, has received more attention." Richard H. Brown surveyed Jacksonian politics in the aftermath of the Missouri crisis and argued that Van Buren, in making a deal with Virginians in 1826, had virtually assured that the Jackson Party would be a proslavery party. Certainly it was an anti-abolitionist party. Gerald S. Henig demonstrated amply that Jackson & Co. had no sympathy with abolition, a movement which,



whatever its moral content, offered no political mileage for the Democratic coalition. Leonard L. Richards' stimulating monograph on the riots which abolition activities provoked during the 1830's reveals the extremes to which many high-ranking Northern Democratic politicians were Nk Ming to go to put down abolitionism.{"

Richards' study of rioting is but one of several exploratory studies on violence among a people which has always prided itself on its commitment to the rule of law. Election-days violence, though all too frequent, has not yet been studied systematically (as of 1972), but monographs are appearing on the riots provoked by depression and nativism, as well as by race. David Grimsted's pioneering overview, hopefully part of a

larger work, concludes that (Jacksonian) democracy contained the "very basic tendencies and tensions" which produced rioting.41

The extent of poverty and maldistribution of wealth of Jacksonian times also command much more attention from historians now than previously. Raymond A. Mohl's study of poverty and "welfare" in New

York deals with the early national period, stopping at 1825, but is indicative of the kind of works we can expect shortly dealing with the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The limited upward social mobility achieved by poor Americans of the period (in most cases, none at all), as analyzed by such quantifying historians as Stuart Blumin and Peter R. Knights, punches wide holes in the Jacksonian man-on-the-make thesis.42 And at the other end of the economic spectrum, Douglas Miller

and Edward Pessen debunked the myth (historical and contemporary) that middle-class Jacksonian America lacked an economic elite of extremely rich men." The historiography of Jacksonian politics had become largely a quest for clues to the social basis of politics. Organizational forms still have relevance, witness the work of Richard Hofstadter and Michael Wallace on the acceptance of the idea of political parties, and the work of James S. Chase on the rise of the nominating convention." Yet the massive social structure, rather than the p-4itical superstructure alone, intrigues more and more political historians. Bertram Wyatt-Brown investigated the "evangelicals" in religion, and their abortive attempts to dominate

American politics directly during the late 1820's. And Ronald P. Formisano (a Lee Benson student) has published a study of Jacksonian and antebellum politics in Michigan which gives the kind of attention

to religion and ethnicity as political determinants which his mentor called for a decade before.45 Social history (once dismissed as "pots and pans" history), even the

new social history, was very far from achieving a new synthesis of Jacksonian society and politics (as of 1972). Meanwhile, the debate

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


goes on, as evidenced by two books on Jacksonianisni which, as the saying goes, might have been written on different planets. Edward Pessen's Jacksonian America, an attempt to encompass the whole period, found little that is admirable or even consistent in the Democracy's record. It was an age of materialism and opportunism, and of a much-vaunted but illusory egalitarianism. Jackson's political "warfare was largely confined to the field of rhetoric." On the other planet, Donald B. Cole saw many traditional images applicable to New Hampshire. Though the state's Democratic party was complex, embrac-

ing city lawyers and poor farmers, "they all stood for democratic economic and political principles," and they believed "they were defending the public against private privilege."" The normal difficulties of making historiographical predictions are now compounded by the tremors which have so violently shaken the United States during the last ten years. Only a person with a vision of the future much clearer than most of us possess should even make the attempt. Yet if past experience is any guide (and most historians seem to think that it is), the Jacksonian Era will not be discarded in history's dustbin, nor will the man who gave it a name be forgotten. FOOTNOTES 'Jacksonian Era historiography is particularly rich. See, in particular, Charles Sellers. "Andrew Jackson versus the Historians." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 44: 615-634; No. 4, March 1958; Alfred A. Cave. Jacksonian Democracy and the Historians. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1964; and Edward Pessen. "The Modern Jacksonian Controversy," in Pessen. Jacksonian America: Society, Personality and Politics. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1969. pp. 384-393. I have relied heavily on the first two sources cited in discussing works published before 1950.

2 Quoted in Sellers. "Jackson versus the Historians." p. 617. 3 Ibid., pp. 618-623; John S. Bassett. The Life of Andrew Jackson. Garden City: Doubleday. p. 1911.

4 Frederick J. Turner. Rise of the New West, 16194829. New York: Harper, 1906. pp. 189, 191. See also Turner's posthumously published volume, The United States 1830-1850: The Nation and Its Sections. New York: Henry Holt, 1935. 5 The works by father and son, respectively: Arthur M. Schlesinger. New View-

points in American History. New York: Macmillan, 1922. pp. 200-219; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The Age of Jackson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1945. 6 William G. Carleton. "Political Aspects of the Van Buren Era." South Atlantic Quarterly 50: 167-185; April 1951; Paul Murray. The Whig Party in Georgia, 1825-1853. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1948. 'Charles Sellers. "Banking and Politics in Jackson's Tennessee, 1817-1827." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 41: 61-84; No. 1, June 1954; "Jackson Men With Feet of Clay." American Historical Review 62: 537-551; No. 3, April 1957; James K. Polk, Jacksonian, 1795-1843. 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957; "Who Were the Southern Whigs?" American Historical Review 59: 335-346; No. 2, January 1954. "Cave. Jacksonian Democracy and the Historians. ch. 3.



9Joseph Dorfman, "The Jackson Wage-Earner Thesis." American Historical Review 54: 296-306; No. 2, January 1949; Richard B. Morris. "Andrew Jackson, Strikebreaker." American Historical Review 55: 54-68; No. 1, October 1949;

Harold C. Syrett. Andrew Jackson: His Contribution to the American Tradition. Indianapolis: Bobhs- Merrill Co., 1953. For references to the articles on urban voting see Sellers. "Jackson versus the Historians." p. 627, fn. 28. " Richard Hofstadter. The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made /t. New York: Knopf, 1948. ch. 3; Louis Hartz. The Liberal Tradition in Amer-

ica: An Interpretation of American Political Thought Since the Revolution. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1955. pp. 89-142. " Fritz Redlich. The Molding of American Banking: Men and ideas, Part 1781-1840. New York: Hafner Publishing Co., 1947; Walter B. Smith. Economic Aspects of the Second Bank of the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953; Bray Hammond. Banks and Politics in America, from the Revolution to the Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957.

"Thomas P. Govan. Nicholas Biddle: Nationalist and Public Banker, 1786-1844. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959. " William S. Hoffmann. Andrew Jackson and North Carolina Politics. Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1958; Edwin A. Miles. Jacksonian Democracy in Mississippi. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960; Walter Hugins. Jacksonian Democracy and the Working Class: A Study of the New York Workim,Pmen's Movement, 1829-1837. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1960.

"John W. Ward. Andrew Jackson: Symbol for an Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 1955. IS Marvin Meyers. The Jacksonian Persuasion: Politics and Belief. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957. 16 Thomas P. Abernethy. "Andrew Jackson and the Rise of Southwestern Democracy." American Historical Review 49: 64-77; No. I, October 1927; Abernethy.

From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee: A Study in Frontier Democracy.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932; Philip S. Klein. Pennsylvania Politics, 1817-1832: A Game Without Rules. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1940. " Harry R. Stevens. The Early Jackson Party in Ohio. Durham: Duke Univer-

sity Press, 1957; Alvin Kass. Politics in New York State, 1800-1830. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1965.

'For example, see Shaw Livermore, Jr. The Twilight of Federalism: The Disintegration of the Federalist Party, 1815-1830. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962; Mark H. Haller. "The Rise of the Jackson Party in Maryland, 18201829." Journal of Southern History 28: 307-326; No. 3, August 1962. 19 Richard P. McCormick. The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966;

"Suffrage Classes and Party Alignments: A Study in Voting Behavior." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 46: 397-410; No. 3, December 1959; "New Perspectives on Jacksonian Politics," American Historical Review 65: 288-3(11; No. 2, January 196(1.

"George R. Poage. Henry Clay and the Whig Party. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1936.

" Glyndon G. Van Deusen. The Life of Henry Clay. Boston: Little, Brown, Thurlow Weed: Wizard of the Lobby. Boston: Little, Brown, 1947; Horace Greeley: Nineteenth-Century Crusader. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953. Yet another New York Whig benefitted from a sympathetic treatment in Van Deusen's William Henry Seward. New York: Oxford University Press, 1937;


" Van Deusen. "Some Aspects of Whig Thought and Theory in the Jacksonian Period." American Historical Review 63: 305-322; No. 2, January 1958; The

Jacksonian Era, 1828-1848. New York: Harper, 1959.

The Jacksonian Era, 1824-1848


"Leonard D. White. The Jacksonians: A Study in Administrative History, 18291861. New York: Macmillan, 1954. 24 Grady McWhiney. "Were the Whigs a Class Party in Alabama?" Journal of

Southern History 23: 510-522; No. 4, November 1957; Thomas B. Alexander, et al. "Who Were the Alabama Whigs?" Alabama Review 16: 5-19; No. 1. January 1963.

" Lee Benson. The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York As a Test Case. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.

"Dixon Ryan Fox. The Decline of Aristocracy in the Politics of New York, 1801-1840. New York: Columbia University Press, 1919. " John Higham. "Beyond Consensus: The Historian as Moral Critic." American Historical Review 67: 609-625; No. 3, April 1962. p. 616; J. R. Pole. "The American Past: Is It Still Usable?" Journal of American Studies 1: 63-78; No. 1, April 1967. p. 73. " Herbert J. Doherty, Jr. The Whigs of Florida 1845-1854. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1959; Arthur W. Thompson. Jacksonian Democracy on the Florida Frontier. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1961. " John V. Mering. The Whig Party in Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1967. p. 70; Robert E. Shalhope. "Jacksonian Politics in Missouri: A Comment on the McCormick Thesis." Civil War History 15: 210-225; No. 3, September 1969. '° Robert V. Remini. The Election of Andrew Jackson. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1963; Andrew Jackson. New York: Twayne, 1966. "Lynn L. Marshall. "The Authorship of Jackson's Bank Veto Message." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 50: 466-477; No. 3, December 1963; "The Strange

Stillbirth of the Whig Party." American Historical Review 72: 445-468; No. 2, January 1967.

3' Major L. Wilson. "'Liberty and Union': An Analysis of Three Concepts Involved in the Nullification Controversy." Journal of Southern History 42: 331-355; No. 3, August 1967; and "The Concept of Time and the Political Dialogue in the United States, 1828-48." American Quarterly 19: 619-644; No. 4, Winter 1967; Herbert Ershkowitz and William G. Shade. "Consensus or Conflict? Political Behavior in the State Legislatures During the Jacksonian Era." Journal of American History 53: 591-621; No. 3, December 1971. "Robert V. Remini Andrew Jackson and the Bank War: A Study in the Growth of Presidential Power. New York: Norton, 1967; Richard Hofstadter. The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington. New York: Knopf, 1968. p. 496. 34Frank Otto Gatell. "Sober Second Thoughts on Van Buren, the Albany Regency, and the Wall Street Conspiracy." Journal of American History 53: 19-40; No. 1, June 1966; "Money and Party in Jacksonian America: A Quantitative Look at New York City's Men of Quality." Political Science Quarterly 82: 235-252; No.

2, June 1967. Robert Rich found a similar situation in Boston: "'A Wilderness of Whigs': The Wealthy Men of Boston." Journal of Social History 4: 263-276; No. 3, Spring 1971.

35 James C. Curtis. The Fox at Bay: Martin Van Buren and the Presidency, 1837-1841. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1970; James R. Sharp. The Jacksonians versus the Banks: Politics in the States After the Panic of 1837. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970; John M. McFaul. The Politics of Jacksonian Finance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972. " Mary E. Young. "Indian Removal and Land Allotment: The Civilized Tribes and Jacksonian Justice." American Historical Review 64: 31-45; No. 1, October 1958; "The Creek Frauds: A Study in Conscience and Corruption." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 42: 41 1 -437; No. 3, December 1955. "Thurman Wilkins. Cherokee Tragedy: The Story of the Ridge Family and the Decimation of o People. New York: Macmillan, 1970; Arthur DeRosier, Jr. The Removal of the Choctaw Indians. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1970;



Joseph C. Burke. "The Cherokee Cases: A Study in Law, Politics, and Morality." Stanford Law Review 21: 500-531; No. 3, February 1969. 38 Francis P. Prucha. "Andrew Jackson's Indian Policy: A Reassessment." Journal of American History 66: 527-539; No. 3, December 1969; see also Prucha's American Indian Policy in the Formative Years. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962. esp. ch. 9.

"For example, Donald L. Robinson. Slavery in the Structure of American Politics, 1765-1820. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971; and William W. Freehling. Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836. New York: Harper & Row, 1966, which sees the tariff fight as an occasion for a defense of slavery.

4° Richard H. Brown. "The Missouri Crisis, Slavery, and the Politics of Jacksonianism." South Atlantic Quarterly 65: 55-72; No. 1, Winter 1966; Gerald S. Henig. "The Jacksonian Attitude Toward Abolitionism in the 1830's." Tennessee Historical Quarterly 28: 42-56; No. 1, Spring 1969; Leonard L. Richards. "Gentlemen of Property and Standing": Anti-Abolition Mobs in Jacksonian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. " Elizabeth M. Geffen. "Violence in Philadelphia in the 1840's and 1850's." Pennsylvania History 36: 381-410; No. 4, October 1969; David Grimsted. "Rioting in Its Jacksonian Setting." American Historical Review 77: 361-397; No. 2, April 1972.

" Raymond A. Mohl. Poverty in New York, 1783-1825. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971; Stuart Blumin. "Mobility and Change in Ante-Bellum Philadelphia," in Stcphan Thcrnstrom and Richard Sennett, editors. NineteenthCentury Cities: Essays in the New Urban History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. pp. 165-208; Peter R. Knights. The Plain People of Boston, 18301860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. 43 Douglas T. Miller. Jacksonian Aristocracy: Class and Democracy in New York, 1830-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967; Edward Pessen. "The Egalitarian Myth and the American Social Reality: Wealth, Mobility, and Equality

in the 'Era of the Common Man'." American Historical Review 76: 989-1034; No. 4, October 1971.

" Richard Hofstadter. The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969; Michael Wallace. "Changing Concepts of Party in the United States: New York, 1815-1828." American Historical Review 74: 453-491; No. 2, December 1968; James S. Chase. "Jacksonian Democracy and the Rise of the Nominating Convention." Mid-America 45: 229-249; No. 4, October 1963. "Bertram Wyatt-Brown. "Prelude to Abolitionism: Sabbatarian Politics and the Rise of the Second Party System." Journal of American History 58: 316-341; No. 2, September 1971; Ronald P. Formisano. The Birth of Mass Political Parties: Michigan, 1827-1861. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971. "Edward Pessen. Jacksonian America: Society, Personality, and Politics. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1969. p. 346; Donald B. Cole. Jacksonian Democracy in New Hampshire, 1800-1851. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970. p. 246.



Background to Conflict: Slavery, Abolition, and Politics Robert W. Johannsen

SINCE 1950," wrote David Donald in 1960, "historians have written surprisingly little about the causes of the American Civil War." From a subject which had "once attracted the attention of the best brains in the historical profession," he continued regretfully, the question of Civil War causation had become simply a convenient exercise in the study of American historiography. That this should be so was symptomatic of the

state of historical study in the United States. Donald suggested four reasons why scholars were no longer attracted to research on the causes of the Civil War: (1) the field had been so dominated by the giants of the profession that historians no longer felt any assurance that they could find something new that was worth saying; (2) a significant contribution to the field would require "complex, difficult, technical, and expensive research"; (3) the study of the causes of the Civil War was filled with what Donald called "semantic boobytraps"; and (4) the dominant trend in American historical study had been away from conflict and toward continuity and consensus. As he pondered the state of historical writing or the threshold of the sixties, Donald found it ironical that historians were so little interested in the causes of the Civil War at a time when the nation was preparing to commemorate the centennial of that tragic conflict.' Similar conclusions could as well have been expressed for the 1960's. The nation survived a four-year-long observance of the Civil War centennial, but its energies had been focussed on the more dramatic, and hence more popular, aspects of the struggle, and little attention was given

to a study of its causes. One might quarrel with the reasons which Donald suggested for the earlier neglect but the fact still remained that 327



few historians addressed themselves to the complex problem of causation. Avery Craven, who has devoted a lifetime of research and publication to the coming of the Civil War, pointed to the magnitude of the task. "The futility of trying to understand and explain the causes of the American Civil War," he insisted, "grows on anyone who gives much

time and thought to the subject. . . . The more one knows of the American people who got themselves into that war and of the tan,.,:d factors which played upon them, the less he is inclined to generalize and to offer simple answers."2 Perhaps this more than anything else explains the reticence of historians to come to grips with the question of causes.

Interest in the causes of the Civil War, however, has never flagged. Even though little new ground has been turned, fascination with the question continues as it has for over a century. Aware that a multiplicity of complex causes and events operated during the first half of the nineteenth century to push the nation into civil conflict, historians have generally adopted an eclectic view. Older arguments and interpretations have been anthologized for the convenience of teachers and students and earlier studies of the coming of the war have been made available to a

new generation of scholars in reprint editions." Interest in the years preceding the Civil War has been growing but there is less emphasis on a narrow search for explanations and solutions and more emphasis on the need for understanding early nineteenthcentury America. Donald himself has suggested that the war can best be understood "as the outgrowth of social processes which affected the entire United States

during the first half of the nineteenth century." He found the roots of conflict in the American character itself. The faith in progress, individualism and rejection of authority which marked the period resulted in a social atomization and an increased popular participation in government. Thus, he concluded, Americans suffered from an "excess of liberty" that made it difficult for them "to arrive at reasoned, independent judgments

upon the problems which faced their society." The disorganization of society and the lack of a viable conservative tradition left them illprepared to cope with the political crises that shook the nation in the 1850's.4

Some scholars have persisted in the traditional effort to discover the terms by which the causes of the Civil War can be easily identified and reduced to the simplest level of understanding, although their methods have been anything but traditional. For example, Barrington Moore, Jr., whose brief and inadequately researched study has been called "the most successful attempt at a Marxian analysis of the South and the coming of the war," found conflict to be inevitable between the "labor-repressive

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


agricultural system" of the South and the "competitive democratic capitalism" of the North. The causes of the war lie in the growth of different economic systems "leading to different (but still capitalist) civilizations with incompatible stands on slavery." Moore simply recast the older economic and culture-conflict interpretations in a new mold, dubbing the war "the last capitalist revolution."5 Lee Benson was spurred by the hope that objective and scientific explanations for the war might be found, thus ending the controversy once and for all. Arguing that American historians have failed to develop a credible explanation for the

causes of the war because they have not yet developed a genuinely scientific historiography, Benson has urged the utilization of "more powerful conceptual and methodological tools with which to reconstruct the behavior of men in society over time." No objective alternative to the traditional explanations, however, has as yet been advanced.° Since the appearance of Allan Nevins' monumental survey of antebel-

lum America few historians attempted to synthesize the period in terms of the conflict that climaxed it.7 Aware of the limitations inherent in generalizing about an extremely complex period, most historians of the

1960's turned to a deeper investigation of some of the problems and issues of the early nineteenth century without trying to assess their responsibility for the coming of the war. The period from the 1820's through the 1850's has been examined more for itself, for the insights it might offer to an understanding of American thought and activity, than simply as a backdrop to the Civil War. Uncertainty about the causes of the war, Kenneth Stampp noted, forced historians back to the sources.° The concerns and anxieties of the years following the Second World War, especially in the field of racial relations and accommodation, have helped in no small way to shape the study of early nineteenth-century America. At the same time, the results, even though influenced by contemporary problems, have been remarkably free of the kind of moralizing that characterized earlier studies. Three areas in particular have benefited from this closer scrutiny: the character of the institution of slavery and its impact on blacks and whites; the abolitionist and antislavery movements; the political behavior of Americans during the mid-century years. Slavery

The current study of slavery in the antebellum South owes much to the conjunction of two significant forces: the traditional view of slavery represented in the early twentieth-century writings of Ulrich B. Phillips



and the new concern for America's racial problems and attitudes. Although certain elements of Phillips' interpretation of slavery had been questioned before, his generally sympathetic view of slavery as a benign and benevolent institution did not come under attack until. the 1940's and after. Richard Hofstadter was one of the first to question Phillips'

methodology and to emphasize the need for new studies. Kenneth Stampp, urging an end to "glib generalizing" about slavery, suggested new directions for historical inquiry that would bring historians to a more objective view of the institution. Above all, Stampp contended, slavery must be viewed through the eyes of the slave as well as through the eyes of the slaveholder. It was clear from their arguments that both historians were moved by the primacy of racial issues in their own time. "No historian of the institution [of slavery]," wrote Stampp, "can be taken seriously any longer unless he begins with the knowledge that there is no valid evidence that the Negro race is innately inferior to the white, and that there is growing evidence that both races have approximately the same potentialities."" Stampp followed his own suggestions when he published his classic synthesis of southern slavery, The Peculiar Institution, in 1956. Others in the meantime had responded to his call, and the foundations for a reassessment of slavery were laid."' During the 1960's, this reassessment focussed on three important aspects of the institution. First, historians and economists carried the "perennial" question of the profitability of slavery into a new stage of sophisticated analysis. Secondly, slavery was viewed in a hemispheric and even worldwide context as historians, employing techniques of comparative history, sought common themes as well as differences in the institution as it existed in different areas and nations. Finally, the utilization of psychological and behavioral concepts resulted in new and more meaningful studies of the impact of slavery

on the individuals involved in itthe slave and the slaveholderand on the South itself. Although the question of the profitability of slavery and the role of

slavery in the southern economy had been argued since antebellum times, it was U. B. Phillips who gave it its first important scholarly treatment. Phillips maintained that slavery was no longer economically profitable to the slaveholder by the mid-nineteenth century and that it had become a burden to economic growth in the South. He-added, how-

ever, that it was a burden the southern people had no option but to accept, for slavery was more than an economic institution. It had become

a necessary social institution. In 1929, Charles W. Ramsdell supplemented Phillips' view when he contended that slavery had reached its natural limits of expansion before the Civil War and was a dying institu-

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


tion. By the 1930's, Phillips and Ramsdell were challenged by revisionists, notably Lewis C. Gray and Robert R. Russel, whose research led them to different conclusions, and the debate was continued by others in later years.11

Surveying the debate in 1963, Harold D. Woodman suggested that two separate issues had been confused in the effort to answer the question of profitability. Some had regarded the plantation-slavery enterprise as a

business or industry while others focussed on slavery as an economic system, relating the institution to southern economic growth. Woodman

called for a greater recognition of the complexities involved in these approaches and of the need for more precise definitions, and he strongly urged scholars to overcome the narrowness imposed on their inquiries by their own disciplines. "The real question is neither one of bookkeeping nor one of economic profit," Woodman wrote, but one of economic history. He questioned whether it could be studied adequately in purely economic terms that ignored the political and social characteristics of the institution." At the time that Woodman was urging a broader approach, economists were deeply involved in an elaborate study of the economics of slavery,

part of a "new departure" that has been variously labelled the new economic history, econometric history or cliometrics. Jn 1958, two Harvard economists, Alfred H. Conrad and John R. Meyer, using quantitative evidence and elements of economic theory, challenged the traditional view that slavery was dying in 1860 and that it had discouraged southern economic growth. On the contrary, they found slavery to be an efficient form of economic organization that was profitable "to the whole South." It was not a deterrent, "from the strict economic standpoint," to

the growth of the southern economy." Conrad and Meyer opened an entire new line of investigation for economists, and their article, far from settling the issue, stimulated a burst of interest and activity. Some have

questioned aspects of their methodology, and others have suggested refinements in data, but in general the conclusions of their original statement have been upheld. According to a recent summation of the work which economists have devoted to the question, slavery was "a vigorous economic system on the eve of the Civil War."'4

Slavery, however, was more than an economic system in the antebellum South, as historians from Phillips to Woodman have pointed out, and any attempt to study it solely "from the strict economic standpoint" will likely lead to oversimplification and distortion. Critics of the Conrad-Meyer approach have argued effectively that slavery cannot be isolated from non-economic factors. Its role even as an economic institution was conditioned by social considerations which at times rendered



the question of profits and viability irrelevant.'5 One of the most thorough replies to the work of the econometricians was in Eugene D. Genovese's brilliant and provocative study of slavery. Insisting on the term "political economy" rather than "economics" of slavery, Genovese questioned the accuracy of the data used by Conrad and Meyer and criticized their effort to view slavery narrowly as an economic institution. Returning to some of the early assumptions of U. B. Phillips, he argued that the economic role of slavery could not be studied apart from the political and social structure which slavery supported in the South. Slavery, much more than simply a form of labor, was at the root of southern civilization, providing a "distinct class structure, political community, ideology and set of psychological patterns"; the South, as a result, "increasingly grew away from the rest of the nation and from the rapidly developing sections of the world." Genovese's Marxian analysis of the antebellum South as a premodern or prebourgeois society has aroused criticism but his conclusion is clear and soundly arguedthe plantation-slavery system, in its total impact, retarded southern growth and development." One significant avenue toward a greater understanding of the role of slavery, as well as of the place of the individual slave within the system, has been the comparative study of slavery. Was slavery harsher or more

oppressive in some areas than in others? Slaves were human beings as well as chattels. To what extent was this dual character recognized in those areas where the institution was an integral part of social and economic organization? Historians during the past decade have sought answers to these questions, but the methods of comparative history are still so new and the research still so incomplete that the results have been mixed." In 1946, at a time when many traditional views of slavery were being challenged, Frank Tannenbaum published a brief study suggesting the fruitful possibilities of a comparative approach to the institution. The differences in race relations between the United States and Latin America, Tannebaum argued, could be traced to differences in the slave systems which each area had once supported. Slavery had been less harsh and severe in Latin America where the slave was recognized as a human being as well as a piece of property than in the United States where slavery was defined solely in terms of property. These basic differences were attributed to the presence in Latin America of two mitigating

institutions, the law (an extension of Roman law) and the Catholic Church, both of which recognized the essential humanity of the Negro slave. Tannenbaum's conclusions were later reinforced by Stanley Elkins in his Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life, a ground-breaking and (as time would reveal) highly controversial

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


work that has been judged the most influential study of slavery in the United States published since World War II. Elkins drew heavily on Tannenbaum's findings but added further dimension to the contrast between the United States and Latin America. Not only the absence of mitigating institutions and traditions but also the "dynamics of unopposed capitalism" (absent in Latin America) dehumanized the slave in the United States." The Tannenbaum-Elkins thesis (as it came to be called) received additional support from Herbert S. Klein's study of slavery in Virginia

and Cuba. Noting that both scholars had been criticized for their emphasis on the law and on legal structures and for ignoring the diffgxences between law and practice, Klein proposed to study the "social and economic dynamics" of slavery in the New World. His research substantiated the conclusion that Latin American slavery differed sharply from slavery in the United States. Like Tannenbaum, Klein found implications in these differences for later race relations. Slavery in Virginia reinforced a caste system based on color which eventually survived slavery to form a serious block to social integration whereas slavery in Cuba, defined in more human terms, did not discourage integration.° The comparative history of slavery, although widely recognized as an important new field of inquiry, has so far exhibited certain weaknesses and critics have been quick to point them out.2" Arnold Sio, writing in 1965, added a comparison of Roman slavery to that of the United States and Latin America and focussed his attention on the property, racial and personal components in the definition of slave status. He found greater similarities between slavery in the United States and slavery in Latin America than had been conceded by Tannenbaum and Elkins. The assumptions of the comparative historians were further examined and questioned by David Brion Davis, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture is a monument to recent scholarship on slavery. Davis pointed out the differences in slavery within the countries themselves and emphasized the difficulties in generalizing

about the comparative severity of slave systems. There was a wide variation and flexibility in slavery, especially in the regulation of the slave's daily life and in defining his relationships with other people, that could not be revealed in a study of legal status alone. A plausible argument, he suggested, could be made that, in terms of legal protection and physical well-being, slaves in the United States were as favorably treated as any in history. Only in the difficulty of manumission was slavery in the United States unique and this, Davis believed, was not so much due to slavery as to social attitudes toward racial integration. Carl Degler also took issue with the conclusions of Tannenbaum and Elkins



in his comparison of the slave systems of the United States and Brazil. While there were differences in the practice of slavery in the two countries, there was little difference either in the conception of the slave or in the legal protection of the slave's humanity.-' For Stanley Elkins, the comparison of slavery in the United States and Latin America formed only part of his effort to discover the total impact which the institution had on the individual slave. His conclusion that slavery in Latin America was mitigated by certain legal and religious influences in contrast to the United States led him to questions concerning the development of slave personality. American slavery, he suggested,

operated as a closed system; did not such a closed system, he then asked, produce "noticeable effects upon the slave's very personality"?22 In his answer, Elkins extended the limits of research into new and unfamiliar areas (for the historian). It is no exaggeration to say that much of the recent study of slavery has revolved about his pioneering work.23 Through the use of social psychology and personality theory, Elkins found support for the persistent stereotype of the typical southern planta-

tion slave as a Sambo"docile and irresponsible, loyal but lazy, humble but chronically given to lying and stealing; . . . full of infantile silliness," utterly dependent upon his master, to whom he felt a "childlike attachment." Explanations for this slave character based on race and on slavery in the abstract were rejected, for slavery had existed in other societies where the Sambo stereotype was notic.:ably absent. Sambo was a uniquely American product, he suggested, conditioned by the unique and dehumanizing quality of American slavery. All lines of authority descended from the master, and absolute power for the master meant the absolute dependency of the slave. Elkins used the analogy of the Nazi concentration camp to emphasize his point. Both were closed and repressive systems; each required a "childlike conformity." The master and

the SS guard provided the only link with the "outside world" for the slave and the inmate 24 Predictably Elkins' study of the impact of slavery on the personality

of the slave, though couched in suggestive and tentative language, aroused a wide critical response. Strong objcctions were raised against his acceptance of the Sambo stereotype. Slavery, it was said, was a more flexible institution, allowing the slave a wider opportunity for the development of personality than Elkins had recognized. The Sambo stereotype did not reflect the slave's real personality; it was simply that side of his

personality that was presented to the whites, a mask that could be -,:moved at will. One critic insisted that "Sambo existed wherever slavery existed," that Elkins had merely described the "slavish" personality, but that there were situations when docility became rebellious-

Liavery, Abolition, and Politics


ness. The limitations of the concentration camp analogy were pointed out.25 Summing up the controversy, Kenneth Stampp concluded that too much emphasis had been placed on Elkins' hypothesis, perhaps because of the novelty of his methodology, and not enough on gathering empirical evidence. From his wide familiarity with the sources of southern slavery he suggested an alternative hypothesis which allowed for greater variety in personality development but urged that the entire question should be subjected to renewed investigation.2u

The study of slavery during the past decadeits profitability, its relative severity in different areas, its impact on the slave's personalityhas dealt with the institution in its rural, agricultural setting. The conclusions that have been drawn are applicable primarily to the field hands on the large plantations. The household slaves, the slave drivers, the slaves on the small farms might all provide exceptions to these findings. They await investigation. There were other slaves in the antebellum South, however, who were not confined to agricultural pursuits. Richard Wade examined slavery in southern cities, where the institution was conditioned by an entirely different set of circumstances. The difficulties in maintaining discipline over the urban slave, the proximity of slaves with whites and free blacks, the very nature of the pursuits with which the urban slaves were occupied contributed to the gradual erosion of urban slavery. By 1860 slavery was disintegrating in the southern cities. The use of slave labor in southern industries was studied by Robert Starobin. While there were obvious contrasts between plantation slavery and industrial slavery, Starobin found that industrial slaves suffered from the same drudgery, unhealthiness, protest and repression that was often experienced by their brethren in the countryside.27 In contrast with the close study of slaves and slavery, little attention has been devoted to the southern defense of slavery, perhaps because it is puzzling to historians concerned with the quality of today's racial relations. William S. Jenkins' largely descriptive monograph on ProSlavery Thought in the Old South, published in 1935, is still (1972) the standard work. Several scholars in the 1960's, however, suggested new ways of looking at the slaveholders' defense by employing psychological arguments. According to Charles Sellers, southerners, because of their ambivalent attitude toward slavery, experienced a painful inner conflict as they recognized (at least subconsciously) the contradiction between slavery and their traditional devotion to liberalism and Christianity. Their feelings of guilt forced them to smother their convictions and to produce an increasingly dogmatic and irrational defense of slavery. This conflict of values, intensified by the attacks from outside the South, finally drove them to an extreme, belligerent and even violent resolution



of their problem. In a similar vein, Ralph Morrow traced the proslavery argument to the same internal strains and psychological needs of southerners. Slavery's defenders were not trying to convince either the North or the nonslaveholders in the South of slavery's merits but sought to strengthen and confirm the convictions of the slaveholders themselves.'" David Donald related the proslavery argument to other political and social movements in pre-Civil War America. Taking several proslavery writers as examples, he concluded that they were frustrated

individuals who longed for an earlier day when men like themselves had been leaders in the South and when slavery had contributed to the unity and grace of southern life. The proslavery argument, far from being an aberration in its time, was simply part of a quest for social stability in a rapidly changing world.29

Slavery, as writers from Phillips to Genovese have pointed out, was central to the development of a particular set of cultural patterns in the South, and to view slavery in isolation from these patterns is to distort its meaning to the people of the South. Earlier works by such writers as Wilbur Cash and Rollin Osterweis, which emphasized romantic elements in southern thinking," have been supplemented by studies which seek to identify the effects of slavery on southern culture and to view this culture in a broader national setting. Clement Eaton's important analysis of the South's defensive attitude, resulting in what he called an "intellectual blockade" against ideas that might threaten the status quo

of slavery, appeared in a new and expanded edition in 1964. Eaton continued his study of southern culture in two valuable works, The Growth of Southern Civilization and The Mind of the Old South.3' William W. Freehling suggested a new importance for slavery in southern political behavior in his provocative study it the nullification crisis,

which he sees as a "prelude to Civil War." Finally, William R. Taylor examined the myths and legends by which the South sought to distinguish

itself from the rest of the nation, building a sectional culture based on images which drew much of their force from the existence of slavery and which tended to cloud the fact that North and South were more alike than either section would admit." Never before was the institution of slavery so intensively smiled, and in 1972 there were no signs that the emphasis of the past decade would diminish. While most of the writers of the 1960's were concerned with illuminating the institution in all its ramifications, there were implications in their work for the question of Civil War causation, for it is clear that

all of them regarded slavery as the primary element in the developing sectional conflict.

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


The Abolition Movement The same circumstances that stimulated a re-examination of slavery during the years since the Second World War also turned scholars to a re-evaluation of the critics of slavery." The concern for problems of race and especially for the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's provided a new framework for the study of the abolition movement and

its leaders. The vicissitudes of the abolitionist image over the past century are well-known. First hailed as heroes in a great moral struggle against slavery that reached its climax in the Civil War, the abolitionists fell from grace in the twentieth century. The revisionist historians of the 1930's and 1940's viewed them as irresponsible fanatics and agitators who helped to plunge the nation into violent conflict over issues that were essentially unreal. By 1970 the wheel of historical interpretation had turned full circle. As historians returned to the moral question of slavery as a basic issue in the coming of the Civil War," the abolitionists' image was refurbished and they once more enjoyed the stature that had been theirs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There were, however, some significant differences between their earlier treat-

ment and their treatment in the 1960's. While scholars of the 1960's viewed the abolition movement sympathetically, they were less interested in vindication and more critical and balanced their evaluations. Also few attempts were made to regard the abolitionists solely in terms of the causes of the Civil War. It was not their role in the web of causation that

gave them importance but rather their commitment to human freedom and racial equality. The fact that their concerns were also our concerns

has been sufficient to provide the impetus to a full-scale study and analysis of their goals, motives and tactics.35

Midway through the 1960's, Martin Duberman sought to illustrate (and to encourage) the new and more sympathetic light in which abolitionists were held by gathering a series of essays from scholars whom he

considered to be in the "vanguard" of the re-examination. A second purpose of his collection was to present statements of other points of view but, he confessed, he could find no one willing at the time to draw the older, unsympathetic portrait of the movement. The omission was significant. The conversion of historians had been remarkably swift and a surprising (to Duberman) consensus existed in their analysis of abolition and abolitionists.3" Few attempts were made in the 1960's to survey the abolition movement in its entirety. Dwight Dumond brought his long-standing concern for the movement to a peak with the publication of Antislavery: The



Crusade for Freedom in America, the story of "this country's greatest victory for democracy" from slavery's colonial beginnings to its abolition in the Civil War. Dumond's work, comprehensive, detailed, and of great

importance for the information it amassed, resembled the less critical view of earlier days more Than it did the newer scholarship of the last decade.' Louis Filler, selecting more modest dimensions for his study of the crusade against slavery, insisted that abolition must be considered in the context of pre-Civil War reform. Abolition, he argued, was "the central hub of reform," yet it had received only fragmented treatment; by focussing on 'ts leaders, scholars missed the interrelationship of reform movements as well as the complexities of antislavery thought. He drew an important but often overlooked distinction between abolition

and antislavery arguments and linked both with the sectional politics of the antebellum years. Filler's study anticipated the direction of subsequent research and is a necessary starting point for anyone wishing to probe the meaning of the abolition movement both to its own time and to ours." Following Filler's lead, several scholars have placed the abolition movement in a nationwide and even worldwide reform setting. Approaching abolition as a problem in intellectual history, David Brion Davis un-

dertook a large-scale study of the movement in both British and American thought of which his Problem of Slavery in Western Culture was the first result. Both the British and American antislavery movements had reached a crucial turning point by 1830 as gradualism gave way to a new emphasis on immediatism, "a shift in total outlook from a detached, rationalistic perspective on human history and progress to a personal commitment to make no compromise with sin." Davis linked this shift with the rise of evangelical religion and romanticism." The importance of evangelicalism in shaping the new concept of sin expressed by abolitionists in their demand for "immediate emanci-

pation" was further revealed by Anne Loveland. John L. Thomas probed the impact of perfectionism and the idea of utopia, key doctrines

of the moral reformers, on abolitionist thought in the 1840's and 1850's.4°

In his study of Slavery, Stanley Elkins suggested that abolitionists were motivated by an exaggerated individualism that stemmed from an anti-institutional bias common to reformers and transcendentalists generally. In the absence of a strong institutional framework, abolitionists moved into abstraction, moral absolutism and radicalism in disregard of the channels and responsibilities of power, viewing the question of slavery uncompromisingly in terms of sin and guilt. In a society as loosely structured as was that of early nineteenth-century America their move-

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


ment was all the more dangerous and, Elkins seems to suggest, regrettable. Elkins' conclusions were challenged by Aileen Kraditor in her searching analysis of the strategies and tactics adopted by abolitionists. Objecting to Elkins' identification of the entire movement with its radical wing, Kraditor emphasized the variety and conflict that existed among abolitionists. Some of them were radical in outlook, believing, like William Lloyd Garrison, that American society was fundamentally immoral and desiring a complete reconstruction of the social order. But others were conservative, reformers rather than radicals, seeking to strengthen existing society by purging it of its immoral elements. The latter, constituting the majority of abolitionists, did not share the radical rejection of institutions but preferred to work through institutions to achieve their ends. The abolition movement was divided by a conflict in theory which was manifested in a conflict in practice.'" The study of abolition's role in the reform movement of the early nineteenth century inevitably raised questions regarding the motivation of those who were its leaders. Why did humanitarian reform generally, and abolitionist reform in particular, appear in its new militant and immediatist garb precisely at this point in time? Why were so many individuals moved so suddenly to commit their energies to the reform of evils that were not new to American society? David Donald suggested that the best way to answer these questions was to look closely at the leadership. His study of abolitionist leaders aroused one of the more lively historical controversies in recent years. Donald analyzed one

hundred and six abolitionists, "the hard core of active antislavery leadership in the 1930's," and found psychological roots for their involvement in the movement. They were young, New Englanders for the most

part, descended from old and distinguished families and indifferent to the new problems of urban and industrial growth. "An elite without function, a displaced class in American society," they found in abolitionism "a chance for a reassertion of their traditional values, an oppor-

tunity for association with others of their kind, and a possibility of achieving that self-fulfillment which should traditionally have been theirs

as social leaders." The crusade against slavery was "the anguished protest of an aggrieved class against a world they never made."42 The defenders of the abolitionists were quick to reply. When Ddnald extended his interpretation in his Pulitzer Prize-winning first volume on Charles Sumner, his critics vented their displeasure.'" Others emphasized

the danger involved in applying broad labels and characteristics to a group as diverse as the abolitionists. Martin Duberman upheld the use of psychological concepts in historical study but warned that there is so little information about the individual personalities and careers of the



majority of abolitionists that no valid composite portrait could be drawn. "We know far too little about why men do anythinglet alone why they

do something so specific as joining a reform movementto assert as confidently as historians have, the motives of whole groups of men." The key to an understanding of the abolition movement, Betty Fladeland

argued, lies in the social and economic ferment of the times rather than in the peculiarities of the individual leaders. The large numbers, the myriad personalities and the "vast diversity of exigencies" which impelled them to join the movement, she insisted, rendered it impossible to categorize the abolitionists. Larry Gara suggested that it is not even

easy to determine who was an abolitionist since the term was always highly subjective and carried different meanings at different times and with different groups and individuals. Historians have always used broad and simple labels in order to simplify difficult and complicated movements; with reference to the abolitionists, the consensus now seems to hold that such stereotyping tends only to distortion."

Taking issue with Donald on a different level, Gerald Sorin tested what he called the "tension-reduction theory of political radicalism" (that the primary objective of radical agitation is to relieve tensions and frustrations caused by social dislocation ) by studying New York State's

abolitionist leadership. He drew a somewhat different portrait of the abolitionists: they were largely from urban areas, highly educated and moderately prosperous, pursuing the most influential occupations in their communities, engaged in public service, and intensely religious. Unlike Donald, he concluded that their community status was generally higher than that of their fathers and that there was little evidence that they felt insecure or frustrated because of any social or economic dislocation. They were, on the contrary, "motivated by a reawakened religious impulse, a strong sense of social justice, and the sincere belief that they were not only insuring their own freedom from guilt, but that they would affect society in such a way as to assure social justice for everyone."45 If abolitionists were too diverse to be easily caiegorized as a group and if their motivations varied with their personalities, then it became the task of historians to study them as individuals in order to discover and appreciate the many dimensions of the crusade. The call for a closer and more careful study of abolition leaders resulted in the publication

of a large number of biographies during the 1960's. In fact, it might be argued that the most meaningful work on the abolitionists in those years, quantitatively and qualitatively, took the form of biographical study. Since 1960, new and generally sympathetic biographies appeared of Wendell Phillips, Lydia Maria Child, Elijah P. Lovejoy, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the Grimke sisters, Lewis Tappan, Benjamin

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


Lundy, Cassius M. Clay and James Russell Lowell." A new interest in those abolitionists who sought to achieve their goals through direct involvement in politics has resulted in biographies of John P. Hale, Owen Lovejoy, George W. Julian, Benjamin F. Wade and Joshua R. Giddings, in addition to Donald's now-completed study of Charles Sumner. Stephen Oates produced a long-needed and scholarly study of one of the most enigmatic abolitionists, John Brown:" A badly neglected area has been the study of black participation in the movement. The gap was partially filled by the superb work of Benjamin Quarks, whose biography of Frederick Douglass and work on black abolitionists generally added a significant new dimension to our understanding of the crusade. Not only were blacks participants in the struggle but also, as Quarks pointed out, they brought their own firsthand experience to bear on the movement since many of them had been slaves themselves. Quarks' work was an important beginning; much yet needs to be done to fill out the story." The focal point in the study of abolitionist leadership has always been the controversial figure of William Lloyd Garrison, and historians have been as divided on Garrison as were the abolitionists themselves." Controversy still clings to Garrison, and in a period of new sympathy and understanding for the struggle against slavery he has not always been treated as kindly as many other figures in the movement. Two new and ambitious biographies of Garrison, the first full treatments in several decades, appeared in the same year, 1963; both argue Garrison's central importance to the abolition movement, a position which had been denied him by some earlier writers. To Walter M. Merrill, Garrison's essential role was that of a publicist. He was the man to whom primary credit should be given for bringing the problem of slavery to the attention of the American people. According to the more critical John L. Thomas, Garrison personified "the great strength and the equally great weakness

of radical reform." "More than any other American of his time," Thomas concluded, "he was responsible for the atmosphere of moral absolutism which caused the Civil War and freed the slave."5" The fiery

editor received appreciative treatment in Kraditor's work, in Truman Nelson's selection of documents from The Liberator and in WyattBrown's essay on Garrison as a unifying force in the abolition movement. A definitive edition of Garrison's letters is now under way, two volumes of which have already appeared." An important new aspect of abolition study was the relation between

the crusade against slavery and the effort to achieve full equality for blacks in American society. Although abolition has been treated more favorably and sympathetically in recent years, there has been little inclination to gloss over the weaknesses and shortcomings of the movement



and its leaders. It had long been recognized, but seldom emphasized, that many abolitionists shared the same racial prejudices that were commonly held by their contemporaries. Anxious to destroy slavery and

to win freedom for southern blacks, they were often less enthusiastic over according free blacks an equal place in their own society. Even the question of black membership in abolitionist organizations was hotly

debated in some quarters. The Peases, close and carc4 students of abolitionist attitudes and arguments, traced this problem to a fundamental ambivalence running through the antislavery movement that was

due in part to the abolitionists' view of the Negro as an abstraction. Much of what was said, the Peases pointed out, revealed an implicit and

often explicit belief in the racial inferiority of the Negro. They were "torn between a genuine concern for the welfare and uplift of the Negro

and a paternalism which was too often merely the patronizing of a superior class. "52 Other scholars have touched the same problem. Leon Litwack exposed the widespread belief in the racial inferiority of blacks in the antebellum North as well as the dilemma on which many aboli-

tionists were caught in their attitudes toward blacks. A significant portion of the antislavery argument, Eugene Berwanger demonstrated, was avowedly founded on convictions of racial inferiority; many northerners were antislavery precisely because they were anti-Negro.53 Such studies merely substantiate the conclusions of recent writers on abolition that the movement was so remarkably varied in its scope and character as to defy simple explanations and descriptions. Obviously not all abolitionists shared the ambivalent attitude toward the Negro which some historians have found; many of them raised their voices in protest and worked tirelessly against slavery in the South and racial prejudice wherever it might be found. Indeed, in the public mind (North as well as South) abolitionism was generally identified with racial equality. Abolitionists, regardless of the quality of their arguments, were lumped together in the public mind as advocates of Negro equality in every respect, including miscegenation, and because of this commonly-held stereotype they became the targets of overt hostility and violence. Looking at the opposition to the abolition movement in the 1830's, Lorman Ratner found it to be based on anti-Negro prejudice, a fear of racial equality and the belief that antislavery activity drew much of its strength from British, and therefore alien, influences. Leonard Richards studied the violence to which abolitionists were often subjected and analyzed the composition of anti-abolition mobs. Their members were drawn from the ranks of prominence and respectability, "gentlemen of property and standing," individuals who feared racial assimilation. But violent opposition to abolitionism, Richards added, cannot be explained solely in terms

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


of the antislavery movement. Putting a new twist on Donald's thesis, Richards contended that the violent anti-abolitionists were protesting against a movement that threatened their own elite status and moral

leadership and undermined the values and traditions of the older America in which they had been schooled." The relationship between the abolition movement and the struggle for racial equality is unmistakable, especially to a generation which is still wrestling with the problems left over from mid-nineteenth century. Because it fell short of achieving a full commitment to the cause of black freedom, even though the institution of slavery was abolished, Merton Dillon judged the abolition movement a failure. Slavery was destroyed by

the Civil War but racial prejudice remained. The great goal of most abolitionists was not realized"the creation of a society in which . . . men of all colors could live together in harmony and equality."55

Politics in the 1850's While historians have been attracted to new studies of slavery and the

abolition movement, they have been slower to investigate the impact of the resulting sectional conflict on the political life of the nation during

the decade and a half following the outbreak of the Mexican War. Two reasons may account for their reluctance: first, political history, regarded as old-fashioned and less challenging than social and cultural interpretations, has not been in vogue in recent years; and secondly, the political events of the 1850's have been studied so extensively in the past that students are discouraged that anything new about them could be discovered. Yet it is in the political conflict of the 1850's that the immediate background of the Civil War lies. It was not until the disagreement over slavery entered the political stream that the masses of Americans were touched by it; politics brought the issues of sectional conflict to the level of popular discussion where they became at once more familiar and more dangerous. The great works of synthesis that cover the politics of midcentury, the several volumes in Allan Nevins' series and Roy Nichols' classic analysis of Democratic party politics during the latter fifties,5" remain unchallenged, and nothing comparable in scope or design has been attempted since they appeared. Historians of the period have concentrated on more specialized studies of some of the decade's political events and movements, but they have also been intrigued with the process of political change and development during this period of sectional stress. While no dramatic or controversial theses have been advanced (in contrast with slavery and the abolition movement), many new insights have been achieved.



The politics of the fifties were turbulent and fluid, marked by shifting party alignments, and it is not an easy task to follow their twisted and often confusing course. Historians have traditionally viewed the decade from the vantage point of the Civil War. An artificial pattern has often been imposed upon the decade in the attempt to isolate and identify those forces which seemed to lead to the ultimate breakdown of the Union. The result, in some cases, has been dubious history. Joel Silbey objected to the preoccupation of historians with those conditions that led to the crisis of 1860-61 and suggested that the slavery issue was never the sole or overriding issue for all members of the electorate. Disagreements over the role of the immigrant in society and over the role of government in the nation's economic life, he pointed out, vied with the sectional issue of slavery for attention (although it should be noted that even these controversies, and especially the latter, took on a distinctive sectional character and neither was totally divorced from the slavery issue). Silbey traced the "transformation of American politics" from 1840, when political behavior was characterized by strong institutional and partisan loyalties, to the mid-1850's, when issues became more important than party differences. In another context, he applied quantitative methodology to voting behavior in the lower house of Congress to demonstrate that with the rise of the slavery issue in the fifties party loyalties were supplanted by sectional allegiances. Thomas Alexander, employing the same techniques in a parallel project, concluded that voting on economic issues tended to follow party lines while alignments on issues relating to slavery revealed sectional divisions.57 Politically speaking, the decade of the fifties began with the discussion of slavery and territorial expansion that accompanied the outbreak of the Mexican War.58 The territorial issue, the question whether slavery

should or should not be allowed in the national territories, brought slavery into political channels where it remained, dominant and disruptive, until the Civil War. The territories assumed a symbolic importance that transcended their practical significance, and the arguments became increasingly abstract. For the North, the issue was a means for halting the expansion of southern power and for striking a first blow against slavery itself; for the South, it became a first line of defense in the effort to protect the section's institutions and social order. Chaplain W. Morrison's study of the spark that touched off the conflagration, the Wilmot Proviso, emphasizes the impact which this effort to keep slavery out of the Mexican Cession had on Democratic party politics in the late 1840's. More a political maneuver than a genuine assault on slavery, the Proviso, in Morrison's view, was an attempt

to restrict the growth of southern power as well as an opportunity

Slavery, Abolition, and Politics


to preserve the territories for free white labor. Addressing himself to the motivation behind the Proviso, Eric Foner considered the move as a defensive effort of certain northern Democrats who were concerned

with the growth of antislavery sentiment among their constituents. Kin ley Brauer studied the impact of the issue of slavery and expansion

on Whig party politics in Massachusetts in the latter 1840's, an important examination of a local area that ought to be emulated for other parts of the country.59 The story of the Compromise of 1850, which attempted to resolve the issues raised by the Wilmot Proviso following four years of disruptive

sectional debate, has been told by Holman Hamilton. Concerned primarily with the progress of the various compromise bills through Congress, Hamilton exposed some of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers and shifting party alignments that contributed to their passage. Usually credited to Henry Clay and the Whigs, the success of the compromise, Hamilton pointed out, was due in greater measure to Democratic leadership, especially that of Stephen A. Douglas. Still significant is Robert R. Russel's analysis of the compromise as it dealt with the territorial issue, published in 1956.9" The compromise was widely hailed as a final settlement of the sectional issues but it soon became obvious that its effects were only tem-

porary. The focus of conflict shifted for a time from the territorial question to the issues raised by the Fugitive Slave Act, but in 1854 the territorial question was again thrust into national politics, this time by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Russel discussed some of the issues involved in the passage of the act, but the legislation needs fresh study for it provided the impetus for new and significant political formulations.91 The party system proved unable to withstand the pressures and strains that followed. The Whig party, in a state of disorder, suffered its final demise, the Democratic party developed cracks that could no longer be easily ignored and, most importantly, the Republican party emerged as a protest against the growth of southern power in the nation's politics. In a major work on the politics of the fifties, Eric Foner examined the ideology of the Republican party during its early years, placing the movement in a perspective that not only tells much about the attitudes that held Republicans together but also casts light on the coming of the Civil

War. Republicans, according to Foner, urged the superiority of the northern social system, summed up in the words "free labor," and saw in the southern, slavery-based system a threat to the free, mobile and open society which they equated with the fulfillment of national destiny. The ideology was flexible enough to encompass a wide variety of political



and economic interests, but on one point Republicans were agreed: slavery must be contained. A growing number went one step further and argued that it must also be ultimately destroyed. Slavery was the major political issue of the 1850's, and the Republican party was pre-eminently an antislavery party. "The free labor assault upon slavery and southern society," Foner argued, "coupled with the idea that an aggressive Slave Power was threatening the most fundamental values and interests of the free states, hammered the slavery issue home to the northern public more emphatically than an appeal to morality alone could ever have done." Still, local issues and concerns

played a large part in party development, as Michael Holt showed in his study of the formation of the Republican party in Pittsburgh. Social,

ethnic, and religious factors were more important to the growth of Republican strength in this industrial city than were the slavery issue and the fear of southern power.62 Events in Kansas following the Kansas-Nebraska Act dramatized the issue of slavery in the territories, turned popular attention toward the slavery question, and promoted the growth of the Republican party. With only a few exceptions, historians have avoided the almost unbelievably compl