Democracy, Revolution, and Monarchism in Early American Literature
Paul Downes combines literary criticism and political history in order to explore responses to the rejection of monarchism in the American revolutionary era. Downes' analysis considers the Declaration of Independence, Franklin's autobiography, Crèvecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer and the works of America's first significant literary figures including Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper. He claims that the post-revolutionary American state and the new democratic citizen inherited some of the complex features of absolute monarchy, even as they were strenuously trying to assert their difference from it. In chapters that consider the revolution's mock execution of George III, the Elizabethan notion of the 'king's two bodies' and the political significance of the secret ballot, Downes points to the traces of monarchical political structures within the practices and discourses of early American democracy. This is an ambitious study of an important theme in early American culture and society.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
reading the mock executions of 1776
CHAPTER 2 Crèvecoeurs revolutionary loyalism
the memoirs of Stephen Burroughs and Benjamin Franklin
Brockden Browns secrets
Irving and the gender of democracy
the revolutions last word
Other editions - View all
Adams American Revolution appeared attempt authority ballot become begins body Brown’s Burroughs calls Carwin celebrated chapter character citizen claim colonies common concealment consider Constitution continues convention Cooper’s course Cr`evecoeur’s culture death democracy democratic difference discourse discussion early election England example experience fact farmer father Federalist figure finally force founding Franklin freedom George gives independence Indian individual interest James kind king language Letters Madison Memoirs monarchism Native nature never notes novel ofthe once original Paine participate particular patriotic person political possibility post-revolutionary present produced quoted radical reference relationship representation representative republic republican resistance revolution’s revolutionary rhetorical secrecy secret seems sense social society sovereign space speech story structure suggests tells things turn United voice voting Winkle women writes wrote