American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between by Colin Woodard

By Colin Woodard

The writer of American Nations examines the heritage of and strategies to the main American query: how most sensible to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a unfastened society

The fight among person rights and the great of the group as an entire has been the foundation of approximately each significant confrontation in our background, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil conflict to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the hot purchasers, the civil rights circulation, and the Tea occasion. In American Character, Colin Woodard lines those key strands in American politics in the course of the 4 centuries of the nation’s life, from the 1st colonies throughout the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how various areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The self sustaining streak came upon its such a lot pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet used to be balanced within the Gilded Age by means of communitarian reform efforts; the hot Deal used to be an instance of a winning coalition among communitarian-minded japanese elites and Southerners.

Woodard argues that keeping a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among holding  individual liberty and nurturing a loose society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes ends up in tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate neighborhood cultures that experience constantly strongly disagreed on those concerns? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally trained and pragmatic feedback on easy methods to do so stability and holiday the nation’s  political impasse may be of curiosity to an individual who cares in regards to the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.

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Literary Awards
Bancroft Prize (1992)
Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction (1992)
George Perkins Marsh Prize (1993)
Charles A. Weyerhaeuser booklet Award (1992)

Additional resources for American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good

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In this interpretation, the precapitalist farmers of Cross Timbers, as with their English peasant counterparts, fought to defend a traditional culture based on mutuality, limited property rights in land, and self-sufficiency. 7 The conflict in Cross Timbers, however, looks quite different when it is taken into account that the district was at the epicenter of the boom of frontier speculation and development. The boom was driven by the farmers themselves and resulted in a conflict with cattle ranchers over competing claims to private property rights.

The following pages explore the notions of innovative possibility that inspired that effort. PARTI FARMERS This page intentionally left blank 1 PUSH AND ENERGY Boosterism and Rural Reform The Farmers' Alliance, the largest and most important constituency of what would become the Populist coalition, rose in the 1870s out of the dust and smoke of the central Texas frontier. The "honest, earnest, and brave" pioneers of the Alliance drove off the horse thieves, stood down the land sharks, built up law and order, and made central Texas safe for settlement and civilization.

Significantly, the Arkansas-based Agricultural Wheel voiced support for Indian treaty rights. This support reflected the Wheel's efforts to organize in the Indian Territory and the relatively inclusive racial outlook of its leader Isaac McCracken. "14 Thomas Bland and other reformers in Populist circles explicitly rejected the allotment policy. The Populist novelist Hamlin Garland also worked to preserve Indian lands. At the same time, Garland tended to accept that the logic of progress meant that Indians, "like children," needed fenced reservations for their protection.

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