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The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life--in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very different from the European states. Instead, by 1815 the United States became something neither group anticipated. Many leaders expected American culture to flourish and surpass that of Europe; instead it became popularized and vulgarized. The leaders also hope to see the end of slavery; instead, despite the release of many slaves and the end of slavery in the North, slavery was stronger in 1815 than it had been in 1789. Many wanted to avoid entanglements with Europe, but instead the country became involved in Europe's wars and ended up waging another war with the former mother country. Still, with a new generation emerging by 1815, most Americans were confident and optimistic about the future of their country. Named a New York Times Notable Book, Empire of Liberty offers a marvelous account of this pivotal era when America took its first unsteady steps as a new and rapidly expanding nation.
Empire and Liberty brings together two epic subjects in American history: the story of the struggle to end slavery that reached a violent climax in the Civil War, and the story of the westward expansion of the United States. Virginia Scharff and the contributors to this volume show how the West shaped the conflict over slavery and how slavery shaped the West, in the process defining American ideals about freedom and influencing battles over race, property, and citizenship. This innovative work embraces East and West, as well as North and South, as the United States observes the 2015 sesquicentennial commemoration of the end of the Civil War. A companion volume to an Autry National Center exhibition on the Civil War and the West, Empire and Liberty brings leading historians together to examine artifacts, objects, and artworks that illuminate this period of national expansion, conflict, and renewal.
Tells the story of the men throughout American history who used the rhetoric of liberty to further imperial ambitions, and argues that the quest for empire has guided the nation's architects from the very beginning--and continues to do so today. By the author of The CIA in Guatemala.
Empire of Liberty takes a new look at the public life, thought, and ambiguous legacy of one of America's most revered statesmen, offering new insight into the meaning of Jefferson in the American experience. This work examines Jefferson's legacy for American foreign policy in the light of several critical themes which continue to be highly significant today: the struggle between isolationists and interventionists, the historic ambivalence over the nation's role as a crusader for liberty, and the relationship between democracy and peace. Written by two distinguished scholars, this book provides invaluable insight into the classic ideas of American diplomacy.
It was Thomas Jefferson who envisioned the United States as a great 'empire of liberty.' In the first new one-volume history in two decades, David Reynolds takes Jefferson's phrase as a key to the saga of America - helping unlock both its grandeur and its paradoxes. He examines how the anti-empire of 1776 became the greatest superpower the world has seen, how the country that offered liberty and opportunity on a scale unmatched in Europe nevertheless founded its prosperity on the labour of black slaves and the dispossession of the Native Americans. He explains how these tensions between empire and liberty have often been resolved by faith - both the evangelical Protestantism that has energized U.S. politics since the foundation of the nation and the larger faith in American righteousness that has impelled the country's expansion. Reynolds' account is driven by a compelling argument which illuminates our contemporary world.
An original and stimulating critique of American empire

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