Chapter

Introduction <i>Modes of Thought and Feeling in the Founding Generation</i>

Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

in The Age of Federalism

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780195093810
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093810.003.0001
Introduction Modes of Thought and Feeling in the Founding Generation

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This book begins with the first appearance of the United States as a self-acknowledged nation. The nation arose with deep anxieties as to the very character the new republic was to assume. The most visible embodiment of the burning ferocity that underlaid such questions was the enmity that arose, early in that decade, between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. The book seeks to recover something of this earlier substance, some measure of what it was like becoming a “nation” after having been something else. The scope is defined by the opening cycle of the nation's public life, the Age of Federalism. Federalism, as a way of perceiving a society's purposes and guiding its collective affairs, did not have a very long life. The book accounts for federalism's ascendancy and decline, the American Revolution, 18th-century England, and the New American Republic.

Keywords: United States; Alexander Hamilton; Thomas Jefferson; Federalism; American Revolution; England; New American Republic

Chapter.  14554 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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