By Gordon S. Wood
The preeminent historian of the yankee Revolution explains why it continues to be the main major occasion in our history.
More than virtually the other kingdom on the planet, the U.S. begun as an concept. therefore, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. wooden believes that the yank Revolution is an important occasion in our heritage, bar none. in view that American identification is so fluid and never according to any universally shared background, we've got needed to regularly go back to our nation's founding to appreciate who we're. within the notion of the US, wooden displays at the start of yankee nationhood and explains why the revolution is still so essential.
In a chain of stylish and illuminating essays, wooden explores the ideological origins of the revolution-from old Rome to the ecu Enlightenment-and the founders' makes an attempt to forge an American democracy. As wooden finds, whereas the founders was hoping to create a virtuous republic of yeoman farmers and fed up leaders, they as a substitute gave beginning to a sprawling, licentious, and materialistic well known democracy.
Wood additionally strains the origins of yankee exceptionalism to this era, revealing how the innovative iteration, regardless of residing in a far off, in moderation populated state, believed itself to be the main enlightened humans in the world. The revolution gave americans their messianic feel of purpose-and probably our endured propensity to advertise democracy round the world-because the founders believed their colonial uprising had common importance for oppressed peoples all over the place. but what could seem like audacity looking back mirrored the truth that within the eighteenth century republicanism used to be a really radical ideology-as radical as Marxism will be within the nineteenth-and person who certainly encouraged revolutionaries the realm over.
Today there exists what wooden calls a terrifying hole among us and the founders, such that it calls for nearly an act of mind's eye to totally recapture their period. simply because we now take our democracy with no consideration, it really is approximately very unlikely for us to understand how deeply the founders feared their grand scan in liberty may well evolve into monarchy or dissolve into licentiousness. Gracefully written and packed with perception, The thought of America is helping us to recapture the fears and hopes of the progressive new release and its makes an attempt to translate these beliefs right into a operating democracy.
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Additional resources for The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States
The annual income of the works was $12,163, while the expenditures The River, the Aqueduct, and the Lake 21 were $29,702. All of the 28-plus miles of wooden pipe that had been laid would have to be replaced, and there were only 2,127 paying customers in this city of well over 50,000 people. The best thing one could say about the system was that it did seem to improve the health and ﬁre safety of Philadelphians. Although yellow fever returned several times in the early years of the nineteenth century, the city appeared to be less prone than it had been to severe attacks by this and other diseases.
Quincy saw the city’s needs for water as going well beyond ﬁghting ﬁre. ” This meant that the water must be “capable of being introduced into every house in the city” and acceptably “soft,” that is, low enough in mineral content to dissolve soap and to cook vegetables satisfactorily. ” Quincy here cited a letter from the eminent physician and Harvard Medical School professor John Collins Warren, who was one of the founders of Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery (which in 1828 became the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal and, a century after that, the New England Journal of Medicine).
The paper hoped that the state legislature would soon approve a plan to empower Chicago to build a public system, one worthy of its ambitions, which were as limitless as the lake. ” This view enjoyed much inﬂuential support. In April 1850 a group of citizens, similar to those who had campaigned for a public water supply in Philadelphia and Boston, determined to do likewise in Chicago. As in Philadelphia, if not in Boston, results followed rapidly. The state incorporated the public Chicago City Hydraulic Company on February 15, 1851.
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