Between Sovereignty and Anarchy: The Politics of Violence in the American Revolutionary Era

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Patrick Griffin, Robert G. Ingram, Peter S. Onuf, Brian Schoen
University of Virginia Press, Apr 6, 2015 - History - 288 pages

Between Sovereignty and Anarchy considers the conceptual and political problem of violence in the early modern Anglo-Atlantic, charting an innovative approach to the history of the American Revolution. Its editors and contributors contend that existing scholarship on the Revolution largely ignores questions of power and downplays the Revolution as a contest over sovereignty. Contributors employ a variety of methodologies to examine diverse themes, ranging from how Atlantic perspectives can redefine our understanding of revolutionary origins, to the ways in which political culture, mobilization, and civil-war-like violence were part of the revolutionary process, to the fundamental importance of state formation for the history of the early republic.

The editors skillfully meld these emerging currents to produce a new perspective on the American Revolution, revealing how America—first as colonies, then as united states—reeled between poles of anarchy and sovereignty. This interpretation—gleaned from essays on frontier bloodshed, religion, civility, slavery, loyalism, mobilization, early national political culture, and war making—provides a needed stimulus to a field that has not strayed beyond the bounds of "rhetoric versus reality" for more than a generation. Between Sovereignty and Anarchy raises foundational questions about how we are to view the American Revolution and the experimental democracy that emerged in its wake.

Contributors: Chris Beneke, Bentley University · Andrew Cayton, Miami University · Matthew Rainbow Hale, Goucher College · David C. Hendrickson, Colorado College · John C. Kotruch, University of New Hampshire · Peter C. Messer, Mississippi State University · Kenneth Owen, University of Illinois at Springfield · Jeffrey L. Pasley, University of Missouri, Columbia · Jessica Choppin Roney, Temple University · Peter Thompson, University of Oxford


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About the author (2015)

Patrick Griffin, author of America’s Revolution, is Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Robert G. Ingram, author of Religion, Reform, and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Secker and the Church of England, is Associate Professor of History at Ohio University. Peter S. Onuf, author of The Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Virginia), is Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia. Brian Schoen, author of The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War, is Associate Professor of History at Ohio University.

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