Tise, Larry E. THE AMERICAN COUNTER REVOLUTION:
A Retreat from Liberty, 1783-1800. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Stackpole Books, 1998).
First Edition. 70 illustrations distributed throughout book, extensive notes, bibliography,
index, 634 pages.
~~~~~"A refutation of virtually the entire historiography surrounding the outcomes
of the Revolution, this epic narrative traces the shift from the ideas of liberty to the
politics of order during the difficult period between 1783 and 1800."
Watts, Steven, THE REPUBLIC REBORN:
War and the Making of Liberal America, 1790-1820.
New, paperback (Johns Hopkins University Press., 1989). 9x6.
Extensive notes, index, 378 pages.
~~~~~"A study of how the War of 1812 played a critical role in the
emergence of an American 'culture of capitalism' by touching the growth of an
entrepreneurial economy of competition, the development of a liberal political
structure and ideology, and the rise of a bourgeois culture of self-interest
(Webster), Rollins, Richard.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF NOAH
Hardcover in dust jacket. (University of South Carolina Press, 1989). Webster's memoir, diary, letters
and essays. Bibliography, index, 378 pp. ~~~ "This book publishes
for the first time Noah Webster's formal aujtobiography as
well as several other accounts of various aspects of his
life. An essay by the editor analyzes Webster's
self-portraits within the context of his life and time.
Historians will find this collection quite useful for
research on virtually any aspect of American life between
1778 and 1843." Subjects treated by Webster include: the
U.S. Constitution and its origins, George Washington, James
Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas
Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, the Revolutionary War, Shay's
Rebellion, the American response to the French Revolution,
early anti-slavery efforts, philology & lexicography.
THE RISE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: Jefferson to Lincoln. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket.
(NY: WW Norton & Co, 2005). 75 plates, many in color.
Extensive notes, index, 1044 pages.
~~~ From Kirkus Reviews:
"Is the U.S. a democracy, or a republic? As Wilentz (History/Princeton
Univ.) shows in this sprawling account, Americans debated the issue from
the post-revolutionary era to the Civil War. In classical terms, a
republic is governed 'through the ministrations of the most worthy,
enlightened men,' whereas a democracy 'dangerously handed power to the
impassioned, unenlightened masses.' One-time revolutionary firebrand
Noah Webster so mistrusted the mob that, he thundered, had he foreseen
popular rule, he would never have fought for freedom; even Thomas
Jefferson, that most impassioned of democrats, allowed that given a free
choice, the public chose wrongly more often than not. Democracy as such
was an oxymoron, Wilentz observes, with power limited to white propertied
men in the early days of the republic; the extension of rights throughout
the 19th century to a wider polity was a matter of fierce fighting, and
eventually war. The battle over just who was to be in charge began
almost as soon as national freedom was achieved, an early test,
Wilentz writes, being the Whisky Rebellion of 1794, fought by country
people against an excise tax on distilled liquor imposed by urbanite
arch-republican Alexander Hamilton. As the contest expanded, Wilentz
notes, some of the differences between country and city people gave
way to other divisions, and by the time Andrew Jackson ran for office
in 1824, the gulf between North and South was beginning to widen (as,
for a time, was that between those who believed in a cash economy and
those who argued for the merits of credit). Abraham Lincoln, though
deeply committed to democratic values, would insist on the supremacy
of federal over states' rights, while thenominally democratic leaders
of the South meant to exalt 'the supreme political power of local elites.'
Wilentz shows that none of these battles was new when Lincoln took office;
in some respects, they are still being fought today. Wilentz's book, though
very long, wastes no words. A well-crafted, highly readable political history.