The Political and Cultural Consequences of Revolutionary War Stories
Over the eight years of war, references to the king's proxies were a vital, vibrant part of the patriots' mobilization. They argued that playing upon colonial outrage and prejudice, the keystone of this darker side of the common cause, was something the tyranny of their enemies forced upon them. Some of them insisted such illiberal notions should be cast aside once the union was secure, thus fulfilling the promise of Revolutionary ideals. But that would not be the case. The stories patriot leaders told or refused to tell would have ramifications in the early years of the new republic. Writers, historians, poets, and artists incorporated representations of Indian atrocities and slave unrest into their postwar cultural productions. Politicians began to make policy according to these narratives, as well, shaping nascent notions of republican citizenship by excluding those who had been shown as un-American during the war, as in the Naturalization Act of 1790.
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