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Beyond the FoundersNew Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic$
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Jeffrey L. Pasley, Andrew W. Robertson, and David Waldstreicher

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780807828892

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898833_pasley

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The “Little Emperor”

The “Little Emperor”

Aaron Burr, Dandyism, and the Sexual Politics of Treason

(p.129) 5 The “Little Emperor”
Beyond the Founders

Nancy Isenberg

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Aaron Burr's political identity and the dismal turn of his career after 1800. Nicknamed the “little emperor,” Burr, the first presidential candidate tried for treason, was also known for his unquenchable ambition and sexual exploits. The chapter argues that his career reveals the role of gendered, sexualized discourses in creating public identities and destroying political reputations. Burr left a legacy that shows how gender insinuated itself into the vocabulary of treason and created a new definition of party loyalty.

Keywords:   Aaron Burr, little emperor, public identities, political reputations, treason, party loyalty

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