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This Violent EmpireThe Birth of an American National Identity$
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Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832967

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9780807832967.001.0001

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Introduction “What Then Is the American, This New Man?”

Introduction “What Then Is the American, This New Man?”

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction “What Then Is the American, This New Man?”
Source:
This Violent Empire
Author(s):

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807832967.003.0001

This introductory chapter sets out the book's main focus, namely what the formation of the U.S. nation-state can teach us about the violence that lies at the heart of national identities. It then discusses the challenges faced by the nation's founding generation following declaration of independence from Great Britain; how a fluid but generalized understanding of identity fits in with current understandings of national identities, those mythic visions of a national collective self; and where newly independent European Americans first learned to play the role of the new American. An overview of the book's three sections is also presented.

Keywords:   nation-state, national identity, violence, Americans

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