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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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Choreographing Class / Performing Gentility

Choreographing Class / Performing Gentility

Chapter:
(p.309) Chapter Six Choreographing Class / Performing Gentility
Source:
This Violent Empire
Author(s):

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807832967.003.0010

This chapter considers the image of the European American as a republican gentleman. By the late eighteenth century, courtesy books—the prized reading matter of Britain's emerging bourgeoisie—had crossed the Atlantic, where American-born sons of planters and merchants assiduously studied their prescribed rules and manners. It was these manners that European Americans genteel enough to be invited to the chevalier's ball struggled to perform. The chapter asks: What impact did these movements across classes and oceans have upon the role and upon its civil and civic significance?

Keywords:   European Americans, republican gentleman, national identity, manners, gentility

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