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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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Fusions and Confusions

Fusions and Confusions

(p.55) Chapter One Fusions and Confusions
This Violent Empire

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg

University of North Carolina Press

The Revolutionary generation constituted an American identity that was neither settled nor coherent, and tentatively took form on magazine pages and during public discussions. A bricolage of contentious political discourses, it was held together more by images of the enemies it struggled against than by any sense of rhetorical or ideological cohesion. To better understand the new American who emerged in the new urban magazines and the national identity he embodied, this chapter explores these political discourses as they struggled for ascendancy on magazine pages and within the minds of the new urban readers.

Keywords:   American identity, national identity, political discourse, urban magazines, American Revolution

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