Sensibility and the American Revolution

TitleSensibility and the American Revolution
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKnott, Sarah
Number of Pages353
PublisherUniversity of North Carolina Press
CityChapel Hill, NC
Abstract

In the wake of American independence, it was clear that the new United States required novel political forms. Less obvious but no less revolutionary was the idea that the American people needed a new understanding of the self. Sensibility was a cultural movement that celebrated the human capacity for sympathy and sensitivity to the world. For individuals, it offered a means of self-transformation. For a nation lacking a monarch, state religion, or standing army, sensibility provided a means of cohesion. National independence and social interdependence facilitated one another. What the author of this volume calls "the sentimental project" helped a new kind of citizen create a new kind of government. The author paints sensibility as a political project whose fortunes rose and fell with the broader tides of the Revolutionary Atlantic world. Moving beyond traditional accounts of social unrest, republican and liberal ideology, and the rise of the autonomous individual, she offers an original interpretation of the American Revolution as a transformation of self and society.

URLhttps://uncpress.org/book/9780807859186/sensibility-and-the-american-revolution/
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679587068

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