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Title:Double Characters: The Making of American Nationalism in Kentucky, 1792--1833
Author(s):Asperheim, Stephen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McColley, Robert
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Abstract:This study investigates how Kentuckians employed nationalism as they negotiated the important political and social issues of the era. As residents of the first state in the trans-Appalachian West, many Kentuckians in the 1790s were antagonistic towards the new federal government to the point of threatening to secede, but they nevertheless proclaimed that such a step would be properly nationalistic. After the election of Thomas Jefferson, both Republicans and Federalists accepted federal authority and worked to define the Union as the embodiment of the nation. Advocates of the War of 1812 saw it as a means of building a national character, but its opponents, prominent among them elite women, asserted that their own rejection of the war was appropriately American. Conflict over the contours of the nation did not end with the coming of peace, as leader Henry Clay's claim that his model of political economy would unify the nation jarred with Kentuckians' observations. Simultaneously, white Kentuckians attempted to construct a racial definition of nationality which excluded Indians and blacks, but Afro-Kentuckians nevertheless related to the ideals of the American Revolution and fought for their application. The South Carolina nullification crisis of 1832--33 opened the door to a new era in which nationalism would become a problematic ideology within Kentucky.
Issue Date:2003
Description:318 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3086007
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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