American Republics

American Republics

A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850

Alan Taylor
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In this beautifully written history of America' s formative period, an eminent historian upends the traditional story of a young nation marching to its continent-spanning destiny. The newly constituted United States actually emerged as an internally fragile union of states that clashed over a tenuous balance of regional power. European empires and the new republic of Mexico sought to contain that union by allying with Native peoples who defended their homelands. Bitter political divisions pitted those favouring strong government with elite rule against those, like Andrew Jackson, espousing a democratic populism for white men. With a flood of settlers pouring into the west, the United States invaded Canada, Florida, Texas and much of Mexico. It forcibly removed most of the Native peoples living east of the Mississippi. And after the Mexican war, with conquered territory reaching west to the Pacific, the sectional divisions over slavery produced a crisis.
A beautifully crafted narrative. . . penetrating and provocative. . . . American Republics provides readers (including professional historians) new ways of looking at seemingly familiar events. --Glenn C. Altschuler "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" Stimulating. . . . Many histories of this important interregnum period have been written, but none emphasizes the fragility of the American experiment as strongly as Taylor' s book does. American Republics succeeds admirably. --David S. Reynolds "New York Times Book Review" From one of America' s greatest historians, American Republics is an engrossing introduction to the fragile, exclusionary epoch when the United States went transcontinental. --Brian DeLay, author of War of a Thousand Deserts American Republics is a masterpiece. Taylor' s stories, revealing collisions between principles on the one hand and greed, violence, racism, and transnational entanglement on the other, resonate eerily across time. This book' s coherence, wisdom, and eloquence leave me inspired. But its unflinching narrative leaves me rattled to the core. --Elizabeth Fenn, author of Encounters at the Heart of the World American Republics sweeps away rosy accounts of the rise of the United States. It is a searing history that exposes how white supremacy disfigured U. S. politics, underwrote westward expansion, and remade the lives of North America' s diverse peoples. Incisive and powerful, it leaves a lasting impression. --Claudio Saunt, author of Unworthy Republic
Alan Taylor has twice won the Pulitzer Prize in History, most recently for The Internal Enemy, also a National Book Award finalist. He is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History at University of Virginia, and lives in Charlottesville.