Self-evident Truths: Contesting Equal Rights From The Revolution To The Civil War

Hardcover | February 21, 2017

byRichard D. Brown

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From a distinguished historian, a detailed and compelling examination of how the early Republic struggled with the idea that “all men are created equal”

How did Americans in the generations following the Declaration of Independence translate its lofty ideals into practice? In this broadly synthetic work, distinguished historian Richard Brown shows that despite its founding statement that “all men are created equal,” the early Republic struggled with every form of social inequality. While people paid homage to the ideal of equal rights, this ideal came up against entrenched social and political practices and beliefs.
 
Brown illustrates how the ideal was tested in struggles over race and ethnicity, religious freedom, gender and social class, voting rights and citizenship. He shows how high principles fared in criminal trials and divorce cases when minorities, women, and people from different social classes faced judgment. This book offers a much-needed exploration of the ways revolutionary political ideas penetrated popular thinking and everyday practice.

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From a distinguished historian, a detailed and compelling examination of how the early Republic struggled with the idea that “all men are created equal” How did Americans in the generations following the Declaration of Independence translate its lofty ideals into practice? In this broadly synthetic work, distinguished historian Richard...

Richard D. Brown is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Connecticut. His previous books include Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700–1865 and the co-authored microhistory The Hanging of Ephraim Wheeler: A Story of Rape, Incest, and Justice in Early Amer...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1.06 inPublished:February 21, 2017Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030019711X

ISBN - 13:9780300197112

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"The commitment to human equality forged in the Declaration of Independence has inspired and haunted Americans ever since 1776. In this penetrating analysis, Richard Brown carefully explores how Americans began to explain and advance what the commitment could actually mean."—Jack N. Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution