Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in American History

Paperback | October 29, 2014

byC. Dallett Hemphill

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Brothers and sisters are so much a part of our lives that we can overlook their importance. Even scholars of the family tend to forget siblings, focusing instead on marriage and parent-child relations. Based on a wealth of family papers, period images, and popular literature, this is the firstbook devoted to the broad history of sibling relations, spanning the long period of transition from early to modern America.Illuminating the evolution of the modern family system, Siblings shows how brothers and sisters have helped each other in the face of the dramatic political, economic, and cultural changes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book reveals that, in colonial America, sibling relationsoffered an egalitarian space to soften the challenges of the larger patriarchal family and society, while after the Revolution, in antebellum America, sibling relations provided order and authority in a more democratic nation. Moreover, Hemphill explains that siblings serve as the bridge betweengenerations. Brothers and sisters grow up in a shared family culture influenced by their parents, but they are different from their parents in being part of the next generation. Responding to new economic and political conditions, they form and influence their own families, but their continuingrelationships with brothers and sisters serve as a link to the past. Siblings thus experience and promote the new, but share the comforting context of the old. Indeed, in all races, siblings function as humanity's shock-absorbers, as well as valued kin and keepers of memory. This wide-ranging book offers a new understanding of the relationship between families and history in an evolving world. It is also a timely reminder of the role our siblings play in our own lives.

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Brothers and sisters are so much a part of our lives that we can overlook their importance. Even scholars of the family tend to forget siblings, focusing instead on marriage and parent-child relations. Based on a wealth of family papers, period images, and popular literature, this is the firstbook devoted to the broad history of siblin...

C. Dallett Hemphill is a Professor of History at Ursinus College. She is the author of Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 (OUP).

other books by C. Dallett Hemphill

Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in American History
Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in American History

Kobo ebook|Aug 11 2011

$20.09 online$25.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190215895

ISBN - 13:9780190215897

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: Siblings in a New World1. Comparing Colonial Childhoods2. Survivors: Sibling Relations Among Adults3. Siblings for Keeps in Early AmericaPart II: Siblings in a Time of Revolution4. Finding Fraternity: Gender and the Revolution in Sentiment5. Republican Brothers and Sisters at Play6. Shock Absorbers: Young Adult Siblings in the New CenturyPart III: Siblings and Democracy in America7. Northern Homes in Antebellum Life and Letters8. The Reign of Sisters Begins9. Telling Exceptions: Slaves, Planters, and PioneersEpilogue: To the "Back Seat Wars"Appendix: The Case of the Missing Siblings in Western Family HistoryNotesBibliography of Works CitedIndex