mostraligabue
» » Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic

ePub Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic download

by Joanne B. Freeman

ePub Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic download
Author:
Joanne B. Freeman
ISBN13:
978-0300088779
ISBN:
0300088779
Language:
Publisher:
Yale University Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2001)
Category:
Subcategory:
Humanities
ePub file:
1267 kb
Fb2 file:
1712 kb
Other formats:
lit mobi azw txt
Rating:
4.5
Votes:
619

Joanne B. Freeman (born April 27, 1962) is a US historian and tenured Professor of History and American Studies at Yale . "Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic and Alexander Hamilton, Writings". Retrieved April 11, 2017.

Joanne B. Freeman (born April 27, 1962) is a US historian and tenured Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University.

Affairs of Honor isthe most important book that has been written on the origins of American politics in many, many . Freeman structures her book into five case studies examining different aspects of honor.

Affairs of Honor isthe most important book that has been written on the origins of American politics in many, many years. Joanne Freeman’s work is enormously original, and the scholarship is impeccable. In the first, she uses a close reading of Pennsylvania Senator William Maclay’s public diary to demonstrate how politicians used public perceptions of honor to garner political clout with their constituents.

Freeman structures her book into five case studies examining different aspects of honor. Finally, Freeman reinterprets the election of 1800 through the lens of honor in her final case study.

Affairs of Honor book. In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic

Affairs of Honor book. In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, Freeman reveals an alien and profoundly unstable political world grounded on the code of honor. In the ab In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic.

In this book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures like Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, as well as less famous politicians such as Senators William Maclay and William Plumer, Freeman reveals an alien and profoundly unstable political world grounded on the code of honor.

In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture . These political weapons were all deployed in the tumultuous presidential election of 1800-an event that nearly toppled the new republic.

In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic.

This is the main theme of Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press) by Joanne B. . Freeman, a surprising look at the codes of honor of that time and how they changed history. The main players are familiar to us all (Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Burr), and Freeman has drawn on the diaries and notebooks of many who had supporting roles. Joanne B. Freeman, assistant professor of history at Yale University, combines the analytical talents of a subtle historian, the story-telling ability of a first-rate journalist, and the gift of empathy with historical figures.

Affairs of Honor, along with many other works like it, helps make that fact blindingly clear. By placing this culture of honor front and center in the public life of the early nation, Freeman achieves two goals

Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic. Affairs of Honor, along with many other works like it, helps make that fact blindingly clear. By placing this culture of honor front and center in the public life of the early nation, Freeman achieves two goals. She greatly deepens our understanding of precisely how at that time culture was implicated in politics-as, of course, it is in all others. Since politics was one part of the larger culture, not somehow unrelated to it, each affected the other, and neither can be understood separately. Freeman, Professor of History, specializes in the politics and political culture . Freeman, Professor of History, specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. at the University of Virginia.

In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, Freeman reveals an alien and profoundly unstable political world grounded on the code of honor. In the absence of a party system and with few examples to guide America’s experiment in republican governance, the rituals and rhetoric of honor provided ground rules for political combat. Gossip, print warfare, and dueling were tools used to jostle for status and form alliances in an otherwise unstructured political realm. These political weapons were all deployed in the tumultuous presidential election of 1800?an event that nearly toppled the new republic.By illuminating this culture of honor, Freeman offers new understandings of some of the most perplexing events of early American history, including the notorious duel between Burr and Hamilton. A major reconsideration of early American politics, Affairs of Honor offers a profoundly human look at the anxieties and political realities of leaders struggling to define themselves and their role in the new nation.
  • Joanne B. Freeman’s Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic uses the framework of honor culture to explore the underlying motives that drove the founding generation’s decisions during the first three presidencies of the Early Republic. Freedman draws heavily upon social and political history and relies on close readings of the Founders’ own writing in order to reframe the work in a seventeenth and eighteenth century mindset free of twenty-first century biases.
    Freeman argues that, amid the chaos of the Early Republic, “the culture of honor was a source of stability in this contested landscape” (xv). Honor’s “ethic limited and defined acceptable behavior; its rites and rituals displayed superiority of character through time-honored traditions recognized the world over” (xv). Honor helped shape social relationships in a country without an aristocracy. Freeman defines honor as a public presentation, writing, “Honor was entirely other-directed, determined before the eyes of the world; it did not exist unless bestowed by others. Indeed, a man of honor was defined by the respect that he received in public” (xvi). Freeman structures her book into five case studies examining different aspects of honor. In the first, she uses a close reading of Pennsylvania Senator William Maclay’s public diary to demonstrate how politicians used public perceptions of honor to garner political clout with their constituents. The second case study examines the role of gossip in shaping concepts of honor and how it could challenge or reinforce a person’s public persona. The third case study uses this same methodology to examine what Freeman terms “paper war,” the use of public and private letters, newspaper publications, broadsides, and other written matter to define the limits of honor (105). Freeman’s fourth case study focuses on dueling, the most potent demonstration of honor. Finally, Freeman reinterprets the election of 1800 through the lens of honor in her final case study.
    In her first case study, Freeman writes of the role of honor in congressional oratory, “Given the importance of reputation, an attack on a man’s honor was the ultimate trump card…When honor was at stake, all else fell by the wayside, for a man’s sense of self and possibly his life were at risk” (28). Despite the usefulness of such an attack, it had its own hazards. As Freeman writes, “An insult to a man’s honor was a dangerous weapon that could explode in one’s face” (29). Those who engaged in too much vitriol or attacked persons of sound reputations might lose face themselves for such a loss of composure. In her second case study, Freeman argues that gossip served as a tool for sizing up political enemies and forming political alliances (66). Gossip relied on honest transmitters of gossip in order to have weight. Freeman writes, “A truthful man could be trusted; a liar was weak, untrustworthy, and inferior – in sum, he was no gentleman. To give the ‘lie direct’ was equivalent to striking a man: it became an immediate justification for a challenge to a duel” (67). Politicians linked their reputation to their political successes and alliances. Freeman writes, “In this highly political realm, an attack on a government measure was an attack on a politician, and an attack on a politician immediately questioned his honor and reputation” (69). This system served to unite politicians in a time before formal political parties. Unlike gossip, paper war posed a greater threat to its wielder as they committed their thoughts to the more permanent medium of print. Freeman writes, "A signed attack bore the clout of its writer’s reputation but risked it by thrusting him into the public eye. Unsigned publications offered the safety of anonymity, but without the authority of a name they had less power. A poor choice of medium could backfire…Hence the ongoing stream of letters from men seeking advice on paper war" (113). The authors sought to present themselves as gentlemen, thus leading to their dilemmas in engaging in print war. Freeman writes, “A gentleman was always true to his word; such was the very definition of <i>gentleman</i>. It was the central importance of truth telling to genteel status that made ‘giving the lie’ an insult grievous enough to demand a duel” (128). More to the point, “Print combatants often adopted the language of the duel” in their publications and counter-publications (132). Duels, naturally, were the purest manifestation of honor, though even they had rules to ensure the honor of combatants. Freeman writes, “…To early national politicians, duels were demonstrations of manner, not marksmanship; they were intricate games of dare and counterdare, ritualized displays of bravery, military prowess, and – above all – willingness to sacrifice one’s life for one’s honor. A man’s response to the threat of gunplay bore far more meaning than the exchange of fire itself” (167). The duelist who accepted a challenge thus proved himself worthy of political leadership (170). Finally, Freeman argues that Aaron Burr’s unwillingness to concede defeat and the political machinations that decided the election of 1800 all resulted from the interplay of these ideas of honor.
    Freeman bases her study on “thousands of letters, diaries, pamphlets, newspaper essays, and other assorted writings by roughly three hundred national political figures, their families, and friends” (292). Freeman benefited from the support and scholarship of Bertram Wyatt-Brown, author of one of the definitive volumes on honor culture, in her work. Freeman’s methodology borrows from Clifford Geertz’s methodology of cultural anthropology, especially in how she works to recapture the thoughts and emotions of her subjects and eschew twenty-first century understandings of honor culture.

  • This is a fascinating look at the early republic from almost a purely emotional point of view--specifically, the culture of honor that was intrinsic to gentlemen at the time (but which is pretty damned foreign to most people now). I now know the nuances involved in caning, spitting, and dueling, although I fortunately have little cause to use them in my daily life.

    I stumbled onto this book while researching something entirely different and was hooked. I'm so glad. For one, it's engaging, and although I'm over the Revolution of 1800 (see further: Election of 2000), Professor Freeman manages to put a new spin on it.

    Minor quibbles: the organization is a bit on the odd side (this may be a result of the topic itself, which is not particularly linear) and it does drag toward the end, but if you're interested in American history and politics (or American historical politics), I recommend it.

  • Freeman's survey of early American politics illustrates the discomforting fact that things don't change. When we hear of the bantering, lying, and mischief that occurs in contemporary politics we like to think back to a time when things were different. A time when things were simpler, issues were black and white, and politicians were men of principle and honor. Like, say, those men active in the early American Republic. With the exception of a few practices such as dueling (affairs of honor), antiquated media outlets, and the universal acceptance of "personal reputation as the currency of national politics" (one could now argue that currency is the currency of national politics), politicking hasn't changed much in two hundred years. The author sums it up best with a quotation from the period, "The man of honor does not care if he stinks, but he does care that someone has accused him of stinking."

    The politics of early America are detailed through the examination events, contemporaneous media, and journals. With this review of the past one fact can be determined over all others; politicians of early America, no matter their party affiliation, financial wealth, or the issues that form there time in office, held their own honor above all else. Given the information provided in the book, Freeman's assertion about "personal reputation" mentioned above is certainly accurate. Honor was the prized possession of any man, but especially that of the politician, due to the social changes that took place at the conclusion of the Revolution. When the war ended, so did the social hierarchical norm that consisted of aristocracy, heritage, land ownership (to a certain extent), and military prestige. Men in early America were left with little else but their reputation from which to hang their hat.

    The author provides the reader with the information necessary to understand why men were willing to duel at the drop of an insult and how the federal government was able to pass such an overreaching law as the Sedition Act (making it seditious to print libels against the government). After all, it was a mans duty to defend his reputation. While jockeying for position in a new federal government, these men had to balance their reputation, political affiliation, and local personas. It makes for interesting reading no doubt. The book is well written and researched. However, there are several areas that become difficult to follow (due mostly to chronology) and others that seem mundane and repetitive. Otherwise, excellent book.