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Civic wars : democracy and public life in the American city during the nineteenth century / Mary P. Ryan.

By: Ryan, Mary PMaterial type: TextTextPublication details: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1997. Description: 1 online resource (xii, 376 pages) : illustrationsContent type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780520922082; 0520922085; 0585041075; 9780585041070; 9780520204416; 0520204417; 9780520216600; 0520216601Subject(s): Political participation -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Political culture -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Democracy -- United States -- History -- 19th century | City and town life -- United States -- History -- 19th century | United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century | New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government -- To 1898 | New Orleans (La.) -- Politics and government | San Francisco (Calif.) -- Politics and government | POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Government -- National | City and town life | Democracy | Political culture | Political participation | Politics and government | California -- San Francisco | Louisiana -- New Orleans | New York (State) -- New York | United States | To 1899Genre/Form: History. | Electronic books. | Electronic books. Additional physical formats: Print version:: Civic wars.DDC classification: 320.973 LOC classification: JK1764 | .R9 1997ebOnline resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Introduction: From Public Realm to Civic Warfare -- pt. 1. Heterogeneous Compounds and Kaleidoscopic Varieties: Creating a Democratic Public, 1825-1849. Ch. 1. People's Places. Ch. 2. The Performance of People in Association. Ch. 3. Public Meetings and the "Principles of Pure Democracy" -- pt. 2. The Interregnum, 1850-1865. Ch. 4. Civil Wars in the Cities -- pt. 3. "The Huge Conglomerate Mass": Democracy Contained and Continued, 1866-1880. Ch. 5. The "Vague and Vast Harmony" of People in Space. Ch. 6. The People in Ceremony: Multiply, Divide, Explode, Transcend. Ch. 7. Publicity and Democratic Practice.
Summary: The near extinction of civic life in American cities has been proclaimed for many years. Today, multiculturalism and political correctness are deemed the villains. Yet in the nineteenth century, at the apex of public processions, ceremonies, and civic celebrations, American cities were arguably as full of cultural differences and as fractured by social and economic changes as any metropolis today. To investigate how their citizens formed an integral public culture despite their heterogeneity, Mary Ryan, an award-winning scholar of the nineteenth century, began her research for this book. Quite unexpectedly, she found not harmonious communities but nearly incessant civic conflict which, she argues, erupted into full-scale municipal warfare even before the onset of the War between the States. Locating her study in New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, Ryan analyzes these conflicts on spatial, ceremonial, and political planes. The story begins in 1825 with an account of how the residents of antebellum cities created a democratic political culture out of multifarious differences. It quickly turns to the trials, failures, and reversals of the democratic experiment that characterized the 1850s and 1860s. When the Civil War ended in 1865, Ryan demonstrates, the people of these cities recast their differences as bolder division, especially those of race and gender, and sometimes class as well. In the end, Ryan reclaims this tumultuous urban history as the durable crucible of democracy. Through her graceful and powerful narrative of the fate of public life in the last century, she discovers the foundations of America's resilient democratic culture.
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 341-362) and index.

Print version record.

Introduction: From Public Realm to Civic Warfare -- pt. 1. Heterogeneous Compounds and Kaleidoscopic Varieties: Creating a Democratic Public, 1825-1849. Ch. 1. People's Places. Ch. 2. The Performance of People in Association. Ch. 3. Public Meetings and the "Principles of Pure Democracy" -- pt. 2. The Interregnum, 1850-1865. Ch. 4. Civil Wars in the Cities -- pt. 3. "The Huge Conglomerate Mass": Democracy Contained and Continued, 1866-1880. Ch. 5. The "Vague and Vast Harmony" of People in Space. Ch. 6. The People in Ceremony: Multiply, Divide, Explode, Transcend. Ch. 7. Publicity and Democratic Practice.

The near extinction of civic life in American cities has been proclaimed for many years. Today, multiculturalism and political correctness are deemed the villains. Yet in the nineteenth century, at the apex of public processions, ceremonies, and civic celebrations, American cities were arguably as full of cultural differences and as fractured by social and economic changes as any metropolis today. To investigate how their citizens formed an integral public culture despite their heterogeneity, Mary Ryan, an award-winning scholar of the nineteenth century, began her research for this book. Quite unexpectedly, she found not harmonious communities but nearly incessant civic conflict which, she argues, erupted into full-scale municipal warfare even before the onset of the War between the States. Locating her study in New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, Ryan analyzes these conflicts on spatial, ceremonial, and political planes. The story begins in 1825 with an account of how the residents of antebellum cities created a democratic political culture out of multifarious differences. It quickly turns to the trials, failures, and reversals of the democratic experiment that characterized the 1850s and 1860s. When the Civil War ended in 1865, Ryan demonstrates, the people of these cities recast their differences as bolder division, especially those of race and gender, and sometimes class as well. In the end, Ryan reclaims this tumultuous urban history as the durable crucible of democracy. Through her graceful and powerful narrative of the fate of public life in the last century, she discovers the foundations of America's resilient democratic culture.

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