This book brings together a variety of interesting perspectives on the circumstances and effects of the war in 1812, offering a range of insights, from an exploration of the role religion played in the conflict to an investigation of low literature of the time reacted to it.
The book is opened by a contribution from Adam Rothman, who examines the concept of the paracolonial republic to highlight that the US in 1812 was surrounded by monarchical colonial powers and used imperial means against its indigenous populations.
In the second essay, Tangi Villerbu explores the way in which the Catholic Church set out to organize the space for its own development west of the Appalachian Mountains in the context of a continental war.
Following this, John Dickinson explores the heart of the early hours of the conflict in his account of the northern borderland and the new sense of itself Canada gained after successfully defending its territory against US invasion.
Using biography as an efficient type of narrative to account for the complex situations of Native American groups during the war, Sheri Shuck-Hall focuses on the fascinating character of William Weatherford,who joined the traditionalists despite his strong cultural and economic interests among the Muscogee/Creek metis class.
This volume also contains an essay by Nelly André on revolutionary women in South America. She points out that too much emphasis on a military-political definition of history has pushed women into the corners of national narratives. Her essay presents a few of these remarkable, sometimes forgotten, heroes.
American literature had not yet fully emerged in its own right in 1812. As Ed White demonstrates in his essay, novel production at the time was scant and failed to provide satisfactory accounts of the war. Instead, as the author argues, only poetry was able to keep pace with the flow of events and create national representations.
In his essay, Marco Sioli considers the events of the period in their cultural dimensions. He looks at the ways in which the press shaped the perceptions of the war and helped devise a more affirmed national identity despite the poor record of American military deeds.
The volume closes with inisghts into another genre that had a major impact on the discussions about going to war against the British Empire: the sermon. Lucia Bergamasco’s careful and close reading of such texts provides the reader with the arguments that shook the nation, such as sectional antagonism, slavery, and political and moral reformation.
All Rights Available
Jean-Marc Serme is an Associate Professor in United States Studies at the University of Western Brittany in Brest, France, and specializes in the early years of the history of the Old Southwest. He has written a book on the intimate world of Andrew Jackson, and is currently exploring family networks in the years after the American Revolution.