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Congress to create one and get it ratified. But soon thereafter Madison was partnering with Thomas Jefferson to organize an opposition faction to President Washington—because they did not agree with his interpretations of the Constitution.


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So, there were not only a variety of views held by different people of this era. Men changed their minds over time, too. Virginians and Americans generally were so profoundly divided over the Constitution that it nearly failed to be ratified. The decision to ratify or reject would, Americans understood, determine whether their brief experiment with representative democracy could survive.


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The problem came when large numbers of citizens became firmly convinced that their future depended on ratifying while others believed with the same unshakable faith that theirs depended on rejecting. The final vote in Virginia was Five votes out of swung the other way would have turned the fate of the American Revolution in a radically different direction.

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Votes in other states were very close too, which is usually surprising to most Americans. The founding generation came very, very close to making the Constitution a failed side note in history. I was surprised over and over again. My favorite surprise came just after the final vote in Virginia. The New Hampshire and New York conventions were meeting at the same time as the Virginians, and as they debated, eight of the required nine states had already ratified. Alexander Hamilton, working for ratification in New York, had coordinated a team of riders in all three convention cities to speed to the other two locations as soon as any final vote occurred.

As the Virginians began their last days of debate, they had no way of knowing that New Hampshire ratified on June Virginians thought they were the 9th state when they ratified on June Sometime before dawn on June 28, two riders, one from Richmond and other carrying news from New Hampshire, met at a tavern in Alexandria. They became the first two men to know that both New Hampshire and Virginia had ratified, and the Constitution would become law.

The thesis and interpretations are embedded, and a character-driven story is foregrounded. So I hope the book will be engaging for students to read and that it will open up the world of eighteenth-century politics. As Southern Manhood brings definition to an emerging subdiscipline of southern history, it also pushes the broader field in new directions. All of the essayists take up large themes in antebellum history, including southern womanhood, the advent of consumer culture and market relations, and the emergence of sectional conflict.

Southern Manhood

An important and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of gender history. This rich and compelling collection will take its place on the bookshelves of every serious scholar of gender in the American experience. The essays in Southern Manhood are joined by an attention to race and evolving market forces.

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What emerges from this are often subtle arguments attuned to southern men's overlapping concerns with class and racial identity as they negotiated their position as men within local societies. A fine collection of essays that apply the new methods and approaches of masculine studies to the study of the Old South.

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Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South is a pioneering effort opening new ground in both the study of masculine history and the history of the American South. All the essays in this collection are insightful, original, well written, well researched, and well worth reading.


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The insights that this study yields are tremendously useful and provide valuable building blocks for more in-depth epistemologies on region - including the South - in critical masculinities. Lorri Glover examines how standards for manhood came about, how young men experienced them in the early South, and how those values transformed many American sons into southern nationalists who ultimately would conspire to tear apart the republic they had been raised to lead.

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This was the first generation of boys raised to conceive of themselves as Americans, as well as the first cohort of self-defined southern men. They had to pass exacting tests of manhood—in education, refinement, courting, careers, and slave mastery.

SOUTHERN SONS ~ Always And Ever [AOR]

Only then could they join the ranks of the elite and claim power in society. Well written, meticulously researched. Lorri Glover.