American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850
Book Talk with Alan Taylor
Recorded on April 26, 2022
Between 1783-1850, the newly constituted United States emerged as a fragile, internally divided union of states contending with European empires and other independent republics on the North American continent. Native peoples sought to defend their homelands from the flood of American settlers, the system of American slavery grew increasingly powerful and expansive separating Black American families, and bitter party divisions pitted elites favoring strong government against those espousing a democratic populism for white men. Alan Taylor’s history of this tumultuous period offers a look at the key characters involved and captures the high-stakes political drama as leaders contended over slavery, the economy, Indian removal, and national expansion. A ground-level account of American industrialization conveys the everyday lives of factory workers and immigrant families and the immersive narrative puts us on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Mexico City, Quebec, and the Cherokee capital, New Echota. This book talk provided an informative backdrop for the time period represented through the clothing from MHS's collections in our exhibit Northern Threads: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society and the period during which MHS was founded.