By Mark E. Kann

What position did manhood play in early American Politics? In A Republic of Men, Mark E. Kann argues that the yank founders aspired to create a "republic of fellows" yet feared that "disorderly males" threatened its delivery, wellbeing and fitness, and toughness. Kann demonstrates how hegemonic norms of manhood–exemplified by means of "the family members Man," for instance--were deployed as a way of stigmatizing unworthy males, profitable accountable males with citizenship, and empowering extraordinary males with positions of management and authority, whereas apart from ladies from public life.

Kann means that the founders devoted themselves in conception to the democratic proposition that each one males have been created loose and equivalent and will no longer be ruled with no their very own consent, yet that they under no circumstances believed that "all males" might be relied on with equivalent liberty, equivalent citizenship, or equivalent authority. The founders built a "grammar of manhood" to deal with a few tricky questions on public order. have been America's disorderly males certified for citizenship? have been they prone to realize manly leaders, consent to their authority, and defer to their knowledge? A Republic of Men compellingly analyzes the ways that the founders used a rhetoric of manhood to stabilize American politics.

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Additional info for A Republic of Men: The American Founders, Gendered Language, and Patriarchal Politics

Sample text

Caleb Lownes, who administered Philadelphia’s prisons in the s, announced that the city streets were safe—except for the crimes perpetrated by “strangers . . 25 They assumed that the organic bonds joining American men to their sons and estates were sufficiently strong to motivate relatives and neighbors to protect their communities. That assumption was borne out by the eight father-son teams that manned the local militia to fight the British at Lexington, and by the complex kinship network of fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, brothers, cousins, and in-laws that mustered at Concord.

Disturbances often took the form of mob action. John Adams complained in , “These private mobs I do and will detest. . these tarring and featherings, this breaking open of houses by rude and insolent rabble . . ” George Washington was outraged in July The Culture of Manhood |   when a celebration of independence ended with soldiers toppling a statue of George III. His “General Orders” stated, “Though the General doubts not the persons who pulled down and mutilated the statue . .

14 A fundamental rule in the founders’ grammar of manhood was that worthy men situated themselves in intergenerational time. They respected their birthright of liberty and proved themselves worthy of it by procreating and nurturing sons and by defending and extending liberty to new generations. They thereby achieved personal honor, social reputation, and the symbolic immortality associated with enduring family dynasties. In contrast, men who existed outside intergenerational time were not worthy of their birthright; nor were they likely to be trusted by other men.

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