Hardback
April 21, 2020
9781421437132
English
360
135069
16
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.12 Inches (US)
1.35 Pounds (US)
$49.95 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 21, 2020
9781421437149
9781421437132
English
360
135069
16
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$49.95 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Breakaway Americas

The Unmanifest Future of the Jacksonian United States

Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Most Americans know that the state of Texas was once the Republic of Texas—an independent sovereign state that existed from 1836 until its annexation by the United States in 1846. But few are aware that thousands of Americans, inspired by Texas, tried to establish additional sovereign states outside the borders of the early American republic. In Breakaway Americas, Thomas Richards, Jr., examines six such attempts and the groups that supported them: "patriots" who attempted to overthrow British rule in Canada; post-removal Cherokees in Indian Territory; Mormons first in Illinois and then the Salt Lake Valley; Anglo-American overland immigrants in both Mexican California and Oregon; and, of course, Anglo-Americans in Texas.

Though their goals and methods varied, Richards argues that these groups had a common mindset: they were not expansionists. Instead, they hoped to form new, independent republics based on the "American values" that they felt were no longer recognized in the United States: land ownership, a strict racial hierarchy, and masculinity.

Exposing nineteenth-century Americans' lack of allegiance to their country, which at the time was plagued with economic depression, social disorder, and increasing sectional tension, Richards points us toward a new understanding of American identity and Americans as a people untethered from the United States as a country. Through its wide focus on a diverse array of American political practices and ideologies, Breakaway Americas will appeal to anyone interested in the Jacksonian United States, US politics, American identity, and the unpredictable nature of history.

About the Author

Thomas Richards, Jr. earned his PhD in American history from Temple University. He is a history teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

Endorsements

"This provocative interpretation makes contested and contingent what was once manifestly destined, prompting even readers who dispute particular cases to rethink assumptions about the territorial expansion of the United States. Richards's account of settlers who moved beyond the boundaries of the country won't settle arguments; it will start some, however, which will make this a book that matters."

- Stephen Aron, University of California, Los Angeles, author of The American West: A Very Short Introduction

"Thomas Richards's fascinating book offers both a decisive refutation of 'manifest destiny' and a tantalizing vision of the American West: one in which struggles for power and sovereignty were local rather than national, and in which contingency played the greatest role in shaping the future."

- Nicholas Guyatt, University of Cambridge, author of Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation

"Breakaway Americas offers a compelling account of the diverse state-building projects of the Jacksonian era, from the theocratic republic of the Latter-day Saints to the sovereignty claims of the Cherokee Nation. These threatened to disintegrate the fragile United States decades before the question of slavery combined with the problem of western empire to rip the whole republic apart. This book requires serious attention."

- Edward F. Countryman, Southern Methodist University, author of Enjoy the Same Liberty Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era

"In Breakaway Americas, Thomas Richards liberates the familiar story of the nation's westward expansion from its longstanding confinement in the framework of a fated and inevitable outcome. Thanks to this book, readers across the political spectrum will have a prime opportunity to understand why historians see such power in the concept of contingency as a potent remedy for the paralysis of fatalism."

- Patricia Limerick, University of Colorado at Boulder, author of The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 17

9781421437132 : breakaway-americas-richards
Hardback
360 Pages
$49.95 USD
9781421437149 : breakaway-americas-richards
Electronic book text
360 Pages
$49.95 USD

Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / 19th Century

The Whigs' America

Joseph W. Pearson
Oct 2020 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Hardback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

Tecumseh's War

Donald R. Hickey
Sep 2020 - Georgetown University Press
$34.95 USD - Hardback

A Georgetown Life

Grant Quertermous
Sep 2020 - Georgetown University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in History of the Americas

The Fabric of Empire

Danielle C. Skeehan
Dec 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Neighborhood of Fear

Kyle Riismandel
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

Death and Rebirth in a Southern City

Ryan K. Smith
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text