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Dan Tompkins @dan_pericles
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Here is a further thought on this book, which the editors may well have covered -- I have not read through it yet -- but that I think merits attention.
The selection of texts is crucial, since it establishes the "world" the coders are left to analyze. One example of POTENTIAL 1/
risk is revealed by some current discussions over whether USA is a "democracy" or "republic." People (often with their own agendas) who insist on the latter. And Madison certainly was influential in cementing that notion.
But now comes Matthew Rainbow Hale, Journal of 2/
History (March 2017), who uses new databases to access newspapers from 1790-1800: "Regenerating the World: The French Revolution, Civic Festivals, and the Forging of Modern American Democracy, 1793–1795." Tea Party et al "fail to understand," he says, "to understand how a 3/
version of democracy animated by social as well as formal political imperatives reworked in the mid-1790s—and effectively subsumed in the nineteenth century—its neo-Aristotelian, mixed-constitutionalist predecessor and associated manifestations of republicanism."
This is 4/
partly about "identity," isn't it? And our notion of American "identity" may shift as we learn more about what folks who didn't own slave labor camps were saying in 1793, possibly consequentially.
So -- again without claiming expertise -- I would be very interested in 5/
more about how that challenge is met. In ancient studies -- my area -- it has often been ignored. And identity is, I agree, crucial. 6/
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