New Acquisition: Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings & the Politics of the 1850's

My copy of Tyler Anbinder’s Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings & the Politics of the 1850’s finally arrived yesterday. One of my readers recommended it as one of the best resources on the Know Nothings Party which I’ve just finished a series of posts on. Can’t wait to dig in. ISBN13: 9780195089226 ISBN10: […]

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On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 8

Few would argue that a resurgence of nativism in the mid-19th century had a rational footing. It was, rather, “a nonrational response to contemporary problems” in “an age of social upheaval, an age of deprivation, stress, and imminent disaster.” The nation was not facing civil war because of immigration from Ireland and Germany. The dislocations […]

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On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 3

In the spring of 1850, another nativist fraternity, The Order of the Star Spangled Banner (OSSB) was founded in New York City by Charles B. Allen, a thirty-four-year-old commercial agent born and educated in Massachusetts. (1)  At first a simple “local fellowship numbering no more than three dozen men, there was little to distinguish their […]

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On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 2

In the 1830s and 1840s, Americans had rediscovered a fascination with fraternalism discarded earlier in the century “when anti-Masonry led to public suspicion of secret societies.” (1)  This was the era of the Odd Fellows, the Foresters, the Good Fellows and the Druids, the Red Men and the Heptasops. (2) James McPherson marks the beginning of […]

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On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 1

Bits of white paper strewn across a prearranged site announced the meeting of the brotherhood. Held at night, in keeping with the secrecy that shrouded its early years, the sessions of the local chapters of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner were open only to initiates and those about to join them in the […]

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Political History Word of the Day – Jingoistic

I ran across the word “jingoistic” tonight in my reading of a fascinating book, The Party Of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett. jingoistic adjective fanatically patriotic [syn: chauvinistic] jin·go·ism Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism. jin’go·ist n., jin’go·is’tic adj.,  jin’go·is’ti·cal·ly […]

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