Strangers in a Land of Strangers: Defining American in Times of Conflict
Battling for the Frontier

     From the Revolution through the 1840s, the United States endured overwhelming unease about its ability to survive as an independent nation. White Americans felt besieged culturally and politically by savage Indians on the many frontiers and by corrupt and greedy European imperial adventures across the North American continent.

     Against this background, the nation also tried to establish its historical value by welcoming immigrants from many lands and by identifying passionately with the image of the sturdy pioneer. These trying times therefore produced paradoxical visions of America as a country both threatened and saved by its frontier, a nation both defined and betrayed by immigrants, a land filled with promise as mighty as the continent, but sustained by nothing more than vague hopes of public virtue.
Ein neues Lied [A New Song]


Slave Market of America
Blaine, the Proscriptionist




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