The Turbulent Era: Riot & Disorder in Jacksonian America

The Turbulent Era: Riot & Disorder in Jacksonian America

The Turbulent Era: Riot & Disorder in Jacksonian America

The Turbulent Era: Riot & Disorder in Jacksonian America

Synopsis

Using the Philadelphia Native American Riots of 1844 as his model, Professor Feldberg analyzes and contrasts the varieties of collective violence--ethnic, religious, racial, economic, political, vigilante--that beset American cities during the first half of the nineteenth century. In focusing on specific historical events that have much broader significance, Professor Feldberg provides a succinct, readable book that will be of interest to students of American history and criminal justice. A bibliographical essay is included.

Excerpt

This is a book about riots: what they were like in Jacksonian America, why they were so prevalent during that era, and how they have changed since that time. A riot is an incident in which dozens, hundreds, or thousands of persons gather--either with or without prior planning--and use violence to injure or intimidate their victims. Violence is the infliction of pain, injury, or damage to persons or property. Rioting in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s usually involved two groups of citizens battling each other, but they also could consist of groups attacking isolated individuals or groups confronting the official forces of order. Most of the examples of rioting offered in this book are set in Philadelphia, not because William Penn City of Brotherly Love was more subject to collective violence than, say, New York or Boston, but because my own research has made me most familiar with the history of Jacksonian Philadelphia.

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