Academic journal article Journal of the Early Republic

Whither the Early Republic? A Special Forum on the Future of the Field

Academic journal article Journal of the Early Republic

Whither the Early Republic? A Special Forum on the Future of the Field

Article excerpt

As a parting gift to the Journal of the Early Republic, whose editorship we are leaving as of this issue, we assembled a collection of short "needs-and-opportunities" essays built around the question: Where should we be looking for new insight and understanding about the early United States? Conceived as a print version of a specialty conference, we identified five panel topics and recruited chairs for each. Our panel chairs in turn recruited the panelists in their own sections and, after reading first drafts of their papers, composed their own comments and reflections. The whole affair is impressionistic, unscientific, and idiosyncratic; we hope also that it provides our readers a chance to look back and forward, to take stock in what has been done in our field during the ten years it has been our privilege to edit this journal together, and to challenge themselves to new exertions in the decade ahead.

Our five panels are arranged around the jallowing topics:

* Continental possessions: encompassing all the struggles for control of North America that finally helped shape the culture of the early United States.

* Pursuing happiness: concerning the economic culture of the United States that created and distributed wealth and in the process reshaped the culture. …

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