America and the Atlantic Community: Anglo-American Aspects, 1790-1850

By Frank Thistlethwaite | Go to book overview

6. The Nature and Limits of the Atlantic Connection

T HIS study has traced different kinds of communication between Britain and the United States in the early nineteenth century, in trade, investment, and migration, and in political and philanthropic radicalism. The time has now come to pull these various lines together to see if they make a single communications system sufficiently defined to justify using the term "Atlantic Connection"; and, if so, to understand the character of that connection and its limits.

The reader who has had the patience to pursue these highways and byways of Anglo-American relations may have become conscious of intersecting trails, may on occasion have recognized places and people met on earlier expeditions. Or, to put it another way, may have come to recognize the dramatis personae of a somewhat untidy, picaresque story, not unlike an eighteenth century novel. It is the relationships among these characters, and the moral problems posed by them, which it is the object of this final chapter to explore.

Not all the characters have borne much relation to each other. Many have been mere walk-on parts; and in many of these relationships, communication has been partial, at best. By no means all merchants and bankers were free traders or philanthropists, nor all emigrants and travelers idealists. The most radical of manufacturers abhorred unions and socialism, just as Chartists and land reformers hated capitalism; and Cobden, the liberal, and O'Connor the Chartist, were at one in opposing emigration for British workingmen. Quak-

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America and the Atlantic Community: Anglo-American Aspects, 1790-1850
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • 1. the Economic Relation 3
  • 2. British Political Radicals and the United States 39
  • 3. the Anglo-American World of Humanitarian Endeavor 76
  • 4. Freedom for Slaves and Women 103
  • 5. Cross-Currents in Educational Reform 134
  • 6. the Nature and Limits of the Atlantic Connection 151
  • Index 207
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