THE COMMON CAUSE: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution
Robert Parkinson – Historian, Author, Associate Professor June 19th | 7:00 p.m.
When the Revolutionary War began, the odds of a united, continental effort to resist the British seemed nearly impossible. Few on either side of the Atlantic expected thirteen colonies to stick together in a war against their cultural cousins. In this pathbreaking book, Robert Parkinson argues that to unify the patriot side, political and communications leaders linked British tyranny to colonial prejudices, stereotypes, and fears about insurrectionary slaves and violent Indians. Manipulating newspaper networks, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and their fellow agitators broadcast stories of British agents inciting African Americans and Indians to take up arms against the American rebellion. Using rhetoric like “domestic insurrectionists” and “merciless savages,” the founding fathers rallied the people around a common enemy and made racial prejudice a cornerstone of the new Republic.
Parkinson has held fellowships at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Rockefeller Library at Colonial Williamsburg, the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, the David Library of the American Revolution, the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, and the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. His teaching interests include the American Revolution, colonial America, the history of American slavery, Native American history, and nation-making and race in the early modern world.
FREE to the public. Seating is limited; make reservations online at www.sotterley.org or call 301-373-2280.
The Boeing Company has generously sponsored the Speaker Series at Sotterley for the past 12 years.