By Mark E. Kann
What function did manhood play in early American Politics? In A Republic of Men, Mark E. Kann argues that the yank founders aspired to create a "republic of guys" yet feared that "disorderly males" threatened its beginning, well-being, and toughness. Kann demonstrates how hegemonic norms of manhood–exemplified via "the family members Man," for instance--were deployed as a method of stigmatizing unworthy males, worthwhile liable males with citizenship, and empowering unprecedented males with positions of management and authority, whereas with the exception of ladies from public life.
Kann means that the founders devoted themselves in idea to the democratic proposition that each one males have been created unfastened and equivalent and will no longer be ruled with out their very own consent, yet that they certainly not believed that "all males" might be relied on with equivalent liberty, equivalent citizenship, or equivalent authority. The founders built a "grammar of manhood" to handle a few tough questions on public order. have been America's disorderly males certified for citizenship? have been they more likely to realize manly leaders, consent to their authority, and defer to their knowledge? A Republic of Men compellingly analyzes the ways that the founders used a rhetoric of manhood to stabilize American politics.
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Extra info for A Republic of Men: The American Founders, Gendered Language, and Patriarchal Politics
They would return to the grave with a holy indignation against us. . ” In , John Allen asked colonists to recall “the right of liberty which their forefathers bought with their blood” as motivation for their own struggles. ”11 Most founders presumed that worthy men would not be willing to suffer the personal shame and social disgrace associated with squandering their fathers’ legacy or forfeiting their sons’ liberty. The Revolution ampliﬁed the voice of heroic fathers commanding their sons to preserve and pass on liberty.
Accordingly, they focused much of their intellectual and political energy on encouraging men to defend liberty and show great restraint when exercising it. The founders would have had to compromise their focus on male mobilization and quiescence to debate women’s rights or deal with prejudices regarding public women. ”58 The founders focused on restoring order among men; they relied on still powerful family patriarchs to subdue disorderly women. Historical possibilities for democratizing family life did not translate into enhanced prospects for political equality.
13 American males who obeyed Griswold’s injunction to “be men” could expect a triple reward. First, they robbed mortality of its ﬁnality. ” Men who met their intergenerational obligations could live on through their sons and in the memory of their sons. Second, men who defended liberty for their families could expect to be praised by Spartan women who urged them to ﬁght and then honored their heroism. Judith Sargent Murray told the story of “Artemisia, wife of Mausolus,” who “rendered herself illustrious” by building the Mausoleum to honor and immortalize her brave husband.
A Republic of Men: The American Founders, Gendered Language, and Patriarchal Politics by Mark E. Kann