Race Relations

Bruce Dain's A Hideous Monster of the Mind: American Race Theory in the PDF

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By Bruce Dain

ISBN-10: 0674009460

ISBN-13: 9780674009462

The highbrow background of race, the most pernicious and enduring principles in American background, has remained segregated into reviews of black or white traditions. Bruce Dain breaks this separatist trend with an built-in account of the emergence of contemporary racial realization within the usa from the Revolution to the Civil struggle. A Hideous Monster of the brain unearths that principles on race crossed racial limitations in a approach that produced not just recognized theories of organic racism but in addition countertheories that have been early expressions of cultural relativism, cultural pluralism, and latter-day Afrocentrism. From 1800 to 1830 specifically, race took on a brand new fact as americans, black and white, reacted to postrevolutionary disillusionment, the occasions of the Haitian Revolution, the increase of cotton tradition, and the entrenchment of slavery. Dain examines not just significant white figures like Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Stanhope Smith, but additionally the 1st self-consciously "black" African-American writers. those a number of thinkers remodeled late-eighteenth-century ecu environmentalist "natural heritage" into race theories that mixed tradition and biology and set the phrases for later controversies over slavery and abolition. In these debates, the ethnology of Samuel George Morton and Josiah Nott intertwined conceptually with very important writing via black authors who've been mostly forgotten, like Hosea Easton and James McCune Smith. clinical racism and the belief of races as cultural structures have been therefore interrelated points of a similar attempt to give an explanation for human variations. In retrieving ignored African-American thinkers, reestablishing the ecu highbrow heritage to American racial conception, and demonstrating the deep confusion "race" triggered for thinkers black and white, A Hideous Monster of the brain bargains an enticing and enlightening new standpoint on smooth American racial idea. (20041001)

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Additional info for A Hideous Monster of the Mind: American Race Theory in the Early Republic

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As Jordan showed, Jefferson’s use of blackness harked back to thinking previous to the advent of natural history, to the idea of evil and sin as inscribed in black skin. Blackness to him was not a word, a figure of speech, a mere description, or historical construct, but a God-given natural entity. Jefferson’s deliberate obscurity regarding “race” in a purportedly scientific discussion was integral to his construction of the American slavery problem as intractable. ¨ RACE AND SENSIBILITY Observe Jefferson’s language at the crucial point in the text: “I advance it as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstance, are inferior to whites, both in body and mind.

Charles Caldwell, a protégé of Rush, established Moss at an inn and helped put him on exhibit for a fee as a natural historical curiosity. Philadelphia’s naturalists turned out in force. Moss did well: according to various accounts, he purchased his family’s freedom, moved to Virginia, bought a farm, and turned completely white. ” During and after the American Revolution, northern states enacted gradual emancipation schemes, with slaves generally having to earn their freedom through decades of continued service.

Beyond being degraded, blacks could have no love for the country that had enslaved them. What was to be done? In a society still ruled by that great swindle of history, the idea that the authority of kings, nobles, and priests flowed from God, it might be possible to fight one tyranny, slavery, with another, divine right. If priests and kings could convince the people that God commanded emancipation, then slavery The Face of Nature ¨ 37 might end. It was all very well for French savants mired in a Catholic monarchy to glibly demand immediate emancipation of African slaves.

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A Hideous Monster of the Mind: American Race Theory in the Early Republic by Bruce Dain

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