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Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction by Mark G. Schmeller (review)

Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction by Mark G.... b o o k rev i ews Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction. By Mark G. Schmeller. (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. Pp. 249. Cloth, $49.95.) Mark Schmeller takes us deep into the shifting assumptions about what was going on in the public sphere in the early and antebellum republic. How would the collective will of the people be understood and manifested? What was the shape and nature of "public opinion"? Schmeller gives us a carefully crafted and long-overdue argument about how Americans imagined, and used, their sense of "what people think" as an actor in the public arena. At the early stages of his research, we are told, Schmeller saw the light: having planned a project that would start in 1870 and run to 1940, he realized that the great drama in this story ran from the Revolution to the Civil War. The result of this insight is six major chapters on the Age of Revolution, the Federalists and the Bank of the United States, the rise of party, the critique of reform, the culture of dueling, and the sectional crisis, wrapped in a stage-setting introduction and a coda on post­Civil http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction by Mark G. Schmeller (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 7 (1) – Jan 26, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807
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Abstract

b o o k rev i ews Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction. By Mark G. Schmeller. (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. Pp. 249. Cloth, $49.95.) Mark Schmeller takes us deep into the shifting assumptions about what was going on in the public sphere in the early and antebellum republic. How would the collective will of the people be understood and manifested? What was the shape and nature of "public opinion"? Schmeller gives us a carefully crafted and long-overdue argument about how Americans imagined, and used, their sense of "what people think" as an actor in the public arena. At the early stages of his research, we are told, Schmeller saw the light: having planned a project that would start in 1870 and run to 1940, he realized that the great drama in this story ran from the Revolution to the Civil War. The result of this insight is six major chapters on the Age of Revolution, the Federalists and the Bank of the United States, the rise of party, the critique of reform, the culture of dueling, and the sectional crisis, wrapped in a stage-setting introduction and a coda on post­Civil

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 26, 2017

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