Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

"Our Rights Are Getting More & More Infringed Upon": American Nationalism, Identity, and Sailors' Justice in British Prisons during the War of 1812

"Our Rights Are Getting More & More Infringed Upon": American Nationalism, Identity, and Sailors'... American maritime prisoners during the War of 1812 took seriously their government's assertion of "free trade and sailors' rights," but when the United States government failed to make this rhetoric a reality, imprisoned sailors clashed with both British and American officials. The U.S. government lacked effective mechanisms to challenge impressment, influence prisoner exchange, or meet the daily needs of its imprisoned citizens, who often interpreted this inefficacy as indifference to their situation. However, the relative absence of government support gave American prisoners space to create a form of nationalism that stressed self-reliance, cooperative action, aggressive masculinity, and occasional violence and deceit. This nationalism was performative, situational, and conditional, used to extract concessions from their captors and representatives of their government. Prisoners based their expectations of support on their understanding of republican government, their seafaring experiences, their perceptions of their own characters in comparison to foreigners, and their observations on foreign prisoners' interactions with their own national governments. American prisoners employed a wide-ranging language of "rights," but conceptualized their obligations to the United States government in much more modest terms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

"Our Rights Are Getting More & More Infringed Upon": American Nationalism, Identity, and Sailors' Justice in British Prisons during the War of 1812

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-pennsylvania-press/our-rights-are-getting-more-more-infringed-upon-american-nationalism-mA8wCdfh8Z
Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American maritime prisoners during the War of 1812 took seriously their government's assertion of "free trade and sailors' rights," but when the United States government failed to make this rhetoric a reality, imprisoned sailors clashed with both British and American officials. The U.S. government lacked effective mechanisms to challenge impressment, influence prisoner exchange, or meet the daily needs of its imprisoned citizens, who often interpreted this inefficacy as indifference to their situation. However, the relative absence of government support gave American prisoners space to create a form of nationalism that stressed self-reliance, cooperative action, aggressive masculinity, and occasional violence and deceit. This nationalism was performative, situational, and conditional, used to extract concessions from their captors and representatives of their government. Prisoners based their expectations of support on their understanding of republican government, their seafaring experiences, their perceptions of their own characters in comparison to foreigners, and their observations on foreign prisoners' interactions with their own national governments. American prisoners employed a wide-ranging language of "rights," but conceptualized their obligations to the United States government in much more modest terms.

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Sep 1, 2017

There are no references for this article.