ProblemOfPast_outline - 2 JQA’s early experience in...

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Outline 9/5/08 The Problem of the Past and The Family Plot in the Age of Revolution I. The Problem of the past A. The Conceptual problem 1. Relationship between past and present the question of will B. How do Americans look back? 1. Are Americans lost in the present? 2. pluralism: is there a shared past? 3. the problem of origins and myth II. Uses of the Past A. the question of authority B. the idea of a “usable past” C. Rosenzweig and Thelen reading, discuss How do the people in their study use the past? How do they connect with the past? What is the relationship between history and memory for them? What does their use of the past tell us about them? II. The Revolution and origins A. We The People???? B. A revolt against tradition: Tom Paine Common Sense (1776); Thomas Jefferson on revolution C. A revolt against ancestors and lineage -Natural Aristocracy -The Logic of Natural Law and Rights III. John Quincy Adams (b. 1767): A Case Study A. A Revolutionary inheritance 1. John Adams 2.
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Unformatted text preview: 2. JQA’s early experience in Revolutionary period 3. wild youth B. Search for stability 1. Adams as family man a. three sons b. Charles Francis Adams 2. Adams as political thinker: internal improvements; measured development; constitutionalism 3. Adams on the past C. Discussion: “An Oration at Plymouth” 1. What does JQA see as the function of commemoration? What does he want people to take away from their Forefathers’ Day celebration? 2. How does he link veneration of forefathers to love of posterity? Why is this link important? 3. What is the place of the nation/nationalism in Adams’s speech? What about the social compact? Is this inherited? Does it need to be reaffirmed/rewritten? 4. What are the problems or anxieties that lie behind his celebration of the Pilgrims? Problem of a common past? Problem of conflict and strife? Problem of origins? 5. How does expansion figure into the question of the past and of origins?...
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