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Conclusion

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Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)

Abstract

Even their most fervent admirers would have to admit that the founders of the American state did not succeed in their quest to create a strong, unified, national culture between 1775 and 1800. Their efforts to invent an American language came to naught; their epic poetry was unread and largely unreadable. Despite Washington’s bequest and Jefferson’s efforts, no national university was ever established. Nor were the intellectuals’ many plans for a national system of public education realized in this period. The histories that hoped to narrate nationhood and unify a divided society were read as politically or regionally partisan. Waging a losing battle against popular culture and encountering the Other undermined some intellectuals’ confidence and clarity of vision.

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Copyright information

© Bedford/St. Martin’s 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Diego State UniversityUSA

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