Who Makes History?
The introduction places the book in the context of recent social, cultural, and intellectual history on the nature of emancipation and historical agency in the early republic. The American Revolution inaugurated a debate about who could claim autonomy to make political decisions and have a stake in the distribution of power. Given these origins of the republic, the early national contestation over the meaning of the Revolution was a struggle not only to shake off slavery but also to reframe how different people were situated vis‐à‐vis such a monumental historical transformation.
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