Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Bodies Politic
Cover image of Bodies Politic
Share this Title:

Bodies Politic

Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830

John Wood Sweet

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

Finalist for the 2004 Frederick Douglass Prize

A century after the Pilgrims' landing, the ongoing interactions of conquered Indians, English settlers, and enslaved Africans in southern New England had produced a closely interwoven, though radically divided, colonial society. In Bodies Politic, John Wood Sweet argues that the coming together of these diverse peoples profoundly shaped the character of colonial New England, the meanings of the Revolution in the North and the making of American democracy.

Grounded in a remarkable array of original sources—from censuses and newspapers todiaries…

Finalist for the 2004 Frederick Douglass Prize

A century after the Pilgrims' landing, the ongoing interactions of conquered Indians, English settlers, and enslaved Africans in southern New England had produced a closely interwoven, though radically divided, colonial society. In Bodies Politic, John Wood Sweet argues that the coming together of these diverse peoples profoundly shaped the character of colonial New England, the meanings of the Revolution in the North and the making of American democracy.

Grounded in a remarkable array of original sources—from censuses and newspapers todiaries, archival images, correspondence, and court records—this innovative and intellectually sweeping work excavates the dramatic confrontations and subtle negotiations by which Indians, Africans, and Anglo-Americans defined their respective places in early New England. Citizenship, as Sweet reveals, was defined in meeting houses as well as in court houses, in bedrooms as well as on battlefields, in medical experiments and cheap jokes as well as on the streets.

The cultural conflicts and racial divisions of colonial society not only survived the Revolution but actually became more rigid and absolute in the early years of the Republic. Why did conversion to Christianity fail to establish cultural common ground? Why did the abolition of slavery fail to produce a more egalitarian society? How did people of color define their places within—or outside of—the new American nation? Bodies Politic reveals how the racial legacy of early New England shaped the emergence of the nineteenth-century North—and continues, even to this day, to shape all our lives.

Jump to
Quick Add
Bodies Politic

John Wood Sweet

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Preorder
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

$50.00
Quick Add
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

$60.00
Quick Add
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of A Centaur in London
A Centaur in London

Fabian Kraemer

$60.00
Quick Add
A Centaur in London

Fabian Kraemer

Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of The Interlopers
The Interlopers

Vera Keller

$60.00
Quick Add
The Interlopers

Vera Keller

Publication Date: April 18, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Winning with Diabetes
Winning with Diabetes

Mark D. Corriere, MD, Rita R. Kalyani, MD, MHS, and Patrick J. Smith
illustrated by Jennifer E. Fairman

$21.95
Quick Add
Winning with Diabetes

Mark D. Corriere, MD, Rita R. Kalyani, MD, MHS, and Patrick J. Smith
illustrated by Jennifer E. Fairman

Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

This superb study explores the origins of that ironic definition of democracy as 'universal freedom and racial inequality'... Sophisticated and engaging... Highly recommended.

A fascinating picture of the interactions between English settlers, African slaves, and Native Americans in New England during the colonial era and early Republic.

It is difficult to imagine that anyone interested in the ways race was produced and articulated in early America and woven into every fiber of the national fabric would not depend upon and be grateful for Sweet's work.

An ambitious and persuasive account of the ways that the political inclusion of some groups and not others connected the colonial era through the Revolution to the early American republic.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
504
ISBN
9780801873782
Illustration Description
23 halftones
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: After Origins
Part I: Coming Together
Chapter 1. Common Ground
Chapter 2. Negotiating Slavery
Chapter 3. Strange Christians
Part II: Living Together
Chapter

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: After Origins
Part I: Coming Together
Chapter 1. Common Ground
Chapter 2. Negotiating Slavery
Chapter 3. Strange Christians
Part II: Living Together
Chapter 4. Strange Flesh
Chapter 5. Men of Arms
Chapter 6. Negotiating Freedom
Part III: Moving Apart
Chapter 7. Conceiving Race
Chapter 8. Manifest Destinies
Chapter 9. Hard Scrabble
Epilogue: Democracy in America
Notes
A Note on Sources
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

John Wood Sweet

John Wood Sweet is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Resources

Additional Resources