National Expansion and Reform, 1815–1860

An introduction by Joyce Appleby

A good way to understand the men and women who created America’s reform tradition and carried it across the Mississippi in the years before the Civil War is to look at the political heritage their parents and grandparents left to them. The very idea of generations resonated with new meaning after independence. The conveyance of social responsibility from one generation to another is always a fascinating interplay of the inherited and the novel, but the American Revolution was a social and political rupture that clouded the future for young Americans. Together they faced a new way of life in a new nation.More »