Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture in the Early American Republic

Parades and the Politics of the Street Festive Culture in the Early American Republic


University of Pennsylvania Press

By Simon P. Newman

Simon P. Newman vividly evokes the celebrations of America's first national holidays in the years between the ratification of the Constitution and the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. He demonstrates how, by taking part in the festive culture of the streets, ordinary American men and women were able to play a significant role in forging the political culture of the young nation. The creation of many of the patriotic holidays we still celebrate coincided with the emergence of the first two-party system. With the political songs they sang, the liberty poles they raised, and the partisan badges they wore, Americans of many walks of life helped shape a new national politics destined to replace the regional practices of the colonial era.

Simon P. Newman is Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American Studies at the University of Glasgow and author of Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.