Amanda's Reviews > Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood
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's review
May 28, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

The second book in the Oxford History of the United States series. I read the first, The Glorious Cause, while in graduate school.

1789-1815 is a period of U.S. history that most Americans probably don't know much about - myself included - but was incredibly vital to our fabric. The middle class, our culture and values and the political processes that are so familiar today were all formed during this time. It's a beautiful story about America's foundation. It also shows that many of the complaints we have about our system were no different 200 years ago. "As the Federalist and Republican parties furiously attacked each other as enemies of the Constitution, party loyalties became more intense and began to override personal ties, as every aspect of American life became politicized. People who had known one another their whole lives now crossed streets to avoid confrontations...." Sound familiar?

It was also interesting to see how the seeds for the Civil War were sown 100 years prior to the war, from the very beginning of the Union.

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