American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society, by Kathleen D. McCarthy

By Kathleen D. McCarthy

Since the sunrise of the republic, religion in social equality, non secular freedom, and the precise to interact in civic activism have constituted our nationwide creed. during this bracing historical past, Kathleen D. McCarthy strains the evolution of those beliefs, exploring the impression of philanthropy and volunteerism on the USA from 1700 to 1865. What effects is a crucial reevaluation of public lifestyles throughout the pivotal a long time prime as much as the Civil War.

The industry revolution, participatory democracy, and voluntary institutions have all been heavily associated because the start of the us. American Creed explores the relationships between those 3 associations, displaying how charities and reform institutions cast partnerships with govt, supplied very important protection valves for well known discontent, and sparked much-needed financial improvement. McCarthy additionally demonstrates how the assumption of philanthropy grew to become crucially wedded to social activism through the Jacksonian period. She explores how acts of volunteerism and charity turned concerned with the abolitionist circulate, academic patronage, the fight opposed to racism, and feminine social justice campaigns. What resulted, she contends, have been heated political battles over the level to which girls and African americans may occupy the general public stage.

Tracing, then, the evolution of civil society and the pivotal function of philanthropy within the look for and workout of political and financial strength, this publication will turn out necessary to someone drawn to American heritage and government.

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Additional info for American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society, 1700-1865

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Branding them “incendiaries” and enemies of public order, he sought to have them muzzled and curbed. Others defended the groups. ”26 Washington’s censure provoked a congressional debate about the scope and limits of American citizenship, particularly as it applied to the political pronouncements of propertyless laborers. Several Federalist congressmen agreed with Washington’s reading, castigating the societies’ activities. ” Others demurred, arguing that “Every government under Heaven hath a tendency to degenerate into tyranny.

Public charity in Penn’s colony was initially limited, with religious organizations taking up the slack by augmenting municipal aid with support for their own members. The colony’s poor law was strengthened in , enabling towns like Philadelphia to receive gifts and bequests from individuals for poor relief. By midcentury, growing numbers of Philadelphians were living on the edge of subsistence, plagued by seasonal unemployment and inadequate wages, which inspired a group of Quaker merchants to form the Committee to Alleviate the Miseries of the Poor in .

The association embraced a variety of aims. At one level, it was an informal university, where members discussed weekly reading assignments on history, ethics, literature, and science. At a time when a classical education was an indispensable credential of elite status, these activities pro-    vided members with a means of hurdling social distinctions—an advantage rarely available to young men of their station. Junto members coupled self-education with public service and selfhelp. Weekly meetings began with a series of questions concerning everything from business trends to public needs.

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