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Past and ProloguePolitics and Memory in the American Revolution$
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Michael D. Hattem

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300234961

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300234961.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

History Culture in Pre-Revolutionary British America

History Culture in Pre-Revolutionary British America

(p.21) Chapter One History Culture in Pre-Revolutionary British America
Past and Prologue

Michael D. Hattem

Yale University Press

This chapter gives an overview of the role of the past in British North America during the pre-revolutionary decades. It begins by offering a survey of historical thinking and access to historical knowledge in British America in the middle of the eighteenth century. Next, it examines the structural role played by the past in colonial culture and political, religious, and legal thought, showing the cultural and political importance of ideas such as “first principles,” custom, and precedent. It also explores the degree to which colonists relied on the British past for their imperial identities and on historical works and interpretations imported from Britain to shape those identities.

Keywords:   colonial America, historiography, British Empire, print culture, identity

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