This chapter focuses on the origin of ideals associated with American identity and the development of national ideals of patriotism. Focusing specifically on the broadsides published by Boston printer Nathaniel Coverly during the War of 1812, it argues that the popular version of American identity that emerged in this period was a radical reversal of order and the elevation of the common folk. This sentiment was perhaps most clearly embodied in the song “Yankee Doodle.” The song, which described colonists as backward and vulgar, was meant as an insult during the Revolutionary War, but was embraced by Americans during the War of 1812 as a statement of radical, democratic egalitarism.
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