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Blackface NationRace, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925$
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Brian Roberts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451503

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451787.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Vulgar Republic

The Vulgar Republic

(p.47) 2 The Vulgar Republic
Blackface Nation

Brian Roberts

University of Chicago Press

This chapter further explores the origin of ideals associated with American identity and the development of national ideals of patriotism through broadside ballads in the early nineteenth century. It argues that these broadsides and popular music suggest the emergence of competing variants of patriotism: first, the simple patriotism of following great men; second, the patriotism of republican duty; and third, a patriotism that offered a communal celebration of common behaviors. According to this idea, the primary characteristic of Americans was their complete lack of sophistication, good manners or refinement: their vulgarity. This variant of patriotism would be marked by a liking for violence, loud noise and bodily expression.

Keywords:   patriotism, republicanism, broadside ballads, popular culture, cmmunalism, Psalms, American Revolution, War of 1812, Nathaniel Coverly Jr., female trickster

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