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Britain and the American South

Britain and the American South: From Colonialism to Rock and Roll

Franklin T. Lambert
Holly Brewer
Kathryn E. Holland Braund
S. Max Edelson
Marcus Wood
R. J. M. Blackett
Hugh Wilford
Brian Ward
Michael O’Brien
Edited by Joseph P. Ward
Copyright Date: 2003
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  • Book Info
    Britain and the American South
    Book Description:

    InBritain and the American South: From Colonialism to Rock and Roll, historians analyze central aspects of the cultural exchanges between Britain and the American South.

    Along with the Spanish and the French, the British were among the first Europeans to have contact with the native peoples in what would come to be known as the American South. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the British were intensively engaged in colonizing much of the region and developing its economy. The American Revolution severed the governmental links between Britain and its Southern colonies, but economic, social, religious, and cultural ties persevered during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    Britain and the American South: From Colonialism to Rock and Rollilluminates Britain's evolving relationship with the South over a period of four centuries, an era that witnessed Britain's rise to imperial dominance and then the gradual erosion of its influence on the wider world. It considers the British influence upon-and often critical responses to-Southern institutions and cultural formations such as religion, gentility, slavery, and music.

    Two chapters focus on Britain's response to the Confederacy, while other essays look even further into the past, concentrating on the English legacy in colonial times, its influence on Southern religion, and Britain's relationship with the Creek Indians. Moving into the twentieth century, the book features analysis of the South's relationship to the British Left from 1930 to 1960, and an investigation of the South's role in 1950s British popular music.

    With an engaging afterword that explores the difficulties in comprehending both Britain and the American South in the present day as well as in the past, this book shows that the relationship between the two has always been-and continues to be-complex, subtle, and meaningful.

    Joseph P. Ward, an associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi, is the author ofMetropolitan Communities: Trade Guilds, Identity, and Change in Early Modern Londonand the co-editor ofProtestant Identities: Religion, Society, and Self-Fashioning in Post-Reformation EnglandandThe Country and the City Revisited: England and the Politics of Culture, 1550-1850.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-600-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword: Empire Building and Empire Wrecking
    (pp. xi-2)
    Joseph P. Ward

    “You are very Irish, you know.” That pronouncement was made by Captain Rhett Butler to the young widow formerly known as Scarlett O’Hara in the Atlanta of Margaret Mitchell’s imagination. The scene was set some time into the Civil War, when most of Mitchell’s characters were becoming increasingly aware of the costs of the conflict, but Rhett, as always, had his eyes focused squarely on opportunity. Scarlett and several other ladies were doing their bit for the Confederate cause by selling dances in an effort to raise money for medical supplies. The supplies would be brought from England through the...

  5. Virginia’s Religious Revolution: From Established Monopoly to Free Marketplace
    (pp. 3-26)
    Franklin T. Lambert

    In the mid-1700s, the Reverend Patrick Henry faithfully executed his duties as rector of St. Paul’s Church in Hanover County, Virginia. As a parish priest, the uncle of his better-known namesake enjoyed all the rights and privileges afforded clergymen under Virginia law: a salary underwritten by the parish levy, prestige ascribed to clergymen of the established Church of England, moral stature as a defender of the “one true faith,” and state protection from purveyors of heterodoxy. All of that was placed at risk, however, with the arrival of Samuel Davies, a New Light itinerant preacher from Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, a notorious...

  6. Power and Authority in the Colonial South: The English Legacy and Its Contradictions
    (pp. 27-52)
    Holly Brewer

    When historians consider the influence of English ideas about power and authority on colonial America, they have often focused on what colonists referred to at the time of the Revolution as “English liberties,” which meant some combination of representation, trial by jury, and freedom of the press, at least for free-born adult men. Of course, the influence of English ideas about authority is a complex question—and many other scholars have addressed the ways that English culture and values influenced the colonies. But to some degree our questions have been ignoring the depth of the changes and struggles that England...

  7. “Like a Stone Wall Never to Be Broke”: The British-Indian Boundary Line with the Creek Indians, 1763–1773
    (pp. 53-80)
    Kathryn E. Holland Braund

    The late Professor J. Brian Harley, one of the outstanding figures in the history of cartography, wrote that “European maps . . . can be viewed as statements of territorial appropriation, cultural reproduction, or as devices by which a Native American presence could be silenced.” He noted that “lines of demarcation drawn on the maps became symbols as well as records of the division of the [land] . . . into . . . spheres of influence.” “In America,” he concluded, “cartography is part of the process by which territory becomes.”¹ Harley’s statements would seem to be true in regard...

  8. Carolinians Abroad: Cultivating English Identities from the Colonial Lower South
    (pp. 81-106)
    S. Max Edelson

    “I am become a perfect Englishman,” wrote Peter Manigault around 1750, “a Mug of Porter stands a poor Chance when I meet it, and I like red Wine better than Madeira.”¹ For this young South Carolina law student abroad, an extended sojourn in London provided an education that reached beyond immersion in the scholastic traditions of the Inns of Court. Like his elite counterparts in Charlestown and its productive plantation countryside, Manigault invested in cultivating a viable English identity by immersing himself in English settings and consuming English things. Like others who idealized English culture, yet found themselves struggling against...

  9. The American South and English Print Satire, 1760–1865
    (pp. 107-140)
    Marcus Wood

    The American South follows the pattern of North America generally as only registering in the British popular graphic consciousness periodically, in bursts. What instigated these bursts was primarily war, or the fantasies generated around war. The great spawning grounds for English visual satire about the American colonies, and then the United States, were the American War of Independence and the American Civil War.¹ Obviously these events are separated by enormous cultural shifts, and as importantly for the perspective of this essay, by vast changes in graphic technology. During the period of the War of Independence, English graphic satire was in...

  10. British Views of the Confederacy
    (pp. 141-162)
    R. J. M. Blackett

    Booths selling a wide array of goods donated by supporters of the Confederacy in Britain lined the ornate walls of St. George’s hall, Liverpool, in October 1864. An estimated ten thousand people attended the three-day bazaar. The crush was so great that the organizers were forced to turn away two thousand on the final day. No one, least of all the organizers, had anticipated such a response. All who mattered seemed to have attended. Even Thomas Dudley of the American consulate in Liverpool was impressed: “[a]ll the elite and Fashion of the town has been there,” he wrote home, “indeed...

  11. The South and the British Left, 1930–1960
    (pp. 163-186)
    Hugh Wilford

    During a symposium on William Faulkner’s place in world literature held in 1973 at Texas Tech University, the distinguished southern literary critic Cleanth Brooks analyzed the reception of Faulkner’s work in Britain. According to Brooks, who as a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and cultural attaché at the American embassy in London was well qualified to pronounce on the subject, the British critical response to Faulkner was characterized by literary snobbery and an alarming ignorance of even the most basic facts about the American South. A review in theLondon Evening News, for example, misidentified the hero ofSartoris...

  12. “By Elvis and All the Saints”: Images of the American South in the World of 1950s British Popular Music
    (pp. 187-214)
    Brian Ward

    In September 1956, Betty Hurstfield began her teaching career in a large comprehensive school in northwest London. Years later she recalled how rock and roll from the American South had first intruded upon her working day: “I shall never forget the elderly senior mistress coming into the staff room one morning and saying sternly, ‘I must speak to a boy called Elvis Presley because he has carved his name on every desk in the school.’”¹ While Hurstfield’s senior colleague may have been oblivious to Presley’s impact, his early popularity among British youths could be measured not only by the countless...

  13. Afterword: On the Irrelevance of Knights
    (pp. 215-228)
    Michael O’Brien

    If the originating symposium for this book had been held about a hundred years ago in Oxford, Mississippi, it would have looked very different. Almost certainly, it would have been a celebration of Anglo-Saxon unity. There would have been much talk of civilization and German forests, the white man’s burden, England’s green and pleasant land, southern manners and hospitality, and the inestimable gift of the English language. Perhaps there might have been a concert, where they would have played Edward Elgar’sLand of Hope and Glory, which had recently been written. Perhaps LeRoy Percy might have come over from Greenville,...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 229-268)
  15. Contributors
    (pp. 269-270)
  16. Index
    (pp. 271-281)