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Stoking the Revolution with Racist Fears

Location: John S. Toll Science Center

October 07, 2013
In an Oct. 7 talk, historian Robert Parkinson argues that patriot propaganda relied in part on playing to Colonial fears and racial prejudices. 

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience will host a talk by Shepherd University history professor Robert Parkinson about his new book project on Monday, Oct. 7. His manuscript, “The Common Cause: Race, Nation, and the Consequences of Unity in the American Revolution,” examines Colonial racial and ethnic prejudices in revolutionary propaganda. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center.

In “The Common Cause,” to be published by the University of North Carolina Press, Parkinson reflects on how patriot propagandists generated and managed Colonial outrage toward the British in part by appealing to racial and ethnic prejudices. They stressed that the King’s proxies included Indians, resistant slaves, loyalists, and German mercenaries. “This dark side of the patriot appeal, steeped as it was in fear, violence, and xenophobia at the founding of a new republican regime based on voluntary citizenship, had significant legacies for the future of race relations in the United States,” Parkinson says of his book’s thesis. 

Parkinson is an associate professor of history at Shepherd. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Last modified on Oct. 1st, 2013 at 10:13am by .