Intended for both general readers and students, Peter Riesenberg's instructive book surveys Western ideas of citizenship from Greek antiquity to the French Revolution. It demonstrates the persistence of important civic ideals and institutions over a period of 2,500 years and shows how those ideals and institutions traveled over space and time, from the ancient Mediterranean to early modern France, England, and America. Riesenberg treats citizenship in several ways: as a moral code providing the basis for individual identity and community; as a principle of discrimination between those who do and those who do not enjoy certain political privileges, rights, and responsibilities; and as a demand for active participation in civic life. He shows that our tradition of citizenship developed in the realities of the small-scale society in which most people lived prior to the Industrial Revolution. Citizenship as exemplified in ancient and medieval traditions survived the Age of Absolutism and came to serve the new large-scale monarchical politics, which Riesenberg relates to the republican regimes founded in the wake of revolutions in France and America. Citizenship in the Western Tradition is based upon a variety of sources, including medieval manuscripts and legal records. Beyond such authors as Aristotle, Dante, More, Hobbes, and Rousseau, it relies upon an examination of the legal and constitutional literature of early modern Europe. Bodin and Grotius are cited, as well as the statutes of many Italian city-states. Notably, it examines the litigation surrounding citizenship as revealed in the consilia, an enormous body of medieval case law.
Esteemed Canadian author Peter C. Newman recounts the dramatic journey of the United Empire Loyalists-their exodus from America, their resettlement in the wilds of British North America, and their defense of what would prove to be the social and moral foundation of Canada. In 1776, tensions in the British colonies were reaching a fever pitch. The citizenry was divided between those who wished to establish a new republic and those who remained steadfast in their dedication to the British Empire. As the tensions inevitably boiled over into violence, fault lines were exposed as every person was forced to choose a side. Neighbours turned against each other. Families divided. Borders were redrawn. The conflict was long and bloody, and no side emerged unscathed. But there is one story that is often overlooked in the American Revolutionary canon. When the smoke from the battles had settled, tens of thousands of individuals who had remained loyal to the crown in the conflict found themselves without a home to return to. Destitute, distraught, and ostracized-or downright terrorized-by their former citizens, these Loyalists turned to the only place they had left to go: north. The open land of British North America presented the Loyalists with an opportunity to establish a new community distinct from the new American republic. But the journey to their new homes was far from easy. Beset by dangers at every turn-from starvation to natural disaster to armed conflict-the Loyalists migrated towards the promise of a new future. Their sacrifices set the groundwork for a country that would be completely unlike any other. Neither fully American nor truly British, the Loyalists established a worldview entirely of their own making, one that valued steady, peaceful, and pragmatic change over radical revolution. The Loyalists toiled tirelessly to make their dream a reality. And as the War of 1812 dawned, they proved they were willing to defend it with their very lives. In Hostages to Fortune, Peter C. Newman recounts the expulsion and migration of these brave Loyalists. In his inimitable style, Newman shines a light on the people, places, and events that set the stage for modern Canada.
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