Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. , 1788, Charles Willson Peale (British American, 1741 – 1827), oil on canvas, 51.25 x 40.375 in. Smith was a prominent Baltimore merchant and candidate for the first U. With so much power vested in “the people,” skeptics wondered whether Britain’s former subjects, now citizens of a new republic, were prepared to perform their new duties, namely the task of electing their own government officials. For the United States to endure, the citizenry had to put the common good above their own narrow interests. Of course, this promise extended only to native-born or naturalized white males who owned land—men such as William Smith. Pictured at his country estate alongside his grandson, Smith is cast as a worthy contender for public office: a man who has cultivated his mind and his family as well as his property. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation and the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund 75.11 After the American Revolution, the newly established United States offered exciting possibilities for individual freedom and political participation.Where would Americans learn the virtues necessary to preserve this new and seemingly fragile form of government? In 18th-century thought, the institution of marriage was a microcosm of society.The long-held model of all-powerful husband and submissive wife came to be seen—much like the monarch’s oppressive rule over his subjects—as an obstacle to personal happiness.More appropriate for a young republic, the thinking went, was the relatively novel idea of “companionate marriage.” In a loving partnership governed by affection rather than fear, men would learn to balance their own desires with those of their mate.
Women were largely excluded from the public stage, but their role in the early republic was nonetheless a vital one.Perceived as the more virtuous gender, American women were charged with inspiring their spouses, suitors, and sons to moral conduct. Talley in memory of their mother, Anne Myers Talley, and the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund 91.392a-b Tea drinking was an immensely popular activity in the early years of the American republic.At a time when the nation’s fate was closely linked to the virtue of its citizens, female influence was considered a powerful force, especially during courtship. 1790 – 95, Paul Revere II (British American, Boston, Massachusetts, 1735 – 1818), silver; wood handle, 6.25 x 11.75 x 3.625 (teapot) in./1 x 7.375 x 5.25 (stand) in. Few could afford exquisite vessels such as the neoclassical teapot, created by Paul Revere II, that you see here.(15.88 x 29.85 x 9.21 [teapot] cm./2.54 x 18.73 x 13.34 [stand] cm.). Still, many middle- and upper-class Americans shared the familiar ritual of preparing and drinking this hot, fragrant beverage. Careless tea drinkers, much like courting couples, could be easily burned.
For the men and women who came of age after the Revolution, selecting a marriage partner was the most important decision of their lives.
In generations past, parents had played a decisive role in these negotiations.