American Radicalism 1865-1901 Author:Chester McArthur Destler For nearly two centuries, folk and sophisticated thought in the United States have regarded native, democratic radicalism as the peculiar product of the frontier. Caught up by Frederick Jackson Turner, this theory of democratic origins became a major corollary of the frontier hypothesis that has been such a factor in the development of a school ... more »of national history in the United States, nationalist, radical democracy, Turner taught, was the creation of the moving frontier.
This important collection of essays and documents deals with different phases of radicalism in the U.S. between 1865 and 1901. Opposing Turner's thesis, Prof. Destler shows that the origins of basic radical concepts were urban and eastern. Some of the ideologies, such as those of revolutionary Socialists and the Black International, originated in Europe and were centered in cities. The so-called Pendleton Plan began in Chicago and was formally stated by George Hunt Pendleton in Cincinnati. Kellogg's system originated in New York in the 1840's and was disseminated by labor reformers and greenbackers. Chicago Populism, discussed in the concluding essays, was an alliance of agrarian Populists with Socialists, some anarchists, silver inflationists, trade unionists, the American Railway Union, and certain middle-class professionals.
This is a well-documented and engaging work on this period of American history.« less