- Eric Avila
In the aftermath of the American Revolution, the framers of the Constitution confronted the task of forging a new national identity. “Mass culture and mass politics, 1800–1860” describes a surging phase of modernization in the United States between the Revolution and the Civil War, fueled by new technologies of communication and transportation. It outlines the burgeoning working class and a new middle class born of a market revolution and abstract economic forces. The impact of the developing theater arts, the influence of African Americans on the regionally distinct Southern culture, and the discovery of western lands and peoples that inspired new forms of cultural expression during the antebellum period are also described.