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The Theatre of Empire Frontier Performances in America, 1760-1860

Douglas S. Harvey, "The Theatre of Empire: Frontier Performances in America, 1760-1860"
English | 2010 | ISBN: 1848930275 | PDF | pages: 247 | 1,2 mb

Up to and following the War of Independence, the new American Republic expanded across the Appalachian mountains. To achieve this, the new nation embarked on a programme of ethnic cleansing and displacement of the indigenous population while relying heavily on slave labour. This was legitimized by the assumption of Anglo-Saxon supremacy. Harvey argues that all types of performance including traditional theatre, circuses and redface and blackface minstrelsy were used, both consciously and unconsciously, as a means of conforming public opinion to these aims. Often these forms of entertainment drew directly from the stock plays of the first British Empire, adapting them to meet new needs. This study traces the translation of ideas of imperial and economic expansion from London, at the hub of the British Empire, to the great plains of America, and shows how forms of entertainment played a key role in shaping concepts of nationhood.

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Tags: Theatre, Empire, Frontier, Performances, America

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