Time, Tropes, and Textuality: Reading Republicanism in Charles Sumner's "Crime Against Kansas"

  title={Time, Tropes, and Textuality: Reading Republicanism in Charles Sumner's "Crime Against Kansas"},
  author={Michael Pfau},
  journal={Rhetoric \& Public Affairs},
  pages={385 - 413}
  • Michael Pfau
  • Published 11 November 2003
  • Art
  • Rhetoric & Public Affairs
By focusing on civic republicanism as the "problem of time" and on the related critical concepts of "rhetorical timing," iconicity, and imitation, this essay theorizes a hermeneutic republicanism. In practice the essay treats Sumner's "Crime Against Kansas" as both a rhetorical confrontation with, and representation of, the republican "problem of time." The "Crime" is structured by organic tropes of political community and its organizing temporal themes systematically ebb and flow iconically to… 
A Vernacular Republican Rhetoric: William Manning's Key of Libberty
Our analysis of farmer and tavern-keeper William Manning's 1798 Key of Libberty extends the concept of American republican rhetoric to include both elite and vernacular forms. We find that the key
"Has Your Courage Rusted?": National Security and the Contested Rhetorical Norms of Republicanism in Post-Revolutionary America, 1798-1801
By considering the XYZ Affair and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the presidential campaign of 1800, and the post-election public address of 1801, this essay examines how the contested
The Culture of Honor: How Slaveholders Responded to the Abolitionist Mail Crisis of 1835
In the summer of 1835 northern abolitionists mailed over 100,000 anti-slavery newspapers to slaveholders in the South, which led slaveholders to violently prevent the abolitionist sentiment from
The Irony of the Democratic Style
T he men who have preached these doctrines,” Noah Webster groused of Jacksonian democracy in 1837, “have never defined what they mean by the people, or what they mean by democracy, nor how the people
Reconstituting representation: the supreme court and the rhetorical controversy over state and congressional redistricting
Reconstituting Representation: The Supreme Court and the Rhetorical Controversy over State and Congressional Redistricting. (December 2008) Jeremiah Peter Hickey, B.S., St. John Fisher College; M.A.,


Cicero's Philippics and Their Demosthenic Model: The Rhetoric of Crisis
Although Cicero's "Phillipics" are his most mature speeches, they have received little attention as works of oratory. On the other hand, scholars in this century have considered Cicero's attitudes
The Availability of Lincoln's Political Religion
N A RECENT ESSAY, Jean Yarbrough argues that the founding fathers "sought to combine the best of liberal democracy and republicanism," but that in the process they misunderstood how essential
Republicanism in Old and New Contexts
W rHAT did Americans in the late eighteenth century mean when they spoke about republicanism? This is the question that Lance Banning addresses in the foregoing article and the one that I shall
Neither Machiavellian Moment nor Possessive Individualism: Commercial Society and the Defenders of the English Commonwealth
"THE CONCEPT OF REPUBLICANISM was one of the success stories of the 1980s," the intellectual historian Daniel Rodgers recently observed, "a generation ago the term-while not unknown-carried no more
The political crisis of the 1850s
Holt sees the Civil War as representing a breakdown in America's democratic political process, more specifically the Second Party System of Whigs and Democrats. He demonstrates this system's success,
Political Style: The Artistry of Power
This text demonstrates how matters of style - diction, manners, sensibility, decor and charisma - influence politics. In critical studies of classic texts, the author identifies four dominant
"All Southern Society Is Assailed by the Foulest Charges": Charles Sumner's "The Crime against Kansas" and the Escalation of Republican Anti-Slavery Rhetoric
JN May 1856, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks physically assaulted Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in retaliation for Sumner's "The Crime against Kansas." Arguing for the admission
Words the most like things: Iconicity and the rhetorical text
T YEARS AGO, in his classic essay "The Study of Speeches," Wayland Maxfield Parrish argued that critics ought to isolate and carefully evaluate the "content" of a speech. This "often difficult task"
Republicanism: the Career of a Concept
The concept of republicanism was one of the success stories of the 1980s. A generation ago the term-while not unknown-carried no more freight than scores of others in the historical vocabulary. First
The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
I. The Literature of Revolution II. Sources and Traditions III. Power and Liberty: A Theory of Politics IV. The Logic of Rebellion A Note on Conspiracy V. Transformation 1. Representation and Consent