Beauty and Convenience

Architecture and Order in the New Republic

  • Author(s): Small, Nora Pat
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2003-09-29
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $29.95 | Buy Now

The rebuilding of New England during what architectural historians have labeled the Federal period serves as the basis for most Americans’ visual or mental image of rural New England. This reconstruction became very controversial as a result of the differing definitions of republican virtue, taste, beauty, and economy held by the architects, rural reformers, and those engaged in rebuilding their homes and communities during this time. What could have promoted the attacks, primarily in the agricultural press, on the new two-story-with-ell rural homes? The answer lies in the attitudes and perceptions of cultural aesthetics and the notion of republican virtue.

Nora Pat Small sharpens our understanding of the important changes that occurred in the New England landscape during the Federal period, effectively connecting her study of post-Revolutionary reform ideology and political discourse to architectural evidence; the buildings and landscapes express cultural values, aesthetic choice, and personal identity.

The Author: Nora Pat Small is an associate professor of history at Eastern Illinois University. She has published articles in William & Mary Quarterly and has contributed chapters to volumes III and VII of Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture.