Title

The Reynolds Affair and the Politics of Character

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Abstract

For historians, the Reynolds Affair has served as one of many examples of party strife during the 1790s -- noteworthy more for its colorfulness than its insight. The Reynolds Affair, however, reveals more than historians have allowed-shedding light on a central theme of the revolutionary and postrevolutionary eras: the reevaluation of political relationships. The postrevolutionary process of reordering the worlds of politics and society gradually led to the emergence of new understandings of men and women's roles in both. The Reynolds Affair illustrates the reconfiguring of these connections and, in so doing, demonstrates with renewed clarity the gradual reconceptualization of politics in the early republic.

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