Our history is divided in half by the War of Independence—or, as we more typically call it, the Revolution. Only the second half seems real and tangible now. There is a second reason for the “lost-ness” of early America. Between now and then lies a crucial fault-line that includes far more than political change. Industrial growth and development—another kind of revolution—transformed much of the American people's experience, beginning around the start of the 19th century. The Lost World of Early America will attempt a form of time travel back to the era before these twin revolutions. Participants will feel the element of remoteness, the sense of all that has been lost; yet they will also come to feel the threads of human connection between our own lives and those of our distant forebears.
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