American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis / Edition 1

American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis / Edition 1

by James Roger Sharp
     
 

During the years from 1789 to 1801, the republican political institutions forged by the American Constitution were put to the test. A new nation - born in revolution, divided over the nature of republicanism, undermined by deep-seated sectional allegiances, and mired in foreign policy entanglements - faced the challenge of creating a stable, enduring national… See more details below

Overview

During the years from 1789 to 1801, the republican political institutions forged by the American Constitution were put to the test. A new nation - born in revolution, divided over the nature of republicanism, undermined by deep-seated sectional allegiances, and mired in foreign policy entanglements - faced the challenge of creating a stable, enduring national authority and union. In this engagingly written book, James Roger Sharp offers a penetrating new assessment disputing the conventional wisdom that the birth of the country was a relatively painless and unexceptional one. Instead, he tells the dramatic story of how the euphoria surrounding the inauguration of George Washington as the country's first president quickly soured. Soon, the Federalist defenders of the administration and their Republican critics regarded each other as bitter political enemies. The intense partisanship prevented the acceptance of the idea that an opposition could both oppose and be loyal to the government. As a result, the nation teetered on the brink of disintegration as fear, insurrection, and threats of secession abounded. Many even envisioned armed civil conflict as a possible outcome. Despite the polarization the nation did manage to survive its first trial. The election of Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and the nonviolent transfer of power from one political group to another ended the immediate crisis. But sectionally based politics continued to plague the nation and eventually led to the Civil War.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300065190
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
08/28/1995
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
378
Product dimensions:
6.07(w) x 9.13(h) x 0.84(d)

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Pt. IThe Breakdown of Elite Consensus, 1789 to 1792
1George Washington and the New Nation17
2Disappointed Expectations: The Failure of Elite Consensus31
Pt. IIThe Polarization of the Elite, 1792 to 1798
3The Election of 1792: Grappling with the Concept of Representation53
4The French Revolution and the Awakening of the Democratic Spirit69
5Threats to the Union92
6The Jay Treaty113
7The Election of 1796138
8The War Crisis and the Alien and Sedition Acts163
Pt. IIIThe Crisis of Union, 1798 to 1801
9The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions: Making a Refuge for the Oppressed187
101799: Virginia Versus the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Fears of Armed Conflict208
11The Election of 1800226
12Electoral Gridlock: the Crisis of 1801250
Epilogue276
Notes289
Bibliography337
Index349

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