Building a Democratic Political Order: Reshaping American Liberalism in the 1930s and 1940s

Building a Democratic Political Order: Reshaping American Liberalism in the 1930s and 1940s

by David Plotke
     
 

The Democratic political order in the United States defined the main themes, policies, and organized forms of national politics from the 1930s through the 1960s. David Plotke explores the dramatic changes in American politics that occurred during the 1930s and 1940s. In these decades an expanded federal government and a new labor movement emerged as Republican power… See more details below

Overview

The Democratic political order in the United States defined the main themes, policies, and organized forms of national politics from the 1930s through the 1960s. David Plotke explores the dramatic changes in American politics that occurred during the 1930s and 1940s. In these decades an expanded federal government and a new labor movement emerged as Republican power waned. World War II and the Cold War reshaped the Democratic order without ending it. And national political debate about civil rights was opened. The central dynamic of this era was the creation and maintenance of a distinctive new political order, built by progressive liberals in alliance with mass movements, notably labor. At its core was a powerful triangle formed by a national state, a leading party, and major interest groups and movements. Democratic and modernizing themes fused together in a progressive liberalism that advocated government action to achieve economic stability, protect social security, and expand political representation. In building the Democratic order the expansion of the national state played a crucial role - and the eventual decline of Democratic power was due in large part to its reliance on that state. Far from being nonideological, the Democratic order defined itself in sharp conflicts with forces on its right and left. Democratic progressive liberalism recast American political institutions and discourses in ways that went well beyond what was foreseen in the early 1930s, and in forms strong enough to endure long after Roosevelt's death.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521034593
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
404
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: The Democratic order as a political project1
1When does politics change?11
2Creating political orders: the logic of the Democratic experience47
3Democratic opportunities in the crises of the 1930s77
4Passing the Wagner Act and building a new Democratic state92
5Party and movements in the Democratic upsurge, 1935-7128
6Progressive liberalism as pragmatic common sense162
7Surprising years: electing Truman and sustaining the Democratic order, 1947-9190
8Passing Taft-Hartley: what the losers won (and what the winners lost)226
9New political fronts? growth and civil rights in the 1940s262
10Democratic anti-Communism and the Cold War298
11From Truman to Kennedy: the reach and limits of Democratic power336
12Was the Democratic order democratic?359
Index381

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