Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 / Edition 1

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In this defining statement about the state of the discipline, a "who's who" of prominent scholars addresses and critiques the entire sweep of American political history. Exemplifying the revitalizing power of the "new political history" and its renewed emphasis on large "P" politics, these writers have combined to produce an illuminating synthesis of the most recent work in the field.

Focusing upon both the major policy issues in the politics of each period (substance) and the major social forces shaping politics (structure), these essays chronicle and evaluate the evolution of American politics and society over two and a quarter centuries. In the process, they reflect their authors' strong collective commitment to a dynamic field of intellectual inquiry, while simultaneously highlighting key interpretive disputes within it.

An outstanding summary of current and recent thinking in the field, this book should become an essential volume for scholars and teachers in both history and the social sciences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a series of essays covering the transformation of politics and the growth of the national state over two hundred-plus years, Contesting Democracy is a sober study of a circus,and a good thing, too. People with ringside seats smell the sawdust and can tell the performing elephants from the trained jackasses, but, for a full view of the big picture, it helps to get beyond the big tent. Byron E. Shafer and Anthrony J. Badger's collection gives a necessary perspective on what, for many years, was America's greatest participatory sport."—Journal of American History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700611393
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents



1. State Development in the Early Republic: Substance and Structure, 1780-1840, Ronald P. Formisano

2. The Nationalization and Racialization of American Politics: Before, Beneath, and Between Parties, 1790-1840, David Waldstreicher

3. "To One or Another of These Parties Every Man Belongs": The American Political Experience from Andrew Jackson to the Civil War, Joel H. Silbey

4. Change and Continuity in the Party Period: The Substance and Structure of American Politics, 1835-1885, Michael F. Holt

5. The Transformation of American Politics: Political Institutions and Public Policy, 1865-1910, Peter H. Argersinger

6. Democracy, Republicanism, and Efficiency: The Values of American Politics, 1885-1930, Richard Jensen

7. The Limits of Federal Power and Social Politics, 1910-1955, Anthony J. Badger

8. The Rise of Rights and Rights Consciousness in American Politics, 1930s-1970s, James T. Patterson

9. The Two Majorities and the Puzzle of Modern American Politics: Economic Development, Issue Evolution, and Divided Government, 1955-2000, Byron E. Shafer




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