The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life / Edition 1

The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life / Edition 1

by Michael Schudson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674356403

ISBN-13: 9780674356405

Pub. Date: 09/28/1999

Publisher: Harvard University Press

In 1996, less than half of all eligible voters bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this provocative history of citizenship in America. Schudson sees American politics as evolving from a "politics of assent" in colonial times and the

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Overview

In 1996, less than half of all eligible voters bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this provocative history of citizenship in America. Schudson sees American politics as evolving from a "politics of assent" in colonial times and the eighteenth century, in which voting generally reaffirmed the social hierarchy of the community; to a "politics of affiliation" in the nineteenth century, in which party loyalty was paramount for the good citizen. Progressive reforms around the turn of the century reduced the power of parties and increased the role of education, making way for the "informed citizen," which remains the ideal in American civic life. Today a fourth model, "the rights-bearing citizen," supplements the "informed citizen" model and makes the courthouse as well as the voting booth a channel for citizenship.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674356405
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
402
Product dimensions:
4.92(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Election Day

1. Colonial Origins of American Political Practice: 1690-1787

2. The Constitutional Moment: 1787-1801

3. The Democratic Transition in American Political Life: 1801-1865

Entr'Acte I: The Public World of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

4. The Second Transformation of American Citizenship: 1865-1920

5. Cures for Democracy? Civil Religion, Leadership, Expertise—and More Democracy

Entr'Acte II: The Second Great Debate

6. Widening the Web of Citizenship in an Age of Private Citizens

Conclusion: A Gathering of Citizens

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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