Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century by Glenn C. Altschuler, Stuart M. Blumin | | 9780691089867 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century

Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century

by Glenn C. Altschuler, Stuart M. Blumin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691089868

ISBN-13: 9780691089867

Pub. Date: 07/23/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

What did politics and public affairs mean to those generations of Americans who first experienced democratic self-rule? Taking their cue from vibrant political campaigns and very high voter turnouts, historians have depicted the nineteenth century as an era of intense and widespread political enthusiasm. But rarely have these historians examined popular political

Overview

What did politics and public affairs mean to those generations of Americans who first experienced democratic self-rule? Taking their cue from vibrant political campaigns and very high voter turnouts, historians have depicted the nineteenth century as an era of intense and widespread political enthusiasm. But rarely have these historians examined popular political engagement directly, or within the broader contexts of day-to-day life. In this bold and in-depth look at Americans and their politics, Glenn Altschuler and Stuart Blumin argue for a more complex understanding of the "space" occupied by politics in nineteenth-century American society and culture. Mining such sources as diaries, letters, autobiographies, novels, cartoons, contested-election voter testimony to state legislative committees, and the partisan newspapers of representative American communities ranging from Massachusetts and Georgia to Texas and California, the authors explore a wide range of political actions and attitudes. They consider the enthusiastic commitment celebrated by historians together with various forms of skepticism, conflicted engagement, detachment, and hostility that rarely have been recognized as part of the American political landscape. Rude Republic sets the political parties and their noisy and attractive campaign spectacles, as well as the massive turnout of voters on election day, within the communal social structure and calendar, the local human landscape of farms, roads, and county towns, and the organizational capacities of emerging nineteenth-century institutions. Political action and engagement are set, too, within the tide of events: the construction of the mass-based party system, the gathering crisis over slavery and disunion, and the gradual expansion of government (and of cities) in the post-Civil War era. By placing the question of popular engagement within these broader social, cultural, and historical contexts, the authors bring new understanding to the complex trajectory of American democracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691089867
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/23/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction. The View from Clifford's Window 3
Chapter 1. Political Innovation and Popular Response in Jack Downing's America 14
Chapter 2. The Maturing Party System: The Rude Republic and Its Discontents 47
Chapter 3. Political Men: Patterns and Meanings of Political Activism in Antebellum America 87
Chapter 4. A World beyond Politics 119
Chapter 5. Civil Crisis and the Developing State 152
Chapter 6. People and Politics: The Urbanization of Political Consciousness 184
Chapter 7. Leviathan: Parties and Political Life in Post-Civil War America 217
Chapter 8. An Excess and a Dearth of Democracy: Patronage, Voting, and Political Engagement in the Gilded Age and Beyond 252
Notes 275
Index 305

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