Russian-American Dialogue on the History of U. S. Political Parties

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Russian-American Dialogue on the History of U.S. Political Parties is the fourth volume in the Russian-American Dialogues series—a series that brings together scholars in the former Soviet Union and the United States who share an interest in the study of America's heritage and its importance to contemporary Russia.

In this valuable work, Russian scholars such as N. V. Sivachev, Alexander S. Manykin, and Vladimir V. Sogrin examine the history of American political parties and the role they played across two centuries. The Russians draw their own conclusions about the durability of the two-party system, giving careful consideration to historical crises—the secessionist movement and the Civil War, the reform era of the Populists and Progressives at the turn of the twentieth century, the Great Depression and the New Deal—in which the two-party structure was tested. Russian perspectives are also applied in analyzing the evolution of particular parties, from the rise and fall of the nineteenth-century Whigs to the shifting balance between twentieth-century Democrats and Republicans. The dialogue is then developed through commentaries by American historians such as Allan G. Bogue and Theodore J. Lowi and through counter-responses, often strongly expressed, by the Russian authors.

This lively exchange of ideas helps advance an understanding of key aspects of American party history and offers thought-provoking discussions of comparative international studies and historiography. Because the book provides unique perspectives on the American partisan experience by non-American specialists, it will be welcomed by all historians, as well as by anyone with an interest in the American-Russian connection.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

About the Editor

Joel H. Silbey is President White Professor of History at Cornell University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The American Political Nation, 1838-1893 and The American Party Battle: Election Campaign Pamphlets, 1828-1876.

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Table of Contents

Joint Preface ix
Editor's Preface xi
Acknowledgments xix
1. The U.S. Two-Party System: Past and Present (Several Methodological Problems for Research) 1
2. The Origins of the American Political Parties in the United States 35
3. Democrats and Whigs: An Exercise in Quantitative Analysis 49
4. Parties and Political Debates in the Secession Crisis (1860-1861) 78
5. Conservatism versus Revolution: The Erosion of the Conservative Political Tradition in the United States of America 98
6. Silver against Gold: On the Genesis of the Reformist Policy in the United States (the First Half of the 1890s) 134
7. The Democratic Party in Opposition: Political Debates and the Origins of the Reformist Ideology (1900-1912) 147
8. Alfred E. Smith and the Conservative Political Tradition in the 1920s-1930s 176
9. Electoral Strategy of the Republican Party in the 1970s-Early 1980s 197
10. Several Conclusions from Studying the History of the U.S. Two-Party System 234
Contributors 264
Index 265
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