The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics: Cities of the Prairie

The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics: Cities of the Prairie

by Daniel J. Elazar
     
 

American civilization has been shaped by four decisive forces: the frontier, migration, sectionalism, and federalism. The frontier has offered abundance to those who would/could take advantage of its opportunities, stimulated technological innovation, and been the source of continuous change in social structure and economic organization; migration

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Overview

American civilization has been shaped by four decisive forces: the frontier, migration, sectionalism, and federalism. The frontier has offered abundance to those who would/could take advantage of its opportunities, stimulated technological innovation, and been the source of continuous change in social structure and economic organization; migration has been responsible for relocating cultures from the Old world to the New; various sections of geographic territories have adjusted to the overall American culture without losing their individual distinctiveness; and federalism has shaped the United States' political and social organization.

The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics was begun in the late 1950s under the auspices of the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs as a study of the eight "lesser" metropolitan areas in Illinois. What started out as a design for "community maps" of each area, with the intent to outline their particular political systems, led to a major study of metropolitan cities of the prairie—the "heartland" area between the Great Lakes and the Continental Divide—with an examination of the processes that have shaped American politics.

The distinctive features of geographic areas that Elazar discovered can be understood as reflections of the differences in cultural backgrounds of their respective settlers. Understanding these communities requires an examination of their place in the federal system, the impact of frontier and section upon them, and a study of the cultures that inform them as civil communities. The volume is consequently divided into three parts: "Cities, Frontiers, and Sections," "Streams of Migration and Political Culture," and "Cities, States, and Nation," each of which explores Elazar's concerns in discovering the interrelationship between the cities of the frontier and American politics.

A prequel to The Closing of the Metropolitan Frontier (published by Transaction in 2002), The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics will be of great interest to students of politics, American history, and ethnography.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765809551
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
02/24/2003
Pages:
514
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel J. Elazar (1934-1999) was president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Federalism at Temple University. His many books include the four-volume The Covenant Tradition in Politics (Transaction).

Daniel J. Elazar (1934-1999) was president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Federalism at Temple University. His many books include the four-volume The Covenant Tradition in Politics (Transaction).

Table of Contents

Transaction Introduction
Preface
Introduction / Themes and Issues3
Ch. 1The Metropolitan Frontier23
Ch. 2The Cities of the Prairie and the Three Frontiers66
Ch. 3The Cities of the Prairie and the Greater West101
Ch. 4The Cities of the Prairie and the American Migrations153
Ch. 5Political Cleavages and Political Control206
Ch. 6Political Culture and Politics in State and Community256
Ch. 7Competing Political Cultures in Illinois282
Ch. 8Variations in State Political Cultures and Their Political Meaning317
Ch. 9The Cities of the Prairie and the American Partnership367
Postscript: The Civil Community at Midfrontier420
App. AThe Method of the Exploration443
App. BThe Research Outline and Guide454
App. CThe Concept of Cultural Streams470
App. D: A List of Source Materials479
Index503

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