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The Metropolitan Frontier and American Politics: Cities of the Prairie

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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: 2/24/2003
  • 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).

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Table of Contents

Transaction Introduction
Preface
Introduction / Themes and Issues 3
Ch. 1 The Metropolitan Frontier 23
Ch. 2 The Cities of the Prairie and the Three Frontiers 66
Ch. 3 The Cities of the Prairie and the Greater West 101
Ch. 4 The Cities of the Prairie and the American Migrations 153
Ch. 5 Political Cleavages and Political Control 206
Ch. 6 Political Culture and Politics in State and Community 256
Ch. 7 Competing Political Cultures in Illinois 282
Ch. 8 Variations in State Political Cultures and Their Political Meaning 317
Ch. 9 The Cities of the Prairie and the American Partnership 367
Postscript: The Civil Community at Midfrontier 420
App. A The Method of the Exploration 443
App. B The Research Outline and Guide 454
App. C The Concept of Cultural Streams 470
App. D: A List of Source Materials 479
Index 503
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