The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy / Edition 1

The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy / Edition 1

by Bruce Ackerman
2.5 2
ISBN-10:
0674018664
ISBN-13:
9780674018662
Pub. Date:
10/15/2005
Publisher:
Harvard University Press

Hardcover

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The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ackerman shows how the early government made the transition from the 'theoretical' Constitution of 1787 to a check-and-balance government with three branches of power. The two-party system we take for granted today did not exist before the Election of 1800. The resulting lame-duck problems provided many opportunities for the post-election period to degenerate into our first Banana Republic. Adams appointed new judges, the leader in the House eventually overplayed his hand, the Senate held two impeachment trials, and Sec of State Marshal remained as Chief Justice for 34 years. Even for those accquainted with the early history of the U.S., there are several historical insights to be appreciated. The irony that Jefferson was the first Republican, whose evolution into the modern day Democratic Party reflects how the focus on holding power causes political parties to loose sight of their principles. Supreme Court justices would continue to 'ride the circuit' until 1891 and only gain control of their docket in 1925. Structural problems would be fixed by the 12th and 20th amendments. Ackerman's 'presidential race against time' - to convert a popular mandate into legislative and constitutional success - would became a firmly established feature of the American political system.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Ackerman knows the facts and the facts are interesting, his analysis is colored and deeply flawed by his love of Jefferson. He talks of a pending civil war, when 95% of Americans at this time did not know what was going on. He constantly tells us of public mandate for Jefferson, when only 6 out of 16 states picked their electors by the public, and most of these states were from the south. Oh and by the way,the 3/5 rule gave the south and Jefferson an enormous advantage.