In a series of fascinating essays that explore topics in American politics from the nation's founding to the present day , The Democratic Experiment opens up exciting new avenues for historical research while offering bold claims about the tensions that have animated American public life. Revealing the fierce struggles that have taken place over the role of the federal government and the character of representative democracy, the authors trace the contested and dynamic evolution of the national polity. The contributors, who represent the leading new voices in the revitalized field of American political history, offer original interpretations of the nation's political past by blending methodological insights from the new institutionalism in the social sciences and studies of political culture. They tackle topics as wide-ranging as the role of personal character of political elites in the Early Republic, to the importance of courts in building a modern regulatory state, to the centrality of local political institutions in the late twentieth century. Placing these essays side by side encourages the asking of new questions about the forces that have shaped American politics over time.
An unparalleled example of the new political history in action, this book will be vastly influential in the field. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Brian Balogh, Sven Beckert, Rebecca Edwards, Joanne B. Freeman, Richard R. John, Ira Katznelson, James T. Kloppenberg, Matthew D. Lassiter, Thomas J. Sugrue, Michael Vorenberg, and Michael Willrich.
Meg Jacobs is Assistant Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. William Novak is Associate Professor of History at the University of Chicago and Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He is the author of "The People's Welfare". Julian E. Zelizer is Associate Professor of Public Policy, Public Administration, and Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of "Taxing America".
CONTRIBUTORS ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii CHAPTER ONE The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History by Meg Jacobs and Julian E. Zelizer 1 CHAPTER TWO Explaining the Unexplainable: The Cultural Context of the Sedition Act by Joanne B. Freeman 20 CHAPTER THREE Affairs of Office: The Executive Departments, the Election of 1828, and the Making of the Democratic Party by Richard R. John 50 CHAPTER FOUR The Legal Transformation of Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century America by William J. Novak 85 CHAPTER FIVE Bringing the Constitution Back In: Amendment, Innovation, and Popular Democracy during the Civil War Era by Michael Vorenberg 120 CHAPTER SIX Democracy in the Age of Capital: Contesting Suffrage Rights in Gilded Age New York by Sven Beckert 146 CHAPTER SEVEN Domesticity versus Manhood Rights: Republicans, Democrats, and "Family Values "Politics,1856-1896 by Rebecca Edwards 175 CHAPTER EIGHT The Case for Courts: Law and Political Development in the Progressive Era by Michael Willrich 198 CHAPTER NINE "Mirrors of Desires":Interest Groups, Elections, and the Targeted Style in Twentieth-Century America by Brian Balogh 222 CHAPTER TEN Pocketbook Politics: Democracy and the Market in Twentieth-Century America by Meg Jacobs 250 CHAPTER ELEVEN The Uneasy Relationship: Democracy, Taxation, and State Building since the New Deal by Julian E. Zelizer 276 CHAPTER TWELVE All Politics Is Local: The Persistence of Localism in Twentieth-Century America by Thomas J. Sugrue 301 CHAPTER THIRTEEN Suburban Strategies: The Volatile Center in Postwar American Politics by Matthew D. Lassiter 327 CHAPTER FOURTEEN From Hartz to Tocqueville: Shifting the Focus from Liberalism to Democracy in America by James T Kloppenberg 350 CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Possibilities of Analytical Political History Ira Katznelson 381 INDEX 401