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Invention of Party Politics: Federalism, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Development in Jacksonian Illinois (Studies in Legal History)

Invention of Party Politics: Federalism, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Development in Jacksonian Illinois (Studies in Legal History) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This ambitious work uncovers the constitutional foundations of that most essential institution of modern democracy, the political party. Taking on Richard Hofstadter's classic The Idea of a Party System, it rejects the standard view that Martin Van Buren and other Jacksonian politicians had the idea of a modern party system in mind when they built the original Democratic party.

Grounded in an original retelling of Illinois politics of the 1820s and 1830s, the book also includes chapters that connect the state-level narrative to national history, from the birth of the Constitution to the Dred Scott case. In this reinterpretation, Jacksonian party-builders no longer anticipate twentieth-century political assumptions but draw on eighteenth-century constitutional theory to justify a party division between "the democracy" and "the aristocracy." Illinois is no longer a frontier latecomer to democratic party organization but a laboratory in which politicians use Van Buren's version of the Constitution, states' rights, and popular sovereignty to reeducate a people who had traditionally opposed party organization. The modern two-party system is no longer firmly in place by 1840. Instead, the system remains captive to the constitutional commitments on which the Democrats and Whigs founded themselves, even as the specter of sectional crisis haunts the parties' constitutional visions.

About the Author

Gerald Leonard is associate professor at the Boston University School of Law.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807827444
Author:
Leonard, Gerald
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Location:
Chapel Hill
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Political Parties
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Legal History
Subject:
Political parties -- Illinois -- History.
Subject:
Illinois Politics and government.
Subject:
Americana-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Studies in Legal History (Hardcover)
Series Volume:
103-30
Publication Date:
20021231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.38 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Invention of Party Politics: Federalism, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Development in Jacksonian Illinois (Studies in Legal History)
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Product details 352 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807827444 Reviews:
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