Synopses & Reviews
In 1800 the Jeffersonian Republicans, decisive victors over what they considered elitist Federalism, seized the potential for change in the new American nation. They infused in it their vision of a society of economically progressive, politically equal, and socially liberated individuals. This book examines the fusion of ideas and circumstances which made possible this triumph of America's first popular political movement.
When the Federalists convened in New York to form the "more perfect union" promised by the new United Sates Constitution, they expected to build a strong central government led by the revolutionary members of the old colonial elite. This expectation was dashed by the emergence of a vigorous opposition led by Thomas Jefferson but manned by a new generation of popular politicians: interlopers, émigrés, polemicistswhat the Federalists called the "mushroom candidates." They turned the 1790s into an age of passion by raising basic questions about the characters of the American experiment in government.
When the Federalists defenders of traditional European notions of order and authority came under attack, they sought to discredit the radical beliefs of the Jeffersonians. Although the ideas that fueled the Jeffersonian opposition came from several strains of liberal and libertarian thought, it was the specific prospect of an expanding commercial agricutlure that gave substance to their conviction that Americans might divorce themselves from the precepts of the past.
Thus, capitalism figured prominently in the Jeffersonian social vision. Aroused by the Federalists' efforts to bind the nation's wealthy citizens to a strengthened central government, the Jeffersonians unified ordinary men in the southern and middle states, mobilizing on the national level the power of the popular vote. Their triumph in 1800 represented a new sectional alliance as well as a potent fusion of morality and materialism.
An important and fresh contribution to our understanding of the tropes and policies governing race, immigrants, and membership in America. Lina Newton develops a valuable set of theoretical claims and strong evidence to show how official and social constructions of particular groups shape immigration reform and power distributions more generally.-Daniel J. Tichenor,author of Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America
This superb study of immigration politics marks an important step forward. Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant is an exemplary study of political discourse that shines a much-needed light on the divisive rhetoric that surrounds U.S. immigration policy today. -Joe Soss,author of Unwanted Claims: The Politics of Participation in the U.S. Welfare System
Newton neatly overlays policy theories with arguably the most contentious domestic policy issue of our times, namely, how governments equitably and humanely resolve the issues of illegal immigration. As such, she importantly adds to a growing literature that sets out the political, cultural, and economic complexities of these debates. -Peter deLeon,author of Democracy and the Policy Sciences
"Presents complex ideas in an admirably accessible fashion."
“These arguments make significant contributions to the growing literature on the role of symbolic politics in immigration policy. Newton's book would be a stimulating and appropriate text for either upper-division or graduate courses.”
-Political Science Quarterly,
While the United States cherishes its identity as a nation of immigrants, the country's immigration policies are historically characterized by cycles of openness and xenophobia. Outbursts of anti-immigrant sentiment among political leaders and in the broader public are fueled by a debate over who is worthy of being considered for full incorporation into the nation, and who is incapable of assimilating and taking on the characteristics and responsibilities associated with being an American.
In Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant, Lina Newton carefully dissects the political debates over contemporary immigration reform. Beginning with a close look at the disputes of the 1980s and 1990s, she reveals how a shift in legislator's portrayals of illegal immigrantsfrom positive to overwhelmingly negativefacilitated the introduction and passing of controversial reforms. Newton's analysis reveals how rival descriptions of immigrant groups and the flattering or disparaging myths that surround them define, shape, and can ultimately determine fights over immigration policy. Her pathbreaking findings will shed new light on the current political battles, their likely outcomes, and where to go from here.
About the Author
Joyce Appleby is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England which was awarded the 1979 Berkshire book prize.