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Liberty and power : the politics of Jacksonian America / Harry L. Watson ; Eric Foner, consulting editor.

By: Watson, Harry L.
Contributor(s): Foner, Eric.
Material type: TextTextSeries: American century series: Publisher: New York : Noonday Press, 1990Edition: Noonday Press ed.Description: xii, 275 p. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0374521964; 9780374521967.Subject(s): United States -- Politics and government -- 1829-1837 | Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845DDC classification: 973.5/6 LOC classification: E381 | .W32 1990b
Contents:
The great body of the people -- Republican theory and practice -- A corrupt bargain -- "Our Federal Union. It must be preserved" -- Killing the monster -- National parties and local politics -- Van Buren, Harrison, and Tyler -- The second American party system.
Summary: The raucous political debates of Jacksonian America often seemed to pit those who defended the ideals of liberty against those who asserted power. The author argues that these were serious policy disputes about the future of the Republic and the nature of its society and economy, and they led to intensified public involvement in politics and enduring political parties. His narrative shows how religious revivalism, new waves of immigration, westward expansion, the deeply divisive issue of Afro-American slavery, nascent industrialism, and other socioeconomic forces put strains on America's political framework and, in the end, transformed it.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E381 .W32 1990B (Browse shelf) Available 0000001723055

Includes bibliographical references and index.

The great body of the people -- Republican theory and practice -- A corrupt bargain -- "Our Federal Union. It must be preserved" -- Killing the monster -- National parties and local politics -- Van Buren, Harrison, and Tyler -- The second American party system.

The raucous political debates of Jacksonian America often seemed to pit those who defended the ideals of liberty against those who asserted power. The author argues that these were serious policy disputes about the future of the Republic and the nature of its society and economy, and they led to intensified public involvement in politics and enduring political parties. His narrative shows how religious revivalism, new waves of immigration, westward expansion, the deeply divisive issue of Afro-American slavery, nascent industrialism, and other socioeconomic forces put strains on America's political framework and, in the end, transformed it.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Despite its subtitle, this is much more than just another study of Jacksonian-era politics. Instead, Watson has integrated recent literature and traditional themes to produce a persuasive and well-written survey of public life from 1816 to 1848. He shows how social, cultural, and economic factors interacted with politics, and stresses as a major theme the tension between liberty and power that both characterized the period and forms part of its historical legacy. His explanations of republican theory and the fight over the Bank of the United States are particularly clear, and there are also good sections on slavery, the Indians, and the changing role of women. Recent scholarship has dated well-known previous surveys of Jacksonian America. For now, this should be the volume of choice. For most libraries.-- Jonathan D. Sarna, Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst. of Religion, Cincinnati (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Watson has written one of those rare historical studies that can serve either to introduce its subject or to stimulate specialists. The author, who has a firm grasp of the secondary literature, provides useful summaries and analyses both of the leading politicians of the period--including Jackson, Clay, and Calhoun--and of such important events as the presidential elections of 1828 and 1840, the nullification controversy, and the Bank War. Solid interpretations abound, e.g., "The debate over federal aid to economic development, and especially the dispute over rechartering the second Bank of the United States, was thus the central event of Andrew Jackson's Presidency." Watson describes the nation's changing economy and politics, explains how such basic institutions as banks and political parties functioned, and indicates that the period is still relevant. Although Watson dates the Second Party System from 1829 to the mid-1850s, he slights the issues after 1844, including those affecting Texas, California, and Oregon. Unfortunately there are no maps, illustrations, or charts. This highly readable synthesis is recommended for both general and academic readers. -G. T. Edwards, Whitman College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Harry L. Watson, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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