The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2006 - History - 1044 pages
Winner of the Bancroft Award: "Monumental...a tour de force...awesome in its coverage of political events."--Gordon Wood, "New York Times Book Review" Acclaimed as the definitive study of the period by one of the greatest American historians, "The Rise of American Democracy" traces a historical arc from the earliest days of the republic to the opening shots of the Civil War. Ferocious clashes among the Founders over the role of ordinary citizens in a government of "we, the people" were eventually resolved in the triumph of Andrew Jackson. Thereafter, Sean Wilentz shows, a fateful division arose between two starkly opposed democracies--a division contained until the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked its bloody resolution. Winner of the Bancroft Award, shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a "New York Times" 100 Notable Books of 2005 and best book of "New York" magazine and "The Economist," 75 illustrations.

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User Review  - Jared_Runck - LibraryThing

Princeton professor Sean Wilentz here presents the in-depth story of the turn in American politics toward democracy. I suppose it is relatively well-known that the Founding Fathers (especially, say ... Read full review

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User Review  - ALincolnNut - LibraryThing

“The Rise of American Democracy,” by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, is nothing short of a magisterial synthesis of political history in the United States from 1800 to 1860. In 800 pages, followed ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
THE CRISIS OF THE NEW ORDER
9
American Democracy in a Revolutionary Age
11
The Republican Interest and the SelfCreated Democracy
38
The Making of Jeffersonian Democracy
70
Jeffersons Two Presidencies
97
Nationalism and the War of 1812
139
DEMOCRACY ASCENDANT
177
Whigs Democrats and Democracy
480
SLAVERY AND THE CRISIS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
517
Whig Debacle Democratic Confusion
519
Antislavery Annexation and the Advent of Young Hickory
545
The Bitter Fruits of Manifest Destiny
575
War Slavery and the American 1848
600
Political Truce Uneasy Consequences
631
The Truce Collapses
666

The Era of Bad Feelings
179
Slavery Compromise and Democratic Politics
216
The Politics of Moral Improvement
252
The Aristocracy and Democracy of America
279
The Jackson Era Uneasy Beginnings
310
Radical Democracies
328
1832 Jacksons Crucial Year
357
Banks Abolitionists and the Equal Rights Democracy
389
The Republic has degenerated into a Democracy
423
The Politics of Hard Times
454
A Nightmare Broods Over Society
705
The Faith That Right Makes Might
743
The Iliad of All Our Woes
766
Epilogue
787
Notes
795
Acknowledgments
947
Credits
949
Index
951
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Sean Wilentz is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University and author of the Bancroft Prize-winning The Rise of American Democracy, Bob Dylan in America, and many other works. He is completing his next book, No Property in Man, on slavery, antislavery, and the Constitution, based on his Nathan I. Huggins Lectures delivered at Harvard in 2015.

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