Affairs of party: the political culture of Northern by Jean H. Baker

By Jean H. Baker

Affairs of social gathering, Jean Baker asserts, have been a principal characteristic of public existence in nineteenth-century the United States. during this ebook she explores the best way the Northern Democrats of the mid-eighteen countless numbers lived their public lives. She starts off with a psychobiographical rationalization of the way humans grew to become Democrats, weighing the significance of such affects as schooling and kinfolk lifestyles. She then discusses significant components that set Democrats except contributors of different political firms: a changed Republican ideology adapted to the conditions of the Civil conflict, and a mordant racism conveyed such a lot strikingly via minstrelsy. ultimately, Baker experiences the ignored topic of partisan habit, targeting the importance of parades, balloting, and different rituals. In Affairs of celebration Jean Baker brings jointly the 3 uncomplicated parts of a political culture-education, notion, and behavior-and presents an figuring out of the collective values of Northern Democrats and an perception into the elusive which means of get together event. In her new preface, Professor Baker locations her e-book within the context of either fresh scholarship and up to date political and cultural advancements.

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Extra resources for Affairs of party: the political culture of Northern Democrats in the mid-nineteenth century

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For this reason, Affairs of Party is neither an event-filled party narrative nor an investigation of the ethnic, religious, and economic background of mid-century Democrats. Nor is it a study of their legislative positions. Not only have all these topics been researched, but no matter what the relative significance of these components in individual voting decisions, the answer represents only one aspect of the ways in which Americans led their civic lives. Insofar as practitioners of the "new political history" have persistently associated parties with ethnicity and religion, the existence of partisan cultures like that of the Northern Democracy has been obscured.

P. 132. Page 14 party. Whether investigating twentieth-century China or seventeenth-century England, students of political culture concentrate on critical episodes for the simple reason that such decisive events disclose otherwise opaque aspects of public life. Northern Democrats are an admittedly awkward subculture, albeit a necessary one for any student of nineteenth-century politics. They are the first political organization having a sufficient history to permit any analysis of socialization.

Of course, there was nothing that exactly corresponded to the entity Northern Democrats. It is a fictive construction, as most generalizing terms are. Northern Democrats operated on different levels of ideological perception and interest, along a continuum of views and behavior. Yet because they had established a political community and had both a sense of themselves as an organization and a particular orientation to their nation's politics, they are presented here as a case study. The pronoun they as it refers to Northern Democrats is not used arbitrarily or capriciously; it designates the central tendency of a spectrum.

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