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

By Jean H. Baker

Affairs of get together, Jean Baker asserts, have been a valuable characteristic of public existence in nineteenth-century the United States. during this publication she explores the best way the Northern Democrats of the mid-eighteen 1000's lived their public lives. She starts with a psychobiographical clarification of ways humans turned Democrats, weighing the significance of such affects as schooling and relatives existence. She then discusses significant parts that set Democrats except participants of different political businesses: a converted Republican ideology adapted to the situations of the Civil warfare, and a mordant racism conveyed such a lot strikingly via minstrelsy. eventually, Baker reports the missed topic of partisan habit, targeting the importance of parades, balloting, and different rituals. In Affairs of get together Jean Baker brings jointly the 3 easy elements of a political culture-education, proposal, and behavior-and presents an figuring out of the collective values of Northern Democrats and an perception into the elusive that means of get together event. In her new preface, Professor Baker areas her ebook within the context of either contemporary 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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Hence, in many cases but especially in Chapters 1, 3, and 5, I depend on individual biographies, on the assumption that partisan culture, like other customary behaviors, is embedded in human beings, some of whom successfully embody the general tendencies of the group. My concern here is not how representative the individual's ideas or behavior may have been, but rather the degree to which a particular Northern Democrat absorbed and summarized the group's sensibilities. What is sacrificed in universality is made up for by the accuracy and concreteness of individual examples.

All had learned the shared values and assumptions manifest in being a member of that party, no matter what the level of their involvement in what for most would be a lifelong, monogamous relationship. It seemed important to probe that connection, just as it seemed important to investigate the neglected Democrats. Most historians focused on the Republicans, who controlled the Union government during the Civil War and whose platforms and policies especially on emancipation were more influential and congenial.

One way to consider this partisan culture is to investigate the process by which a particular group, in this case Northerners in the first part of the nineteenth century, learned the attitudes and behaviors expected of them as Americans. In the United States, as in any postrevolutionary society, this was an especially crucial matter, for no part of the political system had tradition's blessing. Nor, as in the twentieth century, did established mediums for transmitting political information exist.

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