The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840

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University of California Press, 1970 - History - 280 pages
4 Reviews
This work traces the historical processes in thought by which American political leaders slowly edged away from their complete philosophical rejection of a party and hesitantly began to embrace a party system. In the author's words, "The emergence of legitimate party opposition and of a theory of politics that accepted it was something new in the history of the world; it required a bold new act of understanding on the part of its contemporaries and it still requires study on our part." Professor Hofstadter's analysis of the idea of party and the development of legitimate opposition offers fresh insights into the political crisis of 1797-1801, on the thought of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren, and other leading figures, and on the beginnings of modern democratic politics.
  

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Review: The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States 1780-1840

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

Detailed history of the first few presidents and party leaders in the United States... how Washington and others thought parties were "evil," and the subsequent changes to "necessary evil" and finally ... Read full review

Review: The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States 1780-1840

User Review  - Steven Peterson - Goodreads

This is a fine historical work on the rise of political parties as legitimate actors after the Revolutionary War. There is nice discussion of the historical antecedents. Then, assessment of party from ... Read full review

Contents

Preface vii
1
Two A Constitution against Parties
40
Three The Jeffersonians in Opposition
74

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About the author (1970)

The late Richard Hofstadter was DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. He was the author of many books and articles on American History and twice received the Pulitzer Prize: in History in 1956, and in general nonfiction in 1964.

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