A History of the U. S. Political System: Ideas, Interests, by Richard A. Harris, Daniel J. Tichenor

By Richard A. Harris, Daniel J. Tichenor

This reference source combines certain historic research, scholarly essays, and first resource files to discover the evolution of principles and associations that experience formed American govt and americans' political behavior.

• Over 50 members, together with a mixture of special and state of the art political scientists and historians

• approximately 2 hundred fundamental resources, together with Federalist and Anti-Federalist writings, presidential speeches, and landmark splendid courtroom cases

• vintage engravings and political cartoons aligned with key classes in American political development

• Tables of presidents and congressional management and maps exhibiting electoral votes over time

• identify and topic indexes for every volume

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Extra info for A History of the U. S. Political System: Ideas, Interests, and Institutions (3 Volume Set)

Example text

The Anti-Federalists argued that if the size of the legislature were increased, the chance would be greater that the legislature would be made up of citizens from diverse walks of life. Increasing the size of the legislature would thus create a legislature that more accurately mirrored the people. An increase in the size of the legislature would decrease the size of the legislative districts, which would make it more likely that citizens and representatives could truly know one another well enough for the legislature to gain the confidence of the people.

While the Federalists may have won the war over the Constitution, the Anti-Federalist vision of politics has been of enduring significance, and Anti-Federalist ideas remain relevant to contemporary debates about American political life. The historian Saul Cornell has argued that while ‘‘the structure of American government was crafted by the Federalists, the spirit of American politics has more often been inspired by the Antifederalists’’ (1999, 1). Cornell notes that the AntiFederalist emphasis on the importance of local government has been echoed by a host of political actors across the political spectrum, throughout American history.

According to many AntiFederalists, the republican sprit was at its peak during the American Revolution, for this was a time when citizens focused on the common good rather than their own narrow interests. As the memory of the war started to fade, though, so, too, did the civic virtue of the people begin to decline, and it was this loss of virtue that was causing America’s economic and political problems. As we have seen, the Anti-Federalists believed that the Constitution would simply exacerbate this corruption of the American character.

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