By Morton Keller

ISBN-10: 0195325028

ISBN-13: 9780195325027

Whilst historians take the lengthy view, they appear at "ages" or "eras" (the Age of Jackson, the innovative Era). yet those time spans final now not than a decade or so. during this groundbreaking new ebook, Morton Keller divides our nation's heritage into 3 regimes, every one of which lasts many, many many years, permitting us to understand, as by no means prior to, the gradual regular evolution of yankee public lifestyles. americans wish to give some thought to our society as ceaselessly younger and bubbling. however the fact is especially varied. a formal heritage of the USA needs to be as a lot approximately continuity, patience, and evolution as approximately transformation and revolution. to supply this right historical past, Keller teams America's earlier into 3 lengthy regimes--Deferential and Republican, from the colonial interval to the 1820s; social gathering and Democratic, from the 1830s to the Nineteen Thirties; and Populist and Bureaucratic, from the Thirties to the current. This technique yields many new insights. we find, for example, that the historical past of colonial the USA, the Revolution, and the Early Republic is a extra unified tale than frequently assumed. The Civil battle, industrialization, and the revolutionary period did fairly little to change the nature of the democratic-party regime that lasted from the 1830s to the Nineteen Thirties. And the populist-bureaucratic regime within which we are living this day has visible alterations in politics, executive, and legislations as profound as those who happened within the past due 18th and early nineteenth centuries. As Keller underscores the sheer endurance of America's public associations, he sheds gentle on present issues to boot: specifically, will the present political polarization proceed or will extra reasonable forces succeed. the following then is a massive contribution to usa history--an solely new method to examine our earlier, our current, and our future--packed with provocative and unique observations approximately American public lifestyles.

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Extra info for America's Three Regimes: A New Political History

Sample text

John Adams observed that if moderate compromiser Harrison Gray Otis was the Revolution’s Martin Luther, then firebrand Sam Adams was its John Calvin. The Continental Congress refused to meet on the Sabbath, and in 1777 it ordered twenty thousand Bibles to be distributed to the army. But these were not St. Johns in a hurry. Congress dutifully discoursed on its duty ‘‘to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought and died’’: not a call to defend (or for that matter to assault) the ramparts of Orthodoxy.

It was a blueprint for governance made necessary by independence and war, but little more than that. A Congressled union of states with a central government that controlled the coinage, borrowing, an army and a navy, and foreign and Indian affairs stirred little or no controversy. ’’ The states had veto power over changes in the document and retained control over commerce and taxation. There was no Confederation judiciary, and no member of Congress could serve more than three years in six. It is not surprising that the Confederation Congress had no coherent factions or parties.

The punishment of criminals in English courts became more severe; in America it became less so. By midcentury only about a quarter of American criminal law rested on common-law principles, the rest on colonial legislative codes. And more so than in the mother country, courts and juries were integral parts of colonial American government. O l d Wa y s a n d N e w 19 Riots, a European fixture, took on a different character in America. If from the English perspective American law seemed more and more lawless, to Americans rioting came to seem more and more lawful.

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