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The American Ballot Box in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

£56.00

  • Date Published: June 2004
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521831017

£ 56.00
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  • During the middle of the nineteenth century, Americans voted in saloons in the most derelict sections of great cities, in hamlets swarming with Union soldiers, or in wooden cabins so isolated that even neighbors had difficulty finding them. Their votes have come down to us as election returns reporting tens of millions of officially sanctioned democratic acts. Neatly arrayed in columns by office, candidate, and party, these returns are routinely interpreted as reflections of the preferences of individual voters and thus seem to unambiguously document the existence of a robust democratic ethos. By carefully examining political activity in and around the polling place, this book suggests some important caveats which must attend this conclusion. These caveats, in turn, help to bridge the interpretive chasm now separating ethno-cultural descriptions of popular politics from political economic analyses of state and national policy-making.

    • Dozens of individual accounts of voting that show how popular culture shaped American democracy
    • Explains why the United States was able to combine democracy and development as a developing nation
    • Bridges the interpretive chasm between economic and religious or cultural factors influencing voters
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521831017
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.537kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Introduction
    2. Structure and practice of elections
    3. Social construction of identity in Eastern rural communities
    4. Ethno-cultural stereotypes and voting in large cities
    5. Frontier democracy
    6. Loyal oaths, troops, and elections during the civil war
    7. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • War, Peace, and Globilization
  • Author

    Richard Franklin Bensel, Cornell University, New York

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