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Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War ed. by Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith (review)

Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil... R EVIEWS EDITED BY SEAN P. HARVEY AND LUCIA McMAHON Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War. Edited by Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015. Pp. 304. Cloth, $49.50.) Reviewed by Michelle Orihel In Practicing Democracy, Douglas Bradburn observes: "American historians have overwhelmingly been Whig historians" (26). The phrase "Whig history" originated in Herbert Butterfield's The Whig Interpretation of History, published in 1931. Whig historians used the past, Butterfield argued, to explain and sanction the triumph of liberal democracy in nineteenth-century Britain. By orienting their studies toward that achievement, historians failed to understand the past on its own terms. In the United States, Whig history manifests itself in the democratization model of development. This model presents the nation as democratizing steadily over time, with democracy encompassing free elections, an expanding electorate, and a two-party system. Andrew Robertson contends that historians of nineteenth-century American politics have especially adopted a Whig perspective (99). Many historians search for the roots of democracy in the early republic, and trace its rise from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Jackson or Abraham Lincoln. The ten essays in this compelling new http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War ed. by Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 37 (1) – Feb 23, 2017

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

R EVIEWS EDITED BY SEAN P. HARVEY AND LUCIA McMAHON Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War. Edited by Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015. Pp. 304. Cloth, $49.50.) Reviewed by Michelle Orihel In Practicing Democracy, Douglas Bradburn observes: "American historians have overwhelmingly been Whig historians" (26). The phrase "Whig history" originated in Herbert Butterfield's The Whig Interpretation of History, published in 1931. Whig historians used the past, Butterfield argued, to explain and sanction the triumph of liberal democracy in nineteenth-century Britain. By orienting their studies toward that achievement, historians failed to understand the past on its own terms. In the United States, Whig history manifests itself in the democratization model of development. This model presents the nation as democratizing steadily over time, with democracy encompassing free elections, an expanding electorate, and a two-party system. Andrew Robertson contends that historians of nineteenth-century American politics have especially adopted a Whig perspective (99). Many historians search for the roots of democracy in the early republic, and trace its rise from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Jackson or Abraham Lincoln. The ten essays in this compelling new

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 23, 2017

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