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The Young America movement and the transformation of the Democratic Party, 1828-1861 /
Yonatan Eyal.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
description
xii, 252 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521875641 (hardback), 9780521875646 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
isbn
0521875641 (hardback)
9780521875646 (hardback)
contents note
Introduction: The spirit of Young America -- Orthodox Jacksonianism, 1828-1844 -- Trade and improvements : the economic orientation of Young America Democrats -- Rails, canals, and a new commercial spirit -- Young America Democrats and the revolutions of 1848 -- A new international consciousness -- The fires of perfection revisited -- The antislavery democracy -- New Democrats and the coming of the Civil War -- Conclusion: Lincoln on Young America.
catalogue key
6274314
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-08-01:
Prior to the Civil War, so-called "Young America" Democrats invoked the needs of future Americans in order to alter traditional positions of their party regarding trade, governmental promotion of improvements and commerce, homesteading of public lands, acquisition of new territories, the active promotion of US ideals abroad, and support for pragmatic social reforms, from anti-dueling legislation to early efforts at a professional civil service. Relying on literary sources such as personal papers, newspapers, and congressional speeches of individuals ranging from Stephen A. Douglas to Margaret Fuller, Eyal (Univ. of Toronto, Mississauga) carefully analyzes this "movement" (which he hesitates to call a "faction," because seldom did Young Americans agree on every issue). He argues that pressure from constituents pushed individuals toward more progressive, modern approaches and suggests that the image of Democrats as market averse and hostile to social reform is an inaccurate stereotype. The author further insists that the excitement that Young Americans generated for their issues delayed the eventual split of the Democratic Party and the Civil War. Eyal extensively qualifies many of his conclusions, weakening the impact of his overall thesis. Summing Up: Recommended for larger academic libraries. Graduate students and faculty. P. F. Field emerita, Ohio University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A sympathetic portrayal of a nationalistic movement within Jacksonian Democracy: the expansionist, pro-business, and internationally interventionist 'Young America.'"
"A sympathetic portrayal of a nationalistic movement within Jacksonian Democracy: the expansionist, pro-business, and internationally interventionist 'Young America.'" -Daniel Walker Howe, University of California at Los Angeles, and author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
"De Alva Stanwood Alexander, the noted journalist, politician, and historian, memorably described the politics of 19th-century New York as 'a labyrinth of wheels within wheels . . . understood only by the managers.' In THE YOUNG AMERICA MOVEMENT AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, Yonatan Eyal brings clarity and understanding to the momentous changes wrought by the political realignments of the 1850s. This work sheds considerable light on how America's longest existing party survived the crisis of the Union."
"De Alva Stanwood Alexander, the noted journalist, politician, and historian, memorably described the politics of 19th-century New York as 'a labyrinth of wheels within wheels . . . understood only by the managers.' In THE YOUNG AMERICA MOVEMENT AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, Yonatan Eyal brings clarity and understanding to the momentous changes wrought by the political realignments of the 1850s. This work sheds considerable light on how America's longest existing party survived the crisis of the Union." -Jonathan Earle, University of Kansas, and author of Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854
"Persuasive and revealing . . . . Eyal presents a skilled, thorough study of Young America that should be on every specialist's shelf and in advanced classes and seminars on antebellum politics." -Everett W. Kindig, THE HISTORIAN
"Recommended."Choice
Review of the hardback: 'A sympathetic portrayal of a nationalistic movement within Jacksonian Democracy: the expansionist, pro-business, and internationally interventionist 'Young America'.' Daniel Walker Howe, University of California at Los Angeles, and author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848
Review of the hardback: 'De Alva Stanwood Alexander, the noted journalist, politician, and historian, memorably described the politics of 19th-century New York as 'a labyrinth of wheels within wheels … understood only by the managers'. In The Young America Movement and the Transformation of the Democratic Party, Yonatan Eyal brings clarity and understanding to the momentous changes wrought by the political realignments of the 1850s. This work sheds considerable light on how America's longest existing party survived the crisis of the Union.' Jonathan Earle, University of Kansas, and author of Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824–1854
Review of the hardback: 'Persuasive and revealing, this author confirms many of the reviewer's own findings. … Eyal presents a skilled, thorough study of Young America that should be on every specialist's shelf and in advanced classes and seminars on antebellum politics.' The Historian
Review of the hardback: 'Recommended …' Choice
Review of the hardback: 'This book is a welcome challenge to the prevailing historiographical paradigm of partisan competition … a remarkable achievement in recovering the diversity of visionary and progressive ideals that emerged within the Democratic Party and reshaped the nation in the Civil War era.' Matthew Isham, Civil War History
Review of the hardback: 'This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of antebellum political party development, particularly of the Democrats; and for some time it will likely be an important resource for information about the lives and political activities of the still-underappreciated New Democrats of the Young America Movement. Rethinking the relationship between Democrats and the market revolution, Yonatan Eyal argues for splitting the antebellum period in two … This is the book's primary contention, and it is convincing.' Stewart Winger, American Historical Review
Review of the hardback: 'This impressive first book challenges us to look anew at the Democratic party of the late antebellum period … Eyal has written a thought-provoking book, one that demands the attention of historians of the nineteenth-century United States. Eyal's book seeks to keep us honest - to insure that we will not fall back on easy, one-dimensional characterizations of the complex and contentious antebellum Democrats. It can and should provoke continued debate on whether it is fair to label the antebellum Democrats as the party of slavery, and it raises that debate to a new level of sophistication … the book is an important reminder that the perfectionist middle-class culture of the North was not inherently Whiggish but instead a site for partisan competition. Most important, this book can serve as an example for graduate students of how to write a dissertation that matters.' Elizabeth R. Varon, Reviews in American History
Review of the hardback: 'Yonatan Eyal has written a smart and subtly provocative new book on the political ideology, aims, and long-term effects of the Young America movement in the Democratic Party. His study should prove both useful and challenging for specialists in antebellum political history and the history of the Democratic Party.' Padraig Riley, H-CivWar (h-net.org/~civwar)
Review of the hardback: 'Yonatan Eyal's new book on the Young America Democrats offers a fresh interpretation of the party of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren … By undertaking a study of the political Young America, he offers a new perspective that is important for scholars of the second American party system to assess.' Mark Cheathem, Journal of Southern History
"This book is a welcome challenge to the prevailing historiographical paradigm of partisan competition....a remarkable achievement in recovering the diversity of visionary and progressive ideals that emerged within the Democratic Party and reshaped the nation in the Civil War era." - Matthew Isham, Civil War History
"This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of antebellum political party development, particularly of the Democrats; and for some time it will likely be an important resource for information about the lives and political activities of the still-underappreciated New Democrats of the Young America Movement. Rethinking the relationship between Democrats and the market revolution, Yonatan Eyal argues for splitting the antebellum period in two. . . . This is the book's primary contention, and it is convincing."
"This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of antebellum political party development, particularly of the Democrats; and for some time it will likely be an important resource for information about the lives and political activities of the still-underappreciated New Democrats of the Young America Movement. Rethinking the relationship between Democrats and the market revolution, Yonatan Eyal argues for splitting the antebellum period in two. . . . This is the book's primary contention, and it is convincing." -Stewart Winger, American Historical Review
"This impressive first book challenges us to look anew at the Democratic party of the late antebellum period and thereby to appreciate the profound influence of the party's self-styled progressive vanguard . . . . Eyal has written a thought-provoking book, one that demands the attention of historians of the nineteenth-century United States. Eyal's book seeks to keep us honest--to insure that we will not fall back on easy, one-dimensional characterizations of the complex and contentious antebellum Democrats. It can and should provoke continued debate on whether it is fair to label the antebellum Democrats as the party of slavery, and it raises that debate to a new level of sophistication. By showing how responsive the party was to constituent pressures, and how it elaborated its own reform agenda, Eyal accounts, persuasively, for Democrats' electoral strength in the North; the book is an important reminder that the perfectionist middle-class culture of the North was not inherently Whiggish but instead a site for partisan competition. Most important, this book can serve as an example for graduate students of how to write a dissertation that matters." - Elizabeth R. Varon, Reviews in American History
"Yonatan Eyal has written a smart and subtly provocative new book on the political ideology, aims, and long-term effects of the Young America movement in the Democratic Party. His study should prove both useful and challenging for specialists in antebellum political history and the history of the Democratic Party."
"Yonatan Eyal has written a smart and subtly provocative new book on the political ideology, aims, and long-term effects of the Young America movement in the Democratic Party. His study should prove both useful and challenging for specialists in antebellum political history and the history of the Democratic Party." -Padraig Riley, H-CivWar
"Yonatan Eyal's new book on the Young America Democrats offers a fresh interpretation of the party of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. . . . By undertaking a study of the political Young America, he offers a new perspective that is important for scholars of the second American party system to assess." -Mark Cheathem, Journal of Southern History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2008
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title offers an exclusively political history of Young America's impact on the Democratic Party, complementing existing studies of the literary and cultural dimensions of this group. It looks closely at the Young America Democracy shedding light on the political realignments of the 1850s and the coming of the Civil War.
Description for Bookstore
This 2007 book investigates the Young America faction of the US Democratic Party during the 1840s and 1850s. The New Democrats moved the party toward fresh economic thinking, greater engagement with the world, a more active reform attitude, and a new view of the US Constitution.
Description for Bookstore
This book investigates the Young America faction of the U.S. Democratic Party during the 1840s and 1850s. The New Democrats moved the party toward fresh economic thinking, greater engagement with the world, a more active reform attitude, and a new view of the U.S. Constitution.
Description for Bookstore
This book investigates the Young America faction of the U.S. Democratic Party during the 1840s and 1850s. The New Democrats moved the party toward fresh economic thinking, greater engagement with the world, a more active reform attitude, and a new view of the U.S. Constitution, thus playing a role in the coming of the American Civil War.
Main Description
This book investigates a particular group, called Young America, within the U.S. Democratic Party during the 1840s and 1850s. It argues that members of this group changed what it meant to be a Democrat. They moved the party toward new economic thinking, greater engagement with the world, a more active reform attitude, and a new view of the U.S. Constitution, thus playing a role in the coming of the American Civil War. This is the first full-blown examination of Young America's impact in the realm of politics, as opposed to merely literature and culture.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Spirit of Young Americap. 1
Orthodox Jacksonianism, 1828-1844p. 17
Strict Construction and States' Rightsp. 20
A Proslavery Democracyp. 25
An Agrarian Democracyp. 28
An Insular Democracyp. 30
Reform in Other Handsp. 33
Trade and Improvements: The Economic Orientation of Young America Democratsp. 36
Free Tradep. 37
Internal Improvementsp. 44
Rivers and Harborsp. 55
Rails, Canals, and a New Commercial Spiritp. 65
Causes and Explanationsp. 66
Rails and Canalsp. 69
The Independent Treasuryp. 79
New Feelings for the Market: Individual Casesp. 82
A Broad Spirit of Enterprisep. 89
Young America Democrats and the Revolutions of 1848p. 93
Young America and Young Europep. 94
Among the Barricades, in Person and in Spiritp. 98
The Magnificent Magyarp. 107
Innocents Abroadp. 110
A New International Consciousnessp. 116
Reviving Monroe's Doctrinep. 118
"Fifty-Four Forty"p. 121
Texas and Mexicop. 127
Pearl of the Antillesp. 135
Land of the Samuraip. 139
The Grand Tourp. 141
The Fires of Perfection Revisitedp. 145
Free Landp. 147
Knowledge and New Institutionsp. 150
A Social Consciencep. 153
Race and Immigrationp. 161
Investigation and Technologyp. 165
Monopolies and Regulationp. 171
The Spoils Systemp. 174
The Antislavery Democracyp. 183
Barnburners and Othersp. 184
Colonization, Popular Sovereignty, and Free Soilp. 190
New Democrats and the Coming of the Civil Warp. 202
A Partisan Gluep. 203
A Bipartisan Drawstringp. 222
Conclusion: Lincoln on Young Americap. 229
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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