Life of the Parties Reichley

ISBN: 9780029260258

Published:

Board book

500 pages


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Life of the Parties  by  Reichley

Life of the Parties by Reichley
| Board book | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 500 pages | ISBN: 9780029260258 | 3.47 Mb

Americans disillusioned with a divided government and an ineffectual political process need look no further for the source of these problems than the decline of the political parties, says A. James Reichley. As he reminds us in this first majorMoreAmericans disillusioned with a divided government and an ineffectual political process need look no further for the source of these problems than the decline of the political parties, says A.

James Reichley. As he reminds us in this first major history of the parties to appear in over thirty years, parties have traditionally provided an indispensable foundation for American democracy, both by giving ordinary citizens a means of communicating directly with elected officials and by serving as instruments through which political leaders have mobilized support for government policies. But the destruction of patronage at the state and local levels, the new system of nominating presidential candidates since 1968, and the increased clout of single-issue interest groups have severed the vital connection between political accountability and governmental effectiveness.

Contending that a restored party system remains the best hope for revitalizing our democracy, Reichley uncovers the historic sources of this system, the pitfalls the parties encountered during earlier efforts at reform, and how they arrived at their current weakened state.

Reichley recalls that the Founders took a dim view of parties and tried to prevent their emergence. But by the end of George Washingtons first term as President, two parties, one led by Alexander Hamilton and the other by Thomas Jefferson, were competing for direction of national policy. The two-party system, complete with national conventions, party platforms, and armies of campaign workers, developed more fully during the era of Andrew Jackson.

The Civil War Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, were the first to achieve true party government, and Franklin Roosevelt produced a second golden age of party government in the 1930s. Reichley asserts that Louis Hartz was only half right in arguing that the parties are philosophically indistinguishable.

Rather, Reichley argues that the republican and liberal traditions, on which the two parti



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