The Age of Federalism

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9780195093810: The Age of Federalism

When Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the presidency in 1801, America had just passed through twelve critical years, years dominated by some of the towering figures of our history and by the challenge of having to do everything for the first time. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and Jefferson himself each had a share in shaping that remarkable era--an era that is brilliantly captured in The Age of Federalism.
Written by esteemed historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism gives us a reflective, deeply informed analytical survey of this extraordinary period. Ranging over the widest variety of concerns--political, cultural, economic, diplomatic, and military--the authors provide a sweeping historical account, keeping always in view not only the problems the new nation faced but also the particular individuals who tried to solve them. As they move through the Federalist era, they draw subtly perceptive character sketches not only of the great figures--Washington and Jefferson, Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte--but also of lesser ones, such as George Hammond, Britain's frustrated minister to the United States, James McHenry, Adams's hapless Secretary of War, the pre-Chief Justice version of John Marshall, and others. They weave these lively profiles into an analysis of the central controversies of the day, turning such intricate issues as the public debt into fascinating depictions of opposing political strategies and contending economic philosophies. Each dispute bears in some way on the broader story of the emerging nation. The authors show, for instance, the consequences the fight over Hamilton's financial system had for the locating of the nation's permanent capital, and how it widened an ideological gulf between Hamilton and the Virginians, Madison and Jefferson, that became unbridgeable. The statesmen of the founding generation, the authors believe, did "a surprising number of things right." But Elkins and McKitrick also describe some things that went resoundingly wrong: the hopelessly underfinanced effort to construct a capital city on the Potomac (New York, they argue, would have been a far more logical choice than Washington), and prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts which turned into a comic nightmare. No detail is left out, or left uninteresting, as their account continues through the Adams presidency, the XYZ affair, the naval Quasi-War with France, and the desperate Federalist maneuvers in 1800, first to prevent the reelection of Adams and then to nullify the election of Jefferson.
The Age of Federalism is the fruit of many years of discussion and thought, in which deep scholarship is matched only by the lucid distinction of its prose. With it, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced the definitive study, long awaited by historians, of the early national era.

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About the Author:


Stanley Elkins is the author of Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life, and is Professor of History at Smith College.

Eric McKitrick is the author of Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction, and is Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University.

Review:

"Thorough and well written account of this important time period in our nation's history."--Stephen S. Katz, Community College of Philadelphia

"Their fine book should long stand as a standard work on the 1790s and will be essential reading for all interested in early US politics....They provide a clear and powerful analysis of the Federalists in government, and how they managed o do themselves in....They provide a lively commentary on individuals and events. Their account of the XYZ Affair is highly entertaining....We must be grateful to Elkins and McKitrick for exercising their skill and wit so effectively on some of US historu's most prominent and important political losers."--Times Higher Education Supplement (London)

"A massive synthesis of the recent literature in traditional American history, The Age of Federalism will probably replace John C. Miller's The Federalist Era as the definitive work on the 1790s."--International Journal of the Classical Tradition

"This book is a delight to read and provides an elaborate and valuable account of high politics in the era of Federalism....A valuable and highly readable treatment of high politics in the Early Republic. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the national politics of that era."--The American Journal of Legal History

"The writing is very engaging....It is simply a great book."--Southern Partisan

"An impressive achievement. Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced an original, scholarly and sparkling account of this nation's first crucial decade under the Constitution. The book combines meticulous historical analysis with a sweeping narrative in which the founding fathers emerge as believable people--at crucial moments wise, vain, petty, ambitious, confused, imaginative, courageous, self-righteous, passionate and stubborn."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Excellent treatment of the period 1788-1800. Well written and documented."--David H. Wicks, Mississippi Valey State University

"Clearly the most thorough one-volume treatment of the period in print. It's a delight to read and the notes are a bibliographical gold mine."--Reverand Jas. Connelly, University of Portland

"A 'user friendly' journey through a crucially important and often misinterpreted period."--Dr. Paul Doutrich, York College of Pennsylvania

"This is an exceptional book -- one of the finest studies of the period produced in the past quarter century."--John M. Belohlavek, University of South Florida

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. When Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the presidency in 1801, America had just passed through twelve critical years, years dominated by some of the towering figures of our history and by the challenge of having to do everything for the first time. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and Jefferson himself each had a share in shaping that remarkable era-an era that is brilliantly captured in The Age of Federalism. Written by esteemed historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism gives us a reflective, deeply informed analytical survey of this extraordinary period. Ranging over the widest variety of concerns-political, cultural, economic, diplomatic, and military-the authors provide a sweeping historical account, keeping always in view not only the problems the new nation faced but also the particular individuals who tried to solve them. As they move through the Federalist era, they draw subtly perceptive character sketches not only of the great figures-Washington and Jefferson, Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte-but also of lesser ones, such as George Hammond, Britain s frustrated minister to the United States, James McHenry, Adams s hapless Secretary of War, the pre-Chief Justice version of John Marshall, and others. They weave these lively profiles into an analysis of the central controversies of the day, turning such intricate issues as the public debt into fascinating depictions of opposing political strategies and contending economic philosophies. Each dispute bears in some way on the broader story of the emerging nation. The authors show, for instance, the consequences the fight over Hamilton s financial system had for the locating of the nation s permanent capital, and how it widened an ideological gulf between Hamilton and the Virginians, Madison and Jefferson, that became unbridgeable. The statesmen of the founding generation, the authors believe, did a surprising number of things right. But Elkins and McKitrick also describe some things that went resoundingly wrong: the hopelessly underfinanced effort to construct a capital city on the Potomac (New York, they argue, would have been a far more logical choice than Washington), and prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts which turned into a comic nightmare. No detail is left out, or left uninteresting, as their account continues through the Adams presidency, the XYZ affair, the naval Quasi-War with France, and the desperate Federalist maneuvers in 1800, first to prevent the reelection of Adams and then to nullify the election of Jefferson. The Age of Federalism is the fruit of many years of discussion and thought, in which deep scholarship is matched only by the lucid distinction of its prose. With it, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced the definitive study, long awaited by historians, of the early national era. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195093810

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.When Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the presidency in 1801, America had just passed through twelve critical years, years dominated by some of the towering figures of our history and by the challenge of having to do everything for the first time. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and Jefferson himself each had a share in shaping that remarkable era-an era that is brilliantly captured in The Age of Federalism. Written by esteemed historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism gives us a reflective, deeply informed analytical survey of this extraordinary period. Ranging over the widest variety of concerns-political, cultural, economic, diplomatic, and military-the authors provide a sweeping historical account, keeping always in view not only the problems the new nation faced but also the particular individuals who tried to solve them. As they move through the Federalist era, they draw subtly perceptive character sketches not only of the great figures-Washington and Jefferson, Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte-but also of lesser ones, such as George Hammond, Britain s frustrated minister to the United States, James McHenry, Adams s hapless Secretary of War, the pre-Chief Justice version of John Marshall, and others. They weave these lively profiles into an analysis of the central controversies of the day, turning such intricate issues as the public debt into fascinating depictions of opposing political strategies and contending economic philosophies. Each dispute bears in some way on the broader story of the emerging nation. The authors show, for instance, the consequences the fight over Hamilton s financial system had for the locating of the nation s permanent capital, and how it widened an ideological gulf between Hamilton and the Virginians, Madison and Jefferson, that became unbridgeable. The statesmen of the founding generation, the authors believe, did a surprising number of things right. But Elkins and McKitrick also describe some things that went resoundingly wrong: the hopelessly underfinanced effort to construct a capital city on the Potomac (New York, they argue, would have been a far more logical choice than Washington), and prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts which turned into a comic nightmare. No detail is left out, or left uninteresting, as their account continues through the Adams presidency, the XYZ affair, the naval Quasi-War with France, and the desperate Federalist maneuvers in 1800, first to prevent the reelection of Adams and then to nullify the election of Jefferson. The Age of Federalism is the fruit of many years of discussion and thought, in which deep scholarship is matched only by the lucid distinction of its prose. With it, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced the definitive study, long awaited by historians, of the early national era. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195093810

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 2/1/1995, 1995. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780195093810

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