Recreating the American Republic: Rules of Apportionment, Constitutional Change, and American Political Development, 1700-1870

 
9780511509858: Recreating the American Republic: Rules of Apportionment, Constitutional Change, and American Political Development, 1700-1870
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Rules of apportionment are vital elements of every social, political, and legal order. In marriages and families, in business partnerships and social organizations, and in governments and supranational relationships, rules of apportionment affect not only how collective decisions are made and by whom, but also how and why a particular constitutional order develops over time. Recreating the American Republic provides a first and far-reaching analysis of when, how, and why these rules change and with what constitutional consequences. Recreating the American Republic reveals the special import of apportionment rules for pluralistic, democratic orders by engaging three critical eras and events of American history: the colonial era and the American Revolution; the early national years and the 1787 Constitutional Convention; and the nineteenth century and the American Civil War. This study revisits and systematically compares each seemingly familiar era and event--revealing new insights about each and a new metanarrative of American political development from 1700 to 1870. Recreating the American Republic will engage and challenge scholars and students of American history; political scientists and sociologists working within the analytical narrative, comparative, and historical-institutionalist methodological traditions; and political and legal theorists intrigued by questions of history, human order, consensual constitutionalism, the agency-structure antinomy, institutional change and representative governance.

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Book Description:

Political historians widely recognize the colonial years and the American Revolution, the early national era and the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and the nineteenth century and the American Civil War as the three most important and studied eras and events in American history. These critical eras have informed how we engage our national past. Recreating the American Republic offers the first comparative historical analysis and synthesis of these three, and compels us not simply to revisit the details of each, but to rethink the whole of the American constitutional experience between 1700 and 1870.

Review:

"Kromkowski's ambitious book argues that apportionment is a revealing and underappreciated lens on constitutional creation and change. By means of historical-institutional analysis with a large twist of formal theory, Kromkowski boldly reexamines U.S. representative theory and arrangements from the pre-Revolutionary period through the Civil War amendments. In addition, Kromkowski invites methodological attention through his self-conscious discussions of the possibilites and challenges of combining different research approaches and methods. In addition to the book's substantive merits, these interesting digressions on the problems of 'doing' social science would make this text a lively addition to a scope and methods-type graduate course in history and political science." Perspectives on Politics

"Kromkowski has tapped much scholarly literature from several disciplines, including some of the best historical scholarship. This book is informed by useful tables, graphs, charts, theorems, and other aids. His macrolevel background summaries are instructive." Journal of American History

"Kromkowski's achievement is to raise the issue of the nature and causes of change in the rules of apportionment within a consensual constitutional system. He concludes that such change is caused by 'changes in political expectations concerning decision-making capacities and governmental authority." American Historical Review

"...readers interested in the development of the constitutional order of the American republic should find this an informative and interesting book." The Journal of Economic History

"The central problem of democratic politics is how the public can control its political leadership. Kromkowski attacks this problem by looking at apportionment, its constitutional basis, and change in that basis in three critical periods, the American Revolution, the switch from the confederal to federal Constitution, and the revision of that Constitution after the Civil War. He attacks this problem with a rich amalgam of methods from historical through game theoretic. The result is a rich and complex reading that changes one's understanding of seemingly well-known events." John Aldrich, Duke University

"In this book Charles Kromkowski defines and applies an innovative framework for explaining institutional change that draws on the insights of both historical institutionalism and rational choice. . . . The overall result is an analysis of change in the basic rules for apportioning authority and power at three critical points in American political development that synthesizes the impacts of structure and agency without subordinating one to the other and deepens understanding of change by bringing both historical and political analysis to bear. Whatever one's perspectives and commitments in the current debate over institutional change, Kromkowski has written an informative, perceptive, and challenging book that all sides can profit from reading." Joseph Cooper, Johns Hopkins University

"Recreating the American Republic provides a far-reaching analysis of when, how and why these rules [of apportionment] change and with what consequences." INSight

"Skillfully combining detailed historical narrative and rigorous social science theory, the author shows how American democracy was born of, and developed from, a combination of brilliant statecraft and enlightened self-interest." Virginia Quarterly Review

"[Kromkowski's] book provides enormous insight into recent contributions by both historians and political scientists to understanding institutional change...a worthwhile addition to our understanding of institutional change in American politics." Journal of Southern History

"This sophisticated study demonstrates how methods of history and political science can be intertwined cogently, indeed brilliantly. Recommended." Choice

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9780521022729: Recreating the American Republic: Rules of Apportionment, Constitutional Change, and American Political Development, 1700-1870

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ISBN 10:  052102272X ISBN 13:  9780521022729
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2005
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