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By Jean H. Baker

Affairs of celebration, Jean Baker asserts, have been a important characteristic of public existence in nineteenth-century the US. during this booklet she explores the way the Northern Democrats of the mid-eighteen hundreds of thousands lived their public lives. She starts off with a psychobiographical clarification of the way humans grew to become Democrats, weighing the significance of such impacts as schooling and kin existence. She then discusses significant components that set Democrats except individuals of alternative political agencies: a changed Republican ideology adapted to the conditions of the Civil battle, and a mordant racism conveyed such a lot strikingly via minstrelsy. ultimately, Baker reviews the overlooked topic of partisan habit, focusing on the importance of parades, vote casting, and different rituals. In Affairs of social gathering Jean Baker brings jointly the 3 easy parts of a political culture-education, notion, and behavior-and offers an realizing of the collective values of Northern Democrats and an perception into the elusive which means of occasion adventure. In her new preface, Professor Baker locations her ebook within the context of either contemporary scholarship and up to date political and cultural advancements.

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Additional resources for Affairs of party: the political culture of Northern Democrats in the mid-nineteenth century

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252-53, 451; Arthur Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 1848-1870 (Springfield: Illinois Centennial Commission, 1919), pp. 71, 122, 131-32. Page 25 PART I LEARNING TO BE DEMOCRATS Page 27 Chapter I Partisan Roots A man has come into the world, his early years are spent without notice in the pleasures and activities of childhood. As he grows up, the world receives him when his manhood begins. . He is then studied for the first time. This is if I am not mistaken a great error. We must begin higher up; we must watch the infant in his mother's arms; we must see the first images which the external world casts upon the dark mirror of his mind, the first occurrences that he witnesses; we must hear the first words which awaken the sleeping powers of thought, and stand by his earliest efforts if we would understand the prejudices, the habits, the passions which will rule his life Alexis de Tocqueville No one, it is safe to say, was ever born a Democrat.

To make these elusive aspects of political culture more concrete, the middle section of the book concentrates on the ruling expressions, convictions, and symbols of the Democracy, specifically its republicanism, racism, and Americanism. " It is clear that Northern Democrats shared many (though not all) of their ideas and practices with other Americans whether Whigs, Know-Nothings, Republicans, or nonpartisans and in many respects there were only distinctions, never differences, between American political culture and the Democratic version of it.

Instead the family, the school, and the party inculcated public habits, and although these were not the only institutions involved in political socialization, they were the most influential. While the family taught partisanship, schools provided young males with their first training in submitting to authority, delegating power, commissioning leaders, and recognizing illegal coercion. In turn, Northerners who became Democrats were influenced by their party, which replicated expected behavior; thus, through their partisan activities, members learned roles that they repeated as Americans.

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