Congressional Dynamics: Structure, Coordination, and Choice in the First American Congress, 1774-1789

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Stanford University Press, 1994 - Political Science - 375 pages
In 1774 delegates from 12 English colonies in North America assembled in congress. This assemblage laid the foundation for the first national political body in the United States. The basic institutional identity of the Continental Congress never changed over its 15 year history. Nonetheless, perceived deficiencies in its structure and performance helped forge the Federal system founded in 1789. This book focuses on the origins, evolution, and demise of the Continental Congress, reinterpreting its successes and failures from the perspective of the new institutionalism. The authors analyze the behavioural record of the delegates - their votes, voting coalitions, work load, committee assignments - and conclude that norms, rules, and structures were as much to blame for the Congress's failure as the 12 represented states reluctance to support and finance it.
 

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Contents

Introduction i
10
Tables
25
Institutional Development
69
Regional Variations and the Pattern of Politics in
167
The Radical Coalition and Factional Politics in
195
Nationalist Failure and Congressional Decline
239
Congressional Dynamics and
287
APPENDIX A Coding Categories for Votes
305
Vexing Vectors and Interpreting
322
Notes
345
Index
367
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