Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics
Martin Van Buren was a one-term president whose public life has long been overshadowed by the more fiery personalities of his day - Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun. Nevertheless, Van Buren was a transforming political figure in American history, one of the first of the new republic's professional politicians.
In the early part of the nineteenth century, America was skeptical of popular politics, distrustful of political parties, and disdainful of political management. However, as prominent historian Joel H. Silbey demonstrates, Martin Van Buren took the lead among his contemporaries in remolding the old political order as he captured the New York State governorship a seat in the United States Senate, and ultimately the presidency. Silbey argues that Van Buren recognized the need for effective national political organization and, in the process, helped remake America's political culture. Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics takes a fresh look at the life and political career of one of America's most often overlooked, yet most influential, public figures.
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